Yo dawg, I heard you like off-roading…

We love it when a builder goes just a little bit of crazy, creating something over-the-top, but only just. This extensively modified F-350 from Hellwig is exactly that. Dubbed “The Operator,” Hellwig started with a stock 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat Crew Cab, then added upgrades until it had created the “ultimate recon adventure vehicle.” The most obvious thing to pick out is the large UTV this truck is hauling in its bed – or rather, above its bed might be more accurate. But there’s more to it than just that. “From recon runs in the desert to family camping trips in the dunes, the Operator is capable and comfortable,” says Hellwig, and we believe it. In addition to the usual off-roader gear outside, there’s nice stuff inside the cabin as well, plus a few choice upgrades under the hood to round it out.

All told, while the UTV certainly has our attention, it’s the little details in this build that really impress us. Hellwig didn’t neglect a thing in building its idea of “ultimate,” and in the end, we can’t help but stand back and admire the handy work.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-350 By Hellwig.

Exterior

  • UTV mounted out back
  • New bumpers and paint
  • Lots of utility gear
  • Underbody protection
2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741908
UTV mounted out back
One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV.

Let’s just jump straight to it, shall we? Mounted on the bed of this thing is a 2017 Artic Cat Wildcat X LTD two-seater UTV, a zippy little toy that’ll eat up the surrounding terrain without a moment’s hesitation. It’s an awesome thing to have at your disposal in the right conditions, and The Operator is the right platform to deliver it where it needs to be.

One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV. Rather than filling the bed to capacity or dragging around a trailer, The Operator mounts it above the bed line and partially on top of the cab. Responsible for this trick is a UTV deck from SherpTek, which offers heavy-duty loading ramps and all the gear you need to keep that pricey toy in one spot. Just don’t take any sharp corners with it loaded up there…

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741907
925 pound-feet of torque

Adding to the build’s aesthetic appeal is a set of new “Vengeance” bumpers from Fab Fours, both in front and in back. In the corners you’ll find Method Race 305 NV HD wheels, which take up residence under flared-out fenders from Lund (part of the Ford Licensed Accessories line). As a quick side note – notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it? It’s a relatively small detail, but we think stuff like that really makes a build look fantastic, separating the great from the good.

Up front, there’s a new X-Metal grille insert from T-Rex Grilles, while Rigid Industries and Whelen provide the extra illumination. Rounding off the styling is a BASF paint job courtesy of LGE-CTS Motorsports, on top of which is laid a digital camouflage graphics scheme.

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741906
MagnaFlow exhaust
Notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it?

And of course, we couldn’t forget all the extras added for the sake of utility, such as the Krazy Beaver Tools shovel, Macs tie-downs cargo management system, and Viair air compressor. There’s also a bolt receiver lock system, a hi-lift jack, and a set of Daystar fuel cans.

Protecting the important bits underneath are Mag-Hytech differential covers and transmission pan. A Warn Industries 16.5TI-S winch is placed in the nose, and a Wilco pre-runner tailgate finishes it off.

Interior

  • Power step-ups
  • New seats and upholstery
2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741913
New seats and upholstery
The 5.11 Tactical seats come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery

With so much attention paid to the exterior of this vehicle, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Operator neglected to do much to the interior space. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

First up, ingress and egress are assisted by electrically operated PowerSteps from AMP Research, a critical component when considering the truck’s sizable suspension lift.

Once inside, passengers will enjoy the 5.11 Tactical seats, which come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery, plus special webbing and tactical storage compartments from Molle. A Ford Licensed Accessories vehicle safe from Console Vault stores sensitive materials up front. Finally, Rugged Radios was called on for the telecommunications kit.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 diesel
  • 925 pound-feet of torque
  • MagnaFlow exhaust
2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741912
7-liter Powerstroke V-8 diesel
MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system

The heart of the vehicle is the Ford F-350’s top-rated 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 turbo diesel engine, which, from the factory, is rated at 440 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and an Earth-twisting 925 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. And that’s good, especially when you consider all the extras hanging off this thing, including the frikin’ UTV on the roof.

To give the powerband a little extra breathing room, not to mention a much better sound, MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system. A yellow-top battery from Optima provides the spark.

Finally, a TorqShift six-speed automatic gearbox with a SelectShift feature routes the go to the ground. 05SD hubs from Warn Industries finish off the drivetrain spec.

Chassis And Handling

  • Hellwig air suspension
  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stag 5 suspension
  • 4.5-inch lift
  • Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires
2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741911
Underbody protection

Underpinning the whole shebang are Hellwig-branded Big Wig air springs, while Big Wig sway bars are mounted both front and back. Completing the transformation is a full Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 5 suspension kit, which means this bad boy is standing a full 4.5 inches higher than when it left the factory.

Finally, gripping the terra, we find Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires wrapped around those custom wheels.

Conclusion

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
- image 741909
Lots of utility gear

SEMA always attracts some truly impressive modified rides, and this particular example is right up there with some of the best we’ve seen in 2017. It’s got the big stuff, like the UTV, but also the little stuff, like Rugged Radios gear and matching wheels, and that makes it both extreme and well-rounded.

Good work.

  • Leave it
    • * Only thing missing is a drone

References

Ford F-Series

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
- image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.

2017 SEMA Show – Preview
- image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

Press release

A purpose-built recon adventure rig called “The Operator,” this 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat sees just as much time off-road as it does on. A combined love of trucks and a passion for the outdoors results in this ultimate recon adventure vehicle. This Ford Super Duty features a bed-mounted UTV supported by Hellwig’s Big Wig air springs and front and rear Big Wig sway bars. The custom hand-painted digi-camo paint scheme combined with a powerful 6.7-liter Powerstroke means this truck has style and substance with enough power to climb any dune even with a UTV in the back. From recon runs in the desert to family camping trips in the dunes, the Operator is capable and comfortable.

Base Vehicle

2017 Ford F-350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab
6.7L V8 power stroke turbo diesel engine
TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift™

Powertrain

MagnaFlow Pro DPF performance exhaust

Chassis

Icon Vehicle Dynamics 4.5” Stage 5 suspension system
Hellwig:
Front sway bar
Big Wig rear sway bar
Big Wig air springs

Wheels & Tires

Method Race 305 NV HD wheels
Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Road tires

Exterior

Ford Licensed Accessories fender flares by Lund
AMP Research PowerStep
BASF paint by LGE-CTS
Bolt Receiver lock system
Fab Fours Vengeance front and rear bumpers
Hi-Lift jack
Daystar fuel cans
Krazy Beaver Tools shovel
Macs custom tie-downs cargo management system
Mag-Hytech differential covers and transmission pan
Optima Batteries yellow-top battery
T-Rex Grilles X-Metal grille
Rigid Industries lighting
Sherptek UTV deck
Viair compressor and air tank
Warn Industries 16.5TI-S winch
Warm Industries 05SD hubs
Whelen light bar
Wilco pre runner tailgate
2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat X LTD two-seater

Interior

Ford Licensed Accessories vehicle safe by Console Vault
5.11 Tactical upholstered seats by Rogelio’s Upholstery
Molly webbing and tactical seat bags
Rugged radios

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: