Regular readers might know that any time I get to test drive a pick-up truck the old Dukes of Hazzard television programme is mentioned.

Ah yes, happy memories of Saturday evenings in the seventies and eighties with the children watching the antics the Duke boys got up to and the lovely Catherine Bach, starring as Daisy Duke plus the infamous Boss Hogg. Did you know there is now a restaurant in Dublin named after him?

In the Dukes of Hazzard series Uncle Jesse used to drive a Ford pick-up truck in some episodes and there is no doubt that the pick-up truck reminds me of the good old USA and Kerry long ago.

I have good memories from movies and indeed in real life with my brother in Pennsylvania of going into a small village to purchases goods in a pick-up truck. In the USA the weather was always good and you didn’t need a cover for the cargo area.

In Ireland that wouldn’t work; you need a cover like I had in the new version of the Ford Ranger Raptor last week. In Ireland if you went into your local hardware shop and bought a few bags of cement, they would be washed away by the time you get home, unless you had a cover for the cargo area.

Yes, I got all nostalgic last week as I drove the massive Ford Raptor. Down in Kerry my father’s first ever electric vehicle in the sixties was a Ford pick-up. I still remember the registration number, IN 9642.

Sadly, there are no off-road locations near Dublin where you can experience the benefits of driving the Raptor. Maybe the Curragh of Kildare would be suitable, but reckon if I went down there the local park ranger would be on my case.

It’s a massive double-cab Pick-up truck with seating for four people. So it would be perfect for a small builder who would have room to ferry his workers and their various tools and building materials in the covered cargo area.

It might also be attractive for a sheep farmers in Wicklow or Kerry as they often need get to high ground with fodder for sheep. But would sheep farmers be able to afford a Raptor?

In line with the farming angle the truck also has a tow-bar and two tow-hooks which would be handy if working in rural areas.

You wouldn’t need to be suffering from arthritis in your knee or hip to climb on board. A running board is provided to help older people to get in and out of the cabin. The wheels are massive and I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how much a new tyre would cost for the Raptor.

Inside, the controls on the dash are typical Ford, which means user-friendly and you get a reversing camera, which was very useful for such a long truck.

My automatic test model came in a Frozen White colour with red and black trims. White is a good colour for a farmer as the truck can be spotted from a long way away.

The diesel version had a 2.0 engine, while the petrol version comes in 3.0-litre. The diesel version I drove will cost you €64,444. Road tax is high at €710. Most of my driving was in urban areas where the diesel engine was a bit thirsty. But it’s definitely the best off-road pick-up truck you can buy in Ireland.