Have you ever loaded up a truck with cargo, people and a trailer but had no idea how much it all weighed? The 2021 Ford F-150 has an answer for this conundrum: It can actually weigh your load for you.
Today’s trucks can haul huge loads. That’s all fine and dandy, but you still need to make sure you aren’t exceeding weight ratings and potentially causing safety issues. So how do you figure out how much it all weighs? The old way was to drive out to a commercial scale and weigh it.
Ford has a better idea: A feature coming to the 2021 Ford F-150 this summer will take some of the guesswork out of towing and hauling.
The Onboard Scales system will let F-150 owners estimate the weight of their load in real-time. As owners pile stuff into the truck’s bed or people into cab, Onboard Scales will display a weight estimate in a number of areas.
The estimated payload weight can be viewed on the truck’s infotainment screen, through the FordPass app or by taking note of the clever taillights.
How the lights work is genius. As you chuck stuff into the truck’s bed, a bank of lights on the taillight will indicate how close you are to the truck’s up to 3325-pound payload rating. If you go over, it’ll blink at you.
No more wondering if you’re still within your payload rating, as the truck will let you know when you’re hauling too much. As an additional trick, you can zero out the weight on the truck’s scales and use the bed to weigh stuff.
The truck also comes with similar tech for towing. The Smart Hitch can measure trailer tongue weight and give you advice on weight distribution. This tech isn’t too pricey, either. Onboard Scales and Smart Hitch are wrapped together as a $650 package, but require the max trailer tow package option first.
Backing up these handy features is an additional option for an active damping system. Continuously Controlled Damping adjusts the suspension on the fly to control unwanted motions, the idea being that the ride won’t be that jarring if you were to hit something like a pothole. The nifty dampers add $695 to the price.
It’s an interesting answer to a question so many of us have had after loading up a truck. Ford says that orders for F-150s with this tech begin in June, with the trucks arriving by the end of summer.