Ford Adds More Towing, Hauling Tech to 2021 F-150

2021 Ford F-150 Towing Trailer

Manufacturer images

By Brian Normile

When it comes to its F-150 half-ton pickup truck, Ford isn’t waiting around for competitors to innovate. Having won parent site Cars.com’s Best Pickup Truck of 2021 and Best of 2021 awards, the Blue Oval could’ve rested on its laurels. Instead, Ford is adding even more tech meant to make towing and hauling with the F-150 easier and safer: onboard scales to help ensure owners don’t exceed payload capacity, a smart hitch for assisting with proper tongue weight and weight distribution, and an adaptive suspension.

Related: PickupTrucks.com, Cars.com Name the 2021 Ford F-150 Our Best of 2021

Onboard Scales

2021 Ford F-150 Taillight And Scale Display In Center Touchscreen

The built-in scales can help owners better estimate the weight of a load they’re hauling. A truck’s particular payload capacity is preset, so no need to do trim-level or feature-specific math. (If you’ve ever looked at a towing or payload capacity chart, you should be thankful.) Estimated payload weights can be displayed in the center touchscreen or on a smartphone via the FordPass app. The taillights will also include a set of four lights that will illuminate based on the percentage of payload capacity used. Fully illuminated means fully loaded, and if the truck is overloaded the top set of lights will blink. The scales can also be zeroed out to determine how much weight is being added to an existing load.

Smart Hitch

2021 Ford F-150 Smart Hitch Display In Center Touchscreen

Proper tongue weight and weight distribution are important to towing safely. The new smart hitch on the F-150 will use the same methods as the onboard scales to help inform owners of the tongue weight and weight distribution: the central touchscreen, a phone via the FordPass app or via lights in the taillamps. Ford says the truck will indicate if the tongue weight is too high or too low and can also help owners properly set up a weight redistributing hitch.

2021 Ford F-150 Taillight Display

Continuously Controlled Damping

Not just for towing or hauling, Ford calls the new adaptive suspension system continuously controlled damping. It uses sensors to detect and respond to road imperfections and adjust suspension response in order to provide greater occupant comfort and reduce the F-150’s body movement. According to Ford, this system includes specific tuning for Tow/Haul mode in order to improve the driving experience when pulling or carrying a heavy load.

Pricing and Release Date

Ford hasn’t yet specified how much these new features will cost, or whether they’ll be stand-alone options or part of an equipment package, but says orders for 2021 F-150s equipped with the new tech will open in early June. Deliveries are expected to begin in late summer.

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