Ford Puts the F-150 through a Real-World Test

F-150 Customer Testing

The much anticipate 2015 Ford F-150 will hit the dealership soon. With an aluminum-body and a slew of special features for the working man, the biggest question we hear is “will it be reliable?”

Well Ford put these trucks to the test, secretly, at job sites across the country. Since 2011, Ford has taken aluminum-alloy F-150 models to workers all across the country, letting the customer see what they will expect in the all-new model.

The F-150 showed up at a gold mine in Nevada and a Pennsylvania dam. The F-150 has serviced power lines in Appalachia and all these long-time Ford fleet customers are giving the new models a positive review.

“Our customers demand the highest levels of toughness and productivity – so we wanted to test the truck outside, in the harshest conditions and in the hands of real customers – with no limits,” said Larry Queener, program manager for the new F-150. “But we did not want these customers to know what was different. So, when we gave them the prototype vehicles, we told them to use the trucks like their other hard-working Ford trucks, and we would be back to follow their progress.”

In the Nevada gold mines, the trucks they were given in 2011 are still going 100 to 300 miles per day, and they have accumulated more than 150,000 miles between them.

A regional utility company in North Carolina initial complained that truck’s tailgate was reducing visibility, so the engineer’s at  Ford have made height modifications for the all-new 2015 model. The workers in North Carolina love their trucks though, and still drive then about 200 miles per day.

All the workers told the Ford Motor Co. that the beds are not rusting.

“This secret testing almost immediately yielded results and lessons we have rolled into the all-new F-150,” said Kansier. “For example, we made the cargo box floor thicker to improve strength, and we made modifications to the tailgate based on lessons we learned through customer usage.”

The 2015 Ford F-150 will be one of the most popular vehicles when it hits the dealership later this year. The highlight of course is the aluminum body. Ford says by switching from steel to aluminum, the F-150 will be nearly 800 pounds lighter. Other highlights of the new F-150 include a new EcoBoost engine, LED lighting and a number of technology improvements.

The Waikem Body Shop is also ready to handle the all-aluminum body.

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About Jeff Russ

Lead blogger and content writer for the Waikem Auto Family in Massillon, Ohio. Product specialist in Ford, Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi models. 2008 Graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Married to wife Christina. Resides in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

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