“Can You Hear Me Now?”

Although diesels often get a bad rap in the U.S. for being, among other noxious things, too loud, a comment made by Joe Heatherly, a Florida Power & Light driver, makes the point that noise isn’t an issue for the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbocharged V8 better than any number of commercials with a Denis Leary voice over.

Although diesels often get a bad rap in the U.S. for being, among other noxious things, too loud, a comment made by Joe Heatherly, a Florida Power & Light driver, makes the point that noise isn’t an issue for the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbocharged V8 better than any number of commercials with a Denis Leary voice over.

Florida Power & Light is one of the companies that is participating in a customer fieldwork testing program that Ford has been running for the 2011 F-Series Super Duty since last year and will be conducting through the end of this year. In addition to Florida Power & Light, Reynolds Asphalt & Construction and TexOp Construction, both of Texas, are participating. There are four trucks involved.

In the case of Florida Power & Light, the two trucks being tested—an XL Super Cab 4x4 and a Crew Cab 4x2—are driven as many as 600 miles a day, including off-road excursions in the terrain of the Everglades, as they work to keep underground and underwater power cables operational. As Ray Haering, acquisition specialist for the utility put it, “In our business, we need a truck that delivers outstanding fuel economy on the highway and is also capable of tackling the wetlands, swamps and ditches.” After all, Florida isn’t all Disneyworld and pretty beaches.

 

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Here’s the money quote from Heatherly about the comparative silence of the diesel vis-à-vis the ones previously used in daily operations: “Before, you literally had to pull over and shut off the engine to talk.”

Given that Heatherly and his colleagues are on their phones as many as 4,000 minutes per month, there are undoubtedly a whole lot of consumers who are happier that these utility workers are busy getting to their next job and not on the side of the road with the engine off.

And consider: this engine produces 735 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm and 390 hp @ 2,800 rpm, which contributes to a towing capacity of a remarkable 24,400 lb. Imagine how quiet a more modest diesel could be for use in a sedan.