Back in 2011, Ford delivered two new F-150 trucks to Barrick Gold USA — the world’s largest gold mining company. Assigned to Barrick’s survey mining team, the two vehicles looked like regular twelfth-generation F-150s, but featured aluminum components from the upcoming 2015 F-150. Ford advised the firm to operate the trucks to their fullest and to not hold anything back in using them. And hold back Barrick didn’t, putting 100,000 hard miles on the prototypes, which included workers (literally) throwing heavy pieces of equipment into the bed. The test was one of three “hidden in plain sight” trials in which Ford tested the all-new F-150, helping the automaker determine that high-strength, military-grade aluminum was a good fit for its bread-and-butter truck.
And now, Barrick Gold USA has ordered 35 units of the all-new 2015 F-150.
“We are proud Barrick is purchasing all-new F-150s after testing early prototypes in some of the harshest conditions,” said Fritz Ahadi, Ford Commercial and Government Fleet Sales general manager. “This is terrific proof that even our toughest, most demanding customers recognize the benefits of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy to help them get the job done.”
Apparently, the order for the 35 units of the F-150 is just the beginning, as Barrick is planning to replace its entire fleet — consisting of several hundred 2012 F-150s, many with more than 100,000 miles on the clock — with the all-new F-150. That should put to rest any doubts about the strength and durability of the new F-150’s aluminum body.