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The Mercury Cars Guide : August 7th 2010
18--- Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au Saturday, August 7, 2010 BIG TOYS Ford F350 When enough ute just isn't enough Supersize me as Ford's F-Trucks hit town. NEIL DOWLING reports WORK WHEELS I T'S like Gulliver sweeping his feet through a forest, the tiny trees dismissed and cast aside as the giant marches on. The Ford F350 --- all chrome grille and thunder --- commands all before it and clearly isn't to be messed with on the freeway. Or shopping centre carpark. It used to be a feeling beloved by certain types who bought 4WDs. To have clear view across traffic and feel protected from collisions, they said. To feel dominant and in charge and have the ability to change lanes without indicating and to hell with everyone else beneath you, they thought. The problem is that everyone started driving SUVs. Suddenly the road ahead was blocked by the sight of hundreds of SUVs. Traffic ahead was once again obscured by other road users. Not any more. Fork out a couple of shillings less than $155,000 and the road's yours again. Or, if you're not into that trip, it's enough to buy the incomparable strength of a five-seater ute that will take 1.6-tonnes in the tray and tow up to 5.2 tonnes. Tradies will love this Tonka toy for big kids because aside from the hauling capacity, it's loaded with mod-cons and has enough sheetmetal on the flanks to wear their business name in really big letters. Yes, it's big. Scary big to some. Intimidation is spelt with an F350. But get used to swinging the leg up to the rubber-striped side step, confidently reaching for the grab handle atop the windscreen pillar, and you enter a cabin that is leather lined and wood-trimmed, chrome-edged and as spacious as a bedroom. The biggest surprise is just how easy this ute --- the runt of the Sterling truck litter --- is to drive and how the controls fall readily to hand. Not necessarily the hand you expect, but to hand nevertheless. For example, the gearshift lever that connects drive from the 6.4-litre twin- turbo V8 diesel to the five-speed automatic transmission is on the right side of the steering wheel. The rotary dial for selecting drive - 2WD, 4WD High and 4WD Low - is off to the left, alongside the cavernous glove box. They are small signs that this was originally a left-hand drive US of A-bred machine. The F350, along with a few other F-Trucks from the F250 to F450, is imported with the steering wheel on the wrong side and then converted by extensive engineering and clever cabin work they arrive in Melbourne brand new and are immediately pulled apart. The dashboard gets junked and a new right-hand drive version installed. Other components, such as the steering system, are also replaced. The result is a vehicle that assumes all the poise and character of a machine that was originally engineered as a right-hand drive. It sits confidently on the road because of its steering and suspension alterations and because it's 2m high and 2m wide and weighs 3.6 tonnes. And the wonder of it all, from the eyrie-like cabin, is that once you accustom yourself to the ballroom-like dimensions behind you, it is as easy to drive as a Falcon. There's no mistaking the diesel growl at idle but click the column shift gear lever into Drive and it settles into a lazy, muted rumble. Maximum torque hits at 2000rpm so there's no need to keep prodding the accelerator. Freeway cruising is an easy 100km/ h at 1700rpm with plenty left to squirt past slower traffic. It becomes so confident that, for a moment, you forget what you're driving. I easily slid into a roadside park bay and nonchalantly eased my age from the cabin. I thought I did a pretty good job until I saw that the ute was hanging over the end of the bay's white painted perimeter by a good 2m. Nothing in the street could accommodate the F350, so I set off in search of an unmarked section of street. More caution was exercised in the dirt. The 4WD writing on the flanks of the ute indicated this has potential in the dirt but I was only about 2km into a dirt route when fear drew over me like a cold blanket. Iwasbymyself.Iwasina4WDarea but it was mid-week and I was alone. The ute was starting to find difficulty and I was already in low range. And I figured that it would take about six days and a couple of heart attacks for me to dig out this 3.6-tonne thing if it sank. So I carefully reversed out. Back on the bitumen the ute continued to surprise. The