Doing It Differently

Building a truck for the less-beaten path

Published in the March 2018 Issue May 2019 Feature

-- Gary Fields at Diesel Pros

It was early 2016 when I saw the first images of the new Super Duty. That very minute I began putting a plan together for how I’d build one. While listening to the spirited heckling from my Duramax and Cummins technicians, I had already began picking out bumper manufacturers and deciding on what size tire I needed to run. I really had zero NEED to purchase a new pickup as I was currently driving a very nice 2015 Platinum F350. I had done the “typical” and stuck a nice leveling kit on it, with a front bumper with some bitching lighting, tire and wheel package, and slapped some tunes on it. For all intents and purposes, it fit the bill. That said, a call from a friend who really wanted to buy my Platinum certainly sealed the deal; the only thing left to do was to decide what color I wanted! 

I’m an off-road guy at heart, and a good buddy of mine drives a 2015 Dodge Power Wagon, and I always wondered why I had never built a pickup that could tackle similar terrain. So, it was with that thought in mind I began formulating a plan on how I’d build an off-road-capable Super Duty.

Fast forward a year, and in March of 2017 I purchased a 4-door long bed fricken land-yacht of a 2017 F350. Nearly 23 feet from bow to stern, it had some serious limitations on its off-road ability but I needed a long bed for doing “truck things.” The wheel base was really the first hurdle to tackle. I needed a much better “break over angle,” “approach angle,” and “departure angle,” as well as more clearance under the solid front axles; time for a lift and taller tires. Any good off-roading outfit is going to have a set of higher clearance and more robust bumpers, and a guy HAS to have some capable off-road lighting to make the night wheeling trips more enjoyable.

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