2013 Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum - Not Just Another Pretty Face
Don't let the good looks deceive you — this truck puts in work
Too many trucks today play the role of a tough-looking, go-anywhere hero vehicle. Like any other pretty face, they are always found wearing lifted suspensions that hoist the trucks well into the stratosphere while rolling on aggressive mud-terrain tires that hardly ever see a well-groomed dirt road, let alone haul something dirty in the bed, or trudge through the rain. It's hard to take a deeper look, because they certainly do appear the part of rough and ready for anything, but get too close and these rigs sport a façade that oozes with plenty of form with little to zero function. Since they're wearing plenty of custom-painted pieces with chrome gleaming from every corner, it makes it tough for us to tell which trucks put in the labor and which ones crawl the mall.
Luckily for us, Tim Nicolau Designs made it easy to decipher whether or not this 2013 Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum gets used for both work and play…or simply just for play. Tim merely showed up to our shoot dragging a custom-built 44-foot gooseneck trailer with one of his show trucks firmly strapped to the trailer. Complete with a hydraulic dovetail, Rigid LED lighting, and custom paint, the trailer was a sight to behold all on its own. Having to pull that big trailer, it's no surprise that Tim's first inclination was to augment the suspension with an adjustable 4- to 6-inch air-ride system from Kelderman. Controlled by AccuAir electronics, the Kelderman system's versatility allows the truck to raise and lower at the press of a button to ease loading the huge trailer, or anything else that needs to be hauled, into the F-450's bed. The front axle is still mounted to its original radius arm, but the rear axle now swings from a beefy four-link. Firestone airbags suspend both axles and provide a better ride and load control than the original springs ever could—especially with the digital leveling system and Fox 2.0 shocks. Since work trucks certainly don't need to be ugly, candy apple red powdercoat and chrome cover almost every piece of suspension that could be bolted onto the Ford Super Duty. For added effect, red LED flood lighting makes the truck's undercarriage glow with an ethereal appearance. Ten-lug American Force King wheels and Toyo Open Country A/T tires certainly fit the theme perfectly.
You won't find too much in the way of interior modifications, thanks to the truck already being a heavily optioned Ford Super Duty Platinum edition. An H&S Mini Maxx tuner and Transfer Flow Trax II monitor for the in-bed fuel tank are the only non-factory items added inside the cabin. Outside is a whole different story. Fab Fours bumpers were paint-matched and fit with Rigid LED lighting in case work runs well after the sun sets. Just in case that isn't enough, Plain & Simple custom-built the headlights with projector HID headlamps and additional Rigid LED lighting. After a little color-matching of the exterior accessories and the addition of a Royalty Core RC3DX grille, the Ford was deemed perfect—and we agree. This truck carries itself well thanks to a great stance, the perfect amount of contrasting color in the right places, and the ability to work without being prissy. All go with plenty of show.
Tim chose the 4- to 6-inch version of Kelderman's air-ride suspension to make towing and hauling an effortless chore. With four-wheel level ride, the AccuAir controller compensates for varying load conditions automatically.
With such a small suspension lift, the 325/50R22 Toyo Open Country A/T tires look perfect on the 22x8.25 10-lug American Force King wheels.