When you think of Ford trucks, you probably think of the Ford F-150 or F-250, the pickup trucks driven by sportsmen, ranchers, and suburbanites who wished they lived in the country. We had an F-150 when I was growing up, big enough to stow all our instruments in the back (we had the additional cover so the harp, violins, and cello wouldn’t be out in the weather) along with our camping gear. We also spent plenty of time driving cross-country, moving from one state to the next with the back of the pickup full of our things.
However, people with small businesses and counties in rough terrain need something a little bigger. A little tougher. So Ford introduced us to the F-650 in 2000, and and it has been going strong ever since. The class 6, 7, and now 8 vehicle is sold to construction and towing businesses primarily, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.
The F-650 is available as diesel or gasoline fueled, with a six-speed automatic (diesel) or a five to seven speed manual (gasoline), though there is an option to convert to a propane or condensed natural gas engine should the business or driver wish to make the change. The truck is sold as a 2-door, 2 + 2, or 4-door vehicle, with a wheelbase of 134-281 inches. The second generation of the F-650, which became available in 2014, comes with a larger grille and headlights, leftovers from the remains of the Econoline van line.
What was once a join venture between Ford and Navistar International (their joint operation was called the Blue Diamond Truck Company, LLC) with a plant in Mexico became a Ford project completely in 2014, after Econoline production ended. A new plant was opened up in Ohio to continue making the F-650, and by the looks of things it isn’t going anywhere soon, especially since it has been Ford’s best-selling truck for forty years (and best-selling vehicle overall for the last thirty-five years).
An American classic, the Ford F-650 pairs well with another American classic, the great Shaquille O’Neal, who bought a customized F-650 to accommodate his tall frame, happily took a photo of himself and posted it on Twitter, thanking Ford for making supersized trucks that he could actually fit in and drive. His version of the F-650 includes a leather interior, heated seats, and many other extras that would only have been included in a prime F-250. There are apparently others who have purchased such “supertrucks”, but most are relegated to a waiting list as each truck has to be built to special specifications. This does not deter people, as the thirst for larger vehicles remains steady, especially as people move to more rural areas, take up hobbies like off-roading, and start new jobs like ranching, or start their own companies.
With over thirty-five million F-series trucks sold (about one a minute since 2015), Ford has a winner and will keep providing its customers with quality truck options for the foreseeable future. Whether you own your own towing company, or construction company, whether you own a moving or storage business, and you need a flatbed, a tow truck, or a dump truck, if you’re in the market for a vehicle that will carry whatever load you have, or just a supertruck that will fit you and the family and a bunch of gear for hiking, hunting, camping, and fishing, you might want to consider the Ford F-650.