US: Ford tests new F-150 shape with hefty men image

The big news surrounding America’s sweetheart pick-up truck, the model that has a love affair with the best-selling top – F-150 – is that its new generation opted to use aluminium to lose some weight, around 700 pounds.

Well, in a bit of odd news, it looks like to get into “shape”, one of the tests in early pre-production stage included the use of some hefty men – each had to weigh at least 265 pounds (120 kg).

To test the strength and durability of the front seats, Ford asked a company to enlist a dozen such men for a “grueling” stress test: dressed in dirty jeans, they had to climb up and down from the driver’s seat at least 10,000 times per truck.

Thanks to the test’s results, the 2015 Ford F-150 is equipped with front seats of higher-strength steel and tougher leather that actually weigh less than the current seats (a combined 30 pounds – 14 kg), but can survive tough beating from beefy drivers.

“Even though our seats met our internal standards, we were getting a few customers, especially with our leather seats, where the leather was cracking and not living up to expectations,” said Tim Dunn, Ford’s North American seat complete engineer manager.

The human seat testers were used because in the standardized test that uses robots a factor could not be taken into account – dirt. The men had to work around 10 hours daily, for about a week in the heat of the summer, last year, wearing the same pair of jeans throughout the entire process – and every 500 sits some “Arizona dust” was padded onto the seats.