Ford put hydraulics on their cars and pickups in 1939. Was it the same year for the larger trucks?
I'm pretty sure all Ford's got them in 1939, including the big trucks. After years of ol' Henry dissin' them as unreliable he finally relented- after everyone else in the industry had already adopted them..
My 1940 1.5 tonne has them. I imagine bringing a fully loaded 5 yd. dump truck with mechanical brakes to a quick full-stop was not for the faint-of-heart, or the weak-of-leg!
My 1953 F500 has good brakes and a steering ratio that makes it pretty easy to drive,steer and stop...all around good truck ...I think all 48,600 some miles were in low gear,but it is a low mileage truck ...I think 1939 for all Fords is correct regarding hydraulic brakes ...always an optimist...gene french
I have worked on a lot of Ford trucks and have never seen or heard of a '38 with hydraulics from the factory nor have I ever seen or heard of a '39 with mechanical brakes.
In my late teens I drove. '37 1.5 ton Ford with a back hoe mounted on it. The brakes worked quite well, we never worried about going down any big hills although the boss would usually remind me to put the two speed axle in low range before starting down a large or steep hill.
My 39 1.5 ton has hydraulic brakes and I don't think ford made anything bigger at the time.
A friend of mine bought a 36 stake rack out of a farmers field. He got it running, and drove it home. On the way home he was very surprised that he could lock the wheels up with the mechanical brakes. For the length of time the truck had been sitting, if they were hydraulics they wouldn't have worked.
Yes, I had a fence-row AA and I could "lock em up", pretty easy, but that had more to do with the rusty and rough brake drum surfaces grabbing the shoes!