A big truck deserves a big article and the F-350 Super Duty Lariat is big. Almost as big as the significance of the road trip my family took in it two weeks ago.
We were dropping both daughters off for university — a distance of 1,800 km down the road from Toronto to Halifax then back again. We’d done the trip once before, two years ago. That time we were accompanied by a fragrant Labrador retriever and the younger daughter returned home with us, too young for launching. This return, however, would render my wife and me empty nesters.
So, yes, the trip was even bigger than the F-350. Albeit barely.
That previous trip cost a bomb in premium gasoline. The vehicle was the mucho luxurious LR4, also big but not quite big enough, given the passengers, human, canine and fragrant. Oh, and the cargo teenage girls cart when leaving home. So this time, I wanted a bigger vehicle, a pickup, but a diesel for the fuel economy.
Enter the Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat Diesel 4X4 Crew Cab! Note how incanting its very name accelerates testosterone production. It’s big — perhaps too big? This publication’s editor said it may be a “bit of overkill”.
The point’s valid. We never needed the 4×4, driving the TransCanada highway the entire distance. Nor did we use the 18K fifth wheel trailer hitch. (This 4×4 F-350 has a towing capacity of 7,348 kilos. We could’ve dragged the girls’ bedrooms to Halifax, though that would’ve left holes in the house as gaping as the ones in our lives.)
On the other hand, the editor doesn’t have two university-age daughters. They require plenty of stuff. Plus, once their friends who were flying to Halifax heard there’s a rig that doesn’t charge for extra luggage? Well, that stuff breeds. Fortunately our tester was 6,268 mm long and 2,029 mm wide excluding the mirrors. Big.
2015 Ford F-350 4×4 Crew Cab, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
First, the Three-Fitty in the city
Sartre said “L’enfer, c’est les autres” (Hell is other people). But that was in 1944, before we had the terminal clogging of our city roads. Today I suspect he’d say “L’enfer, c’est les autres conducteurs.” Indeed, I’m convinced that when bad drivers die, they’re sent to the 400-series of highways in the GTA.
I had this truck big enough for the move but first I had to get it from a distant suburb built for automobiles (after 1944) and not people, back to our narrow street, downtown. There’s construction and repairs everywhere after this vicious winter, narrowing Toronto streets further. Whoever said you’d never use high school calculus in real life hasn’t done this drive.