in ride and handling was immediately noticeable leaving the nursery.
The F-450 was better planted (no pun intended) on the road. Rear bucking
over expansion joints and tarmac flaws disappeared.
4.88 rear axle, acceleration wasn't quick unloaded but torque
was always present. Now, loaded, acceleration felt only marginally slower
than empty - testament to the Power Stroke V8 diesel’s lower gearing,
dual sequential turbos and strong 600 lb-ft available at only 2,000-rpm.
If you want to see hard performance metrics for a similar truck, read
our Heavy Duty Shootout for empirical data.
tow haul mode helped in stop and go city traffic, holding its gear
and reducing the need to constantly foot brake and accelerate. On the
freeway we cruised at 60-mph and a lazy 2,250-rpm. Tow haul mode helped
again climbing and descending hills in the Santa Monica Mountains.
But while steering was nimble at low speeds, the 8,600-lb pickup, with
4,500-lb of soil, had moderate understeer doing reasonable speeds on
the twisty hills between Calabasas and Malibu.
step was hauling the load up a steep, narrow driveway to the Wildlife
Center. We pulled up to a fenced area where the garden was planned
and backed the F-450 into a pen with only two-inches of clearance on
either side of the pickup’s rear wheel arches. It was so tight
we had to fold the side mirrors in to get the truck all the way back.
we lowered the tailgate, grabbed some shovels and tossed out the fresh
soil into a pile to be spread by the volunteers the next day. That's
the only time I've even been thankful for having a thick plastic drop-in
bedliner instead of a spray-in liner. And, to be filed away for future
reference, if you're moving dirt in back of a pickup, lay down a tarp
on the bottom of the cargo box. It would have made cleaning the last
few pounds of dirt from the bed much easier, simply sliding out the
most painful part of the soil hauling expedition was still ahead. We
stopped to fill the truck with diesel on the way home. Contrary to
not called an F-450 because that's the price of a gallon of diesel
at some stations around Los Angeles. We got away with $4.09 per gallon.
driving 180-miles over three days around LA County, loaded and unloaded
in almost every traffic condition possible, we averaged a gut clenching 9.2 9.5
miles-per-gallon. The truck consumed just shy of 20-gallons of ultra
low sulfur diesel for a grand total of $81.36. Yeah,
that hurt our wallet, but at least it felt good knowing we helped Bambi.
2008 Ford F-450 Super Duty Lariat 4x4 Dual Rear Wheel Crew Cab
Size and Type: 6.4-liter V8 Power Stroke Diesel
Horsepower (hp): 325-hp
Torque (ft-lbs): 600 lb-ft
Axle: 4.88 Limited Slip
4 Rear LT225/70Rx19.5G BSW Traction Tires and
2 Front LT225/70Rx19.5G BSW All Season Tires: $190
4x4 Off Road Package: $225
Extra Heavy Duty Alternator: $75
Electronic Shift on the Fly: $185
Engine Block Heater: $35
Rapid Heat Supplemental Cab Heater: $250
Powre Slide Rear Window: $185
Power Moonroof: $995
Memory Group: $225
Upfitter Switches: $85
Reverse Vehicle Aid Sensor: $245
Tailgate Step: $375
Power Adjustable Pedals: $120
Sirius Satellite Radio: $200
Traction Control: $130
Navigation Radio with Audiophile 6-CD: $1,875
Heated Front Seats: $220
Rubber Floormats: $25
Price as Tested: $55,995 Destination & Delivery: $925
Total MSRP: $56,920