One Flashy Ford

Idaho PRO Barrett Hope likes a tricked out F-550 as his home away from home on long service routes

The rig:

2008 Ford F-550 Lariat built out by Satellite Industries

Behind the wheel:

Barrett Hope

Company:

B’s Portable Toilets, Rexburg, Idaho

Specs:

Hope’s go-to rig has Ford’s new 6.4-liter Power Stroke Diesel engine, but in custom-ordering the chassis from the Ford dealer, he swapped out the standard 410 axle for a 470, which has a slightly different gear ratio that lowers the rpms from about 3,000 to 2,500 when he runs 65-70 mph down the road. The result is improved fuel economy (averaging 10 mpg) with no noticeable difference in hauling ability. Satellite installed a 650-gallon waste/300-gallon freshwater steel tank coupled with a Honda-powered Masport pump and a Burks water pump. The truck was ordered with every available option, including aluminum wheels. “Rather than buying it off the floor, I went into the dealer and spec’d it out for what I wanted. If I’m spending that much time in the truck, I wanted it to be comfortable and have what I wanted.’’

Showing my colors:

The truck was ordered in an unconventional dark brown; Ford calls the color “Slate.’’ Satellite had the tank painted to match Ford’s specs, and painted the catwalks and toolboxes on both sides Ford’s Pueblo Gold. The interior is finished in tan leather. Snappy graphics, including flaming toilet tissue rolls and comic book character bees, were conceived by Hope and a friend and carried out by Signature Signs of Idaho Falls, Idaho. “In this day and age, appearance is everything,’’ says Hope. “If something looks good out there, you can get more (customers) to bite. Appearance-wise, I want to have the best. Then when they see my service, they understand why I have the best rig on the road.’’

Workin’ for a livin’:

Hope, 35, started his own business a year ago after working for another PRO for 11 years. He started slow, with 20 units, and is now up to 220, all Five Peaks Technology Aspen models. Most of the inventory is orange or gray, but he has 20 tan units for weddings and other events. His customer base is 90 percent construction, 10 percent special events. He works alone for now, driving as much as 165 miles one-way to place units. In the future, Hope plans to bring his wife, Colette, aboard with the business. Sometimes when he goes on long runs, he takes the kids — Cydnee, 13, Michaela, 10 and Nicholas, 7, along for the ride — hoping to spark a future interest in the business.

Rolling the odometer:

45,000 miles per year.

What I like most about my truck:

The crew cab. With years of experience in standard cab Fords set up for portable restroom service, Hope knew he wanted more room to stretch out on long trips and a place to put added supplies, like toilet tissue, on winter routes. He said the big cab allows him to put the seat back farther and also gives him flexibility to take the family along when necessary.

Creature comforts:

You name it; Hope ordered it. The only reason he didn’t add a sunroof was because Ford doesn’t offer it on the F-550 Lariat. In addition to the leather interior, which he says wears better than cloth, Hope enjoys a nine-speaker CD stereo system, satellite radio, factory GPS navigation system, power windows, doors, seats and folding mirrors.

Why FORD:

“I was leaning more toward Dodge until Ford came out with this motor (6.4 liter). If I had to buy a Ford with a 6.0, I would have bought a Dodge,’’ he said, noting, however, that Dodge introduced the comparable 4500 and 5500 Series trucks just after he bought the rig. He said the Ford wins out on roominess and hauling capacity. “When you look at how much a Ford can haul, it’s just a lot better. But now, others are stepping up to the plate,’’ he said, adding that he’ll throw Dodge into the mix the next time he needs a truck.

Pampering my rig:

The Ford gets a hand-wash once a week and a drive-through at the car wash a few times a week, depending on how much dust Hope kicks up on his routes. He waxes it every few months. Oil changes are done at 5,000 miles and transmission flushes come at 25,000 miles. Hope is in the process of building a heated shop where he can keep his truck inside.

My backup service vehicle:

A 1988 Chevy 3/4-ton pickup with a 300-gallon slide-in tank from Satellite. The truck was a contribution from Hope’s father, Dennis, who drives it to special events when Hope needs an extra hand.

When HE’S NOT IN THE CAB:

Hope spends as much time as he can with his family in off-hours. They enjoy wakeboarding, boating, fishing and hunting. He’s a proud soccer dad, attending the kids’ recreational sports events. Hope is a knife collector and he and his dad operate a small knife-making business.



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