My Pickup: 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty

Caudill SD 7 II

By Mike Caudill
Driven PR President/CEO

The year 2013 was interesting for me. I can't tell you the exact day, week or time of year that I made this decision, but at some point I decided I wanted to go back to my roots and buy a pickup truck. Having spent 12 years in sedans navigating the concrete jungles of Los Angeles, I simply felt the urge to own a truck. With two kids, a dog, a travel trailer and a boat, our Chevy Tahoe people-mover simply wasn't cutting it. I needed more.

Fast forward to today. I can tell you, without question, the single best vehicle purchase I have made is my 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty. Before deciding on the F-250, I polled my friends and family on their favorite trucks. Their suggestions were all over the map, but what I needed was a utilitarian daily driver. I wanted to be able to throw stuff in the back, tow without issue and take it off-road occasionally. So, when it came time to buy, there were two that kept bubbling up in front of me. I was on the fence between the Ford F-250 and the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. They both looked strong and from a towing capacity were just about equal, but what tipped it for me was that the interior of the F-250. It really blew me away. The Lariat trim is incredible, and at times you forget you are in a pickup. Overall, the F-250 simply felt more like me.

I use this truck daily to travel to and from the office, but when the weekend hits this truck truly goes to work. The pulling capacity and off-road capabilities are what makes this truck awesome. Our trailer weighs roughly 9,000 pounds when fully loaded, and we mainly do two-week family trips into the mountains. With the truck's 6.7-liter Power Stroke, I sometimes forget we are even pulling a trailer because the motor is so powerful.

Although I bought the truck stock, and it literally did everything I asked it to do, it didn't really look aggressive enough for me in its stock form. So I made some "performance" modifications to personalize it and to give it better climbing capabilities off-road. I appreciate this, as it's no longer a "city truck." On weekends during the winter months, we take this truck out to the desert and either do rock crawling or all-out Baja-style desert cruising. The kids and family love it. You don't realize how much a few modifications will change a truck's personality until you take it out for a run.

Not to get too technical, but having the Carli Suspension setup does greatly improve the off-road handling. It was a hard choice as to which system to go with, but I'm happy with the results. I also wanted bigger tires, so 37-inchers were the right choice; but combine the bigger rubber with the heavier suspension and you do need to be aware that your mileage will drop. However, off-road the Toyo Open Country M/Ts grip better than any other tire I have had before and they look sharp.

I won't be doing any further modifications on the truck in the near future but I will say this: We're keeping the stock wheels and tires in the garage for those long travel trips with the family to save some money at the pump. I love my 37s for off-road performance, but I need to be practical too. Thankfully, my truck lets me do that.


Caudill SD 3 II

Caudill SD 4 II

Caudill SD 6 II




Sharp truck!! You made the right choice that's for sure!

I would buy the same truck for your purpose. RAM 2500 would be overkill for this. Ford is cheaper as well.

Nice truck. Powerful and strong. But why? Why you had to choose one in white color.

What's wrong with white? Its a very functional color that doesn't show scratches like black does! And it also shows what you do with your truck better.

Y is was ForD truck be a cheep!! hahah..,,, Not smart in trust Ford truck and family need to be smart and buy Cheyv!!!!

Wow nice setup, but I agree that a truck can only look so good in white. I'd rather have a black truck that shows scratches and looks dirty than the boring white that everyone has. I'll never understand why so many people choose white because it looks cleaner. To me a dusty scratched up colorful truck looks better than a white truck any day.

I have to laugh at you clowns arguing over color choice. Color is a personal preference, just as the brand of the truck is. Mike bought this truck for himself, not for your stupid ass. Get a life!

Wow hemi blah. Someone expresses their opinion on the color and you have to insult them by calling them a stupid ass? What is wrong with you?

@Mark williams
How about a little moderation of the comments?^^^^
Isn't that something you said you were going to do?

Haha, as if Mark cares! I come to this site every day and see you kids make a mockery out of every article Mark posts. Arguing over every little petty thing and spewing crap about every other brand but the one you people choose. And you want a little moderation? What a joke.

By the way Beebe, i'm not singling you out. It's the vast majority of immature posters who frequent this site. At least the Aussies try to keep it sane.

Nice truck but very expensive!

Wrong choice for sure!!! A half ton GM truck would pull a Cougar travel trailer with ease. But then again, if you want a Ford truck you would have to jump to a Super Duty. More truck then you need unless you want a Ford.

