World's Longest and Heaviest Float Powered by Ford

Rose Parade Float 2011 photo by John Boylan
Photo by John Boylan

How do you power “The World’s Longest and Heaviest Parade Float,” according to the Guinness Book of Records? With 6.8-liter 10-cylinder gas engine from Ford.

Natural Balance Pet Foods turned to Ford to propel the company's massive 116-foot, 50-ton Surf’s Up! float that will debut on national television in the famous Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 2. Starring on the float will be Tillman the surfing bulldog and his athletic canine friends.

The heavy float is driven by the same 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engine that powers Ford’s Super Duty chassis cab work trucks, E-Series vans and the new 2012 Ford F-650 medium-duty truck.

The parade route is just over five miles long and typically takes two or two-and-a-half hours to complete. At speeds this slow, the key will be keeping the engine and transmission from overheating, with so little airflow coming through the vehicle. Ford NASCAR driver Greg Biffle will also be on the float as one of the founders of the Greg Biffle Foundation supporting the ethical treatment of animals. 

For more, read Ford's full press release

Ford RoseBowlFloatF650_IG_2_FINAL[1]


Slow on the holiday truck stories, eh, Mark.. Geez, let’s all line up and start taking turns kissing Ford’s ass now that the founder of this site started drinking too much Ford water and jumped ship. Meh, the 6.8L couldn’t pull a greasy string out of a Coke bottle until it rev’s to at least 6,000 RPM. A float powered by the low cost chassis supplier doesn’t impress me any. Heck, a Workhorse W-series chassis with an Vortec 8.1L could have pulled the Ford F53 chassis, boat anchor of an engine and float down the Rose route with this the turd of a Ford transmission still in park with no problems. An 8.1L makes more torque at idle than a 6.8L does at 2,000 RPM. LOW COST is why anybody would ever chose a Ford V10. Ford is like Harbor Freight Tools. Adequate for the task but you don’t have to feel bad for throwing it away after the first job.


YOU ARE THE MAN i am a ford man myself but i can respect everythign else they are all good at one thing or another

and i loved ur post on IFS and SFA

@Lou: not only did the Chevy 5.3 have about the worst performance accelerating, but slowing down too! It went from second worst empty to the very worst with 1000 pounds in it! It gained the most distance, empty to full, exactly what you don't want a truck to do. Disc or drum, that's last, only better then a 5 to 6 year old truck. The gas mileage they only get in the flatlands, with cruise set at 75 or so. Here in the real hilly world with having to go 75 miles before I can get to an interstate, the 5.3 gets no better mileage with 3.42s, I couldn't imagine a person getting the 3.08s! I gotta think the only reason the Chevy 1500 sells as good as it does is 1. people really fall for the gas mileage ratings, 2. Cheapest truck second to a Nissan, and Nissans don't offer too much 3. Maybe the fact their crew can is a bit shorter then Fords and offers a longer bed with a shorter truck, (yeah Ford does offer the crew and 6.5, but it is a rear thing to find. But it's offered!) wheres most Fords selling are crews with 5.5 bed.

As for the folks comparing the Ecoboost to 5.3 Chevy for mileage, there's no comparison. The ecoboost still has a high capacity to tow. sure it will eat gas you stick a 8,000 pound trailer behind it, what gasser doesn't at that weight? But for your driving around without a load needs, it will save alot of gas, and idling to warm up and at the light. Since Ram came out with the coils cause alot of half tons don't use them much for max capacity, maybe they would be better suited for the turbo'd v-6, who knows, maybe a slightly smaller v-6 engine with say maybe a max trailer tow of 8500?? could get 23 or more MPG with the eight speed in 4x4 configuration, (24-25 in 4x2??) say maybe make 375 ft pounds torque at low rpm, that would out pull a 5,3 chevy and out mileage it....just an idea

haha ford girls crying love it

i could move 100,000 pounds with a 5 hp briggs motor no big deal here just funny cocky people lmao

Im on a mission from God to eliminate the entire Ford fan base. God came to me one night driving a 1983 El Camino and he said "My child, if humanity is to survive, you must rid the world of Ford's trucks. Their chassis were made by Thor and Hercules, the engine was designed by Ares, the cooling system designed by Poseidon and the interior was done by Apollo and Athena. Then the Raptor and Lightning were specials modified by Satan and Hades and were approved by Zeus. This truck is simply to mighty for mortals." I was curious to why God would drive a Chevy after he spoke of Ford like that, he simply said "Its not Christian." Then he drove off.

So Ford girly men i'm here to tell you should buy a Chevy because the Ford's trucks are too good for you!
So let it be written, so let it be done! GM wins again!

hey Nate.M lou grow a pair and learn how to wrench hahaha do a soild axle kit on a chevy then you'll have the best PS NATE is a sissy haha

@Johnny doe

You will have to excuse Lou and I....We drive Fords so we are not required to be as handy with a wrench since our trucks are...You know...Actually reliable...I guess you wouldn't know what that big word means though.

@Johnny Doe

Isn't it a shame that GM couldn't get it right out of the factory? I mean you would think that they could actually make reliable front ends from the get go...But no...Poor souls like yourself have no choice but to wrench em to fix em...

Merry Christmas to All and keep on truckin

haha nate they hit it right from the get go from what they make from the plant but if you want more power and bigger tires its not that hard to fix unless you're a girl and need to buy a 45,000 dollar craptor because your to dumb to buy 100 bucks of tools and you're to dumb to work the tools you got haha to make something 20 times better then a craptor with you're own hands but i should be use to the new normal lazy from people have taken

sorry johnny doe you're right i am lazy and don't know how to use tools i am just a little girl and very lazy

I heard they considered using a Chevy engine, but they thought a call to AAA during the parade would have been a little embarrassing.

lol, that's what people should have to do with their brand new trucks! Spend a bunch of money on them, and time, right off the bat! Now that Ram has an actual real 6 speed for the 2500 hemi, I bet they sell alot more then they been selling in the 2500 gasser class..


I don't want to burst your little bubble, But my truck actually has the 5.7 and NOT the 5.3 like you say. In case you're wondering, Chevy didn't introduce the 5.3 up until the year 2000.

And you consider yourself a "Pickup expert"... LMFAO!

lol i'm gonna be honest, although Mich Bob started off with some Ford jokes (which I read as both him jabbing ford but also a little self awareness subtle joke) his posts were factual and didn't really warrant any trolling. He even admitted the Ford 6.2L gas 'should' have won, although I'm still a fan of the chevy 6.0L, the Ford engine did do some sweet pulling. Why hate on Bob when he isn't giving anyone crap?

All this fuss over a parade float engine. There is nothing wrong with the Ford V-10 but come on this is just a float. When I was is college they used a Plymouth Valiant convertible with a slant 6 engine for a float although it was significantly smaller than this float. This is just a story. Chill out. Merry Christmas!!

This is especially for our #1 pal Nate:

I will try to add more for you to watch later on if I have time...I hope you enjoy!

We all know theres only one v10 gas pickup that matters. It's name... The Dodge Ram 1500 SRT 10.

@Bob - I was repeating what Michigan Bob had said. Any disinformation stems from Bob or what ever your name is. 5.7 or 5.3 who cares. You are an alleged expert on all that is GM but drive an 18 year old truck. If the new Chevy's are so great, go out and buy one!
All the relevant metrics put GM 1/2 tons in last place or close to last place.
HD Chevy diesels in 2st place, and GMC diesels with the Denali package in 1st place. That is only if you drive on hard smooth roads.
HD gassers from GM are in last place.

The only place Chevy rules is with one engine, and one transmission, on one surface.
That would be Duramax/Allison/hard smooth ground.

You are proud of a "road queen" that you do not even own.

Maybe Santa Claus will bring you a new truck. A Mahindra truck would fit right in with the junk you already own.

Poor old ford.

I love this website! This is by far the dumbest arguement ever in here.

Videos are interesting but if you get stuck in deep mud you are going to have problems regardless of what type of truck and any truck might have problems with too heavy a load. After looking at these videos if I needed a heavy duty 4 wheel drive I would buy a Dodge Ram with a Cummings diesel. Most of the farmers and contractors around where I live buy RAM just because of the Cummings and boy they are tough. Sorry Ford and Chevy guys I think Ram still can beat you, especially with the Cummings. Since I will never be into offroading or truck pulling I will stick with my compact truck with the 4 cylinder. Interesting videos but they don't really relate to this article.

Leave it to a Ford Super Duty to take on the toughest jobs.

Built Ford Tough!

lol, johnney doe for president, most those links also show a GM HD breaking, I like the same one at the truck pull where it broke the tie rod, same place the Ford broke a drive shaft. The weight puts the load on the drive shaft, but what caused the tie rod to break? They all break something when you do things they are not intended to be used for!How heavy are those sleds? Anybody? Bueler??

well boys i just raced back from O.C. at 110 in my 99 v-10. Ran cool at 3000rpms.
luv my superduty

@kansas bob- I was quoting the rest of a YT video that I thought Tom was referencing.

@ johnny doe the RATARD -------> <------ lmfao

haha nice spelling cory ratard lmao just remeber with chevy you can bring home the bacon and the eggs gm ftw!

The principal reason for this engine's use is to showcase the 'new Option' of the 6.8 LITER V-10 GAS engine available for the first time as a 'LOW cost' Option on their Medium Duty F-650 line, Of course, the COST may have been, yet, another consideration.


This 'NEW' Option for the F-650 which WILL provide substantial 'upfront' savings for America's Municipalities, ALL of which have been decimated by 'reversals of fortune' within their local economies - contributing to massive budget cuts for ONE & ALL.


"Maybe Santa Claus will bring you a new truck. A Mahindra truck would fit right in with the junk you already own." - Lou

Just a little curious here but, Aren't you the idiot who always keeps begging for that crap truck to come to the states?

