This Lifted and Caged Ford Super Duty’s Only Purpose Is to Service Toilets on the Rubicon Trail
It’s an F-550 with 41-inch Michelin tires, 5.38 gears and 400 gallons of black water capacity.
There's plenty we take for granted every day, but no one's as underappreciated as those who service the restrooms along the Rubicon Trail. Indeed the famous off-road course is lined with outhouses for wheelers' convenience and, until recently, it was a two-day job to pump them all. Now, it can be knocked out in one shift thanks to El Dorado County's lifted and kitted 2006 Ford F-550 pumper truck on 41-inch Michelin tires.
Now, before this rig was built to the high-heavens by WFO Concepts in Auburn, California, it was donated free and clear to El Dorado County. It was originally a dually bucket truck with four-wheel drive and since it had a Dana Super 60 front axle from the factory, it was a stellar base for the project. It packed four-inch axle tubes and 4.10 gears from Ford, though WFO promptly swapped out the latter for 5.38s.
It's powered by a modular 6.8-liter V10 with an automatic transmission, and WFO placed a Northwest Fab crawl box in front of the stock transfer case. The goal all along was to build a low-geared, slow-crawling truck that could maneuver its way through the Rubicon's giant rocks while still getting the job done. Along with the extra ground clearance provided by the four-inch Radflo lift, it's got full belly skid plates, rock sliders, custom front and rear bumpers, and a genuine exocage. It fits right in with the other rigs, except the black water it's carrying is anything but exquisitely roasted artisanal coffee.
Those 5.38 gears help turn the 41-inch Michelin run-flats which are mounted to 20-inch Stazworks super single wheels. A set of 40-spline RCV axle shafts and a 40-spline ARB front locker further aid the effort, and PSC hydro-assist steering makes navigating from one stop to the next even easier.
The F-550 already had a leg up with its medium-duty construction, and it helps that so many of its stock parts were tougher than what you'd find on the average pickup. The wheelbase isn't too long and since it's a single cab, there's room to fit equipment on the bed. There's tool storage on the lower half, while a small Honda motor is mounted atop the deck to operate the pump. In total, the Ford has a 400-gallon capacity, which is more than enough to service the dozen restrooms that are currently in place on the Rubicon. There's even a power washer with 70 gallons of available fresh water for sanitizing the outhouses.
It's great to see a truck be used the way it was intended to be, and it's always nice to see a truly proper build like this. It won't win any races on speed alone but, if there's a boulder or fallen tree along the way, this Blue Oval just might have you beat.
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