Jumping a Ford F-150 Raptor Breaks Owner’s Back, Not His Truck
One Raptor owner learned a hard lesson, smashing a vertebrae into three pieces.
The rough-and-tumble off-road truck market is past the point of take-off and is soaring, both in terms of performance and, indeed, sales. Drivers have been clamoring for pickups that can take a beating—and even a jump or two—when peeling out on a trail. The Ford F-150 Raptor is one such capable vehicle. However, as one owner found out, it's possible to get more than you bargained for when catching air in a truck.
Speaking to The Drive, owner Caz discussed the nasty fallout from his exuberant driving in the Raptor. "It was at Virginia International Raceway's dirt track," he explained. "There were three of us with 2021 Raptors running as a group, pushing more each jump to see what the trucks could handle."
Indeed, the Raptor is well known for its prowess in this area. One such stock vehicle was seen taking eight hefty jumps without breaking in an advertising shoot last year. Tuned for fast-paced trail adventures, it handles such action far better than the average vehicle does when landing after catching big air.
"One of the guys said he went 50 [mph] and it looked pretty standard," Caz said. "I aimed for 60 but may have gotten beyond that as I wasn't looking down at the speedo." As per the video, the Raptor can be seen flying through the air coming off the dirt jump, though at a fairly mild altitude.
"Unfortunately I landed a perfect pancake, all four wheels at the same time. Suspension fully compressed, hit bump stops, then the next thing to compress was my spine," explained Caz, noting his significant injuries as a result of the jump. "T12 [vertebrae] broke into 3 pieces. Worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Literally threw my truck in park and dove onto the ground trying to straighten my back."
He wasn't the only one to suffer, either. "What’s crazy is the guy in an identical blue Gen 3 behind me saw my speed, matched it, and also had the same brutal landing. He also went to the hospital by ambulance but luckily he didn’t break anything," Caz continued. A fusion surgery is imminent for him, along with a long recovery from the back injury. "I knew there was a chance to damage my truck off-road, but I never in a million years thought about me being physically harmed."
The Raptor owner hasn't seen his truck since the jump, having been in a hospital bed since the incident on Saturday afternoon. However, according to reports from his family and friends, the truck appears to be undamaged. "My dad's been driving it and he says there's nothing obviously wrong. No lights or noises," he says.
Yes, it's true—there's great joy to be had in hooning a truck, firing it off jumps. But it's not just the vehicle at risk; one's body is also on the line. Caz perhaps puts it best, summing up his recent experience on the dirt track: "Just because your truck can take it, doesn't mean your body can!"
Caz's back may have taken a hit, but it's clear his spirits are still high. Get well soon, mate!
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