If we were to play a quick word association game, and you said the word “trucks,” the first thing that would come to my mind would be images of Ford trucks. Chevy comes close with the Silverado, but when it comes down to it, the definitive truck in my mind has to be one of three specific models, and all three are American built Ford trucks. There aren’t many other vehicles that feel as safe or durable a ride as a solid truck, and Ford has been at the top of the pickup world for more than a couple years.
Starting at a very reasonable $27,705, this year’s F-150 is three metric tons of badass. With a cab and truck bed composed of military-grade aluminum alloy and a frame made from 78% high-strength steel, the F-150 is an absolute force to be reckoned with. At the top of its class in both payload and towing, if you ever need to carry around a ton and a half of something in your truck bed, you know the vehicle for the job. If you’re like me, and you don’t plan on discovering what sort of realm lies beyond the boundaries of our existence any time soon, then you might feel inclined to opt for the F-150’s SuperCrew cab upgrade, which was awarded a five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you’ve ever driven with a trailer before, you know that it can be tricky for beginners, especially trying to back up. You’re controlling two large vehicles at the same time, each going in the opposite direction. I speak from experience when I tell you it can be intensely frustrating to attempt over and over to back a boat on a trailer onto a narrow ramp to the water, and I’m sure that isn’t the only irritating trailer related task out there. But the F-150 has an optional feature that I have never seen before, and it completely changes the towing game. With their trademarked Pro Trailer Backup Assist, a freshly licensed teenager could do tasks in one try that even after years still take me at least three. With the turn of a knob, you can steer your trailer in either direction, giving you complete control of the situation and making towing an accessible option for anyone, regardless of skill level.
2018 Super Duty
As you might hope to find when looking for trucks, the Super Duty is built with hard work in mind, and its sheer capability reflects that like a mirror. While smaller trucks might be more suited as personal vehicles, the Super Duty is the perfect vehicle to add to the roster of any work crew, large or small. Taking the F-150’s payload and practically doubling it, the Super Duty can haul up to 7,630 lbs in its truck bed and up to 21,000 lbs through conventional towing. With an optional 5th-wheel/gooseneck towing feature you can bump that number up to 27,500 lbs or 34,000 lbs depending on which method you use, gooseneck, of course, being the more substantial of the two
There are also a plethora of modern conveniences available for the Super Duty that can help a great deal with productivity and organization. Plenty of people leave their tools on a seat or the floor of their trucks, but with multiple storage options both inside and outside the cabin, the Super Duty makes managing your mobile workspace effortless. Its truck bed LED lights feel like an obvious addition to make, and I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t seen this idea integrated into more pickup trucks. What may be the most useful of all, though, is the number of available cameras. Seven cameras placed discreetly around the vehicle give you a seamless 360-degree view of anything that even comes close to the truck, making all kinds of tricky maneuvering miles easier.
2018 F-150 Raptor
The F-150 Raptor is like the F-150’s older, popular brother. Right away you know that it’s the coolest of the whole bunch, just by its significantly flashier grille and dinosaur related name. The fastest truck that I’ve ever had the joy to be in, this year’s Raptor can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds. In the first Jurassic Park film the park’s game warden highlights the speed of the average raptor, and though the F-150 Raptor had yet to be created in 1993, the character never specifies whether he was speaking about dinosaurs or trucks, so infer what you will.
If the F-150 is a personal truck, and the Super Duty is a work truck, then the Raptor can only be considered a pleasure truck. Even putting speed aside, there are so many things about the Raptor that make it a fun ride, and since my personal philosophy revolves around fun as life’s overall goal, this truck is my Harry Potter Patronus. (You know, the glowing deer from the end of the third one? Nevermind, it’s not important.) The off-road capabilities it offers are impressive to say the least, and its utilization of racing shocks help keep things comfortable even while it rolls over rough terrain. Six selectable driving modes bolster its adaptability as well, opening up all sorts of new possibilities for your adventures. I suppose my definition of a fun truck might not be the same as everyone else, so if you don’t think speed coupled with full off-road versatility is fun then feel free to disagree. But to me, the F-150 Raptor screams adventure, and no one can convince me that adventure isn’t fun.
No matter what you’re looking for in a truck, Ford has a model that will fit the bill, and that’s why I’ll always recommend them first when people ask me for suggestions. Whether you need a truck for work or for personal use, you’ve got options, and no matter which you choose I’d be willing to bet you’ll drive away satisfied.