Ford gives its light-duty off-road Raptor a rough-and-tumble big brother with the Tremor.
For 2020, Ford takes its Super Duty F-Series trucks to new heights of rugged capability with the new Tremor off-road package. But the new Tremor package isn’t really about creating the ultimate off-roader. Instead, Ford wants to create the “most capable off-road Super Duty ever” while maintaining the truck’s heavy-duty work capabilities.
“Tremor balances what customers demand in terms of work with what they need in the great outdoors,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. And while it looks like a formidable build, the Tremor will face stiff competition within the heavy-duty truck space — most notably by the RAM Power Wagon.
2020 Ford Tremor: Hardware
With the Tremor, Ford created an off-road package that combines some basic hardware upgrades with electronic upgrades to create a well-rounded, capable system. On the hardware side, the big upgrade is the 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duractrac AT tires. These mark the largest tires offered on a heavy-duty pickup. And they’re wrapped around 18-inch, matte-finish black wheels.
In order to fit those big tires, Ford fitted the Tremor with a 2-inch front suspension lift. And the suspension consists of custom 1.7-inch, twin-tube shocks with internal hydraulic bump stops, progressive-rate springs, and a rear stabilizer bar that is tuned for the lower spring rate. This setup should make the truck roll smoothly both on and off road while still allowing it to tow and carry big loads.
Rounding out the new Tremor’s hardware are skid plates (borrowed from the FX4 models), a selectable electronic rear differential lock, a new Dana limited-slip front differential, and “off-road running boards.” These running boards are similar to those found on the Raptor. While not rock sliders, they are more durable than a traditional side step/running board.
2020 Ford Tremor: Electronics
On the electronics side, Ford threw all the latest computer wizardry at the Tremor. That includes the Trail Control selectable drive mode system that debuted on the Raptor. You can choose between Normal, Tow/Haul, Eco, Slippery, Deep Snow/Sand, and now a new Rock-Crawl mode.
You also get the Trail Control off-road cruise control system. This also debuted on the Raptor and is now available on the Ranger. And it will soon come to the Super Duty lineup with the Tremor package. And Ford, please come up with a new name for one of these systems! Calling the drive mode and off-road cruise control systems both “Trail Control” is crazy confusing.
Best of all, the full Tremor off-road package will be available on a wide range of trim levels — the XLT, Lariat, Platinum, and King Ranch — in both gas and diesel, and in both F-250 and F-350. Buyers can also add the package to 4×4 single-rear-wheel SuperCrews with 6.75-foot truck beds. Note that for the F-250, the high-capacity trailer tow package is also required.
Ford Tremor Super Duty Capability
The big 35-inch tires, 2-inch front end lift, and shorter front air dam result in 10.8 inches of ground clearance. That combo also gets you an approach angle of 31.65 degrees and a departure angle of 24.52 degrees. Overall, those are impressive numbers for a truck off the showroom floor and should make it quite capable of tackling off-road obstacles.
And Tremor-outfitted trucks will also offer a best-in-class water-fording depth of 33 inches. This is mostly due to the big tires and extended axle vent tubes.
Of course, the big tires, smaller front air dam, taller stance, softer suspension, and added weight are all sure to make the Tremor-equipped Super Duty trucks less capable on the street. In particular, fuel efficiency will likely suffer. But only time will tell by just how much.
A final note: Tremor trucks equipped with the 7.3L gas engine have a 53:1 crawl ratio while those equipped with the 6.7L diesel engine have a 44:1 crawl ratio. Those are low ratios for a big truck, which will help it tackle off-road terrain with confidence, even hauling a big load or while towing.
Ford Tremor vs. Dodge Power Wagon
Currently, the only real competitor in the heavy-duty off-road space for the Tremor is the RAM Power Wagon. The Power Wagon does one-up the Tremor in a variety of ways. It offers bold looks, an integrated winch, electronic disconnecting front sway bar, and a selectable locking front differential.
But, the Tremor will be available on a 1-ton truck, the F-350, and with a diesel powerplant. Neither of those options is currently available with the Power Wagon model. Do note, however, you can add the Power Wagon package to a Tradesman RAM 2500 and get a diesel RAM with Power Wagon options. But this is an odd loophole, and something you are unlikely to see on a dealer lot.
For its part, Ford said a Tremor Super Duty will provide “greater towing and payload than the RAM Power Wagon.” Although Ford hasn’t released those numbers (nor has RAM for the 2020 Power Wagon), we do know the 2019 Power Wagon can tow 10,620 pounds and carry 1,660 pounds.
Look for the Tremor package later this year when the 2020 Super Duty hits dealer lots. Ford has not yet announced pricing for the new truck and package.