There has been a rumor on the street that there are now trucks made out of aluminum. The body of the trucks is said to be more durable than steel and 50% lighter, increasing fuel economy. Instead of wandering around dealerships looking for what trucks that have aluminum bodies, we did the research for you!
Currently, there are only four pickup trucks that have bodies and beds wholly made out of aluminum. You might not be surprised that the leading truck dealer in the United States makes both of them, Ford! Here are the four Ford trucks with aluminum bodies:
- 2021 Ford F-150
- 2021 F-Series Super Duty (F-250 & F-350)
- 2021 F-450 Super Duty
That's a shortlist, we know! With all of the pickup trucks for sale on the market, why is Ford the only one who offers an aluminum body? Keep reading to learn more about the Ford F-150, F-Series Super Duty, and the benefits of an aluminum body vs. a steel body.
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Pickup Trucks That Have Aluminum Bodies
2021 Ford F-150
The Ford's F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America since 1977! That's pretty impressive, considering how many great pickup trucks are out there. The F-150 has a smooth ride, rogue off-roading durability, and enough power to haul hefty loads. The F-150 sports a lineup of trim packages that consumers can choose from:
- King Ranch
Yep, you read that right! That's seven different trim packages that are offered for the F-150. No wonder the F-150 leads in sales year after year; it has so much to offer! Not only are there seven trim packages to choose from, but the F-150 also offers six different engine options, including their all-new 3.5L PowerBoost Full Hybrid engine.
For the 2021 models, Ford has added new features for drivers and passengers to enjoy, such as speakers in the headrest, foldable gear shift, 14 outlets, and built rulers and clamps on the tailgate.
2021 F-Series F-250 and F-350
The F-150's big brothers, the Ford-250 and Ford-350, are also equipped with the aluminum body. For these bigger trucks, the lighter body is beneficial for increase fuel mileage while towing heavy loads. The F-Series Super Duties are available in two different engines, the 7.3L Gas V8 or 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel.
We clumped these two trucks together because you might not be able to tell the difference side by side. It's the towing where you find the real difference between the two. The Ford F-350 has a significantly higher payload than its little brother. It has a max payload of 7,640 LBS, whereas the F-250 has a max towing capacity of 4,270 LBS. This mainly due to the F-350 being specifically constructed for towing.
2021 F-450 Super Duty
Last but not least, the 2021 F-450 Super Duty body is also entirely made out of aluminum. While the F-350 is designed for towing, it also makes for comfortable as a daily commuter. The F-450 is the truck you get when all you do is haul and tow. Its large body makes it challenging to navigate through city streets.
When hooked up to a bumper trailer, it can tow 21,000 LBS. If it's equipped with a gooseneck trailer, it can handle up to a whopping 35,000 LBS. The Ford-450 has the kind of power that is perfect for hauling and towing large tractor equipment, cattle, or any extremely hefty load.
Ford added extra towing features to make it safe and convenient while using the F-450 for workloads. A highlight feature is adaptive cruise control. This is extremely handy when towing on large loads on interstates. If you need to slow down quickly, the adaptive cruise control will automatically slow down the truck to an appropriate speed without taking it off cruise control. When it is safe, the truck will automatically go back to its original cruise control speed.
The F-450 also accommodates its height by offering owners deployable cab steps and a tailgate step. Read on to learn more about the benefits of aluminum body trucks.
Ford's Switch From Steel To Aluminum
Ford made their customer-focused switch to aluminum in hopes of having an edge on the truck market. With a common concern that pickup trucks get poor gas mileage, Ford saw an opportunity to increase gas mileage and maintain rugged durability by switching to a complete aluminum body. We say "complete" because pickup trucks like the Chevy Silverado switched some panels from steel to aluminum, but not the truck's bed.
Continue reading to learn about the features and benefits of Ford F-150 and F-Series Super Duty aluminum bodies.
What year Ford trucks have aluminum bodies?
Ford had many concerns when discussing the switch from steel to aluminum, including losing a percentage of their loyal customers. It was an expensive switch, but in 2015, Ford made a leap faith and came out with their first F-150 with an aluminum frame. Not long after, Ford released the F-Series Super Duty's aluminum body in 2017.
At first, consumers seemed skeptical about leaving the steel body. Steel has an image that is seen as a strong and durable metal that can handle anything. However, it didn't take long for Ford's new concept to gain popularity like its predecessors.
The Advantages Of Aluminum vs. Steel
The main advantage that aluminum has over steel is that it weighs less. Quite a bit less actually, Ford states that the new aluminum body of the F-150 weighs 700 LBS less than the previous steel body.
This comes as such an advantage because one thing that trucks lack is efficient gas mileage. Ford's switch to the aluminum body has increased fuel efficiency by 5% to 29%. That increase can make a significant difference when it comes to fuel costs.
Trimming the weight off of the F-150 body also improved the truck's overall performance. Less weight means less work the engine has to do. This is a huge advantage when it comes to hauling and towing.
Do Aluminum Body Trucks Rust?
When Ford first launched the aluminum body, people saw it as a pop can body. Meaning it was easy to crush and easy to rust. In the last six years, Ford has proved that is not the case.
Aluminum alloys are pretty impressive when it comes to their resistance to rust and corrosion. Consumers can sleep at night knowing that a small scratch or ding on their pickup truck won't cause further damage due to rust.
Aluminum Is Stronger Than People Think
The F-150 won't rust like a soda pop can, and it doesn't get crushed like a pop can. The aluminum body of the Ford is strong and durable. It's not precisely stronger than steel, but it holds up better to damage because it can absorb more crash energy.
There have been several arguments since the aluminum bodies debut that it isn't what Ford is making it out to be. Ford's competitors argue that even though the lightweight body increases fuel mileage and frees up the engine's power, it still will not be able to hold up to extreme force. Have a look at this video showing the editors from Edmunds.com hitting the aluminum body of the Ford F-150 with a sledgehammer:
Is The Aluminum Body Better Than Steel For Trucks?
The debate on whether or not an aluminum body is better than steel body trucks may go on forever. There are many scenarios that come into play when making the argument on either side of the spectrum.
One thing is for sure, steel is 2.5 times denser than aluminum, making it quite a bit heavier. This is a significant advantage when it comes to increased fuel mileage on a pickup truck. At the other end of the argument, because steel is denser, it is believed that the truck's body will last longer.
At the end of the day, steel and aluminum both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want to look at a truck with a body made out of both steel and aluminum, look at the Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado has aluminum panels but a steel truck bed. The high-strength steel on the Chevy is only used where needed for heavy loads, and where it's not required, it's not added.
Is There A Clear Winner?
When it comes down to choosing between a truck with an aluminum body or a steel body, you will need to weigh the pros and cons based on your own opinion. One person may think aluminum isn't stronger than steel, and another person may think the opposite. Choosing between the two comes down to more than the material it is made out of.
Consumers also need to look at deciding factors such as comfort, drivability, fuel mileage, towing capabilities, luxury futures, price, and many more. You might test drive a Ford F-150 and love the engineering of the aluminum body but hate the way it rides down the interstate.
Test-drive some trucks, narrowing it down to your top three. From there, make a list of pros and cons to help you make a buying decision. Good luck!
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