Ever drive down the highway and watch the pickup trucks as they go by? Some days it seems like every truck is a kind of Ford. Mostly F-150’s covered in the decals of a service-type company. Ever wonder what other kinds of pickup trucks Ford makes? Although Ford can produce trucks all the way up to semi-tractors to pull the big loads, the ones we will focus on are the ones that ordinary drivers might be interested in.
There are six main types of ford trucks:
- Ford Ranger
- Ford F-150
- F-150 Raptor
- F-250 Super Duty
Notice how they go in numerical order – each higher number is a heavier, more sturdy truck. The exception is the Ranger which is a small knock-about pickup. Something a gentleman farmer might use to do his suburban-type jobs. As you go down the list, you will note that each truck is made for a different level of work. The bigger the number, the heavier work that truck can do. Do you know what level of sturdiness and weight you need? If not we will discuss each one and maybe give you an idea which one to choose.
Types of Ford Trucks
Let’s start with that little medium-duty Ranger. Over the years, this truck has been incredibly popular. They have a reputation for long life and dependable service. Ford actually started producing pickup trucks back in 1917. They continued until the mid-1950s when they stopped production of pickup trucks temporarily.
Then in 1958, the name “Ranger” was first brought into the Ford fleet. It was a compact truck at the time and originally made in Argentina. Ford called it the Edsel Ranger to begin with. It replaced the imported Ford Courier. It was discontinued in 2011 and then re-introduced in 2019 as a medium-duty truck.
By 2006, all Ford compact trucks were called “Ranger.” Then in 2011 Ford discontinued the Ranger compact truck line, and started producing a mid-sized pickup truck that Ford called “Ranger.”
Now as a medium-duty truck, the Ranger seats 4 or 5 people, has a 2.3-liter engine, 270 horsepower, and 310-foot pounds of torque. Its tow rating is 7,500 pounds.
There is a great deal of demand for a mid-sized truck, especially with gas mileage averaging up to 21 city and 26 highway. Those big trucks guzzle a lot more gas than a Ranger does. Options include a 4×4 off-road package and Trail Control for driving on trails. To make your off-roading more fun, this truck includes options like a terrain management system. This terrain management system is available in some of the bigger trucks as well. It is very helpful because with this system you can choose these five different terrains you might find on an off-road trip: sand, mud, grass, gravel, or snow.
There are different trim packages you can choose to make your Ranger your own:
- Ford Ranger XL
- Ford Ranger XLT
- Ford Ranger Lariat
For more info see: www.ford.com/trucks/ranger/
The Ford F-150 was first produced in 1948 and is the backbone of the Ford workhorse trucks. Those old 1948 trucks were called the Ford Bonus-Built trucks. These days, almost every industry has at least one in their fleet. Overall, the F-150 is Ford’s best selling model. Again, they have a reputation for dependability and long life.
Before this F-150 truck was built, trucks had previously been built using a car chassis. The F-150 became the first truck to be built on a dedicated truck chassis.
For awhile there was an F-150 “Texas Edition.” It really didn’t have any special working or towing capabilities or any other claim to fame. The only things that made this F-150 a “Texas Edition” were a bunch of chrome details: chrome bar-style grille, chrome front tow-hooks, chrome door handles, and a chrome-plated exhaust tip. So if you are shopping for a used F-150 and the ad says “Texas Edition,” you know it’s only a trim option – it’s not a better truck.
The Ford F-150 is currently in its 12th generation. This truck has high average gas mileage, seats 6 people, and gives you a choice of different engines: V-6, V-8, turbo boost diesel, Ti-VCT and 3 different eco boost models.
In 1997 Ford redesigned the F-150. More truck buyers over the years wanted their trucks to have more carlike aerodynamics and more convenience features. At the same time, fleet owners wanted their F-150 to still be a workhorse. So Ford shifted the design of the F-150 to be different from the larger F-250 and F-350. While the F-150 is still a pickup underneath, and able to be a workhorse, the skin resembles the aerodynamics of a car and the truck itself has more convenience features.
Like it did in the past, Ford developed two different chassis for its truck line. In the past, Ford had been putting their trucks on a car chassis. Then it broke into two chassis: one for cars and one for trucks. At this point, it broke into three chassis: one for cars, one for smaller trucks, one for larger trucks.
These are the trim packages that are available:
- F-150 XL
- F-150 XLT
- F-150 Lariat
- F-150 King Ranch
- F-150 Platinum
- F-150 Limited
- F-150 Raptor
This truck was designed to be an off-road pickup when it was first produced in 2010. It seats 5 and has an incredible 10-speed automatic transmission, 450 horsepower, and 510-foot pounds of torque. It is a very popular vehicle for use off-road.
