How America’s pickups are changing

Less bed, more cab, and a whole lot of pleasure driving.

The Ford F-150 has been America’s bestselling car for 41 years.

Last year, an F-Series Truck was sold every 49 seconds, and pickups accounted for the top three bestselling cars nationwide.

Interestingly — despite stunts like this one, where an F-150 tows a double-decker freight train filled with 42 other F-150s — data shows a third of pickup owners rarely or never use their truck for hauling, while two-thirds rarely or never use it for towing, per Axios.

  • Instead, 87% of pickup owners frequently use their truck for shopping, and 70% say they do so for pleasure driving.

To accommodate for this, today’s F-150s are 63% cab and 37% bed, a near-total opposite from early generations’ 36% cab, 64% bed design.

So what?

Since 1990, the average mass of US vehicles has increased 25%. Pickups are already a safety concern, with twice the pedestrian strike fatality rate as smaller vehicles.

They’re getting heavier, too, as the industry electrifies them with enormous batteries. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, for instance, at ~6.5k pounds, weighs 35% more than its gasoline twin.

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