2020 Ford F-250 4×4 with Tremor Off-Road Package

This 2020 Ford F-250 Tremor was intimidating to drive at first. This three-quarter-ton truck is one of largest vehicles I have driven. At 79-inches high, this truck is five inches taller than me. The top of its bed rail is at my shoulder height. It’s got 250-inches in length and takes up almost one and a half conventional parking spots. Its 7262-pound curb weight is more than two BMW M2s. It’s a really big and heavy vehicle.

This size and weight allow these trucks to have some truly amazing abilities. The payload of the pictured vehicle is 3470-pounds. That is more than the new Toyota Supra. It can pull a conventional trailer that weights 15,000-pounds. Opting for a goose-neck trailer and that capacity increases to 18,800-pounds. That’s is an equivalent of more than eight Mazda Miatas. That is a hilarious amount of weight and to make things crazier, there are bigger F-series Super Duty trucks available.

2020 ford f-250 tremor front side

The Tremor Off-Road Package

This particular King Ranch model was equipped with the relatively new Tremor Off-Road Package. Apparently there are Super Duty buyers that just needed a bit more capability from their pedestrian trucks and the $3950 package provides just that. It is available on XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum crew-cab models with 6 ¾-ft. box and 4×4.

The package includes 35-inch mud-terrain tires on 18-inch black wheels, taller front springs, rear locking differential, front limited slip differential, beefy running boards, additional skid plates, water fording vent tubes for the transferase and axles, full spare tire, a decal, and off-road driving modes. This is some seriously proper off-road hardware. Ford is, without a doubt, aiming at the RAM 2500 Power Wagon with this package.

The one thing that always made the Power Wagon stand out, aside front the graphics, was its front-mounted winch. While the Tremor package does not include a winch, Ford Performance Parts does offer a neatly integrated winch for Tremor-equipped trucks. The Warn 12,000-pound is a factory-orderable option or dealer-installed after-sale accessory. It should be noted that the pictured vehicle had optional power-deployable side steps which were quite useful.

2020 ford f-250 tremor engine gas godzilla

The Godzilla 7.3-liter V8

The Tremor Package also requires a choice of the new Godzilla 7.3-liter V8 engine or the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel. While the diesel produces 475-horsepower and light-bending 1,050 lbs.-ft. of torque, it comes at with a steep $10,500 price increase. The pictured truck came with the 7.3.

The new gas-powered, port-injected V8 is purposely built for truck duty. It’s an OHV engine with push-rods but that single cam in the middle of the vee does have variable timing. The cast-iron block has four-bolt main bearings and a forged-steel crankshaft. It makes 430-horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 475 ft.-lb. of torque at 4,000 rpm. It is exclusively paired with an all-new 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift automatic transmission. Ford boldly claims that it is the most powerful gas V8 in a heavy-duty pickup.

On the road, this engine is rather amazing. In the week I spent with this truck, a vast majority of the time I was at no more than a quarter of throttle in. Once, at the end of a highway on-ramp, I floored it for shits-and-giggles. With an empty truck, I got to 80-mph really fast. This truck would smoothly cruise at that speed, with RPMs hanging around 2000. Part of my throttle-feathering had a lot to do with my lack of experience driving trucks this size, so I took easy.

2020 ford f-250 tremor bed loaded payload

Is it good enough to deliver a couch?

My wife ordered a new sectional couch and it was my task to get it home, saving us the $200 delivery and assembly fee. The couch came in three good size boxes. I could have made three trips with my 4Runner but I decided to ask the good people at Ford if they had a vehicle suitable for this task. I wished for a Transit Custom Trail and I was secretly hoping for a twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive Transit van. “Nope, lol, you need the Tremor!” said the good people at Ford.

That part actually worried me. Because as capable as full-size trucks are, they’re not always all that functional. For instance, there is no trunk. A weekend family trip in this truck with no bed cover resulted in kids being surrounded with bags in the huge rear seat. Moving large rectangular objects in the 6 ¾-ft. cargo box that’s only accessible from the rear isn’t always ideal, either. With the four-door club and crew cabs becoming ever more popular, large eight-foot beds are less and less common.

Fortunately, I got lucky and the three boxes fit just so perfectly in the cargo bed. Oddly, a half-ton pickup with a six-foot bed would have been too short. I’d either have to stack and tie two of boxes down or make two trips. Yes, I managed to fill-up the bed of this huge truck with only a tenth of its payload capacity.

2020 ford f-250 tremor king ranch interior dash

Verdict on the Ford F-250 Tremor

This well-equipped truck has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of around $70,000. That is no pocket change but it does provide a lot in return. It can carry or tow a lot of very heavy things. It’s immensely, if slightly bumpy, comfortable for five people. It has a ridiculously strong frame and axles that will take years of abuse. Tremor’s off-road goodies will get this truck to just about any place that it can physically fit.

It took several days but at the end of my week with this behemoth, I finally got comfortable with. I really liked being able to see over not only bigger SUVs but other full-size pickups as well. Driving around Boston’s narrow streets required caution but on the highway I was king. The Ford F-250 Tremor is way more truck than most people would ever need but those who do need it, it’s a solid rig.