@hemi blah
I am tempted to insult you, but I'll try my best to be civil.I don't think there was anything wrong with the comments until you posted. What's wrong with a few people saying they prefer one color over another? Fine if you disagree, but I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from referring to us as "kids" "stupid asses" and "clowns" that need to "get a life" simply because you disagree. We weren't making a big deal out of the color choice, some of us just thought it was worth mentioning. The way you responded it's like we insulted your mother or something? Why do you have to come back with such derogatory comments over something so petty?

Good lookin truck. FYI spend the money and regear for the larger tires. Yeah you will still loose some milage. But it's better overall for the truck.

If it were me, I would of just went for a Ram Power Wagon instead, but there's certainly nothing wrong with him going for the F250. I just can't stand the way the headlights and grill look on that truck.

What i meant was that WHITE shows what you do better! My black GMC shows little dirt while my white Ram has a $#!* load of scratches that buff right off with the mud.

Ugly should of found a 2006 and under super turd

1st picture looks pretty low in the back end, I thought Super Dutys would handle the weight good?

Anyway, my black truck showed alot of dust, white shows alot. Maybe I'll get tan or grey next?

Nice truck, but white?? Actually white is the best colour for off roading, as the scratches aren't a punctuated as a darker colour. Mica silver is the best colour to hide dirt, etc.

I like the lift kit, sensible, not an over done small member one.

I like the SD Fords. We had a 2WD SD a couple of years ago and it was a fun drive.

The diesel is fantastic and delivers an enormous amount of torque.

The problem was parking it! What a pain in the a$$. At BassPro we had to park miles away. You would think the target customer at BassPro would drive a larger vehicle and the parking lot would be constructed to suit it's intended Redneck audience.

When we went up into the mountains outside of Vegas and it just 'idled' around.

I am not a fan of white because I see 4-5 months of it. The biggest reason why I don't like white is it is the preferred colour of fleets in my region. The rental I had was white and the colour actually started to grow on me.

Colour is highly subjective.

@Beebe - best to try to ignore the trolls.

I like white, it is cooler in the summer and looks classy.

The OP got what he needed and wanted; the truck is a perfect fit for him. I would have chosen something different, but that's because my needs and desires are significantly different. I say let people have what they want and stop telling they can't have it just because you don't like it.

You know who I'm talking about.

That pickup and Keystone Cougar RV look fantastic! For me it would be a tough choice between the F250 and Ram HD.

Thank God Miath, Johnny Doe or Michigan Bob or who ever you are and don't let me forget Greg, all of you seem to show the same education levels. I thank the good Lord that all of you are grouped together. Mark never ever even considered a gm product. What does that tell you?? Go get you some help and ween yourself off the gm Koolaid.

I personally will never own a black or a white vehicle again, and i've had at least a couple of both. Silver is probably the best color for hiding dirt. Regardless, that's a very nice rig you have there Mike Caudill.

Haha... rockcrawling and baja cruising in a diesel 3.4 ton, got a good laugh out of that. Nothing like someone who wants offroad ability so they go out and buy an 8000 lbs 22ft long 7 ft wide road whale with a 1000lbs block of iron stuck out front. That gets me pretty good. What a joke this guy.

devilsadvocate- I notice he mentioned "occasional off roading" after stating it would be a daily driver and tow vehicle for his 9000lb TT. If a 3/4 pickup is a bad choice for accomplishing those tasks, what's a good one?

@DA - How's it a joke? If it does what he needs it to do, which obviously it does, then what difference does it make to you? He didn't say the primary purpose was to go rock crawling, nor did he state that he wants to go rock crawling with his RV. I'm sure you have a better setup though.

Great looking truck. For what it is worth you made the right choice. The Ram has a weaker front end.

I also own a 2013 Superduty, over a year and zero issues. Congrats with your new truck.

Ford and Ram Heavy duties are for Men ,,,,,All GM products and 1/2 tons are for city boys. and Grandpa's.... ..That's the bottom line, Where I live Ram is cheaper than Ford .. so I am going with Ram.

Saying 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks are not for going off road is pretty dumb, when most of these vehicles in fleets go off road. the Forest service and BLM use these type of trucks extensivly, and while they might not be as fast as a raptor or Taco they will still sucessfully navigate almost any road in North America in stock form might get some scrathces from the brush and what not. addtioanly These type of trucks are used in oil exploration and survey opperations througout the western US I've seen HDs from the big three out in the boonies on some technical trails do just fine. If you say that a HD truck is too big for a trail, then its probably not a place that you are alowed to operate a vehicle. Granted there are still some trails that are too big for anything larger than a jeep but those are few and far between.

