2016 Ford F-650: Quick Drive


It's not every day we get the chance to get behind the wheel of a Class 6 dump truck, but that's exactly what happened when Ford gave us the keys to a chassis-crew-cab F-650 dump truck.

Our super-duper Super Duty test truck — a 194-inch wheelbase chassis cab — came to us with a 10-foot steel dump bed that can carry up to 7 cubic yards of material weighing as much as 11,000 pounds; it has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds, and the driver does not need a commercial driver's license to operate the beast (the truck missed the weight threshold by 1 pound).

Our test truck came equipped with the tried-and-true 6.8-liter Triton V-10 and heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission rated at 320 horsepower and 440 pounds-feet of torque. This engine can be prepped for either natural gas or liquid propane with only a small sacrifice in power.

After ascending three steps to enter the truck, we settled into the driver's seat; the F-650's front seats are fully suspended to help smooth out the punishingly stiff suspension. We have to admit that driving around the streets of Detroit — some of the worst in the country from our experience — in an empty 14,000-pound dump truck isn't ideal when discerning driving dynamics, but that's not what this truck is about. The F-650 is a big, heavy tool designed for carrying monster payloads from one location to another. We could have played with the hydraulic dump bed all day long.

We found the gas-powered rear-wheel-drive F-650, running on 22.5-inch wheels and 6.50:1 axle gears, quite lively around town, running up and down the gears with relative fluidity. Unfortunately, we were not able to run any fuel-economy loops, but we'd guess we were running somewhere around 8 mpg.

The long-wheelbase chassis crew has a starting price around $61,000; our rig was equipped with more than $5,000 options. The dump bed added another $13,000, pushing the total sales price, including destination, to more than $80,000. It's not a bad price when you think about all the extra capability you get when compared to a full-size luxury import sedan that likely costs more.

Ford sold more than 10,000 F-650/750 commercial Super Dutys in 2015, up 5 percent from 2014. This year, Ford is on pace to beat the 2015 numbers by more than 10 percent. And in case you were wondering, these sales are not lumped into monthly Super Duty sales numbers. photos by Mark Williams




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