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7 Truck Monsters from the 2018 Chicago Auto Show

Motor Trend Logo Motor Trend | Slide 2 of 8: This may be the coolest truck on the show floor, largely because of its elaborate six-wheel-drive drive system. It involves a standard Super Duty transfer case routing torque forward to the front axle and aft into a second gearbox with two outputs—one each for the aft axle (which occupies the factory position) and the intermediate axle (which is added to greatly increase the truck's GVW rating. Available with V-10 or PowerStroke diesel power, an outfitted truck sells for roughly $250,000—matching the capability of a Class 3 Freightliner fire and rescue chassis for about half the price. Don't expect it to fly like a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6, though, as this one weighs a LOT more and its tires are only rated for 65 mph.


Considering that our coverage of Mercedes' crazy flying G-Class 6x6 nearly broke the internet, we were keenly interested in learning all about this similar offering from Ford. More accurately, it's from Ford via Skeeter Brush Trucks, of Hillsboro, Texas, which specializes in off-road emergency vehicles for first responders and rapid intervention units. One of its newest offerings is this 6x6 Firewalker package, which is available with a choice of three different bed configurations (this flatbed variant is supplied by Bedrock).

But the more interesting parts are all underneath the bed. A 6.8-liter SOHC V-10 routes its 288 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque aft through the conventional F-550 transfer case. From there it goes forward to the standard hub-locking front axle and aft to another gearbox, which splits power evenly between the intermediate and rear axles. These are both standard Ford rear axles, and here they're supported by F-550 front coil springs. The rear axle occupies the standard 169-inch wheelbase position. The intermediate one helps boost the GVW rating to Skeeter re-certified rating of 18,000 pounds (its tow rating is 18,500 pounds). That's roughly equivalent to the rating of a Class 3 chassis, which when equipped similarly for fire duty can cost near double the $250,000 asking price for the 6x6 Firewalker, according to Skeeter representatives. Just don't expect even our Jonny Lieberman to get air in this one—it weighs a lot more and its tires are only rated for 65 mph.

Research: Ford F-450 Super Duty

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