Pickup truck body panels and frames are generally made of steel. They have long been the vehicle standard since they are affordable, durable, and simple to repair.
This is why the Ford aluminum body, which made its debut in 2015, generated a great deal of controversy.
In this article, find out which Ford trucks’ bodies are made of aluminum, what the aluminum body is, the benefits of having an aluminum body, and so much more.
Ford F-150 Models That Have Aluminum Body: Key Takeaways
- As of 2015, Ford F-150 and Super Duty trucks as of 2017 have aluminum bodies.
- Aluminum bodied vehicles are easy to repair, have lower weight and costs, and have good strength.
Which Ford Trucks Have Aluminum Body?
The Ford F-150 features an aluminum body, as of 2015.
Aluminum bodywork was also added to the F-Series Super-Duty trucks in 2017.
According to The Drive, both pickups were the first in their class to have bodywork built of the lighter material.
So, the only Ford trucks with aluminum bodywork and beds now are the Ford F-150 and F-Series Super Duty.
By the way: Do you know what the 150 in Ford F-150 stands for? Here is the quick answer.
What Is The Meaning Behind Aluminum Bodies In Ford Trucks?
What exactly is the Ford aluminum body, then?
People usually refer to the aluminum body panels Ford started employing for its Ford F-150 when they talk about the company’s “aluminum body.”
Namely, the 2015 aluminum-body 13th generation F-150.
Although the body and truck bed are primarily aluminum, the structure is still steel. When the fourth generation of Super Duty trucks was released in 2017, they also used aluminum for those vehicles.
What’s the big deal, then?
Of course, aluminum body panels are nothing new. Aluminum is a common material for automobiles’ bodies and frames/chassis. The original Honda NSX featured a body constructed completely of aluminum. However, in pickup vehicles, it’s unheard of.
When Did Ford Introduce Aluminum?
Aluminum enables automakers to decrease vehicle mass, increase range, and maintain or even improve durability and safety. Ford has already used the benefits of aluminum in their fleet.
Ford spent the last six years perfecting best practices for mass-market aluminum manufacturing before introducing the F-150 with an aluminum body in 2015.
The 2015 F-150 shed 700 pounds (roughly 15% of the vehicle’s body weight) thanks to its high-strength, military-grade aluminum body. It became the first full-size Ford pickup to receive a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
What Are The Benefits Of Having Aluminum Body Vehicles?
There are a lot of benefits to having an aluminum body Ford truck.
If you want to find out about them, keep reading!
When Ford first began employing aluminum in the F-150 pickups, it drew criticism from other manufacturers. According to Automotive News, the aluminum repairs are less pricey than the critics predicted.
Ford spent a lot of money educating insurance companies about the advantages of aluminum and providing customized training for dealers. Ford modified how the body panels were mounted to help with repair, enabling repair specialists to simply and quickly reach the item they required.
Time and money were saved by avoiding the need to remove numerous components to access the one panel that needed to be replaced.
Less Weight & Less Cost
The removal of the steel bed resulted in a significant weight loss for the Ford F-150. They also replaced a few additional panels with aluminum in addition to that.
As a result, they were able to get a truck that was over 700 pounds lighter than their old Ford F-150. Given that their rivals’ vehicles were significantly heavier, Ford enjoyed an advantage in gas mileage.
Ford reduced production costs by reusing the metal leftover from a handful of its cars. The parts are given to a supplier, who turns them into aluminum coils through recycling. They immediately return the parts to Ford, who utilizes them for other vehicles.
People sometimes associate aluminum with the cans that their soda or beer arrives in when they think of the metal. Fear not—that is not how Ford manufactures its vehicles.
Ford refers to the 6000 series aluminum alloy it uses as “military-grade” aluminum.
Apart from a dubious marketing claim, aluminum strikes an excellent balance between strength, price, and weight. It is less costly and more fragile than carbon fiber but lighter than steel.
Conclusion: Why Does Ford Use an Aluminum Body?
Weight is the primary factor behind Ford’s decision to employ aluminum for its new F-150 and Super Duty pickup trucks.
As a result, they can lighten their load by employing aluminum. As a result of that, the vehicles can pull or transport a greater weight while being quicker and more fuel-efficient.
For instance, the 2015 F-150 (the first to incorporate aluminum body panels) weighs around 700 pounds less than its predecessor, as said before.
This figure fluctuates depending on the cab type and trim, but overall, it is lighter than the previous generation.
The 2014 F-150’s towing capacity ranged from 4,500 to 8,100 pounds depending on the model and engine. Conversely, a 2015 F-150 can tow a maximum of 10,400 lbs.
With excellent quality material for less money, Ford made a significant step by introducing aluminum in their vehicles.
Luna Meschiari is a full-blooded car nut who is well known to local garages, as each article is meticulously researched and peppered with the latest piece of information. Guess what car she’s driving right now? A RAV4 2021 Hybrid. But her heart also sleeps for pickups like the F-150. Get to know Luna better on the about us page.