Constant Evolution of the F-Series Is Key to Its Dominance
If you’ve ever wondered how and why the F-Series is the best-selling truck around, this video explains it all.
The F-Series is the king of all trucks, bar none. It climbed to the top of the annual sales mountain in 1977, and it has never come down since. But what did it take to get there, and how has our beloved truck maintained its hold on the throne since then?
That was the question asked of YouTuber Scotty Kilmer by one of his subscribers a while ago. So, if you ever wanted to know how the F-Series got it done, here’s your answer.
“In 1948, Ford started the F-Series,” Kilmer says. “It was the first pickup truck that they ever built that was built from scratch, with it’s own chassis. The earlier ones, they were based on car chassis with a truck body on it. The F-Series was the first one with a full-size truck frame made just for trucks.”
From the first model year through 1952, Kilmer says the smallest truck was dubbed the F-1 before a couple of zeroes were added in 1953, giving the world the first F-100. Kilmer adds that, since 1948, Ford has sold over 35 million F-Series pickups.
“Being in its 13th generation today, you realize they’ve been perfecting the pickup truck,” says Kilmer. “They make it to fit the buyers’ needs.”
As one example of the F-Series’ keys to success, Kilmer says Ford’s move to aluminum body panels, resulting in a 500-pound drop in weight, has helped attract customers needing a more fuel-efficient truck than what Ford’s competitors were offering. The addition of a 10-speed automatic also helps with fuel economy, giving some F-Series pickups 26 mpg on the highway.
“In the past, people [who] were pulling heavy loads would get a big V8 diesel, but now, everything is starting to change, and a lot of them are going to these V6 diesels that have turbos on them that are all set up,” says Kilmer.
In the case of the F-150, he says “you can get a V6 diesel rated at 30 mpg,” which makes towing heavy loads a bit less painful at the pump, so long as you get the diesel to do the job in the first place. He adds that Ford’s also improved the ride quality of the F-Series over the decades, mainly by changing the components of the truck’s suspension.
“When I was young, it was a real battle between the Chevy pickups and the Ford pickups,” Kilmer says. “They were neck and neck for a long time, but as far as I’m concerned, GM quality control has been going downhill for decades now.”
As one example, he says that for every F-150 in need of a transmission rebuild, he sees four Chevys in need of the same. He adds that he’s fixed more GM rear ends than any from Ford. As for Toyota, Kilmer says he liked them for a while, but the repair costs were too much for him to recommend them any longer.
“The reason that the F-150s are really the best-made American full-sized pickup truck is because that’s what they are,” Kilmer says. “They’re for hauling stuff. They can last a long time. They can take a lot of things. And historically, [Ford keeps] improving the things. They don’t just build something, and then say, ‘Oh, that didn’t work. Well, scratch that. We’ll start all over again.’ Over all those years, they’ve perfected pickup trucks.”