Ford made a huge splash when it announced its best-selling F-150 pickup would feature an aluminum cab, beginning in 2015. Have they gone mad? people wondered. It’s a truck. Built to pull things and haul things. They had visions of Pepsi cans – so easily squished flat – playing in their heads. Those of us in the heavy-duty industry were likely far less skeptical. After all, we’ve been running heavy-duty Class 8 trucks with aluminum cabs for many years, even in punishing vocational environments.
I went to San Antonio, Texas to be among the first to drive the new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup and it seemed every bit as capable as its all-steel predecessor. And if it can do the same job as it could in the past, then what’s not to like about an aluminum F-150? I’ll tell you what there is to like about it – a 700-lb weight savings, which can be converted directly into increased payload and towing capacity.
Surprisingly, I also found the truck handled a lot better, having shed some weight. It was a nimble vehicle, especially while cornering and it accelerated aggressively, particularly with the new 2.7-litre EcoBoost engine under the hood. We had the chance to drag race the new F-150 back-to-back with competitive vehicles (in a safe, off-road setting) and this truck can go. They all can, but the F-150 posted routinely faster times, no matter who was driving which vehicle.
Towing 9,000 lbs the F-150 was stable and comfortable. Pulling 7,000 behind the Ram was a handful. And this all relates to the functionality of the new F-150. It has also been redesigned to provide the driver with a much more comfortable and personalized driving experience. Everything from the fully customizable, revamped eight-inch driver display to the better sightlines to the key fob-controlled tailgate provide a better driving experience. If you’re a Ford guy, you’ll love the new F-150. If you’re not, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give it a look. Check out my full review and lots of pictures here.
James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies