Published on April 21st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
New Ranger Demonstrates Towing Mastery in Grueling Quarry Test
At a working limestone quarry in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province – the second test site for Built Ford Tough, an online documentary series from Ford – heavy-duty equipment works nonstop to harvest and haul rock. In a test that explored the outer limits of torque and traction, Ford engineers set out to prove the new Ford Ranger’s towing mastery by dragging more than 50 tons of rock in a wheel-less steel sled over the course of one working day.
The test employed a heavy-duty steel sled hooked to the Ranger’s tow hitch, requiring an extreme amount of breakaway force to get moving when loaded with 1,000 kg of limestone rock.
To track the vehicle’s performance, an industrial-grade load cell was used to measure the force required. The new Ranger was up to the task, making use of its updated turbo, which helps delivers torque at lower revs for instantaneous towing power.
Midway through the quarry test, sudden monsoon rains complicated the situation and raised the stakes. The dirt roads – already a less-than-ideal environment for traction – were transformed to mud.
The Ranger relies on a six-speed automatic transmission – which has proven its reliability in millions of Ford trucks around the world – to translate the engine’s impressive power and torque into forward motion, while still delivering refinement and efficiency. In 4WD mode, the Ranger’s transmission control module detects throttle input and instantaneously distributes torque through the transfer case as needed to the front and rear wheels to maintain traction.
Ford engineers performed exhaustive testing and analysis – both virtual and real-world – to verify that the truck was capable of hauling heavy loads, a task that requires more than just a powerful engine. The tow hitch connects to a fully reinforced tow bar that was designed to distribute force through the entire vehicle frame. The tow bar spreads the force to the chassis via two flanges bolted at six points on each side, which distribute the load down the chassis rails and on to the crossmembers. This design helps ensure that the Ranger can handle significant breakaway forces without compromising the tow bar, as well as withstand the shunting effects of braking while pulling a heavy load.