How Ford Secretly Tested Aluminum Trucks for Two Years

Ford Tested Aluminum Trucks Secretly for Two Years

Image courtesy of the fordvideo1 YouTube channel.

When Ford was considering making the dramatic switch to high-strength aluminum from steel, the carmaker knew it had to be strong enough to withstand the beatings that many owners inflict on their pickups, especially in the truck’s bed. So, without letting its secret slip, Ford sent six prototype F-150s to three of its best industrial customers. Little did these companies know that their 2011 trucks had aluminum cargo boxes. Ford provided these aluminum trucks for free and just asked that they be treated as any other truck and to let Ford know how it was working out.

“We go to extreme areas and do extreme work,” said Art Golembiewski, regional equipment manager for Walsh Construction, who was testing one of the aluminum trucks. “We’re hard on all our equipment, we expect to get 110 percent out of it every day, and that’s how we operate. We were told to run it like we wanted to break it, and that’s what we’re doing to ‘em.”

Shop: F-150 at Paul Obaugh Ford in Staunton, VA

After the testing, everyone came away pleased and Ford made a few changes: thickened the aluminum in the bed, reinforced the sides of the cargo box, and adjusted the aluminum alloy to make it more durable.

Now the 2015 Ford F-150 is ready for the 90th-percentile—the one person out of ten who pushes the truck to its limit.

This fall, you can test out the all-new aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford-150 for yourself when it arrives at Paul Obaugh Ford.

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