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Ford reveals F-750 as Tonka truck

Ford's F-750 Tonka truck is a life-size version of the iconic children's favourite.

Little kids and big kids can rejoice, Ford has made a giant, fully operational Tonka truck. The F-750 Tonka truck was unveiled at America's NETA Work truck show last week. It is a fully functioning real-life truck nearly 7m long by 2.5m tall.

Believe it or not, the F-750 it is based on and its F-650 sibling are models in the Ford line-up and can be used for many jobs including tipping and hauling. Some customers simply fit them with regular trays and treat them as personal monster truck utes.

Ford may be about to start building right-hand-drive Mustangs for Australia but none of the F-series trucks, including the tough F-350, F-250 or all-new aluminium bodied F-150, will be built with the steering wheel on the correct side.

The F-750 Tonka truck will be sent on a tour of various shows around the US before it gets to work. It won't be available as a full-time production model, but there is nothing stopping a customer from buying one, painting it yellow and fitting the dumper tray and Tonka decals.

Its regular steel dump tray, built by Truck Tech Engineers, can carry nearly eight tonnes of rocks, rubble or sand. The new F-750, which has just been introduced in the US, has a gross vehicle mass rating (which includes the weight of the truck and the load) of up to 15,000kg.

It's far too heavy to push and is therefore fitted with a 6.7-litre Powerstroke V8 turbo diesel that at peak tune puts out 246kW/983Nm. The transmission is a rugged six-speed automatic with torque converter. There is also a power take-off fitting, which allows the engine to drive an external accessory such as a concrete pump, a crane or in this case, the tipper mechanism.

Customers can also choose a massive petrol-chugging 6.8-litre V10 (239kW/624Nm) but you would want someone else to pay for the fuel

Diesel power was chosen for the Tonka show truck but F-650 and F-750 customers can also choose a massive petrol-chugging 6.8-litre V10 (239kW/624Nm) but you would want someone else to pay for the fuel. Ford says this petrol engine is easily converted to run natural gas or LPG, which it describes as more "cost effective" alternatives to petrol.

Funrise makes Tonka trucks for Hasbro and its marketing chief Kathy Hawk says the Tonka version of the F-Series is a good fit. "Many of today's Ford truck customers first drove a Tonka truck," Hawk says.