The Ford F-350 is a heavy-duty ute that was part of F-Series line manufactured by the American carmaker. The heaviest among the F-Series, the F-350 was meant for those who wanted more kick and power from their ute. It was stronger and more robust than the mid-range F-250, and it was fit for heavy grunt work thanks to its dual rear-wheel setup. Through its life that began in 1948, the ute offered great stability and strong cargo tray to carry the heaviest items. Over the years, it was offered in a number of body styles, trim levels, and powertrain options. One of the most appealing aspects of this ute, however, is the ease and comfort of driving it.
In recent years, the Ford F-350 has offered a stronger turbo-diesel V8 engine, improved its ride quality and handling characteristics, and redesigned its interior with better quality materials. The market may have many other heavy-duty utes to offer, but the F-350 has always been a popular choice and a worthy opponent in a market full of powerhouses.
The Ford F-350 has had a number of engines over the years. Post 2001, the ute was available with three cab choices: crew cab, super, and single. The powertrain included a 5.4L petrol V8 engine that delivered 194kW of power at 4500rpm and 475Nm of torque at 2500rpm, a 4.2L turbocharged diesel 6-cylinder engine that delivered 132kW of power at 3400rpm and 500Nm of torque at 1600rpm, and a 7.3L turbocharged diesel V8 engine that delivered 175kW of power at 2600rpm and 684Nm of torque at 1800rpm. These utes were part of the seventh-generation F-Series and were the first Ford 4X4 utes to get independent suspensions.
One look at these specs should show that these heavy-duty utes were designed to be pullers. Their engines offer huge amounts of torque at low revs so it is easier to get the vehicle going, even with full load. The 4.2L engine tends to feel a little underpowered when driving on open roads, but otherwise these engines offer adequate power to cruise and overtake vehicles with ease. The vehicle is adequately stable, but it starts to lose that stability when pushed hard around corners, especially with an empty cargo bed. The empty cargo bed also makes the ride a bit bumpier, but a half or fully filled cargo bed tends to take care of that automatically.
Moreover, the F-350 has massive ground clearance, making it a better performer off road than most other heavy-duty utes. The 4X2 does an impressive job, but the 4X4 models are better suited for getting off the road. While its size does act as a deterrent against serious off-roading, it is important to realise that they are not primarily designed for that. This ute is meant for heavy lifting and hauling capabilities, and it does that admirably well and with some style and comfort.
Old Ford F-350s were rather bland with very little equipment. However, post-2001 models offer enough comfort features to make the ride easier for the driver and passengers. The standard features of the XL 350 include front disc brakes with ABS, 152L fuel tank for all models, shift on the fly on all 4X4s, and cloth-trimmed seats available in two standards of trim. The XLT model gets all this equipment along with alloy wheels, dual airbags, power windows, cruise control, chromed front and rear bumper, pickup box, bucket/console/bucket seats, and LT265/75 R16 tires.
The Ford F-350 has many positives that make it an impressive buy for a ute, but there are some reasons why customers should opt for smaller trucks available. This heavy-duty ute is not suitable for everyone; for instance, their huge size makes it difficult to move around cities and park. They need to be driven very carefully in a city, and they may not fit through some narrow pathways. The F-350 is also expensive when compared to small utes, and their massive V8 engines tend to consume a lot of fuel, even if it is diesel. When compared to utes like the Ford Courier or Falcon, the F-350 costs a lot more because it is capable of heavier hauling.
For those who want excellent towing and hauling capacity, there are very few utes that can do it as well as the Ford F-350. This heavy-duty ute with a 4X4 system can tow around 2448 to 2467kg, while the it can haul around 4500 to 5625kg. In comparison, the Courier can tow around 1800kg and the Falcon can tow around 2300kg, with optional towing equipment installed. The medium-duty F-250, on the other hand, can tow up to 3500kg.