Modern pickup trucks are quite luxurious. And while that makes them more usable day-to-day, more features also means more things that can fail. Today, it’s hard to find even a base Ford F-150 work truck that doesn’t have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. That’s one reason why the demand for classic trucks is growing, and why Nissan’s Frontier is so popular: the technology is older, but it’s simpler. Which is why Kansas-based Long McArthur Ford, creator of the F-350 Mac Truck and F-250 Baja 1000, built the Ford F-150 Cattleman Edition.
What makes the Ford F-150 Cattleman Edition a good work truck?
The F-150 Cattleman is basically a throwback to bare-bones trucks of the past.
Starting with the 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 XL 4×4 regular cab, Long McArthur Ford lifts the front suspension by 2”. The dealer then fits 18” wheels, Fuel 35” off-road tires, and a Ranchhand front grill guard.
Because this is a work truck, the F-150 Cattleman comes with a spray-in bed liner, and a window tint to help with the hot sun. The dealer also installs running boards and a Class IV trailer hitch.
As a base-trim, the XL comes standard with cloth seating, manual doors, and manual locks. Long McArthur Ford doesn’t upgrade the standard AM/FM radio, but the dealer does equip its Cattleman trucks with the no-cost vinyl seating, which is easier to clean than cloth. The XL trim now offers a rear-view camera and pre-collision assistance with automatic emergency braking.
Even the color choice is pared down. Only white, red, and blue are available. The only other change is two “Cattleman” graphics on the back.
How much does it cost?
As of this writing, Long McArthur Ford has 3 Ford F-150 Cattleman work trucks available for just under $40,000. That’s just the price of the package added to the base cost of the F-150 4×4 XL. Add in the cost of the trailer hitch, V8, bed liner, and 4×4 system, and it’s also how much a new F-150 XLT 4×4 stickers at.
But then, with the XLT there’s more electronics that can break. And based on how many problems F-150 owners have had with their radios, the simpler model’s radio may be less of a headache.
How does the Ford F-150 Cattleman Edition compare to other full-size work trucks?
Although the F-150 Cattleman’s simplicity is desirable, other work trucks have beaten Ford’s full-size truck in comparison. Motor Trend ranked the Ram 1500 Tradesman above the F-150 XL. Roughly equal in price, MT found the Ram had a better ride and interior.
The Silverado 1500 WT also ranked higher in MT’s test. Though its ride quality was worse, the Silverado was cheaper, and its bed had more hooks, standard built-in steps, and a standard powered and damped tailgate.
Cheaper than all these, though, is the Ram 1500 Classic. Based on the older version of the Ram 1500’s platform, it doesn’t offer all the same features. However, the Classic does get the Ram’s coil-spring suspension, some of the same engines—including the Hemi V8—and its cargo management system. There are also several upgrade packages available. One of them, the Warlock, even comes with a lift kit.
However, despite falling short against some other new work trucks, the Ford F-150 Cattleman work truck is better than buying a classic truck where safety is involved. In addition to the AEB and forward-collision warning, the F-150 Cattleman also comes with airbags.
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