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2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty

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Truck Review: Until this year Ford's giant F-450 truck was only sold as a commercial vehicle for people who wanted to build dump trucks and the like. Now it's offered as a regular pickup, albeit a huge one, at Ford dealers across the country. This enormous Ford F-450 puts commercial capability in consumerís hands.

The F-450 is bigger than a Hummer H1, and it shows on the inside. This massive truck feels like a mountain with a steering wheel. They say climbing a mountain is the greatest test of a man's strength, endurance and sheer will to survive. I was about to find out just how strong I was.

Starting my journey was easy enough, but the higher I ascended the more difficult each step became. Soon I was struggling for breath, knowing how thin the air must be at these high altitudes as I clung to the mountain for dear life. I was starting to get dizzy and began to think about how long my emergency rations would last if I got stuck up here, unable to muster enough willpower to take another step.

And then, after what felt like days of climbing, I reached the driver's seat of the Ford F-450.

This mountain of a truck is bigger than any other pickup for sale today. It feels exactly like Mount Rainier with a steering wheel as it lumbers around town, crushing boulders and probably some Miatas and PT Cruisers along the way, too.

If you think the Hummer H1 is big, wait until you see an F-450. The Ford is 78 inches longer, thatís a full 6 and a half feet longer, half an inch taller and 1,000 pounds heavier than the vehicle designed to do Uncle Sam's dirty work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It bears repeating: This truck is way bigger than the biggest Hummer you can ever buy. There's a reason for the F-450's dimensional madness though. It's designed to tow more than any other pickup on the planet, up to a mind-blowing 24,000 pounds, thatís like 12 tons, so it has to be big, strong and unbelievably heavy. If you tow stuff for a living, or happen to own a mammoth RV trailer, then the F-450 Super Duty makes sense.

Ford executives did their homework before making this truck available to consumers, as it was only sold as a commercial vehicle before now, and they say there's a growing number of baby boomers who want things like granite countertops in their RV, but can't tow that much weight with a run-of-the-mill F-350. The F-450 solves that problem.

Like a true commercial vehicle the F-450 is designed specifically for hauling big and heavy loads. It comes with a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel engine with 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. And you can still order the 6.8-liter Triton V10 engine with 364 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque if you need a gasoline fed motor.

Unlike a commercial vehicle, you can get an F-450 with a luxurious interior to create the ultimate cowboy ride with goodies like a navigation system and rear-seat DVD player.

This truck is great for people who need it. But if you don't do frequent towing, you don't want to be anywhere near this pickup.

If God is fair, he's going to make sure Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini all drive F-450s in hell. I can't think of a better punishment than cruising around the lake of fire in this Ford, which makes your back feel like it's being run through a meat grinder and your eardrums sound like they're being blown up with dynamite.

And having grown up in Texas, I know there will be a few cowboys out there who suffer from cerebral deficiency and actually think it's cool to drive a truck this size on the streets of Dallas.

What was tested? The 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty with a base price of $47,730. Options included: Automatic transmission at $1,490, power moonroof at $995 and an upgraded stereo system at $625. The MSRP total price as tested, including a $720 destination charge, is $50,840.

Why avoid it? It's automotive hell when you're not towing something.

Why buy it? If you do serious towing, that is, up to 24,000 pounds, this truck is built just for you.

And to them, I have only one thing to say. Please don't crush me as you drive by.

By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Ford Home Page

Byline: TRUCK Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: When a Hummer is just too wimpy
Topic: The 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty
Word Count:  810
Photo Caption:  The 2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty
Photo Credits:  Ford Super Duty Internet Media
Series #:  2008 - 04

 

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