Ford ‘Science of Truck’ Ranger uses non-standard tyres in challenge

The 'Science of Truck' Ford Ranger, sporting some aftermarket rubber to help get the job done.
The 'Science of Truck' Ford Ranger, sporting some aftermarket rubber to help get the job done.

‘The Science of Truck’: a smart phrase that Ford’s marketing side has coined, where they are looking to marry up mechanical toughness and sharp electronic aids as the ultimate ute.

It’s a slick piece of marketing by Ford, but the first thing I noticed was the tyres: ‘they’re not standard’, I thought. ‘They look like BF Goodrich All Terrains’. I watched the video, and was impressed by the combination of action and technological explanation. Like I said, slick marketing for the 2nd best-selling 4X4 ute in Australia.

The 'Science of Truck' Ford Ranger, sporting some aftermarket rubber to help get the job done.
The ‘Science of Truck’ Ford Ranger, sporting some aftermarket rubber to help get the job done.

Part-way through the video, a small blip of text pops up, saying “Overseas Ranger WildTrak Model shown with aftermarket tyres”. I think this points out that the standard tyres fitted to a Ranger, some passenger-construction highway terrain, simply aren’t up to the task of serious off-road work. If they can’t make a climb when a vehicle sitting close to GVM, then in my opinion, they aren’t fit for purpose. Let’s be honest, OEM 4X4 tyres are more often than not just a bad combination of chasing good off-road manners and a low price.

If I started harping on again about the importance of a quality tyre with a strong, light-truck construction, you’d probably reach through that screen and punch me in the throat. This little detail, revealed in Ford’s own promotion material, just seems to vindicate it. If you haven’t seen the video footage, check it out below.

On another note, I’d have to voice my concerns against putting your driveline under heavy duress in reverse. The way that gears mesh together, in your differentials particularly, have a ‘strong’ side and a ‘weak’ side. Towing, dragging or recovering something in reverse, especially in low-range is never a good idea.

What do you think? Are you happy with OEM-spec tyres on your 4X4? Or do you think they need replacement straight off the bat?



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  • “Dunlop AT22 standard on Ford Ranger” – this tyre isn’t (and wasn’t) standard fitment on Ranger Wildtrak, only the XLT. Wildtrak is delivered with Bridgestone Dueler HTs which are absolute rubbish tyres and particularly sketchy in the wet (you’ll be selecting H4 or even L4 just to get moving without a whole lot of wheelspin on a wet asphalt incline). Further, their load rating is insufficient to carry Ranger GVM at lower inflation with only 3 wheels on the ground – a state you’re likely to be in doing even the tamest offroad driving. Even on a wet grassy incline in the suburbs they have inadequate grip. That said the Dunlop AT22 is little better.

    Because these are very popular vehicles lately and they all come factory with inadequate rubber even for highway use all the tyre dealers are swimming in 265/60/18 20km trade-ins. As a result you will be lucky to get $100 a tyre back at any dealer. With Cooper AT3HD selling for between $360 and $390 that has you paying at least $1300 after delivery just to get roadworthy tyres on it. Pretty sad for a $62000 vehicle.

    My advice to new buyers, negotiate this fitment before you start talking price. You’ll have more luck getting them swapped at a more reasonable price while they still have the pre-sale incentive to win your business. After the contract is signed you will be talking to their alter ego.

  • I ordered the XL with the alloy rims off the XLT (wider, lighter and 17 inch) and BF all-terrain tyres for delivery. Done it with all vehicles over last 10 years. Wouldn’t even consider driving away on standard issue.

  • Don’t drive on your new tyres just organise with your dealer to trade in your standards on new at a tyre shop
    I got about 75% of the standard tyres worth and put that straight towards new cooper’s
    Cheapest way to get great tyres straight up

  • Apart from cost, and the fact that most utes are used by tradies that never go off road, the main reason they fit glorified car tyres is that they return a better fuel consumption figure which helps sell cars….

