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2013 Ford F-450 - Gator Call

The Gator Boys’ Ford F-450 hauls more than hay

Phil Gordon
Dec 15, 2014
Photographers: Phil Gordon
Some 11-year-old boys dream about being doctors, policemen, or firefighters. The ultimate goal is to do something you enjoy and help people at the same time. For 28-year-old Jimmy Riffle of the Gator Boys, his passion for helping people was in a much more dangerous realm. As a kid, he would play with small alligators his uncle brought home. He developed a sense of handling and temperature with them. One day, as his mother was on her way home, she noticed a place called Native Village off the side of the road in Hollywood, Florida. She stopped in to purchase small gator items for a young Jimmy and noticed there were many children walking around volunteering their time to be around these mammoth reptiles. A few inquiries later, Jimmy began helping and volunteering his time at Native Village. The owner, Skeet, took Jimmy under his wing and, by the end of the year, Jimmy was putting on his very own gator shows for crowds of people.
Jimmy, Paul Bedard, and the Gator Boys crew decided to help the community and save these intimidated alligators by starting a service of capturing and removing alligators from unwanted places. In South Florida, where gators make their home, the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue program became very popular and utilized. For a while, Jimmy and Paul recorded their adventures rescuing these gators and, within a short period of time, Animal Planet got on board. Most alligator removal services destroyed these reptiles and used them for profit, but Jimmy and the Gator Boys crew relocated them to spacious lands, zoos, and sanctuaries (like the Native Village) where they could be rehabilitated and monitored. Within a normal year, the Gator Boys capture and remove close to 100 alligators.
Photo 2/7   |   Jimmy Riffle
Attempting to capture a gator can be an extremely difficult task, with some gators weighing much more than 300 pounds and measuring more than 10 feet in length. With the sponsorship of South Florida Ford and the Scales, Tails and Teeth Gator Show, Jimmy was able to get a ’13 Ford F-450 dualie. It proved quite capable of handling the weight of the reptiles and was quick enough to get to any location on the busy Florida streets. For the added bells and whistles, Jimmy enlisted the hardworking men and women at Ideal Automotive & Truck Accessories in Pompano Beach, Florida. A set of 22-inch American Force Evo wheels was added and wrapped in 35x12.50R22 Toyo Open Country rubber. To make sure the Ford could travel through swampy terrain, the F-450 was given a 4-inch Rough Country lift. An AccuAir rear air suspension was installed to even out the heavy loads for traveling. A rolling lock bedcover ensures nothing can get out of the bed when captured.
Photo 3/7   |   A 4-inch Rough Country lift and AccuAir rear air suspension give the Gator Boys’ truck a slightly lifted stance while evening out the heavy loads for traveling.
There have been many cuts and bruises along the way, but Jimmy Riffle and the Gator Boys have a true passion for what they do, and nothing will slow them down. A special thanks goes to Bonita; Animal Planet; Native Village; Ideal Automotive & Truck Accessories; South Florida Ford; Scales, Tails and Teeth Gator Show; Ian; David; Paul Simmons; Sara; Skeet; The Gator Boys crew (Richard, Tre, Scott); and an extra special thanks to his brother Andy and the Riffle Family for always being there with support and love. The Gator Boys will have a very successful run on Animal Planet’s network.
Photo 4/7   |   A turtle temporarily displays an American Force sticker on its shell for a quick photo. Meanwhile, an alligator makes a quick lunch out of a similar sticker.