In the beginning, buyers didn’t worry about the metal used in building a truck bed because the only metal available was steel.
Steel had some problems though. The biggest problem was that it rusted. Even today, most steel starts to rust after only a year of use. Over time, a steel truck bed can slowly disintegrate.
When the all-aluminum truck bed came on the market in early 2000 it had a huge advantage over steel as a manufacturing material. Not only did aluminum resist rust and corrosion, it was also lighter. Aluminum Bed owners reported better gas mileage which added to its popularity.
All-aluminum beds tend to be more expensive than steel beds, however. And steel bed manufacturers claim aluminum beds just can’t withstand a heavy payload as well as a steel bed. This leaves buyers with a hard choice-do they pay more for an all-aluminum bed with its supposed superiority, or buy a more familiar steel bed and save money? Opinions vary wildly.
What are the facts, though? Is an all-aluminum bed really a better choice? Have steel bed manufacturers managed to overcome the material’s flaws? This article aims to answer that question.
Steel vs. aluminum? By choosing to build the 2015 F-150 with an all-aluminum body, Ford is shaving 700 pounds from the truck’s weight. And that’s a critical factor as automakers struggle to reach a 54.5 mpg fleet average by 2025. The F-150 has been America’s favorite vehicle for 32 years, so light weighting it—and reaching, maybe, 30 mpg on the highway—is really important to Ford.