Seems to me like you're a little upset... LOL

@ Lou, very good post and accurate. I'm a Chevy guy but wouldn't take any of their trucks off road after the 87 model. It doesn't matter though, I haven't liked Chevy trucks since the 98 model was over with. After that they got ugly and cheap. So I still keep my 98 as my 1500 daily driver. I still have my 87 as well for snow plowing. Nobody drives Chevy HD's around here unless they're just pulling a trailer. No construction companies use them. No farmers, no snow plowing companies.. Everyone uses the Super Duty. 2 reasons. #1 SFA and #2 tucked up frame.

Thats' all there is to it. If I could buy a new Chevy Silverado 2500 that had a tucked up 'straight frame' design with a SFA I'd buy one. I'm sure tens of thousands of guys would. Why GM doesn't just say "Hey, the Old GM made a huge mistake, we're sorry and we're reversing and fixing that mistake" is beyond me. They lose all credibility in the trucking world because of it. And as mentioned on many sites, Chevy trucks sell Chevy cars just like Ford trucks sell Ford cars. When Chevrolet isn't competitive, GM and it's shareholders simply lose all around. Spend the money and get these new Silverado HD's RIGHT for this upcoming new generation.

@ johnny doe haven't you seen HANGOVER you RATARD !!!!!


it is spelled R-E-T-A-R-D

please do not insult our future president. thank you very much!

@johnny doe: @:37 it get's REALLY stupid with Fords getting torn up and monster trucks going over older Fords (hey, was Bigfoot the first real MONSTER truck?-Ford) Anyway, how stupid the mentality. Years ago a Dodge superstock drag racer used to yearly burn a Camaro, becuase in the superstock drag racing world, they were not anything like a 426 Max Wedge Dodge, or a Hemi Dart. But still senseless. They do however make good oval track cars, not unbeatable but good.

No Cory can't say i have seen the movie hangover. Im to busy fixing ford trucks and handing the ford truck own's tampons to have time to watch tv. TRX4 Tom you REALLY got stupid after you're first comment, with all that said i hope all the ford boys got their box of tampax tampons for christmas. Im sure yall will like this song to by the way johnny doe rolls in style im out haha happy christmas

I transport motorhomes for a living and the Ford V10 lacks the power to move the motorhome and tow car too. I really notice the lack of power where there is any inclines that you have to travel. They must have picked this engine to build the cheapest float possible and still move it at a snail's pace.

What does this article have to do with pickups? Oh that's right it is about a Ford product. This web page is starting to become a real joke anymore with what they are reporting.

Haven't some of you guys got anything better to do on Christmas than be mean to people you don't even know on the Internet? Trash talk the trucks you don't like by all means, but for freaks sake, why are people getting so personal?

Look at all the butt hurt furd gurls. Pulling parade floats are all that furds are good for.It mite spit plugs or bend a frame like the craptor. The manstep will make it easer for the gurls to get on the float.Bring a Chevy just in case it dies.

For fun I'll restate the correct conclusion that many have already posted here.

This float is a giant expensive advertisement with no practical value or use. They needed the least expensive vehicle that they could destroy/modify to move the float and then be thrown away afterwards. The Ford heavy duty chassis (650/750/850?) with the V10 motor.

Since they are already hauling 50,000 gallons of water or so it was no big deal to swap the radiator for a 100 gallon anti-freeze tank that would keep the motor sufficiently cool. With some super low gearing the transmission (probably Allison) was already capable enough to move at the needed 2mph.

PUTC please stop with these pickup based human intrest stories you miss to much regular pickup news. I have a 2010 TRD Supercharged 5.7L Tundra DC with Doug Thorley Headers and TRD Dual Exhaust and I want you to cover stories like how much power the Ford guys are making with the Bullydog tuner for the Ecoboost F150. If you really want to be intresting you could test a Ecoboost F150 with the tuner and give us the dyno numbers, 0-60 and quarter mile. Have mercy if you want to do the PUTC Hot Rod 1/2 Ton Shoot out with the Callaway Silverado SC540 TVS 1900, TRD Supercharged Tundra TVS 1900, Tuned Ecoboost, Hemi Ram with Magnacharger TVS 2300 amd Stillen supercharged Titan.

That Bullydog should be Bully Dog.

Howdy y'all. I thought you said this story wasn't newsworthy? Well, it now last more posts than the last two GM stories combined.

Ford wins, again!

Ford = winning

"Maybe Santa Claus will bring you a new truck. A Mahindra truck would fit right in with the junk you already own." - Lou

Just a little curious here but, Aren't you the idiot who always keeps begging for that crap truck to come to the states?

Posted by: Bob


@Greg- Troll

Hey guys, since someone brought college football up. Living in Alabama and being a Auburn fan first and SEC fan second I just got say. The rest of the country really needs to step up. The SEC got so tired of beating the rest of the country in the National Championship they have now have to resort to playing each other to make winning the National Championship a challenge ;-) 6 in a row this year regardless of which team wins, and possibly 3 in a row for the state of ALABAMA! :-) So Michigan was co champion in 1947 huh? Impressive.... lol

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