Bonus Pictures

[Disclaimer: Ford lend us the vehicle for the purpose of this review. All images copyright 2020 Hooniverse/Kamil Kaluski]

 

19 Comments

  1. I’ve been looking very, very, very closely at replacing my old F150 with this exact truck (although I’m cheap so I’d just get it with XLT trim).

    How did it ride empty? The last time I looked at a 3/4 ton, it was definitely a different ride (and GREATLY improved from the days of yore), but it wasn’t too terrible – I’m wondering how it shakes out with the extra off-road goodies. And more curiosity than anything (it’s pretty low on my requirement list), but what kind of mileage did this beast return?

    1. Empty – It wasn’t bad but significantly worse than an F-150, which is super smooth. It’s a big heavy live axle in the front. Highway joints and typical northeast never-fixed potholes are not pleasant. That said, it wont hurt your kidneys like the old 250/2500s would – longer wheel base helps.
      If you’re used to an F-150, this will be an adjustment. But honestly, unless you’re towing 8000+ pounds on regular basis, or hauling 2000 pounds in the bed, I wouldn’t recommend it. Modern F-150s are significantly better than the old ones.

      1. Last year I did a longer-term test drive (it was a full weekend) with a supercrew F350 and I didn’t mind the ride at all. That weekend I didn’t bother to pull a trailer or anything, just drove it around empty. Obviously a 3/4 ton or bigger truck is not going to float down the road like a magic carpet, but I guess I’m just curious how the different springs and trail shocks compare to the standard Superduty.

        Now, do I need an off-road capable, heavy duty truck? Of course not. But, the cost really isn’t much more than a 1/2 ton truck, I do some heavier trailering where the extra capabilities would certainly be comforting, has better resale value, and, well, it looks cool.

        1. From Ford’s materials, the rear springs are the same as non-Tremor pack and front springs are either taller or have a spacer. Shocks are different. But the payload and towing is the same, which to me means that the springs, and therefore the ride, cannot be that much different. usually the springs on off-roady vehicles are softer for better axle articulation and that cuts down on payload/towing but this does not seem to be the case here. Fun fact: front tires require 60psi or air, rear 80psi. Funner fact; gas station dollar compressors don’t go that high.

  2. Nice truck. Still a steep price, but when you’re starting with a King Ranch, that’s what you’d expect. Build it from an XLT, though, and you can get a hugely capable truck for under $54k. That’s about where Raptor pricing begins, and the Tremor makes a much more compelling argument for spending that kind of scratch.

    1. It seems like a weird priority for such over-the-top trucks, but the Raptor apparently as a fantastic ride as a nice side-effect of the jump-absorbing suspension. If you don’t need that much towing and payload (as the Raptor is even compromised against other 1500’s), it’d be nice to have.

      Mind you, there’s a small part of me that wants to shove the 7.3 in some old land yacht, a Mark V or something.

      1. Valid point about the ride quality– I’m sure the Tremor would be considerably stiffer than the Raptor. As you said, though, the cushy ride comes with the price of decreased utility.

        I’m with you on that 7.3 swap. I cut my engine-building teeth on FE big blocks and would love to try this one out in some old iron.

        1. I believe I’ve driven a Tremor at a fleet event (I’m certain it was the 7.3, because I made a point of trying it out even though), and don’t think it’s any worse than any of the other 2500 work trucks I’ve previously driven (so, stiff-legged, but not punishing).

  3. Can someone explain why this has manual or auto locking hubs? I noticed that in one of Kamil’s pictures. I’ve owned both a ’95 Tacoma with manual locking hubs which had an issue where water got into the hub that froze them open. As well as my new truck with auto locking hubs which shouldn’t have that issue.
    Oh and Kamil – How the heck did you drive that thing around Boston?!

    1. Convenience, of not having to get out and lock them when you need 4wd for a short time. Manual for when you intend to do more serious wheeling and as a back up if the vacuum fails. At least that is how I use mine. I have Warn Lock-O-Matics on my Scouts which function similarly but use a directional controlled roller clutch for the auto mode. That means they only transmit torque from the shaft to the wheel and not from the wheel to the shaft.

      1. I should add that vacuum operated hubs, or central axle disconnects have been known to have ice form in the lines and fail to engage properly because of it. Other options such as the directionally controlled roller clutch doesn’t allow compression braking and the type that you have to drive in reverse to disengage mean that you can’t rock the vehicle in 4wd and people frequently fail to get them properly disengaged. So vacuum has fewer downsides than the other auto options.

      2. I should add that vacuum operated hubs, or central axle disconnects have been known to have ice form in the lines and fail to engage properly because of it. Other options such as the directionally controlled roller clutch doesn’t allow compression braking and the type that you have to drive in reverse to disengage mean that you can’t rock the vehicle in 4wd and people frequently fail to get them properly disengaged. So vacuum has fewer downsides than the other auto options.

  4. Tremor, Godzilla, King Ranch – I wonder if a testosterone injection is mandatory before the marketing team has a naming meeting.

      1. I actually lol’ed at that one. A Ford Erection would be the perfect zenith of our wacko times. But I’m afraid you’d see a lot of bros walking away redfaced – “I’m not gay!”.

  5. That’s a lot of truck but also a lot of money. I get uneasy at the thought of a $60k pickup. I would also miss having an 8′ box and a reasonable load height. I’d be more interested in a 8′ box SuperCab like my F-150. The longer wheelbase helps both ride and handling.

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