Wow, it will soon be 7 months since I sold the old truck and ordered a new F-450 and let me tell you it’s been a long hard wait, with many a bump along the road. When we ordered, we anticipated delivery in January, possibly as late as early February, which would have been perfect for our summer plans. Well it is now March and, as per the caption above, it still isn’t even in production. Read on for the trials and tribulations of ordering a new vehicle in the present post-COVID world.
With the last truck, I ordered it and 12-weeks later, it was delivered, without me having any desire to follow the process. However, this one was going to be different, so I started researching and wow!! the amount of information online is amazing.
In addition to a plethora of Youtube films, I found 2 key websites that provided significant information.
Ford Truck Enthusiasts – https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/
Since it covers all Ford trucks, it is a huge forum, but has individual Boards for specific trucks. The current Super Duty started in 2017, so I checked out the 2017 + Super Duty Board. Check out the first “Sticky Thread”, as it provides a step by step explanation of the entire process from order to delivery, plus it provides links to additional websites to track orders. Once built and shipped, it provides information on how to track the rail car from the truck plant to the destination.
In addition, a very computer literate chap designed a spreadsheet that he linked to the Ford servers, so if you provided your VIN, the spreadsheet tracked the progress of the build. Unfortunately, Ford may have taken exception to this great tool, as in November, they locked out the access to their servers.
Blue Oval Forum – https://blueovalforums.com/forums/
Another huge resource, with a number of Ford employees and dealers as regular posters. Ford schedules new build most weeks, with a weekly update provided to their dealers. An employee of a US dealer posts this information every week. Until recently he also posted the major commodity restraints impacting builds. A Ford employee also provides a free tracking service, in his own time. Once you have 15 good posts on the forum, you can provide him your dealer’s code and order number and he provides a status update. Even once it is shipped, upon request, he advises where the rail car is passing.
Trials & Tribulations of Ordering a New Vehicle
If you have driven past any car dealer recently, you will have noticed they are almost completely devoid of new stock vehicles, so a special order is about the only option. Here is a timeline of our experience:
- Order submitted 31st August 2021 – 2022 F-450 King Ranch, Crew Cab, Long Box (8′), Dually, 4×4, 6.7 Diesel, 10-speed auto, Spray-in bed liner, Mud Flaps, Wheel well liners, Rubber floor mats, LED quad headlights/fog light, 5th wheel prep.
- At time of order, I received the default priority code of 19. In the Ford ordering system, retail orders can be assigned priority codes by the dealer of 10 – 19 inclusive. The lower the number, the better chance of being built sooner. As our dealer had lots of Super Duty orders, we were at the back of the queue.
- September – based on my research, I determined that options that were installed by a 3rd party vendor were causing delays, so we deleted the spray-in bedliner, mud flaps & wheel well liners (all can be done locally)
- October – Judi read about Ford’s option for massaging seats, which were only available with the King Ranch Ultimate package. In addition to the seats, it includes the moonroof, adaptive cruise control and the tailgate’s built-in “Grampa” step. I also added the customer installed trailer tire pressure monitoring and camera system that displays on the 12″ screen. No need for additional monitors.
- November – we were close to the top of our dealer’s queue, so the truck was previewing for being scheduled, then Ford received supplier issues with a lack of dually boxes and 19.5″ wheel, which are the only option on F-450’s. Basically, those 2 key components meant F-450’s weren’t getting scheduled.
- December – Ford got hit with a shortage of chips, so built many thousands of Super Dutys and parked them in lots close to the factory. My Sales Manager talked to his Ford Regional Manager, who approved a priority change to 2. This is only assigned by Ford management and should enhance the potential for getting the truck built, provided all the parts are available
- January – A number of F-450’s were built, but they were older orders than mine.
- February – Ford is having problems with delayed components from 37 suppliers, including chips. The factory was down to a single shift from 3 shifts, so rather than building 8,000 Super Dutys per week, they were probably reduced to less than 3,000.
- March – No scheduling the first 2-weeks, due to reduced shifts, but on March 17th, I received a VIN and a build day of 1st April. This is slightly unusual, as you normally get a “Build Week” initially about 4 to 6 weeks ahead. The truck should move to “In Production” next week, when my window sticker should be available.
- April – Once built, it has to go across the road to GFX for installation of the 5th wheel prep, so hopefully it could ship the 4th/5th April. My dealer reports average shipping time is 23 days, so we may have a new truck by the end of April/early May.
The delays have put a dent in our summer travel plans, as I am uncomfortable making campground reservations, before the truck actually arrives. The RV manufacturers have been selling RV’s like crazy these past couple of years, but the number of campgrounds hasn’t increased accordingly.
Since we had planned a 4-month trip across to Indiana for the annual Redwood Rally and to visit family in Ontario from June to September, we just can’t take a chance on heading out without reservations. At 41′ long and 13’06” high, we can’t get into any Provincial sites and not even many of the commercial campgrounds. With 2 large dogs, Walmart parking lots become rather tiresome. Sadly, we have cancelled our summer plans, so will take the new truck for a trip to North Dakota in June, to visit our World Cruise friends, Ron & Alison.