It's no surprise that the long-term F-150 is on the road as often as it is. After all, if you have to run errands that involve carrying heavy gear from Point A to Point B, why not do those chores in comfort and style? In the latest installment of the F-150's ongoing road trip, Testing Director Kim Reynolds took it to northern California -- twice. The first time, he went up there to pick up washing machine. This is a job that is a little awkward when it's two people doing it, but make that just one, and the job goes from being awkward to being tough. It didn't help that this particular washing machine was very heavy, but after some struggling and a few tries, he got the washer in the truck bed.
The truck bed was big enough that had he known about the furniture he was going to bring down to Southern California -- from the same location -- he could've done it all on the same trip. But things in life never work out that way, so when he learned that he was going to pick up a chest of drawers, he had been so happy with the Ford the first time around that he chose to use it again for the second task. Fortunately, this was a lot lighter than the washer, plus he had the help of two people (where were they the first time around?). The furniture easily slid into place, and the tailgate step and grab bar made it very easy for one person to get into the bed and guide the chest of drawers in place.
As the truck has been on work duty, and hard work duty for several months, it's no surprise that the tires were ready to be changed. What was a little surprising that there was some abnormal wear. The combination of hard miles and the odd wear made this the appropriate time to change the tires. The truck originally came with Michelins, which we were very happy with, but took this opportunity to try something new. A local tire shop installed a set of Toyo Open Country H/Ts. To keep the comparison fair, we stayed with the OE size, 275/65R18. Each tire cost $194, before tax, and the cost of mounting and balancing added another $100. When all was said and done, the total cost for four tires was $945.84.
| Our Cars |
| Service life || 6 months/21,476 miles |
| Average fuel economy || 14.2 mpg |
| CO2 emissions || 1.37 lb/mile |
| Energy consumption || 237 kW-hr/100 miles |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $111.58 (2 x oil change, air filter, inspection) |
| Normal-wear cost || $945.84 |