Tough As Nails, An F-250 Built For Work

tough as nails

Tough as nails, beautiful, and dare we say luxurious, this truck is designed to provide the best of all worlds. For many of us, our trucks are all about performance, whether it’s blazing through the desert, crawling up a boulder strewn trail, or blasting through the mud, we use our trucks for fun. For others, a truck is a tool; it needs to do work. Such is the case with this 2015 Ford F-250.

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The owner is a contractor in the Northeast, and needs to transport tools and supplies to the job site, no matter what the conditions are; hence the four-wheel drive. Of course, if he decides to tow a boat to the lake or haul camping gear to his favorite spot on the weekends, he can do that, too. The truck was built for durability and function, but it’s no slouch in the looks department either. An hour before it left for the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas, we had a chance to grab some photos.

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When you are building a home, it’s important to start with a solid foundation. Finishlinewest, the truck’s builder, started with one of the best; a 2015 Ford F-250 4×4 crew cab XLT. The 156-inch wheelbase, styleside pickup is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 gas engine with electronic fuel injection, and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

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The big Ford is loaded with options straight from the factory; an electronic locking axle with 3:73 gears, the FX4 off-road and camper packages, skid plates, hill start assist, 12,500-lb. trailer hitch, powerscope tow mirrors, trailer brakes, manual locking hubs, and much more. As beautiful as it is subtle, when the sun hits the truck just right, the multi-colored metal flake in the tuxedo black metallic paint lights up in a rainbow of hues.

Upgrades to the truck were carefully chosen by Finishlinewest to enhance it further. Everything needed to negotiate unmaintained roads, seasonal snow storms, and muddy job sites safely and comfortably, has been addressed. It was on display at the B&M/Flowmaster display at SEMA Ignited, but the truck was not built for shows. It will get seriously flogged and used in harsh environments when needed.

The front of the truck looks imposing. The Addictive Desert Designs Honey Badger front bumper offers substantial protection, and a pair of locking storage boxes. It includes provisions for D-rings and a winch, if desired.

It has a couple of features that work with the KC HiLites LED’s to really stand out; the Honey Badger claw marks are lit up by an amber LED bar, and the holes in the vertical supports that look just like the LED bulbs when the KC’s are on.

The built-in compartments on both sides and center skid plate were covered in teak, woodgrain vinyl by Finishlinewest to match the graphics on the sides of the truck. Mounted to the crossbar on the bumper is a red, white, and blue, Hi-Lift Patriot Jack.

The jack can be used to jack the truck or as a hand winch. The best part is, Hi-Lift will donate a portion of its proceeds for every Patriot Jack sold to benefit the charity, Hope for the Warriors.

The matte black Ford logo on the grill was provided by Defender Works. The AVS hood shield above the grill shell provides protection from bugs, dirt and debris, and follows the front profile of the truck perfectly.

Under the hood, it’s all factory stock, except for the additional intake filtering provided by a K&N million-mile filter. The truck will see plenty of dirt roads, so it’s good to know that the engine will be protected.

Spent gasses flow through a Flowmaster cat-back exhaust system. The Flowmaster exhaust is less restrictive; freeing up some horsepower and giving the truck a nice throaty rumble as well. The beautiful noise exits from brushed stainless exhaust tips that terminate behind the rear wheels on both sides of the truck.

Bestop Power Boards are illuminated by LED lights make getting in and out a piece of cake. The full-length boards assist both front and rear seat passengers while having a non-slip, powder-coated surface. They have a 600-pound load capacity and when not in use, they tuck up tight to the body; you don’t even know they’re there.

Moving inside, the Wet Okole seat covers were customized with Finishlinewest logos. Rear seat passengers get the same comfortable and stylish seat covers as the front occupants. Wet Okole uses cloth covered neoprene rubber that makes their covers durable and waterproof.

