2015 Ford F-150 “Beta-Test” Mining Company Orders 35 Fleet Trucks
Barrick Gold Corp., the gold mining company that was one of three industrial users chosen to “beta-test” aluminum bodywork for the 2015 Ford F-150, has just placed an order for 35 new trucks.
In developing the new F-150, Ford placed two pickups in Barrick’s fleet for free. The trucks featured previous-generation F-150 styling, but their beds were stamped in a prototype aluminum alloy that helped Ford develop the new F-150. The hook? Neither Barrick nor the other industrial customers were aware their new truck beds were made from the experimental aluminum.
Ford claims that those prototypes’ excellent performance is the reason Barrick is replacing its entire fleet of 2012 F-150s with 2015 models. The mining company getting the ball rolling with an initial order of 35 trucks, all of which will be SuperCab 4x4 models equipped with either the 3.5L V-6 or the 5.0L V-8.
According to Rebecca Caudill, Barrick Gold USA’s fleet manager, their trucks see about 35,000 miles of service per year, racking up more than 100,000 miles in the course of their 40-to-45-month lease rotation. Ford says the F-150 and other Ford models are used in all of Barrick’s United States mining operations. The company is the world’s largest gold producer, operating six mines in the western U.S. and mining operations on five separate continents.
“This is terrific proof that even our toughest, most demanding customers recognize the benefits of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy to help them get the job done,” said Fritz Ahadi, Ford Commercial and Government Fleet Sales general manager.
Ford released a video of the prototype trucks working hard at the Bald Mountain gold mine in Elko, Nevada, which is embedded below.