Shopping for a used truck can be a little more complicated than buying a used car or SUV due to the number of different cab styles, bed sizes, and fuel combinations available. The number of combinations increases even more when you shop for a Super Duty truck with the option to add dual rear wheels. But with dozens of different ways to configure a Ford truck, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find something that checks all the boxes on any truck’s wish list.
Tips for buying a used Ford truck
Choose the right cab and bed size
Regular cabin The two-door cab comfortably sleeps two but can accommodate three passengers if you don’t mind being enclosed. The most important advantage of choosing a regular cab truck is the increased payload capacity – over 10% depending on the cab and bed combination. The regular cab F-150 has a maximum payload capacity of over 3,300 pounds, while the SuperCrew F-150 has a maximum payload capacity of 2,900 pounds.
supercab The four-door cab features two regular doors and two smaller doors with reverse hinges. The SuperCab seats up to six passengers and can be combined with any of three Ford bed sizes. SuperCab is an excellent compromise when it comes to combining passenger comfort and job site ease of use.
supercro – Provides maximum comfort for passengers thanks to a larger cabin and four regular doors for added comfort. The SuperCrew’s extra cabin space comes at the expense of cargo capacity since an 8-foot-long bed isn’t an option on the F-150. However, Ford Super Duty trucks can be equipped with a SuperCrew cab and 8-foot bed.
Ford truck bed
5 foot bed The 5-foot bed is only available on models equipped with a SuperCrew cab and is the only option for the Ford Raptor. The shorter beds allow for more fluid off-road handling and better maneuverability around town for everyday driving.
6 foot bed The 6-foot-tall bed is Goldilocks, which provides ample storage for larger items without sacrificing maneuverability. The 6-foot bed is available in all truck cab sizes and should meet all of your most demanding transportation needs.
8-foot bed The 8-foot-high bed is the merchant’s choice, thanks to the bed’s increased loading capacity. An increased bed length can be especially useful when hauling lumber since the standard length for poles and plywood is 8 feet. Also, the longer bed length helps improve maximum payload capacity as more weight can be placed in front of the rear axle rather than directly above or behind it.
Choosing the right type of fuel
gasoline The most readily available fuel is gasoline. It is a better choice for drivers who make a lot of short trips or who do not need to carry very heavy loads. A gas engine is usually cheaper than a diesel engine and requires less expensive maintenance. Many drivers will get the most benefits from buying a truck with a gasoline engine.
diesel – More energy intensive than gasoline, and will provide, on average, a 20% increase in fuel economy. Diesel engines produce more torque at lower rpm, which results in less engine wear because the engine is spinning fewer times per minute. The increased torque allows the diesel engine to move heavy loads without suffering as significant a reduction in fuel efficiency as a gas engine would need to operate at a higher rev to achieve the same power output.
hybrid Hybrid vehicles use a mixture of gasoline and electricity to generate power. By using regenerative braking, hybrid trucks can also recharge the battery when going downhill. The additional power gained when braking is one way a hybrid vehicle can improve fuel economy.
Electrician The newest and most environmentally friendly type of fuel is electric fuel. Electric motors provide instant torque starting at 0 rpm, while diesel and gasoline engines need to reach anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm before peak torque is generated. For now, only light trucks like the new F-150 Lightning are equipped with electric motors, so we’ll have to wait and see the full towing capabilities that electric can provide. Electric motors may not be suitable for long-distance towing because the recharging time is much longer than refueling an internal combustion engine.
Choose the right model
Knowing beforehand the cab style, bed size, and fuel type you prefer will help make it much easier to select the right Ford truck model for you. For example, Ford currently makes only one electric truck model — the F-150 Lightning — and only one bed and one cab assembly is available. Another option that would limit the number of Ford trucks that might be suitable is the need for a SuperCrew cab with an 8-foot bed. Only Super Duty models can be equipped with the largest cab and bed combinations and feature a massive 176-inch wheelbase.
Ford Truck Model Dimensions
used vs. approved
Although certified and pre-owned Ford trucks offer greater peace of mind thanks to a manufacturer’s warranty, it may not always be an option to purchase a CPO truck. Let’s say you’re in the market for an old Ford truck like the first generation Raptor. In this case, purchasing a used Ford may be the only option because these trucks will not usually meet the maximum age requirements for the Ford Blue Advantage program. However, a lot of other Ford trucks will qualify for the CPO program. Ford trucks must be less than 10 years old and have less than 120,000 miles to be Blue Certified. By comparison, Gold Certified Ford Trucks can only exceed 80,000 miles and 6 years of age.
Buying a used one will be less expensive in many cases, but there is a higher chance of unexpected repairs due to the lack of a thorough vehicle inspection you get when buying a CPO truck. When buying a used truck, it is important to be aware of common problems and to have a pre-purchase inspection done by a trustworthy mechanic if possible.