In the last 10 years with the rise of the Wrangler manufacturers have put more focus into offering dealer prepped offroad trucks. Is the new 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor worthy of being crowned ‘king of the offroad’? Our favourite half-ton trucks have always been those that included an off-road trim package. A few things that will help the truck get the job done and then take you out to play on the weekends. We recently gained a new appreciation for heavy duty offroad trucks with the introduction of the 2020 Ram Power Wagon. Recent upgrades have made this truck a solid choice for a lot more folks the challenge with the Power Wagon is a lack of choices. There are a couple of exterior and interior colour choices and a few accessory options but the powertrain and cab remain the same.
They’re excellent but what happens when a 16 year old trapped in a 60 year old body gets told ‘no’. He mutters something under his breath smiles and looks for a way to get around ‘no’. I believe this is what happened at Ford. These 16 year olds with engineering degrees said ‘yes’ to making choices. The Tremor is an option package for both the F250 and F350 Super Duty trucks. With a simple pencil stroke and about $4,000 cash you can make an XLT Lariat King Ranch, or Platinum a worthy off-the-beaten-path heavy-duty truck right off the dealer lot. Just a couple of bumps as you drive over the curb with a smile as big as the great outdoors. Off the lot the 2020 Tremor has a lot to offer you can choose between the all-new 7.3 litre gas v8 for solid 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque or the 6.7 litre Power Stroke Turbo Diesel pushing out 475 horsepower and a staggering 1,050 pound-feet of torque. Both engine options get a smooth shifting 10 speed automatic transmission generating a 53 to 1 crawl ratio for the 7.3 litre gas and a 44 to one crawl ratio with the 6.7 litre diesel.
Choices are great. I hate to throw the Power Wagon under the bus here but it is offered with only one engine choice the 6.4 litre gas v8 generating 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. You can’t get the Tremor on any Super Duty but you can get it on the ones that count four-wheel drive, single rear wheel, 6.75 foot bed and then in the F250 you have to take the high-capacity trailer total package. Perfect So what does the Tremor package include, well working from the bottom up Wrangler 35 inch tires on 18-inch wheels a rear stabilizer bar tuned for off-road and 1.7 inch twin tube dampeners to reduce the balance in the body roll. A shift on the fly locking rear differential and a limited-slip front plus beefy skid plates to protect the underbody.
The approach angle is 31.65 degrees and the departure angle is 24.51 degrees courtesy the two inch front lift a smaller air dam 35 inch tires and 10.8 inches of ground clearance. Along with the usual drive modes normal, tow haul, eco, slippery and deep snow and sand, you also get trail control that was first featured in the new Ford Ranger. Trail control is like cruise control for off-road similar to Toyota’s crawl control but Ford’s is much smoother. The one thing that we are hoping to see from Ford in this Tremor Super Duty is an interior that’s done for the Tremor. We’d like to see something in the upholstery, on the dash that lets us know that we’ve bought an off-road truck. Right now you’re just going to see the XLT Lariat King Ranch and Platinum interiors. Which are terrific We just want a little bit more than a deckle on the outside of the truck. If you’re aware of the Ram Power Wagons features you may have noticed there are two things that the Tremor doesn’t have components that can dramatically save your ass when the going gets unexpectedly ugly.
A front locking differential and a disconnecting front sway bar. While I can appreciate the advantage of a front locking diff I also recognize the disadvantages which is why I don’t even have one on my Jeep Wrangler. We believe the front limited slip differential is actually a better choice in the Super Duty. The disconnecting front sway bar is really the Achilles heel keeping the off-road crown just out of reach. Wheel articulation in uneven terrain is a difference between traction and winching your way out and as of this writing there is no aftermarket product out there to adapt the Tremor. The ramp travel index, the RTI, on the Power Wagon versus a similarly equipped Tremor shows that the Power Wagon is still superior. We would be happy to get out and manually disconnect the front sway bars when the conditions demanded it if the option was available.
There is a caveat to the sway bar disconnect both trucks are tall, heavy, lifted trucks and the primary function of a sway bar is to keep the truck from leaning over too far. Especially if that means leaning to the point of tipping over. A disconnecting front sway bar on a truck like this is not for novice off-roaders. The Power Wagon also has a smoother off-road ride with a coil sprung five link solid rear axle. Which the Super Duty’s solid rear axle and leaf springs can’t match. You could argue that a simpler Super Duty is more reliable. We see the lack of a locking front differential and sway bar disconnect as minor prices to pay in exchange for the engine choices, the towing, the payload all offered by the Tremor trimmed Super Duty.
Looking at the F250 as a more direct comparison to the Power Wagon both the 7.3 litre gas and the 6.7 litre turbo diesel will let you tow up to 15,000 pounds from the hitch and 21,000 pounds from a gooseneck trailer. Compared to the Power Wagons 10,340 pound max hitch capacity and while most of us will never test Ford’s claimed 33 inch water fording depth there are others who have lived through floods that make this feature particularly appealing. Where do you stand in the Power Wagon versus Tremor debate.
Would do you get better use from a Super Duty tweaked for off-road that still offers you powertrain and trim choices with the tow and payload that originally defined what a heavy duty truck is for. Please let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed this video smash that like button and if you want to see more please subscribe and ring that bell so you’re the first note when a new video comes out and don’t forget to share with your friends. Until next time stay safe and we’ll see you on the trails.
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