Available options include the Raptor Technology Package, Trail control, and
Terrain management like the regular F-150.
Besides these uses for the F-150 Raptor, people also love using it for hauling their boat or their RV.
F-250 Super Duty
The F-250 gets 15-20 mpg. This truck can bumper-tow up to 20,000 pounds right off the bat. You can even go up to 22,800 with a fifth-wheel or a gooseneck. Even in its basic version, it can tow 12,800 pounds, so you can see it is a real workhorse. If you are looking for something for work use, but also want to tow your RV on vacation, this truck is for you.
Ford built this truck with work in mind – it has enough space to seat a work crew of 6 people. It has a high strength steel frame, quad-beam head and tail lamps, and a high-strength military-grade aluminum bed and body.
It was actually first produced in 1948 but was called the F2. In 1953 they started calling it the F-250.
It even was listed in Car and Driver’s top trucks for 2019-20.
Options include a 6.7-liter power stroke turbo diesel or a 6.2-liter flex fuel gas V8 engine; trailer reverse, multiple camera angles, collision alert system, and tire pressure monitoring.
You can get any of these different trim packages:
- F-250 XL
- F-250 XLT
- F-250 Lariat
- F-250 King Ranch
- F-250 Limited
Here’s your truck if you need a super towing capacity! Max towing is 35,000 pounds. On top of that, it seats 6 and has 935-foot pounds of torque. Mileage comes in around 11-13 mpg, with a huge 29-gallon gas tank. Options include 2-valve flex-fuel V-8 6.2 liter engine, heavy-duty Torq-shift 10-speed transmission, hands-free tech syncing, gooseneck towing, and snowplow adaption.
The F-350 was first produced in Venezuela as a commercial small truck from 1999 to 2010.
All Ford F-350 trucks have a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy bed and body. It is also available as a crew cab, extended cab, or regular cab. Another modification that is available is the dump truck option for the bed.
- F-350 XL
- F-350 XLT
- F-350 Lariat
- F-350 King Ranch
- F-350 Limited
The F-450 is your Super heavy-duty pickup truck – the Super Duty. It seats 6, has a 6.7-liter power stroke turbo diesel engine, heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission, and can tow up to 21,000 pounds. Other options include the 4×4 off-road package, heavy-duty front suspension, and the snowplow package.
The F-450 was first introduced in 1998. These super duty trucks have a totally different chassis from the lighter-weight trucks. In order to handle a higher payload and have a higher towing capacity, the truck needed a heavier-duty chassis and suspension components. In addition, the Ford Excursion full-size SUV uses the same base chassis as this truck.
The super duty trucks came out with three different cab options. They had the regular 2-door standard option, the 2+2 door Super Cab, and finally the 4-door crew cab. The standard cab had an 8-foot bed, but the Super Cab and the crew cabs were produced with a 6 ¾ -footbed. You could order the bigger bed on the Super Cab and on the crew cab if you needed them.
F-450 trucks are assembled in Kentucky. 2 wheel drive is standard; 4 wheel drive is an option. When the 2005 trucks rolled off the assembly line, they sported exterior and interior updates. Notable was a new locking tailgate for all pickup trucks. Engine updates included Triton gasoline engines which gave the truck higher engine output. The engine also has larger alternators.
On the interior, the demand for more convenience prompted Ford to add a driver-side glove compartment. For people who are running a business, Ford also installed dashboard-mounted auxiliary switches. This makes it much easier for people who use the truck to run their snowplow, or their winches, or their auxiliary lights. The F-450 even boasts 10 bolts per wheel and larger brake diameters.
Car and Driver rates this truck at 13 mpg city and 16 mpg highway. Gas use is something to keep in mind when you are setting your budget. It definitely doesn’t get the mileage that a Ranger gets. But what do you need? Cheaper gas or heavier weight to handle your heavy weight jobs? The way it is built, it is the super truck of towing.
The F-450 can be purchased with any of the following trim packages:
- F-450 XL
- F-450 XLT
- F-450 Lariat
- F-450 King Ranch
- F-450 Limited
So there you have it! Six different kinds of Ford pickup trucks that can meet your every desire from small and sporty up to big and hefty. Which one can you afford? Which one meets your needs? Do you want the mid-weight Ranger? Or do you need to go all the way up to an F-450? Highlight the options that are important to you. Then you can tell what truck you should think about buying.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.