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Old 06-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #1
sourdough
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Ford aluminum bed vs steel

Just saw the video in the link below; most of you may have already seen it.

It sure opened my eyes about the strength of the aluminum beds on the new Ford trucks. I've bought dozens of new Ford trucks and the bed was never something I thought about. Now with the aluminum, I couldn't go that route. For those of us that RV, carry stuff, put hitches in our beds etc., it's something to think about.

http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado-f...94712_71691526

Watch the video. I'm not a Chevy or Ford guy anymore.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:50 PM   #2
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Not a Chevy guy?
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:06 PM   #3
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Nope. Haven't bought a new Chevy pickup since 1971. Bought 37 new Fords though. Haven't had one of them since 2001.

I know it's a Silverado ad but I've had my concerns about an aluminum bed all along. Body panels? Maybe. Bed? Hmmmmmm......

Note: this is not a Chevy vs Ford thing. It's a steel vs aluminum comment/observation. I have no dog in this hunt; I have owned Dodge/Ram trucks since 2001.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
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So what is Chevy going to say when there aluminum truck comes out in the next few years? I have had items punch holes in a steel bed before so it is not just an aluminum problem.

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Old 06-09-2016, 04:51 PM   #5
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I'll start by saying I am not a fan of the new aluminum technology at all but, in all fairness who goes out and spends $45k+ on a new truck and doesn't at least put a bed mat down. With a spray in, drop in, bed mat, etc I highly doubt there would have been any damage on either truck. I have seen very few new trucks out there with no bed protection at all.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BlueThunder34 View Post
I'll start by saying I am not a fan of the new aluminum technology at all but, in all fairness who goes out and spends $45k+ on a new truck and doesn't at least put a bed mat down. With a spray in, drop in, bed mat, etc I highly doubt there would have been any damage on either truck. I have seen very few new trucks out there with no bed protection at all.
I have a sprayed in bedliner plus the rubber floor mat BUT I've seen many trucks that have neither. Also, on my new truck the liner was sprayed in by the dealer vs the ones I've had sprayed in by the manufacturer. The dealer installation is much more prone to the liner being nicked, pieces breaking off etc.

I've never personally put a hole in the bed of a truck. I have seen it happen due to accident when working with a construction crew....and it took a heck of a hit...not a tool box; and it was 30 years ago.

I've not heard that Chevy was going to aluminum beds but if they do....I drive a Ram. If they all do then we as owners will learn to live with what they give us I suppose.

I didn't post the video for a Ford vs Chevy conversation. It illustrated what I figured would be a weak spot for the metal. I'm not trying to argue steel vs aluminum; they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Some applications favor one over the other and some is up to personal preference (cookware). Just thought it was interesting.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:23 PM   #7
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No way is the vid partial to Chevy, right?? They would never make their truck look better in the ad
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:24 PM   #8
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It's always good to have choices, different strokes for different folks.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BlueThunder34 View Post
I'll start by saying I am not a fan of the new aluminum technology at all but, in all fairness who goes out and spends $45k+ on a new truck and doesn't at least put a bed mat down. With a spray in, drop in, bed mat, etc I highly doubt there would have been any damage on either truck. I have seen very few new trucks out there with no bed protection at all.
You'd be surprised. I've seen many, many trucks without a bed liner and I've heard many, many people say it's a truck, I bought it to use not to look pretty. Not everyone treats a $45k investment the same way.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:29 PM   #10
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Everyone I know with a work truck has a plain bed. A friend tells me a lot of the Ford guys are going to Dodges because of the requirement to remove the cab to do certain engine work. Its especially more onerous when the trucks have headache bars extending over the cab. This aluminum bed is going to be a further deal breaker I'm afraid.

I like and use Rhino liner, but if I had a real work truck with an aluminum bed, the Rhino liner may not be enough.
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Old 06-10-2016, 03:42 AM   #11
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Seems like a no-brainer. Steel is a superior material when it comes to strength, but not strength to weight and certainly not rust resistance.

The aluminum bed can be scratched until all the paint is gone and it will not rust. It also saves real weight over the steel bed which adds to max towing and capacity loads. If you will mostly be pulling a 5th wheel, horse trailer or large tractor that towing capacity could be far more valuable than puncture resistance in a bed. if you punch a hole in your aluminum bed get a patch welded on it and, oh yeah, don't worry about painting it, it won't rust.

On a side note. I wonder what they are using for fasteners since galvanic corrosion is a serious problem when you mix aluminum and steel. I wouldn't be surprised with the way composites are developing that we see a composite bed in the near future.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:36 AM   #12
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Seems like a no-brainer. Steel is a superior material when it comes to strength, but not strength to weight and certainly not rust resistance.

The aluminum bed can be scratched until all the paint is gone and it will not rust. It also saves real weight over the steel bed which adds to max towing and capacity loads. If you will mostly be pulling a 5th wheel, horse trailer or large tractor that towing capacity could be far more valuable than puncture resistance in a bed. if you punch a hole in your aluminum bed get a patch welded on it and, oh yeah, don't worry about painting it, it won't rust.

On a side note. I wonder what they are using for fasteners since galvanic corrosion is a serious problem when you mix aluminum and steel. I wouldn't be surprised with the way composites are developing that we see a composite bed in the near future.
The new Honda Ridgeline is going that way, some kind of plastic material. Note I am not trying to start the is the Honda a real truck. For most of us on this forum the Honda does not even come close to hauling the loads we need.

