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Ford F-150 Raptor Off Road Truck Delivers

Normally a full-size truck doesn’t have the pizazz to power you through any off-road situation, plus the bells and whistles to match. The Ford F-150 Raptor pick up truck puts that matter to rest, delivering jaw-dropping looks and torque to spare. Farmers in Colleton County dealt with 11-inches of rainfall during the month of August, but a small window of good weather before Hurricane Irma’s approach allowed them to gather crops like hay and corn. Shuttling personnel back and forth between fields is an ongoing chore, and the Raptor 4X4 Supercrew won’t let wet field conditions keep farmers bogged down.Normally a full-size truck doesn’t have the pizazz to power you through any off-road situation, plus the bells and whistles to match. The Ford F-150 Raptor pick up truck puts that matter to rest, delivering jaw-dropping looks and torque to spare. Farmers in Colleton County dealt with 11-inches of rainfall during the month of August, but a small window of good weather before Hurricane Irma’s approach allowed them to gather crops like hay and corn. Shuttling personnel back and forth between fields is an ongoing chore, and the Raptor 4X4 Supercrew won’t let wet field conditions keep farmers bogged down.The week of September 4 began with the death of a cow for unknown reasons out in the middle of a 31-acre pasture that was too wet to drive in. Even though the F-150 Raptor could get you out to there in the pasture and back, its never prudent to create deep ruts in land that you prefer to stay flat and navigable for the future. The end of the week involved harvesting cornfields in order to bank the shelled corn into grain silos before the potential of tropical rains from Hurricane Irma. Harvesting the corn crop had a renewed urgency this year, after Hurricane Matthew blew many cornfields down to the ground in 2016.

Looking under the hood on the Ford F-150 Raptor you find a twin-turbo, intercooled 24-valve, 3.5-liter V-6 ecoboost engine with 10-speeds automatic. The fuel economy for this full-size truck is listed at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mph on the highway. The base model price for the Ford F-150 Raptor is $51,300 but the performance version that I crisscrossed the county in lists for $65,965. The 145-inche wheelbase, the off-road FOX racing shocks and the Raptor technology package make it able to handle anything from the mud and clay in the Southeast, or even the sands of the Baha dessert.

Looking at the Ford F-150 Raptor head on, one sees a unique grill with FORD block letters, marker lights, and even a camera. Front end skid plates, LED headlamps and 17-inch large tires with ample tread and also come into view. Stepping just to the side to see the wide aluminum running boards that are essential to climbing into this tall truck. The auto-retracting rear view mirrors are important when navigating tight spots and when sitting idle in parking spaces. Keyless door entry includes the door unlocking itself when you approach with the key in your pocket.

Knocking around on the farm is one thing, but how about the level of comfort when cruising on the paved road heading in and out of town. The get up and go on the F-150 Raptor translates to going 0 to 60 in just over 5-seconds. If you need to get up to speed quickly on I-95, then just press the pedal down and marvel as the turbo kicks in and the engine sound deepens. But the truck doesn’t shake, or drive any less smoothe when you engage the throttle, unlike my 4-stroke weed eater that sends vibrations resonating through my torso when I bring it up to speed. Yes, the Raptor is good to go on the road and performance monitoring options are easily viewed on the digital dashboard.Hot weather doesn’t bother the Raptor and it offers a couple of differing ways to keep the air moving throughout the supercrew cab. Start by opening the twin panel moonroof, and then watch with delight as the sliding rear window now opens electronically. That’s right, just flip the switch conveniently located above the rear view mirror and forget about the days of having to reach around backwards to ventilate when the weather permits. It doesn’t hurt that the Raptor’s A/C package comes with special seats that circulate air, and you choose if you want it to be cool air or warm air. From the leather interior to the multi-position seat controls, there is no reason not to be very comfortable when inside the Raptor.

Some helpful features that I noticed while driving the Raptor are the forward-collision alert light on the dash, back-up camera, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree virtual camera system. Getting to know the turning radius for this large truck takes a bit of time, but after learning to gauge the four corners of the Raptor I found making turns and changing lanes in traffic to be no reason to worry. Getting the Raptor into open rural space is surely the way to go in order to enjoy all that this truck can deliver, so it fits very well for those that don’t always drive within the lines of city life. Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (300 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com