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The legendary Ford F-150 has many positive attributes, with its ability to tow a heavy load, robust powertrain options, advanced technologies, and off-road prowess. Considering that the best-selling F-150 gets a great deal of media attention, it’s surprising that very few people know about the unique feature in its taillight. Check out this secret feature. It will amaze you.

F-150 smart taillights show the weight/payload in the bed

Smart taillight on gray Ford F-150
Ford F-150 Taillight | Ford

The F-150 has an Onboard Scales feature that enables you to see how much weight/payload is in the bed of the truck. How can you see the weight/payload? You can see it by looking at the taillights. Yes, that’s right: the taillights.

The F-150 smart taillights, or taillamps, have a feature that’s similar to the battery charge indicator of a smartphone. With LED lights on a built-in vertical bar, it displays the payload capacity percentage of the F-150. This is how Ford describes it in its press release:

“As the truck is loaded, all four lights illuminate, showing it’s fully loaded. If the truck is overloaded, the top lights blink. The maximum payload based on the pickup’s configuration is programmed into the system. Additionally, the truck can be set on scale mode, which zeroes out the current load and allows for approximate weighing of additional items loaded into the bed.”

– Ford

Advantages of F-150 smart taillight feature

Close-up view of smart taillight indicators on Ford F-150
Ford F-150 Taillight | Ford

The smart taillight feature for the F-150 is innovative. When one looks at a taillight, few would think of it beyond its traditional role of enabling people to see the edge of the vehicle. Who would think to put a secret feature inside of it to determine the payload? Ford did, and the advantage of the smart taillight is that you can easily see how much weight you’re loading into the pickup bed. You don’t need to use any other devices or use any other way to measure the weight. It’s right there in front of you, while you’re loading, with the four-bar indicator of the smart taillight.

In addition to the Onboard Scales smart taillight, F-150 customers can gauge how much payload is in the truck via two other ways. You can view it on the graphic representation on the touchscreen inside the cabin. Also, you can see the weight in the bed by viewing the FordPass app on your smartphone.

What’s the maximum payload capacity of the F-150?

The F-150 can haul a heavy load. It boasts a best-in-class maximum payload capacity of 3,250 pounds. Also, the F-150 is a towing beast, with a class-leading maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds. 

Utility for the F-150 gets an additional boost with its many pickup bed and towing features. With the Pro Power Onboard feature, you can use the F-150 as a mobile generator. Other features include a Smart Hitch, a Smart Trailer Tow Connector, a hitch lamp, a trailer brake control function, and a tailgate work surface.


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