agility of the F350 isn't expected. Neither is the comfort and quietness of the cabin. The Lariat model tested gets full leather upholstery and wood garnish. It seats five adults with all the room any rear passenger could want. That back seat also folds up and a steel panel beneath becomes a cargo floor for storing stuff that needs the security of the cabin. This is the top-spec F350 and standard features include electric telescopic and folding side mirrors for towing, 6-disc CD audio, rear sliding window, electric front seats with heating, dual-zone airconditioning, cruise control, rear camera (screen in mirror) and a sunroof. There's also a trailer-brake controller to keep in check the 5.7 tonnes of mass you're hooked up to. Out back the bed has handy fold- out plastic railings --- called a bed extender but more like fences --- to either extend the cargo area over the opened tailgate or reversed to create a smaller, safer area to store goods. And to get up onto the tray, the tailgate contains a slip-out, extendable step and a hand rail that locks into position. There, you're done now. small torque Ford F350 Lariat Price: $154,990 Engine: 6.4-litre, V8, twin-turbo-diesel Power: 261kW @ 3000rpm Torque: 885Nm @ 2000rpm Fuel: Diesel Fuel tank: 143 litres Economy (tested): 19 litres/100km Transmission: 5-speed automatic; part-time 4WD; 2-speed electric transfer case Brakes: 4-wheel vented discs, ABS, EBD, traction conrol Suspension: Front --- Live axle, coils; Rear --- live axle, leaf springs, staggered shocks Tow (max): 5200kg Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km Service: 15,000km 85/100 Trucks, Commercial Vehicles Ford F250 ex ambo '91 5.8 ltr V8 inj auto, new trim, lined in rear, dual fuel, 300ltr gas, dual batt/alternators, 240V fitted, suit camper or fisherman, great towing capacity.(3,000 kg). $7,950. 0439 733 531 1HINO FLAT TRAY, 89, 9 spd, 7m tray, Palfinger, $15,000. Ph 0418 540 314 0 HINO GH TIPPER 2001 16 tonne GVM, 142K, exc cond, $75,000. 0412 200 768. 0 ISUZU SBR422 TIP TRUCK GVW 9,000kg. Drop sides very good for age. $15,000. Ph 0418 130 756 0 ISUZU 200 SHORT 96 f/tray, 4.5 tonne GVW white truck, 276 KMS, Hobart area $16,500 ono. Ph 0424 454 309. 1 ISUZU 300 3T TIPPER 88, 170kms, recent RWC , good cond, reliable, $12,500. Ph 6254 1250 or 0409 863 405. 0 KENWORTH K100E C15 Cat, 18 spd, good cond, $49,500 inc GST. 0407 874500 1 MITS CANTER 1976 Mech A1, good tyres, no reg, $1,500 ono. Ph 0413 684 669 1 When it comes to comfort and support, no other Japanese truck comes close to an Isuzu F Series because no other Japanese truck has the ISRI 6860 air suspension seat as standard. It's infinitely adjustable, absolutely comfortable and indisputably the king of driver's seats. From the luxury of this seat you can enjoy the refinement and quiet of the F Series cab throughout your busy working day. See your Isuzu dealer and try out the fabulously comfy F Series for yourself. For more information visit www.isuzu.com.au ISUZU F SERIES WITH ISRI AIR SUSPENSION SEAT. IT PUTS THE 'F' IN COMFORT. ISRI seat - Premium offering is standard in F Series. F Series - Choose from over 40 models. TIC: Isuzu is a member of the Truck Industry Council - Safer Greener Essential. F•S•A/ISZ6755 MITSUBISHI FV418 and Trailer, 1987, 320hp, with s/axle trailer poppy work included. All enquiries to: OneCallTrucks.com.au PH 0418 143 442 0 MITSUBISHI 260HP Tipping tray, set up for trailer, $22,000 OneCallTrucks.com.au PH 0418 143 442 0 MITSUBISHI CANTER 511 1998. GVW 3,500kg (drive on car license). 11' drop side flat tray. $15,000. Ph 0418 130756 0 TIPPER Mitsubishi Canter 1989, $6,800 ono. 0408 514 730. To Advertise Your Business Here Call 62 300 500 or email email@example.com 2 TOYOTA DYNA 1989 3.4 Ltr diesel, 5 spd man, 6.6 tonne GVM, 6/11 reg, $4,500 ono Ph 0408 125 762. 0 TOYOTA DYNA 300 1991 Dual cab tipper - drop sides. $8,000. Ph 0418 130 756 0 VOLVO F12 1989 10yd tipper, new tray, nice clean truck, $55,000. Ph 0418 130 756 0 MORE VEHICLES! There are more cars in CARSguide Extra. To find them, look in the index of today's classifieds. DEADLINE FOR CARSGUIDE 8PM THURSDAY 1THE classifieds can work for you. If you're buying, selling, or announcing, just phone 62 300 400. 0 BE BOLD Take action and use The Mer- cury Classifieds Bold Header Type featured at the top of this advertisement. This attention getting type is available through The Mercury Phone Ad Service now. Phone 62 300 400 and make Bold type work for you! 1
July 31st 2010
August 14th 2010