READY TO ROCK: Gooseneck hitch, tool boxes, lights and refuel tank upgrades keep our 2011 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 diesel on the right track
Stout winches behind heavy-duty bumpers adorned with driving lights have become the basic accessories for many pickups found around jobsites these days.
Each accessory serves a specific need and contributes to getting the job at hand done quicker and more efficiently.
Those items were covered in the last issue as we began outfitting Project Super Crew to become the ideal ride for contractors facing some serious off-pavement work.
The next item of business is upgrading our Crew Cab 4×4’s towing ability. That’s not to say it’s not good stock. The 2011 Super Duty rolls right off the showroom floor with plenty of towing muscle.
The heavy-duty Ford diesel is equipped with a 2 ½-inch Class V receiver hitch rated to tow an 8,000-pound trailer on the ball and 14,000 pounds if equipped with a weight-distributing hitch setup.
Or, if the Super Crew is equipped with a gooseneck or 5th wheel it’s rated to tow loads up to 14,400 pounds in the Crew Cab 4×4 configuration we have.
Seven tons of puling power is ideal for pulling small equipment – and having a gooseneck setup provides maximum stability and versatility around a jobsite.
SET TO TOW
So B&W Hitches and Truck Supply & Outfitters were called upon to outfit the Super Crew with a Turnover Ball Gooseneck Model 1111 hitch.
It took TSO’s Daniel Parker less than two hours to make the upgrade, which we’ve detailed in the “Installs” section of our Project Super Crew web site (propickupmag.com/project-trucks/super-crew).
The hidden ball design of the B&W Turnover Ball gooseneck hitch keeps the bed surface unobstructed until time to tow. Then you pull the locking lever inside the driver’s-side rear wheel well to release the ball lock, lift the ball up, flip it over and reinsert into the socket.
Voilà! It’s ready for that gooseneck equipment trailer.
We also have a B&W Tow & Stow tri-ball in the receiver so we can tow any trailer on the ball up to the Ford’s maximum weight-carrying limit of 8,000 pounds and 800 pounds tongue weight.
There’s also a Reese Titan WD hitch and drawbars tucked into one of the toolboxes (see below) just in case we are faced pulling a tow-behind trailer that weighs more than 8,000 pounds. That way we have total towing stability, braking and handling control with the maximum trailer load when towing in conventional mode.
MAKING OUR BED
Our next step focused on protecting the bed. We are fans of spray-in bed liners, so TSO prepped and shot the bed with a heavy-duty material called All Pro Spray-on Liner from All Pro Distributing (allprodistributing.net).
The spray-on liner gives a nice finishing touch to the gooseneck hitch – and it makes a nice barrier for the UWS Truck Accessories aluminum 75-gallon liquid transfer tank and toolboxes.
Bed storage and spare diesel are like the meat and potatoes of a hearty meal to anyone working around a construction site; you can’t do without them. A crossover toolbox serves one purpose, the refuel tank another.
The UWS L-shaped transfer tank allows the use of the crossover toolbox while maximizing the shortbed’s limited space. Both only take minutes to install, the refuel tank bolting through the bed and the toolbox attaching to the bed sides with “J”-hooks.
We relied upon Tuthill’s Fill-Rite FRC1210, fitted with their spin-on fuel filter and 12-foot hose, to provide the pumping power between the Ford and the equipment – or its own fuel tank if needed.
UWS also outfitted our project truck with aluminum side boxes.
The two boxes are three feet long and provide additional storage solutions for whatever needs the winner of this sweepstakes truck might have down the road. Right now we are using them to hold ratchet tie-downs and chains.
THE HIGH LIGHTS
Another area we wanted to address fairly early in the build is emergency lights.
Contractors, be they in the city or out in the country, like the ability to see and be seen when safety is an issue. Strobe lights work great for the latter, spotlights the former.
GoLight and Whelen are well known in their respective circles for lighting products well-suited for use on working pickups. GoLight makes terrific remote-controlled spotlights, while Whelen’s strobes can be seen used everywhere there’s work or emergencies.
So Parker used an Acari platform – the no-drill mount utilizes the truck’s cab brakelight opening – to mount a Whelen LED mini-lightbar on the cab, and flanked it with a pair of permanent mount GoLight Stryker HID spotlights.
Parker ran the power wires inside the headliner and down the driver’s-side rear pillar so everything is waterproof, hidden and clean.
Now with the flick of a switch on the dash we have amber Whelen LED emergency strobes that can be seen for a mile. (We’ll be adding more high-intensity LED strobes later in the build.)
And with the touch of a button on the two GoLight remote-controls we keep in the Ford’s overhead console, we can turn both spotlights on and rotate them up, down or around to illuminate whatever we want hundreds of feet away from inside the truck or out.
MORE ON THE WAY
Project Super Crew is moving right along. We have it set up right now to meet the needs of most any contractor.
But there’re still a lot of upgrades waiting to be checked off our build list before we call this project finished.
We haven’t addressed tools and accessories, side- and bed-access steps, the lifted suspension, locking differentials, tires and wheels, rear winch bumper, dressing up the interior, or making that fine 6.7L Powerstroke sing sweeter and pull stronger.
We still need to spice up the body, too, with paint or graphics.
We have several more months to get those upgrades and modifications done before the Super Crew starts showing up at trade, truck and automotive shows around the country where readers like yourselves will be filling out those sweepstakes entry forms.
ARB 4X4 Accessories arbusa.com
B&W Hitches turnoverball.com
Buckstop Truckware buckstop.biz
Ford Motor Company ford.com/trucks/superduty
Mile Marker milemarker.com
Sage Oil Vac sageoilvac.com
Town & Country Ford alabamaford.com
Transfer Flow transferflow.com
Truck Supply & Outfitters trucksupplyandoutfitters.com
UWS Truck Accessories uwsta.com
To keep tabs of what we are doing to Project Super Crew, go to propickupmag.com and click on the “Truck Sweepstakes: Super Crew” tab under Project Trucks. You can also follow its whereabouts in real time…
Acari Products: acariproducts.com
All Pro Distributing: allprodistributing.net
Whelen Engineering: whelen.com
Hi-Lift Jack Company: Hi-lift.com