The Drake Ranch relies on Ford. There, a fleet of white Super Duty 4×4s is put to the test every day.
Scott Drake is third generation on the farm and ranch, which sits at the base of the Flint Hills in Kansas. His wife, Shana, grew up around cattle and horses and spent much of her childhood on her grandparent’s farm. The couple, married for 26 years with three children, run the family business.
“Cattle production is our main focus,” Scott explains. The Drakes also grow wheat, soybeans, milo and corn. The ranch itself is about 4,500 acres of native grass pasture and 1,000 acres of farmland. “Pastureland in the Flint Hills can be extremely rocky terrain with steep inclines,” Shana says. “At certain times of the year we deal with frozen ground, snow and mud. Sometimes we need enough power to pull vehicles and farm implements out of rough situations.”
What makes up the fleet? The Drakes have a 2000 F-350 Super Duty Diesel Crew Cab, a 2012 F-350 Super Duty Diesel single cab and a 1999 F-250 Super Duty extended cab. Also in their possession is a 1974 F-700 grain truck. This classic is used at harvest to haul wheat, milo and soybeans and to haul brush, rocks, tree limbs and sand.
Scott’s 2012 F-350 Super Duty spends most of its time on gravel roads and pasture, rarely on the pavement. Scott jokes that his truck makes a nice office.
Scott attests that Ford trucks are the only trucks heavy and tough enough to move equipment, haul trailers of cattle, and carry bales of hay across the rough terrain. “Anything less than a one ton truck,” Scott says, “would not cut the mustard out here.” He adds that it’s the power of the diesel and heavy suspensions that make all the difference on the ranch. The trucks have been called upon to help pull friends and neighbors out of a snow bank or ditch.
Shana’s primary truck is the 2000 F-350. “I’m only five feet tall and 105 pounds,” she says, “My friends get a kick out of me driving such a large vehicle, but I will never drive a car again.” Shana enjoys the towing power, visibility, comfort and safe feeling behind the wheel. With over 270,000 miles, the truck still runs like a dream, Shana says.