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Full-size pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 are renowned for their rugged power and performance, particularly in the towing department. As of the latest model year, the F-150’s towing capacity caps out at 14,000 pounds. The Chevy Silverado 1500, the F-150’s closest rival, can tow up to 13,400 pounds.

Despite all that power, recent data shows most Ford F-150 owners rarely (if ever) tow anything. Instead, they use their trucks for family activities and daily driving. Is there any reason why drivers don’t take advantage of their trucks’ towing and hauling capabilities?

Truck buyers have ever-changing needs

Ford Tremor interior
Ford F-150 Tremor interior | Ford

In the 1960s, Ford F-150 drivers favored utility over comfort. The cabs had only two seats, allowing a longer bed and payload and towing capacities. Ford began focusing more on cabin comfort in the 1975 model year, Axios reports.

Beginning in the 1997 model year, the Blue Oval built the F-150 with an equal cabin-bed ratio. The models from this generation also more commonly had four-door cabs instead of two doors. The SuperCab models featured two half-sized rear doors, while the SuperCrew models had four full-size doors.

In previous years, Ford had focused marketing around the truck’s rugged image and towing chops. However, advertisements in the late ’90s noticeably shifted toward the F-150’s usefulness in other areas.

Because the next generation of F-150 trucks had higher ground clearance, Ford centered its advertising back on its traditional “Ford Tough” image. Even so, the bed was quickly getting eclipsed in favor of a bigger cabin. that resulted in nearly 100% of sales going to full-size pickups in 2011.

The SuperCrew cabs were 111 inches long by the eighth generation, and the bed makes up less than 40% of the truck’s total length. Recent data also shows that today’s drivers crave modern cabin interiors and more technology features. The current Ford F-150 reflects that with abundant advanced safety tech, including an available semiautonomous driving system and intelligent parking.

Although the Ford F-150 has some efficient engine options (including an all-electric model), F-150 drivers aren’t very concerned with fuel economy. Also, surprisingly, drivers would rather have their trucks be upscale than reliable.

How many drivers use their Ford F-150 trucks for towing?

According to Axios, 63% of Ford F-150 drivers barely use their trucks for towing. 29% admitted to towing occasionally, while just 7% regularly tow. When properly equipped, many F-150 models can pull around 13,000 pounds.

However, 28% of drivers say they use the truck for hauling. Meanwhile, 41% take advantage of the F-150’s hauling capabilities once in a while, and 32% are indifferent. It’s a shame considering all F-150 models can haul about 2,000 pounds.

Most Ford F-150 trucks are daily drivers

87% of Ford F-150 drivers say they use their trucks for errands or shopping trips. 52% say their trucks are their main transportation for work commutes. 70% strictly use their F-150 for pleasure, such as vacations or occasional off-roading adventures. 

To sell trucks, Ford has to give consumers what they want. That means upgraded tech features and interior quality but more cargo capacity than an SUV. Even though most drivers will never take full advantage of the Ford F-150’s brute strength, at least they have the option. 


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