One of the most talked about trucks at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas was this custom regular cab shortbed ’01 Ford Super Duty F-350. It was planted at the BDS Suspension booth and only having Taylor Swift sign autographs would’ve probably generated more buzz.
The truck was designed and built by Rok Industry, which is a two year-old hobby-turned-business that specializes in designing, building, and completing project vehicles. The company is owned by Ernie Vole of Vernon Hills, Illinois, and he has years of experience building eye-catching rigs. The trucks design was inspired by Vole’s truck-loving six year-old nephew Charlie, Vole’s imagination, and a little help from a friend. All told it took seven months to create the truck that Vole calls “Stubby.”
It began as an illustration created by Rok Industry artist Dave Tucker. Once BDS gave the project a green light, it was game on for the next seven months. “To create the standard cab shortbed Ford F-350 that is not offered from Ford, we had some head scratching on how to make this work. We did lots of measuring to make sure that when cutting the frame we would measure twice and cut once,” Vole says. Building the truck wasn’t as complex as say, building a custom tube-frame rock buggy from the ground up, but cutting a truck in half, removing a chunk of frame, and then putting it back together requires precision. Measurements, cuts, and welds must be exact. Then there’s the assortment of mods that go along with it. The rear driveshaft, fuel lines, brake lines, wiring, and exhaust must be modified to compensate for the shorter length. On top of that, creating a truck of SEMA caliber required that every detail and modification had to be analyzed, scrutinized, and then painstakingly brought to reality, which took vast amounts of time.
Creating a show stopping truck that would stand out among all the other amazing trucks at the Las Vegas SEMA Show wasn’t easy, but Vole did it. You may not be seeing this bright orange, mega-clean rig on the Rubicon, but you will definitely be seeing it.
Owner/Hometown: Rok Industry/Vernon Hills, Illinois
Vehicle/Model: ’01 Ford Super Duty F-350
Estimated value: $40,000
Type: 7.3L Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel
Aspiration: Direct injection, turbocharger, Xtreme Diesel X-Wheel compressor wheel, Airaid intake, Gibson exhaust
Output, hp/torque (estimated): N/A
Transfer case: NP271, 2-spd
Front: Six-inch-lift BDS leaf springs, 2½-inch BDS shackle lift, dual 2.0 Series Fox Racing Shox
Rear: Eight-inch-lift BDS leaf springs, dual 2.0 Series Fox Racing Shox
Front: Dana 50/open
Rear: Ford 10.5-inch/factory limited-slip
Ring and pinion: 3.73:1
Wheels: 20x12 MHT Hostage
Tires: 44x19.50R20 Interco Super Swamper TSL Boggers