FTE Celebrates Ford’s Greatest Truck Ideas & Innovations

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The F-150’s hyper-efficient 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel is just the latest in a long line of groundbreaking Ford truck innovations.

We recently (finally) found out the full details on Ford’s brand spankin’ new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel-powered F-150. And needless to say, they’re good. As in class-leading good. But Ford’s innovative new oil burner is just the latest in a long line of innovations for the Blue Oval. The Ford truck lineup didn’t just become the world’s best-selling vehicle overnight, of course. Or by accident.

Ford earned its perennial position atop the sales charts with nothing less than constant innovation. They’ve remained one (or several, really) steps ahead of the competition with each passing year, in fact. Every model year brings new and innovative features that make the F-Series pickups more and more useful. So we thought it would be fun to take a look back at ten of the more groundbreaking Ford truck innovations in recent years, all of which help keep the F-Series afloat in the industry’s most competitive segment!

1. Pro Trailer Backup Assist

Ford Trailer Backup Assist

While many would argue that Pro Trailer Backup Assist is a silly, unnecessary feature, it’s actually quite ingenious. Sure, seasoned trailer haulers can back their rigs up with ease, but this is a skill that takes time and practice to master. And unfortunately, it can prove disastrous if you don’t do it right. With Pro Trailer Backup assist, you simply position the trailer with a dash-mounted knob while the truck does the rest of the work.

The system is able to automatically steer the vehicle and trailer as well as determine proper speed. Heck, it can even detect what speed provides optimal comfort for occupants depending on road surfaces. It’s an ingenious little piece of tech that takes the stress out of positioning your trailer. And you can bet the line of folks waiting behind you at the local boat ramp will appreciate it, too!

2. Remote Tailgate

Remote Tailgate

Ford’s new remote tailgate lock and release system is another feature that some might call silly. But if you’ve got a limited range of motion or other physical limitations, it’s a welcome addition. The idea, of course, is rather simple – press a button on your key fob and the tailgate automatically lowers. The tailgate is also damped, so it won’t slam down and damage anything. And with tailgates getting heavier and heavier with added technology, we’re betting there are quite a few folks who appreciate this innovative new feature!

3. 170-Degree Doors

170-Degree Doors

File this one under things we’ve always wanted but didn’t really know we needed. Every new Ford truck comes with a ton of space in both SuperCab and SuperCrew models, yet they can sometimes be difficult to access. Especially if you’re parked in a tight space. Enter Ford’s innovative 170-degree rear doors, which help make loading cargo a snap. Toss is a completely flat floor, and you can store an astonishing amount of stuff without even having to use the bed!

4. Stowable Bed Ramps

Stowable Bed Ramps

With a show of hands, how many of you carry a set of ramps in the bed of your truck? Well, no need for that waste of space anymore! Ford now offers a super convenient set of stowable bed ramps. When you don’t need them, they mount right on the sides of the bed, where they don’t take up much precious space at all. For people who routinely load things like motorcycles or lawn mowers in the bed of their trucks, this is a truly revolutionary innovation.

5. 10-Speed Transmission

10-Speed Transmission

Ford’s much ballyhooed new 10-speed automatic transmission is the first of its kind in a full size truck. But the addition of gears has left a huge impact on a number of areas. For starters – gas mileage. The 10-speed tranny is a big part of the reason why both the 2.7 Ecoboost and 3.0-liter diesel F-150 are the most fuel efficient in their respective classes. And unlike many other transmissions of its kind, this one is a highly sophisticated piece that can even adapt to the driver’s habits for optimal shifts.

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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