When professional Tornado Hunters Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes, and Chris Chittick are driving down the street, people notice. And it’s not because of all the equipment or even the hunters themselves, it’s because of Flash, the fourth member of the team. Flash is an EcoBoost Ford F-150 customized to withstand the rigours of tornado hunting.
We’ve all heard the term “office on four wheels,” but when it comes to Flash, it takes on a whole new meaning. Flash has travelled all over North America tackling over 190,000 km along the way and he’s intercepted over 50 tornados. But statistics aside, Flash’s toughest job is keeping the tornado hunters protected from Mother Nature’s wrath.
The Ford F-150 is built to be one of the toughest vehicles on four wheels. With astonishing frame strength, unbelievable power, and an EcoBoost engine to quickly get in and out of danger, it’s tough enough to take on all the rural roads and muddy conditions that come with the territory of chasing dangerous storms. And when it comes to tornado hunting, it’s about being tough and about being safe. Which is why the Tornado Hunters have given Flash a little bit more umph when it comes to safety features.
“Our biggest issue when we’re chasing is not the actual tornado itself, but it’s all the [EXPLICIT] flying around inside the tornado”
– Tornado Hunter Chris Chittick
Orange exterior aside, the Tornado Hunters have made some seriously tough modifications to Flash. They’ve coated the outside of the truck with over 750 lbs. of spray-in liner material, installed a roll cage designed for the mining industry, put on some exterior light bars, attached mitigation bars to the front, and more. But for Flash, it’s not about how many modifications are made, it’s about the reliability, the durability, and the trust the Tornado Hunters have in his ability to keep them safe.
For more real stories, check out Tornado Hunter and photographer Greg Johnson here.
And to learn more about the F-150 and share your own real story, visit F150stories.ca.