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Truck Trend Letters to the Editor

Emissions Check

Jan 22, 2016
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Our Number One Fan: Part I
Back in the day when Ford’s medium-duty trucks were F-600, F-700, F-800, and F-900, Ford offered a factory F-700 4x4. I saw something interesting the other day: a hydraulic all-wheel-drive F-750. It didn’t use a transfer case or an additional driveshaft, as on a traditional 4x4 system. I’m wondering if Ford will offer this AWD system via the factory for the ’16 F-650 and F-750 trucks. It is amazing to me that Ford hasn’t offered a 4x4 version from the factory on the medium-duty trucks.
Ford also used to offer tandem axles on their trucks (called the FT-Series). Some F-750s are Class 8 trucks, so tandem axle versions could be good sellers.
Sincerely,
Tom DeGideo II Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Tom, you’re one of our most frequent letter-writers, and you always share some interesting tidbits of information we’d never heard before. For example, we did some research into that hydraulic all-wheel-drive system and found that many aftermarket manufacturers offer it for Ford, International, and other medium-duty trucks.
That said, we doubt Ford will offer all- or four-wheel drive on its F-650 and F-750 trucks any time soon. These trucks very seldom get used in sticky off-road situations, and snow chains are usually enough to get them through harsh winters thanks to their high ground clearance and abundant torque. However, your comment regarding the FT-Series trucks Ford used to build brings up a good point: With Ford offering the F-750 as a cab-and-chassis, why doesn’t the company build it with a tandem axle? That would almost certainly improve the truck’s capability quite a bit.
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Our Number One Fan: Part II
Since your magazine is titled Truck Trend, why not have a medium-duty truck comparison test? This way, you can compare and review the new ’16 Ford F-650/F-750, along with trucks from International, Hino, Freightliner, and maybe Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Mack. It would make for some interesting reading.
If that’s not such a hot idea in your opinion, then a comparison test just with the Ford F-650/F-750 but with different powertrains. Get four trucks: a ’15 F-650 V-10, ’15 F-650/F-750 Cummins I-6, ’16 F-650 Power Stroke, and ’16 F-750 6.8L V-10. Another good idea for a future article!
Yeah, I know, you have all kinds of readers (light-duty pickups, heavy-duty pickups, crossovers, etc.), but that said, commercial truck owners also read Truck Trend. Ford Escapes are cool and all (I drive one daily), yet you can’t put tons of mulch in the back, nor tow a backhoe or Bobcat with one.
Pickups are cool too, but we’ve seen all the comparison tests and road tests for these trucks over the years. Now it’s time the medium-duty truck fans got their (our) fill! Bring the biggest trucks offered, and contractors and municipalities everywhere will thank you.
Sincerely,
Tom DeGideo II
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Another good idea, boss. We’d love to get behind the wheel of some of these machines and give ‘em a thorough once-over. We even have a few staffers who have their commercial driver’s licenses, so such a comparison test could even be undertaken on public roads.
Or, how about this? We take them all to an empty warehouse or runway, load them down, and give all of our staffers a chance to shake ’em out.
Now, the only issue is this: Most medium-duty manufacturers don’t maintain press fleets, so we’d have to talk them into letting us use vehicles originally destined for customers. That would be problematic, since they probably wouldn’t be able to ethically sell them to someone else after we were done with them. We’ll talk to our contacts with those manufacturers and see if there’s a solution.
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Our Number One Fan: Part III
Looking through my vast “archives” photos I took back in the ’90s, I found two very interesting, yet very different, trucks. Both photos were taken in late March 1998.
First up is a leftover ’97 F-250 Regular Cab 4x4. It was powered by the standard 5.8L V-8, and it had the E4OD transmission, XLT trim, factory aluminum wheels, and rare two-tone color option: Tobago Green and Oxford White. For some reason, this truck sat on the dealer lot for a long time, maybe 6 to 7 months. Sharp truck! Notice, too, the color-keyed factory side steps.
Now that purple F-250 Super Duty is super rare! This color, Deep Violet Metallic, was only available for a few months after the ’99 Super Duty’s release date in March 1998. It’s rare because of the color but also because it was a base XL regular cab. The dealership fit it with a set of ’97-style sport wheel covers to upgrade the exterior. When it first came in, it had the grey-painted steel wheels with the plastic black center caps on them. This early ’99 F-250 was powered by a 5.4L V-8, backed by the 4R100 automatic trans and 3.73:1 axle gearing. Notice, too, it’s a 4x2.
Wonder where these trucks are now?
Sincerely,
Tom DeGideo II
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Readers, do you see why we like this guy? He’s a practical encyclopedia of truck history, especially Fords.
Tom, we’d love to know what happened to those trucks as well. It’s not surprising that purple color didn’t last very long, as it’s not the prettiest hue on such a big vehicle. By the end of the ’90s, bright colors like that were falling out of fashion, which is possibly one reason why the ’97 F-250 you photographed was on the dealer lot for that long. Still, in a “period-correct” kind of way, we really like both the Tobago Green and Deep Violet Metallic trucks.
We hope whoever purchased them in the ’90s is still getting some good use out of them. We always love to see these early Super Dutys and late OBS Fords getting put to task.

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