You have a wide range of choices when it comes to colors. They offer Hawaiian floral prints, Realtree camo, leopard, and the carbon fiber print that Finishlinewest chose for the piping. They won’t get hot in the summer or cold in the winter, and add another layer of padding that feels great.

Husky Liner, X-act Contour floor mats are the perfect companion to the Wet Okole seat covers. They will further protect the interior from dirt, mud, snow and spills. They are laser measured to fit the floor contours perfectly, while Guaranteed for life, the Husky Liner floor mats are made in the U.S.A.

Lund, Vent Visors and window tinting protect the occupants from sun, rain, and snow. The Vent Visors are simple to install, allow ventilation and protection, even in inclement weather, and look great on the truck.

The 18-inch Black Rhino, Tanay wheels are brand new for 2016. The highly exclusive finish, combining a matte black barrel with a bronze tint spoke array that glows in the sun, sets off the design perfectly. The wheels perfectly compliment the 35×12.5R18 Nitto Exo Grappler AWT tires that were mounted and balanced by Discount Tire. The Nittos will provide needed traction in the snow, mud, and ice, the truck will see.

The Daystar Scorpion shocks, Hellwig air springs, and Hellwig, heavy duty sway bars, really transform the trucks handling, providing incredible stability without adding harshness. Up front, a Daystar leveling kit provides lift while preserving the factory ride quality.

The truck rides level in the rear thanks to the Hellwig air bags. Finishlinewest fabricated an aluminum mounting plate that attaches to the trailer plug mount for the Hellwig air bags’ Schrader valves. The valves are protected from damage, but easily accessible.

The Hellwig Air Springs offer longer suspension travel, ease of adjustment, simple installation and years of heavy-duty load control. Just bump up the air pressure when you load the truck with extra tools or materials. Bushwacker fender flares give the truck an aggressive look and keep mud and rocks off the paint job.

The finish quality on the ARE shell can be seen by the reflection on the side and rear door. The shell is a DCU model (Deluxe Commercial Unit), that has been color-matched to the Ford’s tuxedo black metallic paint. Toys for Trucks in Hesperia, California installed it and also coated the roof rack with Rhino Lining in their on-site spray booth. The black Rhino Lining is a better looking match to our truck than the supplied raw aluminum, and adds protection from heavy use and tough weather conditions.

Fully buttoned up, the ARE shell offers lockable storage for tools and supplies. When the gas strut assisted doors open, the versatility and capacity becomes much more apparent. The side doors allow access to cavernous storage compartments on both sides of the shell.

The compartments can be modified with shelves or storage containers; the options are endless. KC HiLites Cyclone LEDs were mounted in the storage compartments on both sides, the main bed area, and inside the truck’s fenderwells.

The 2-inch diameter, die-cast aluminum housings mount with a single bolt through the center. They come with clear, diffused, amber, or red colored lenses and have a 50,000 hour life.

The full-height rear doors open to a Truck Vault storage box with a Bedslide mounted on top. The Bedslide is still going strong after being re-purposed from a Ford Raptor built two years ago. It has a 1,500 pound load capacity, and gives easy access to anything placed inside the shell without having to climb inside.

The Bedslide locks into multiple positions and pulls out effortlessly on roller bearings once the bright red lever is released. The Truck Vault has two, lockable, sliding drawers for storage. They are padded and lined and can be customized with dividers and cut-outs in countless ways.

With all manner of gear or toys stowed safely and well organized in a fully capable rig, the truck’s owner can concentrate on getting the job done or having fun, whichever is the case. What is your favorite part of this show quality dependable work truck? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Mike Ingalsbee

For more than two decades, Mike Ingalsbee has worked as an automotive writer and photographer and covered just about everything that burns fuel or throws dirt. His writing and photography has been published in over 20 magazine titles and websites in North America, Europe and Australia. He has worked as a design engineer for several manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket and is a founding member of the Association of Motorsports Media Professionals, (AMMP), an organization that consults with racing sanctioning bodies on safety and media issues.
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