Ford has gone to great lengths to ensure that the 2015 Ford F-150 can handle stereotypical pickup truck drivers: big ass'ed American men.
The Detroit News found out Ford had 'hefty men' weighing between 265 and 275 pounds working 10 hour days developing the 2015 Ford F-150. Their task: Get in and out of the truck "at least 10,000 times over a week" to make sure the seats were up to the girth of American pickup owners.
Ford hired the seat testers from a company called Motor City Solutions, who were paid about $60-$70 a day to wear the same blue jeans and repeatedly get in and out of a leather-interior'ed 2015 Ford F-150. The seats in the truck were sprinkled with "a commercially available material used to simulate the consistency of dirt" known as Arizona fine dust according to Automotive News.
Apparently the testing resulted in Ford using "higher-strength steel" in the new F-150's seats, making up for the weight by using tough leather that's "30 pounds lighter" than what's in the outgoing model.
"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," Tim Dunn, Ford's North American seat complete engineer manager told The Detroit News.
Ford truck communication representative Aaron Miller told me the company's engineers determined just how beefy their testers had to be by "[calculating] to a certain percentile of human weight. So like an IQ test where you can be in the 50th percentile of humans tested, we also choose a percentile. In this case its a high percentile, but we cannot disclose the exact number."
Here I thought Ford had just been sneaking scales into dealerships. Regardless, I reckon Ford deserves some credit for replacing robots with more "real world testing." Can't wait to park my butt in a 2015 F-150 seat to find out if their work paid off.