By on October 1, 2014

2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch FX4

The King of Truck Mountain’s royal guard will soon be outfitted in aluminum, thanks to Ford’s vision for the next-gen Super Duty.

The Detroit News reports product development boss Raj Nair made the announcement during Ford’s investor day Monday. Though details were scarce, it’s likely the first aluminum-bodied Super Dutys will leave Louisville, Ky. in 2015 as 2016 models, in keeping with the bigger trucks following the F-150 down the upgrade trail.

As for the aluminum F-150, president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said the Dearborn Truck Plant has completed the month-long changeover needed to make the new truck, with aluminum sheets running through the plant starting this week. The new F-150 is expected in showrooms by the end of the year, so long as nothing fancy is needed.

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16 Comments on “Next-Gen Ford Super Duty To Receive Aluminum Bodies...”

  • avatar

    Trucks are finally starting to progress and advance. Soon enough, we’ll have a plug-in hybrid aluminum pickup that can go up to 40 miles on battery power. These are great times for the automotive industry, but I think things are going to get even better over the next 20 years.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The chicken that lays the golden egg. Living in a protected enclosure.

    I do hope Ford knows what it’s doing.

    Hmmm……Very brave.

    • 0 avatar

      Does your story involve something little, with or without a riding hood and possibly red?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, very brave of Ford to disregard the opinion of the world’s leading automotive guru, financial analyst, and “I know what’s best” genius .

      You’re stuck in the groove of your own brilliance.

    • 0 avatar

      Not to delve too deeply into Z71_Silvy levels of Ford bashing, but it’s only fair to question the Blue Oval’s ability to pull this off given its recent track record:

      *Numerous recalls, including several EcoBoost recalls for the same issue (1.6L fires)
      *Repeatedly overstating EB and Hybrid fuel economy
      *Build quality throughout the product line continues to leave much to be desired

      I want Ford to pull this off. I don’t think it will, at least not without some pain for early adopters. Prolonged difficulties would spell disaster for its most profitable and most highly-regarded product line.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s not Ford bashing. A true fan of any manufacturer acknowledge’s their favored company’s faults and missteps with the hope that they will learn from them and improve. Ford eventually recovered from the 6.0 Powerstroke, Firestone tires, the Bronco II debacle, and the Pinto.

  • avatar

    I know this is asking a lot, but I hope this generation marks a departure from styling that looks like it was done by a couple of 10-year-old boys trying to outdo each other.

  • avatar

    So are they bumping the guage up? 3/16 of an inch maybe?

    Cutting weight in a HD truck is stupid, the weight is needed for towing. There’s something else to this than saving weight, because that don’t fly, I doubt rust is the answer either, those prevention techniques are much improved.

    • 0 avatar

      Heavier gauge aluminum is a given. I’d say rust prevention is still a concern, but the truck with the most towing is the regular cab. Same with a simi and sleeper cab. Do you think the sleeper adds to the truck’s capacity? Or takes it away?

    • 0 avatar

      @Hummer – that is the persistent myth. Trucks like Peterbuilt use aluminum cabs and components. They pull multi-trailer combinations.

      The only place having a lighter truck will affect towing is if you have a trailer without brakes. Most jurisdictions allow a trailer to run without brakes as long as the trailer weighs 50% of the tow vehicle.

      Dropping weight will improve towing and hauling. If you drop 800 lbs from the tow vehicle and leave trailer capacities the same that will improve stopping distances and improve acceleration. What will most likely happen is Ford will boost tow/haul ratings based on weight loss since they want to keep the tow/haul king rankings for PR purposes.

      Current HD’s cannot tow or haul more than the current max settings since anything heavier puts them smack dab into commercial truck ratings and rules and regulations. Both Ram and Ford claim max tow ratings. If Ford sheds 800 lb it is almost certain that they will add 800 lb to the tow ratings ensuring “king of the hill” bragging rights. The competition will be forced to lighten their trucks to stay competitive.

      • 0 avatar

        A peterbilt has more wheels and better brakes, it doesn’t need additional weight to do anything.

        Having weight when going down a mountain or in wind or heavy rain is beneficial as the truck can absorb the forces from the trailer acting against the truck.

        Brakes or unbraked, would you be willing to tow 15k with a Tacoma that had 1 ton leafs, vs using a 3/4 to do the same task?

        Towing or hauling is up to the state, I don’t have CDLs and no ones ever bothered me at 15k #s
        Also lest not forget Ram will let you do 30k lbs on there full ton.

        • 0 avatar

          @Hummer – That is an unrealistic comparison. Is a Peterbuilt pulling a 45 ft van more dangerous than one pulling a Super B train?

          Is a F150 rated to tow 11k more dangerous than a F250 pulling 11k?

          Not really.

          One will just happen to be more reliable if you happen to tow all of the time.

          I’ve been in really bad weather in every size and class of pickup/van. Width, length and weight add stability TOO A POINT. You cross that boundary and that extra weight becomes a huge liability.

        • 0 avatar

          The trucks with still have steel frames and be laughably heavy, so don’t worry. This little trim around the bloated edges will only help fuel economy and give Ford a marketing edge in this highly-competitive market.

      • 0 avatar

        This is one of the basic reasons many over the road Class 8 trucks are going to Super Single tires on the tractor and trailer. Replacing a complete dual setup with singles effectively reduces the GVW by ~3/4 ton which can be directly translated into that much more cargo.

        Even with 3/4 to 1 ton trucks there is still an abundance of weight for traction and stability, and even then they have trailer sway control vehicle stability control to help mitigate any instability with a trailer. If the trailer is loaded properly and has good brakes, cutting a few hundred lbs isn’t really of much if any consequence when it comes to towing. If anything, it will improve rated capacities.

  • avatar

    My only thoughts on the whole aluminum switch is how durable the beds and tailgates will be. Can they be “banged” back into shape like so many work trucks that I see? Or, since Al isn’t as ductile will the panels crack at the fold in the metal when a repair is attempted.

    I’d be interested in a reply from anyone familiar with Al body work.

    • 0 avatar

      Aluminum doesn’t have the memory of steel so “banging” it back into shape will require more work with worse results. Of course, even with steel it’s tough to “bang” an exterior panel back into shape and have it look good without filler and paint work, which at that point is more or less the same process.

      Paintless dent repair is tougher on aluminum and replacing sections of panels is more involved with more specialized equipment. There will be a lot more outright panel replacement with Al than straightening and repair as is sometimes done with steel.

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