  • They should without a doubt be a no cost option. If my car can’t do what three advertise three ffales advertising. That’s like saying the ranger can make it with a diff lock but it doesn’t come with one. Any Carr with modifications will go further.

  • If you really look close to the video you will note the camera angle is not true they have tilted the camera around 5% anticlockwise (look closely at the trees and shrubs in the background at 1:37) and have also a fish eye lens to exaggerate the angle . It maybe a good all-round rig but why bullshit us with the video.

  • Geez, have a listen to you guys. Its just an ad. How many of you don’t adequately secure your firewood when you are out camping? There are plenty of examples of advertisements doing abnormal things.
    Remember the Hilux one from a few years ago where it rolled off a cliff? I don’t think people went out and bought a hilux and rolled it off a cliff because they saw it do that on the ad.

  • It is a pity Ford did not look at the safety aspects of the picture. The timber in the back is inadequately restrained where it would have been very easy for a piece to have dislodged.
    Goes to show marketing has no appreciation of real safety.
    Customers will see this and naturally think that a simple cargo net is all that is required to retain a load.
    Well done Ford, you certainly set a great example.

  • Towed a 2.2 tonne van 31k around oz plus Cape York, Gibb River road, Kakadu, Litchfield etc on Dunlop AT22 standard on Ford Ranger. One flat from a tek screw. Managing tyre pressure and sensible speed were the best tips I had pre trip.

  • Any decent dealer will fit tyres of your choice as a pre-delivery option, oem rubber is rated to the GVM (duh, it has to be), but yes it is usually something that suits the majority of buyers and has low NVH etc. Give them credit for at least disclosing it. Personally I’m far more concerned with the unrestained load waiting to kill somebody, if you want to stick it to the crap marketing campaign thats where I’d be gunning.

  • I have also noticed in the Ford ads that they seem to have sprayed cement on the steep parts of the track. There’s no way any vehicle would have that sort of traction up the sort of gravel hill you would find in a quarry. Clever marketing, but marketing all the same.

  • Sorry, but are you serious? This is not a news article guys. OEM tyres aren’t up to hard core offroad work? well this is no newsflash and is obvious to blind freddy. You’re also preaching to the converted in this forum really aren’t you, you can obviously do better guys. Come on

    • Nailed it Brian. Virtually all new vehicles come with crap tires, shocks, brake pads, wiper blades etc. The replaceable stuff. Saves them money, and gets you back in the shop by 20K miles.

  • I traded my Patrol tyres in. Drove straight from the dealership to the tyre dealer and fitted Wrangler ATs.

    Cost me $650 at the time.

    Standard tyres supplied on most 4×4 utes are junk.

  • What a whiney post! All of the cars come out with these tyres now days and Ford has done a “slick” bit of marketing before the others have.. Get over it.. How much does VW pay you these days? Your comparo against the Ranger and Hilux last week was atrociously biased too, and I own an Amarok! If we wanted biased info we could just look at each manufacturers sites.. You’ve lost my following.

  • Yep, in Aug 2016 got my Ford Dealer to swap pre-delivery Wildtrak to AT3s Coopers Tires. Looks like a smart move. Cost extra $650.

  • quit your moaning, a jap crap ute or any ute with billy cart suspension is no good for towing anything more than a light box trailer anyway.

  • H/Ts are good for 90% of their sales. Off road tyres should be a pre-delivery option, but then every second buyer will won’t a different make/style (A/T, M/T, Bridgies, Coopers, Goodyear). This is precisely why 4x4s come with (relatively) cheap things. They will suit 90% of buyers are the rest will do what they want.

  • Why fit insufficient grip road tyres? You spend $50,000.00 plus then wander around to your friendly tyre fitter & spend another $2,000.00 to make it all work safely. LT/AT rated tyres should be standard! Try towing a caravan or a good sized boat with those standard donuts.

  • Yep, totally agree. They should just put a decent set of all terrains on instead of highway tyres. Costs too much money to replace brand new tyres not to mention trying to offload the new old set. It would be great if they actually gave you the option of choice.

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