@Carilloskis - +3. Bang on assessment.
ONLY play off-roaders would make those kinds of comments. I see the same thing. The back country around my home if full of HD's. It is rare to see a LD pickup in the forestry, mining, ranching, guide/trapping industry. 1/2 tons do not survive well and do not have the capacity.
My brother always requests a HD crewcab from the company fleet and gets one assigned to him only. UTV's, quads and snowmobiles are what are used on tight trails and anything tighter means walking or snowshoeing. Helicopters are used for the rest.

This fellow and his F250 mirror's what I see in my home town. Anyone towing around the 10k mark step up to HD's. Even though a 1/2 ton can tow 9k, once you add anything into the pickup you are getting close to exceeding the gross combined weight limits.

Just don't use it for extreme rockrawling or offroading and you'll be safe.

Otherwise buy a RAM 2500.

I have a hard time believing he's putting the stock wheels/tires back on it on certain trips to save on gas. With the setup he currently has, the stock wheel/tires would look ridiculous (too small) on it. The lift and the 37's are for appearance because where that truck goes, it could probably be done with the stock setup. And, I'm sure after the warranty expires, he's going to put a programmer on it to gain even more power. I see it all the time around here. Huge lifted diesel PU's driving around like they're Formula 1 drivers.

The rationalization of using it on the weekends doesn't take away from the fact that it's basically a big commuter vehicle the rest of the time and probably solo driven most of the time as well. And, if the wife ever needs to use it, she and the two kids will be "safe" and "protected" even though it's at the expense of the poor schmuck who's driving a midsize sedan to remain practical and save on gas.

Wow, I had no idea there would be this many comments to my post. Really cool and thanks to everyone for commenting. There have been some great posts and some questions along the way. First, Mark - thanks for posting my story.

For the pros! - Thanks for the kudos, I just returned yesterday from yet another trip out to the desert. After having black trucks for years, I switched to white to show less dirt and more importantly, to keep Jonny Law from staring me down. It's a personal choice.

For those that question my use and why? For the baja, rock crawling folks, I agree with you actually. That's not why I decided to add the suspension components though. I simply didn't want it stock and my belief is that if you are going to spend 50-60K on a truck, don't put cheap entry level stuff on it. Spend a little more and put something that is higher quality. I don't really rock crawl with it. I load my guns and toys in the back and run mainly the washes in it at high speed and run the mountain tops where I can for fun. I mainly use my truck for towing and will switch out the 37's this summer for a few month to get my MPG back.

Really enjoying reading these posts...and for the "con" guys, I will leave you with this...even my buddies like to play around with me on the truck...they have officially named it the Mall Security Truck, meant for the big speed pumps while patrolling ;)

To "the real Mike" - Thought I would post on your comment. I will absolutely chance out my tires and wheels and it won't look ridiculous. The stock wheels are 20 inch, just like what I have now and the ride height of that tire puts it's height just under a 35 inch tire. Agreed, might look a little fun, but I frankly don't care about the looks when I have a big trailer behind me. I also want increased turning radius, better highway grip, less wear and tear on the truck, easier efforts from my transmission in towing, etc...

Also, no plans EVER for a trip. I don't need it to be's already plenty fast enough.

And one more note - I have had Chevy's and Ford's in the past. Today's trucks are all designed better than in years' past...haven't had an issue yet...and LOVE my rig!

Shows everything that is wrong with the US. Utter waste of gas to buy this beast and drive it around the city all day. Good that your kids can enjoy it now as when they get old they are going to have a hard time remembering why we made such stupid choices in the past

@Darien - You are on a truck site. Having said that I can assume you have a truck as well that gets horrible mileage when compared to midsize sedans. His choice of vehicle is not your concern and make you look hypocritical.

Lastly, I remember being in school and teachers telling us we would run our of fossil fuels in 20 years, that was 30 years ago. There is plenty of petrol to go around. The market will determine what we can and can't afford and at this point all on this site have decided gas prices will not sway them to stay away from a truck.

One more thing, get a life.

I totally agree with you, the Best Vehicle Purchase that I have ever made was purchasing my 2013 F250 4x4 Super Duty Lariat. I purchased the extended cab because I wanted an 8 ft bed and the gas version instead of the diesel. I also use my truck for my everyday commute and to pull my 35ft travel trailer, and I wouldn't change a thing. My F250 4x4 does everything that I have asked of it.

Hey Mike,

After scouring the internet to find the perfect size lift, wheels, tires (aesthetically) on a super duty, I think I've finally found it!! Do you think you could tell me which suspension package you got from Carli? You mentioned you have 37" tires....are those on 18: wheels or 20"'s? Best looking super duty I've ever seen. Love the white!



I am curious as well? Is that a Carli 2.5 and 20" BMF's?

Tim - I agree!...Mike what size lift is that? Perfect combo.

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