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Old 06-10-2016, 06:49 AM   #13
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It should be option, but aluminum will give ford a better pay load for rving. I have a old 85 f250 4x4 that is beat to crap that I use to dump stuff in. I'm a chevy guy . Cool video enjoyed seeing the Ford take it in the back side again ,
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:04 AM   #14
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It will just increase the sales in cab and chassis trucks. Then you can choose the flatbed that you put on it. But if you think about it. There have been aluminum flatbeds out for some time and they have been doing well. Of course they are made a lot thicker and much more bracing


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Old 06-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #15
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According to Ford, in 2015 when they introduced the "aluminum F150" the use of aluminum reduced vehicle weight about 700 pounds, most of which was "invested in payload increases"... The truck frame and running gear was pretty much "left alone"...

In the "aluminum SuperDuty", there will be close to the same "weight reduction" with the aluminum body panels, but much of that weight savings is being "reinvested" in a heavier frame and some running gear modifications, so the payload won't increase as dramatically as we've seen in the F150 line. It looks to me from the limited reports I've seen, that Ford's payloads will only increase to be "somewhere close" to GM and Chrysler's current payload ratings.

Some reports indicate that Ford is "satisfied" with payload, towing capacity and performance, and felt the extra weight savings would be better served with reinvesting it in a "stronger vehicle"... http://www.ford-trucks.com/articles/...mpaign=content

As for aluminum panels being "not as strong" or "more puncture prone", if you think about the skin of most aircraft that travel 500+ MPH through thunderstorms and rain/sleet/hail..... Good old "Mil Std .032" aluminum panels on the wings of fighter aircraft "manage to hold together" at 1200+ MPH. I wouldn't sell "military grade" aluminum short because of a competitor's advertisement...

Yup, I'm a Ford guy, so this is probably a "biased" comment, but hopefully not perceived as a "negative" comment toward any other vehicle brand.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:03 AM   #16
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According to Ford, in 2015 when they introduced the "aluminum F150" the use of aluminum reduced vehicle weight about 700 pounds, most of which was "invested in payload increases"... The truck frame and running gear was pretty much "left alone"...

In the "aluminum SuperDuty", there will be close to the same "weight reduction" with the aluminum body panels, but much of that weight savings is being "reinvested" in a heavier frame and some running gear modifications, so the payload won't increase as dramatically as we've seen in the F150 line. It looks to me from the limited reports I've seen, that Ford's payloads will only increase to be "somewhere close" to GM and Chrysler's current payload ratings.

Some reports indicate that Ford is "satisfied" with payload, towing capacity and performance, and felt the extra weight savings would be better served with reinvesting it in a "stronger vehicle"... http://www.ford-trucks.com/articles/...mpaign=content

As for aluminum panels being "not as strong" or "more puncture prone", if you think about the skin of most aircraft that travel 500+ MPH through thunderstorms and rain/sleet/hail..... Good old "Mil Std .032" aluminum panels on the wings of fighter aircraft "manage to hold together" at 1200+ MPH. I wouldn't sell "military grade" aluminum short because of a competitor's advertisement...

Yup, I'm a Ford guy, so this is probably a "biased" comment, but hopefully not perceived as a "negative" comment toward any other vehicle brand.
Rain, sleet, hail impact on an aircraft structure doesn't compare to the highlighted damage of a ~40# toolbox being dropped into the bed of an aluminum pickup. The damage done is more like said aircraft impacting a bird inflight, and heavy hail has been known to cause severe damage to aircraft. All aircraft, including fighters, avoid severe weather and impact with anything heavier than rain or light hail. Aluminum skinned aircraft have integrity designed into their structure for the purpose of flight not for the same purpose designed into pickups. Some of the cargo aircraft I flew had floor liners for increased structural integrity to protect the aluminum cargo floor when non-palletized bulk cargo was loaded. Zone floor loading weight restrictions existed, also.

Having said that, this aluminum bed will be popular with the non-work truck crowd as a grocery getter or recreational tow vehicle. My bed, for example, doesn't have a dent in it, even before it was Rhino lined. I use it, but I don't abuse it. I could probably deal with having an aluminum bed. The contractors I know are different animals. I can foresee the hardcore Ford guys laying down steel plate or plywood (the original bed liner) to ensure longevity. The flatbed guys just don't care as they replace their beds buying steel flatbeds instead of aluminum because of the cost.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:06 AM   #17
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This goes along with what we saw at the dealership I work at. I wasn't there at the time, but the guys who were tell me the aluminum F150s had more damage after a hail storm than any other vehicle on the lot. Which makes me wonder how easy it is to fix with PDR compared to steel. This kind of makes me thing it would be prone to puncture from PDR tools.
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:42 PM   #18
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I just saw a Chevrolet commercial talking about how sturdy there steel bed was dropping stuff in it.


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Old 06-10-2016, 04:32 PM   #19
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I just saw a Chevrolet commercial talking about how sturdy there steel bed was dropping stuff in it.


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It's the same commercial as the one in the link on the original post and what everyone is discussing here.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:19 PM   #20
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Sorry didn't see that. Link didn't work for me when I started. Was just playing catch up.


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