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World’s Longest and Heaviest Float to be Powered by Ford

Jason Udywriter

Natural Balance Pet Foods picked Ford's 6.8-liter three-valve V-10 and six-speed automatic to provide motivation for its 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade. It's the same engine used in the Ford F-Series Super Duty chassis cab work trucks, E-Series vans and the new 2012 Ford F-650 medium duty truck.

The float measures 116 feet from end-to-end, and will weigh more than 100,000 pounds thanks to 6600 gallons of water. The float will be a rolling beach complete with waves from the world's first rolling white water surfing machine and will feature surfing dogs including Tillman the bulldog, Norman the scooter dog, and more. Tillman is the current record holder of the Guinness World Records as the fastest skateboarding dog.

Natural Balance Pet Foods is trying to break two world records: one for the world's longest float, and the other for the world's heaviest float. The current world records for both the longest and heaviest floats are held by Natural Balance Pet Foods for its 2010 and 2011 floats, respectively. The 2010 float was 113 feet long and the 2011 float weighed 84,300 pounds.

"Trying to set the Guinness record for the World's longest and heaviest float is no small engineering feet. That's why I was so happy that Ford is providing the engine and transmission to make sure our over 100,000 pound float will be OK as it rolls down the street for this year's parade," said Joey Herrick, president Natural Balance Pet Foods, in a press release.

"The 6.8-liter V10 is one dependable engine," said George Weber, President and CEO, Ford Component Sales, in a press release. "Over the last decade, it's powered nearly half a million Ford trucks and vans. Every day, Ford customers across the U.S. use this 10-cylinder workhorse for commerce and recreation, from towing a trailer to a campground to plowing snowy streets."

Dick Van Patten, owner of Natural Balance Pet Foods, and Jimmy Van Patten will ride up front. They will be accompanied by NASCAR driver Greg Biffle, who drives a Ford Fusion. Biffle and his wife Nicole are the founders of the Greg Biffle Foundation, which helps raise awareness for the well being of all animals.

"I can't wait to see the float," said Biffle, in a press release. "I've heard a lot about this year's Natural Balance float and I've seen video of the floats from the last couple of years. Tillman came to our shop at Roush-Fenway Racing last month and we got to see him skateboard. He'll be surfing on the float this year so I can't wait to see that. It was definitely an honor to be asked to be on the Natural Balance float because we share the same passion for the well-being of animals."

The 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade will take place on January 2, in Pasadena, California.

Source: Ford