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MILLION-MILE DUMP TRUCK ATTESTS TO FORD TOUGHNESS; DELIVERY TIMES FOR ITS HEAVY TRUCKS SHOWN BEST IN INDUSTRY

 DEARBORN, Mich., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- More than a million miles on any truck is called "impressive," but on a dump truck it's simply called "Ford."
 "No. 115 is our oldest, and still most dependable, truck," said Paul Dickerson, maintenance manager of Conco Quarries in Springfield, Mo. "It's on the job every morning, and our drivers say it's as solid as new."
 No. 115 is a 1975 Ford LT9000 with 1,090,000 miles of hard use behind it.
 "The cab, engine and frame are still original," Dickerson said. "The engine has been overhauled twice, it's on its second transmission, has been repainted three times, and has worn out three pup trailers.
 "The truck has been through quite a bit, including two roll-over accidents, yet it has held together. It even has its original doors. When people see it, they can't believe it's anywhere near 18 years old."
 Dickerson is a new truck salesman's worst nightmare, as he sees no reason to ever trade in one of his Fords.
 "I've got six Ford dumps, the newest being a 1978 model with 500,000 miles," Dickerson said. "My second-oldest truck has well over 900,000 miles and all are performing well. Why should I trade in equipment like that?"
 Ford trucks, Dickerson agreed, are built to last, which may explain why Ford is the No. 1-selling truck in the construction business.
 "All I have to know," Dickerson said, "is that my Fords are worth keeping in service longer. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect every one of them to top a million miles, and I believe old No. 115 will easily pass the 2 million-mile mark."
 "As long as I can remember," said Donald Karalash, Ford Heavy Truck Engineering, "durability has been our primary goal."
 "At Ford Truck, we use three complete proving grounds, wind tunnels large enough to analyze a full-sized tractor, and specialized test equipment such as the industry's most advanced radio interference test chamber, to fully test our trucks," Karalash said.
 In addition to Ford trucks' proven durability, a January survey of the six leading truck manufacturers also showed Ford's leadership in fast delivery of new vehicles to the U.S. construction industry.
 Conducted by independent market research firm IHR Research Group, the study asked 200 truck dealership managers across America to determine the number of days for an average truck to reach the dealership, from initial order to actual delivery.
 Ford Truck was up to 38 days faster in delivery, depending on the type of order.
 -- When ordering from stock, a typical Ford customer took delivery more than twice as fast as the last-place manufacturer.
 -- On regular factory orders, where no special modifications are required, the delivery ranged from 57 days at Ford to 95 days for the slowest truck maker.
 -- Ford Truck demonstrated the greatest advantage in delivery times when a special order is involved. Delivery of special-order trucks ranged from 76 days at Ford to 119 days from the last-place manufacturer.
 "At Ford, we believe delivery time is a pocketbook issue for construction managers," said Kenneth Smith, Ford Heavy Truck general manager. "When new contracts come up, new equipment must be up and ready to take on the challenge. And with the smaller fleets, where the tendency is to postpone ordering a new truck until the old one breaks, delivery time can be a survival issue.
 "That's why Ford Heavy Truck has made delivery time a top priority," Smith said.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Trainor, 313-594-1700, or Woody Haines, 313-845-2968, both of Ford Truck Operations/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SM -- NYAFNS3 -- 0817 03/30/93 07:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1993
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