2017 Ford Super Duty pickups to feature aluminum boxes
Intent on proving the viability of lightweight engineering on its Super Duty line of F-Series pickups, Ford announced the cargo boxes in these trucks will be constructed of military-grade aluminum alloy that it claims is as tough as or tougher than the box on any previous Super Duty model. Ford says its first use of this premium alloy material in a cargo box also makes it more resistant to dents and dings than the current steel units.
"Our team of vehicle integration engineers worked together to develop a unique design approach with the Ford Truck Body Engineering team to drive optimized panel shape, added reinforcements and up-gauged materials into the pickup box -- all of which were proved beneficial in our evaluation," explained Kirk Leonard, a vehicle integration engineer for Ford.
Following initial computer simulations, Ford subjected development mules of the 2017 Super Duty models to an array of real-world torture tests that challenged the robustness of these aluminum boxes. Teardowns showed the design withstood the rigors of those challenges. In addition to eliminating rust/corrosion issues, the new aluminum cargo boxes contribute to weight reduction efforts on the next-gen Super Duty trucks that will make these Ford haulers up to 350 pounds lighter than current models.
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