Watch a Nearly Stock Ford Super Duty Climb Hell’s Gate and Prove Anything’s Possible If You Believe
Who needs a lift when you’ve got good spotters and lots of faith?
Few things get me going like full-size trucks without all the aftermarket hoopla. They can tow what you need, haul what you need, and get where you need with little if any modifications. If you think I'm lying, look what this 2015 Ford F-250 with the 6.2-liter gas V8 can do courtesy of upgraded tires and lower gearing—it's climbing Hell's Gate, for goodness' sake.
As you can see, traction and clearance are most crucial to conquer one of Moab's most famous obstacles. You've got to ride the sandstone wall at times, keeping the opposite side of your rig in mind as to not smash it completely. Instead of relying on a catalog of mods, though, this guy sends it in his Super Duty with 34-inch Toyos and a 4.88 rear-end.
I want to get out in front of the hate here and say yes, this has been done before in other stock 4x4s. A Jeep Grand Cherokee did it pretty famously a while back, and even a lightly modified Kia Sorento made headlines for beating the trail in 2018. But there are a few things that set the Super Duty apart.
For one, the Ford's size makes Hell's Gate even more difficult. From what I've found, an extended-cab, short-bed F-250 like this has a wheelbase measuring 141.8 inches. That's roughly 32 inches longer than the Sorento's and exactly 27 inches longer than the Grand Cherokee's. Oh, and with the mirrors folded out like you see here, it's also 104.9 inches wide. The Kia, for comparison, is just 74.4 inches wide.
Secondly, it's top-heavy. A truck like you see here weighs more than 6,500 pounds, and that's before the bed rack, toolbox, rooftop tent, and bed full of whatever-the-heck. In this regard, being closer to the ground is actually an advantage—you don't want the going to get tippy when you've got a high center of gravity.
And lastly, he made the climb without leaving any significant beauty marks on the truck. Per the video description, they were smart and added sliders ahead of this climb but really, I didn't hear much scraping until the end. That's a prime example of good spotters and a smart wheelman; you can get pretty far in any vehicle as long as you've got those.
I may not have convinced you to also love barebones work trucks with this, but trust me, I'll keep trying. They didn't even disconnect the sway bars for this run, which is even more impressive. Just keep in mind that, if you want to go wheeling, upgrade your driving skills before you upgrade your rig. If you're good enough, you just might be able to run what you brung with half the equipment of your buddies.
Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET on 03/17/2021: So, the owner of this truck reached out and sent over even more footage of the climb. It was taken with a drone, and it gives a wild perspective of just how steep Hell's Gate really is. Plus, I couldn't tell in the initial clip, but the green paint looks great in the sun.
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