Installing the right gooseneck hitch, tool boxes, lights and refuel tank keeps Ford crew cab 4×4 diesels on the right track
Stout winches behind heavy-duty bumpers adorned with good driving lights have become the basic accessories for many work pickups found around jobsites these days.
The same accessories are great for outdoorsmen’s pickups as well.
That’s because each accessory serves a specific need and contributes to the truck being safer and more efficient when it’s used in settings where road and weather conditions can make driving a challenge.
Ford Super Duties are excellent work trucks. And adding such accessories just elevates them to another level. Both new and used Super Crew 4x4s are a favorite among the construction and contracting trades for that very reason.
Super Duties also roll right off the showroom floor with plenty of towing muscle. Those equipped with the 6.7 diesels are equipped with a 2 ½-inch Class V receiver hitches 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 SuperCrew is equipped with a gooseneck or 5th wheel, it’s rated to tow more than seven tons in Crew Cab 4×4 configurations.
Seven tons of puling power is ideal for pulling small equipment – and having a gooseneck setup provides maximum stability and versatility around a jobsite.
So what are the “best” upgrades beyond heavy duty winch bumpers and auxiliary lighting? Here’s what we’d add to our Ford Super Duty 4×4 work truck:
B&W Hitches’ Turnover Ball Gooseneck Model 1111 hitch is one item we’d install right away.
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’d 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.
Our last addition would be a Reese Titan WD hitch and drawbars stored into one of the toolboxes just in case we are faced pulling a tow-behind trailer that weighs more than 8,000 pounds.
That way we’d have total towing stability, braking and handling control with the maximum trailer load when towing in conventional mode.
The bed is the primary focus of a pickup’s functionality. So it needs to be configured appropriately.
We are fans of spray-in bed liners. There are many brands, but our go-to favorite is Line-X.
A spray-on liner gives a bed a nice finishing touch after the gooseneck hitch is installed, and protects the bed from the hard knocks it takes during the work day.
We’d also install tool boxes and a cross-bed transfer tank like UWS Truck Accessories’ aluminum 75-gallon liquid transfer tank or a similar size from Transfer Flow.
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.
If you need a fuel transfer pump, one of the best is Tuthill’s Fill-Rite FRC1210, fitted with their spin-on fuel filter and 12-foot hose.
It provides the pumping power between the truck bed and the equipment.
ADDING ROOF LIGHTS
Another area we’d retrofit right away is emergency lights and roof-mounted spotlights.
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.
The best way to mount bot is by using an Acari platform. This no-drill mount utilizes the truck’s cab brakelight opening to mount a Whelen LED mini-lightbar on the cab, and flank it with a pair of permanent mount GoLight Stryker HID spotlights.
You can run the power wires inside the headliner and down the driver’s-side rear pillar so everything is waterproof, hidden and clean.
With the flick of a switch on the dash you instantly 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.
There’re a lot of other upgrades that really help make a construction work pickup more valuable in the field as a work tool. But these add-ons are where we’d start.