What to Consider When Buying a Used Ford Truck

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Shopping for a used truck can be a bit more complicated than shopping for a used car or SUV due to the number of different cab styles, bed sizes, and fuel type combinations available. The number of combinations increases even more when shopping for a Super Duty truck with the option to add dual rear wheels. But with dozens of different ways to configure a Ford truck, there is a good chance you will be able to find something that checks off all of the boxes on any truck wishlist.

Tips for Buying a Used Ford Truck

Choosing the Right Cab & Bed Size
Choosing the Right Fuel Type
Choosing the Right Model
Used vs. Certified

Choosing the Right Cab & Bed Size

Ford Truck Cabs

Regular Cab – Two-door cabs comfortably seat two but can accommodate three passengers if you don’t mind close quarters. The most significant advantage to choosing a regular cab truck is the increased payload capacity — upwards of 10% depending on the cab and bed combination. The regular cab F-150 has a max payload capacity of over 3,300 pounds, and the SuperCrew F-150 has a payload capacity of 2,900 pounds.

SuperCab – Four-door cabs feature two regular doors and two smaller reverse-hinged doors. The SuperCab has seating for up to six passengers and can be combined with any of Ford’s three bed sizes. The SuperCab is an excellent middle-ground when it comes to combining passenger comfort and job-site useability.

SuperCrew — Provides the ultimate passenger comfort thanks to a larger cabin and four regular doors for added convenience. The extra cabin space of the SuperCrew comes at the cost of cargo capacity since the 8-foot bed isn’t an option on the F-150. However, Ford Super Duty trucks can be equipped with a SuperCrew cab and an 8-foot bed.

Ford Truck Beds

5 ½-foot Bed – The 5 ½-foot bed is only available on models equipped with the SuperCrew cab and the only choice for the Ford Raptor. Shorter beds allow for more agile handling off-road and better maneuverability around town for everyday driving.

6 ½-foot Bed – The 6 ½-foot bed is considered the Goldilocks bed, which offers plenty of cargo capacity for larger items without sacrificing maneuverability. The 6 ½-foot bed is available with all of the truck cab sizes and should satisfy all but the most demanding hauling needs.

8-foot Bed – The 8-foot bed is the tradesman’s choice, thanks to the increased cargo capacity of the bed. The increased bed length can be particularly helpful when hauling lumber since the standard length of studs and plywood is 8 feet. Also, the longer bed length helps improve the maximum payload capacity since more weight can be placed in front of the rear axle instead of being right over or behind it.

Choosing the Right Fuel Type

Gasoline – The most readily available type of fuel is gasoline. It is a better choice for drivers who take a lot of short trips or who don’t need to haul extremely heavy loads. A gas engine is typically cheaper than a diesel engine and requires less expensive maintenance. Many drivers will receive the most benefits from purchasing a truck equipped with a gasoline engine.

Diesel – More energy-dense than gasoline and, on average, will provide a 20% increase in fuel economy. Diesel engines produce more torque at a lower rpm, resulting in less wear on the engine since the engine is rotating fewer times per minute. The increased torque of a diesel engine allows for heavier loads to be hauled without suffering as significant of a fuel efficiency decrease as a gas engine that needs to operate at a higher rpm to achieve the same power output.

Hybrid – Hybrids use a combination of gasoline and electricity to generate power. Through the use of regenerative braking, hybrid trucks can also recharge the battery back when traveling downhill. The additional energy gained when braking is one of the ways that a hybrid can improve fuel economy.

Electric – The newest and most environmentally friendly fuel type is electric. Electric motors offer instantaneous torque from 0 rpm, while diesel and gasoline engines need to reach anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm before peak torque is generated. For now, only light trucks like the new F-150 Lightning are equipped with electric motors, so we will have to wait and see the full hauling potential that electricity can provide. Electric motors may not be suitable for long-haul towing since the recharge time is significantly longer than refueling an internal combustion engine.

Choosing the Right Model

Knowing which cab style, bed size, and fuel type you prefer beforehand will help make deciding which Ford truck model is right for you much easier. For instance, Ford currently only makes one electric truck model — the F-150 Lightning — and there is only one bed and cab combination available for it. Another choice that would limit the number of Ford trucks that might be suitable is the need for a SuperCrew cab combined with an 8-foot bed. Only Super Duty models can be equipped with the largest cab and bed combinations and feature up to a massive 176-inch wheelbase.

Ford Truck Model Dimensions


Ford Maverick

Ford Ranger

Ford F-150
209″ – 250″

Ford Lightning

Ford Raptor
232″ – 244″

Ford F-250
232″ – 266″

Ford F-350
232″ – 266″

Used vs. Certified

While certified pre-owned Ford trucks offer increased peace of mind thanks to their manufacturer warranty, it might not always be an option to purchase a CPO truck. Suppose you are in the market for an older Ford truck like the first-generation Raptor. In that case, buying a used Ford might be the only choice since these trucks are typically not going to meet the maximum age requirement of the Ford Blue Advantage program. Still, plenty of other Ford trucks will qualify for a CPO program. Ford trucks must be less than 10 years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles to be Blue Certified. In comparison, Gold Certified Ford trucks cannot exceed 80,000 miles and 6 years of age.

Buying used will be less expensive in many instances, but there is a larger potential for unforeseen repairs due to the lack of comprehensive vehicle inspection you get when buying a CPO truck. When buying a used truck, it is important to be familiar with common issues and have a pre-purchase inspection performed by a trustworthy mechanic if possible.

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