Party Up Front, Business Out Back 

ProTech Industries has worked hard to put itself on the map as a go-to builder/provider of custom truck flatbeds and accessories. The Vancouver, Washington, company has been creating its own line of products since 1980, steadily increasing its number of offerings throughout the years. 

The name of the game in marketing is getting your product in front of as many qualified eyes as possible, which means appealing to your target audience.      Protech’s client base is people who drive their trucks for a living, meaning that it had to have one hell of an impressive (and eye-catching) truck to show off its wares. To that end, it doesn’t get much more impressive than a classic heavy-duty rig, especially a classic ‘55 F-600!

Now, there are different ways to get things done, and that certainly applies here. The in-house fabrication crew had a few competing ideas on a general look for the truck, but they all agreed on this: it had to be lifted, mean, and ready to work. Eventually, the best ideas out of the bunch were arranged into a game plan, and everyone started building!

As stout as the Ford’s original chassis and suspension were, they were a bit archaic to say the least—especially since the final product would end up with a shortened wheelbase, and the ride would likely be unbearable at that point. Plus, any excuse to ditch the F-600’s “widow-maker” split rim wheels is a good one. It just made sense to swap over to something newer, so a complete ‘96 F-350 chassis (complete with 7.3L Powerstroke diesel) was located and put to use under the F-600 cab. Obviously that required some work on its own, but it was by and large much better than dealing with the almost 70-year-old suspension and crusty Y-block. Before they called the running gear “done,” however, the guys at ProTech dropped off the Powerstroke at Portland Engine Rebuilders, where it was bored .020 over, studded, and given upgrades such as bronze valve guides, Carrillo rods, Mahle oversized pistons, and 205cc Stage 3 injectors by Irate Diesel. Once the long block was back from PER and set back into place between the frame rails, Ian Morton at ProTech built a custom exhaust, which exits the fenders and runs underneath the doors.

The engine wasn’t the only thing to get beefed up more than the “add protein” option in the Subway app. A Superlift 6-inch suspension lift was bolted on to clear the 35-inch BFG KO2 tires and 20×11 Detroit Steel Wheel D-Town wheels, and because      any 4×4 truck looks better lifted—let’s face it. With the chassis and suspension now complete, the custom ProTech flatbed platform was attached, complete with toolboxes, rear folding steps, and Miller Trailblazer 325 Diesel welder. Showpiece or not, this truck is ready to make money!

And while the majority of the ProTech staff and crew’s time would be spent showing off the company’s parts, it was equally important to make sure that anyone driving the Ford would be comfortable enough to drive the rig long distances whenever needed.

A TMI bench seat made quick work of filling that requirement, and a backup camera screen in the rearview mirror keeps tabs of any obstacles. The Forever Sharp steering wheel provides a lot more room than the giant original wheel, making it easy to load snacks into the cab for those cross-state trips, and the Classic Instruments gauges take care of reporting back to the driver at a glance.

After a year and a half of build time, the F-600 was ready to show off, making its debut at NTEA’s Work Truck Week convention in 2022, and then following up with SEMA 2022 and 2023. With plenty of miles now under its belt and tons of interest at every event it goes to, we bet this truck is going to be the centerpiece of ProTech’s marketing efforts for quite a while!

TRUCK Specs

ProTech Industries

Vancouver, WA
1955 Ford F-600

Suspension & Chassis

Complete 1996 Ford F-350 chassis
Superlift 6-inch suspension lift
Bilstein shocks

Wheels & Tires

20×11 Detroit Steel Wheel D-Town wheels
35×12.50R20 BFGoodrich KO2 tires

Engine & Drivetrain

1996 Ford/International 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine, built by Portland Engine Rebuilders
Bored .020 over
ARP main stud kit
K-Line bronze valve guides
Carrillo connecting rods
Mahle pistons
Irate Diesel 205cc Stage 3 fuel injectors
Custom exhaust by Ian Morton at ProTech
Hydra tune
South Bend clutch

Body & Paint

Shaved fuel filler
Fenders modified for exhaust
F-100 front bumper
JBP Ford Silver paint w/Deltron NXT urethane clear by James Hottel
Black “Cobra” stripes
Optronics lighting
ProTech flatbed

Interior & Stereo

TMI bench seat, upholstered by Ian Morton and James Hottel
Custom shifter
Rearview camera w/screen built into rearview mirror
Classic Instruments gauges
Forever Sharp steering wheel

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM