New Ford F-150 Towing and Hauling Technology Debuts

Christian Wardlaw | Apr 28, 2021

Ford is adding new towing and hauling technology to the 2021 F-150 light-duty pickup truck. The new features include Onboard Scales, Smart Hitch, and a continuously controlled damping suspension. Buyers considering a new Ford F-150 can order these upgrades starting in June of 2021.

What is Ford Onboard Scales? - Find the best Ford deals!

Ford F150 Onboard Scales FordPass

Ford Onboard Scales estimates how much the load in the cargo bed weighs, compares the weight to a specific truck’s payload rating, and illuminates four bars in the new “smart” taillights to show the F-150’s owner how much payload the cargo is using.

For example, if two bars in the taillight illuminate, the cargo is using about half of the F-150’s maximum payload rating. Four bars indicate a full load. If the top bar is blinking, the truck is overloaded.

Owners can also use a display screen in the infotainment system to review the cargo weight and payload information or check their FordPass smartphone app. As you add more cargo to the bed, Ford says you can zero out the first measurement and weigh only the added items, if that is preferable.

Ford calls this a class-exclusive feature, but if it proves popular, you can expect other full-size truck makers to consider adding something similar in the future.

What is Ford Smart Hitch? - Find the best Ford deals!

Ford F150 SmartHitch FordPass

Ford Smart Hitch promotes safer towing by helping F-150 owners to distribute trailer weight properly. When you hook a trailer to the F-150’s hitch, it measures the tongue weight and tells the truck’s owner if the hitch is overloaded or too light for safe trailering. 

Owners can review the data in three ways: “smart” taillights, infotainment system, and FordPass smartphone app. The Smart Hitch technology also provides guidance about properly distributing trailer weight and how to tension a weight distributing hitch.

This is another class-exclusive feature for now, but it could find its way to competitive trucks in the future.

Is an Adaptive Suspension Good for Towing? - Find the best Ford deals!

2021 Ford F150 Continuously Controlled Damping Suspension

A suspension’s shock absorbers (or dampers) are responsible for controlling unwanted body motions in any vehicle, including bounce, pitch, and roll. In other words, they dampen these motions. 

An adaptive damping suspension continually adjusts shock absorber valving in response to road surface bumps, cracks, and holes. This results in a smoother ride, more secure handling, and better-connected steering.

Ford is adding its continuously controlled (adaptive) damping suspension technology to the F-150, and it is specifically tuned to maximize vehicle and trailer stability when the driver places the truck in Tow/Haul mode.

Is an adaptive suspension worth it? If you’re using a new Ford F-150 to carry large payloads or to tow heavy trailers, yes.

Ford Motor Company is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on April 28, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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