Man’s Best Friend

January 2022 Feature Gus Surdu

This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue.

They say a dog is a man’s best friend. I say it’s a truck.

Much like a dog, a truck is loyal and takes care of you as long as you take care of it. It’s also a great companion on road trips, something Ryan Schliesmann is quite familiar with.

Ryan runs a courier and freight business, taking deliveries all over his home state of Florida and even sometimes up into Georgia or the Carolinas.

“It could be from 5 a.m. to 5 in the afternoon, depending on how my day is going,” an upbeat Ryan explained after driving 800 miles that day.

With that much time on the road, Ryan needed a trusted companion, and that’s where his 2019 F250 6.7L Power Stroke comes in.

The Build

Ryan started with a 5.0L F150 but switched over to his F250 in May of 2020 and immediately noticed the difference in performance and how it drives. The Power Stroke started with a two-inch leveling kit because Ryan didn’t want to do anything too crazy with it, but with 35s he didn’t like how the truck rode.

“It seemed like it just wasn’t the right setup,” Ryan said. “I talked to my mechanic and of course he talks me into a lift. After adding the lift kit with the better coils and suspension, it drove like a Cadillac.”

Not wanting to do anything too extravagant, Ryan opted for a black look to go with his 6-inch Fabtech Motorsports lift. It originally had a chrome package, but it wasn’t what Ryan was going for. He felt the 22x12 TIS Offroad 548 wheels, along with new 36x13.50x22 Versatyre M/T tires, gave it an aggressive enough look without a fancy paintjob. The only problem with the wider tires is he quickly discovered he needs to go through a car wash every time he goes through a puddle.

“I wanted to have something sleek and subtle and I think I got exactly what I was looking for,” he said. “I’m not trying to lift it up to the sky and be one of those guys. I think having a 6-inch lift is just enough. It’s a daily driver for me so I still want to have decent fuel mileage, have a truck that performs well and not worry about the maintenance.”

Other modifications include a Pro Comp steering stabilizer with FOX shocks, a Pedal Commander, Morimoto XB Amber LED headlights and a 10-inch drop hitch from BulletProof Hitches to help with work deliveries. A Proven Diesel tune also helped clean up any sluggishness Ryan felt in the pickup.

“It’s the best vehicle without a doubt that I have ever driven in my life,” Ryan said. “I drove a lot of trucks back in my day. It started from right out of high school and from the last 12 to 13 years of driving trucks, this has to be my favorite.”

Just A Hobby

Ryan is very clear about where his priorities lie, or rather, his one priority, and it’s not his diesel.

“My hobby I guess you could say is working on my truck, making it look good,” he said, “but I also have a little one, my little girl. She just turned 9 years old,” he said while waiting to pick her up from school. “I guess you could say she’s my top priority. She’s the one who keeps me going. I could find work just about anywhere I feel like, but I can’t get another daughter like her.”

Still, even for just a hobby/work truck, Ryan says he receives a lot of attention and comments while driving around in his Power Stroke which of course he does frequently.

“Everywhere I go, whether the grocery store, picking up my little one from school or picking up from customers the truck gets noticed,” said Ryan. “Just like today I had a UPS guy stop me in the middle of the road just to tell me he liked my truck. It’s nice to get the attention but I didn’t by all means get the truck for that. Like I said, it’s a work truck.”

Ryan attended one show with his diesel, but shows really aren’t something he’s overly concerned about. He prefers attending simply to check out the other builds, not to show off his own because, “I get enough attention driving it everyday on the road,” he humbly admitted.

While shows aren’t his thing, Ryan loves the truck community that he’s found on social media. He appreciates the support he gets from people, especially on Instagram.

“I try to show support all the way around, whether I think the truck looks good or not. In someone else’s eyes it could be everything to them. I try to show support because it comes back around.”

You can catch Ryan through his Instagram (@6.7_sheesh) or, if you’re lucky, somewhere on the road in Florida.

Sources:

BulletProof Hitches

941-202-0889

www.bulletproofhitches.com

 

Fabtech Motorsports

909-597-7800

www.fabtechmotorsports.com

 

FOX

831-274-6557

www.ridefox.com

 

Morimoto

424-239-5142

www.morimotohid.com

 

Pro Comp

800-776-0767

www.procompusa.com

 

Proven Diesel

403-823-4740

www.provendiesel.com

 

TIS Offroad

877-283-9433

www.tiswheels.com

 

Versatyre

888-972-4804

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