abc
QUICK LINKS:

Aluminum F-150 Trucks: Change is Coming

Updated: 03/26/2014 4:48 PM
Created: 03/26/2014 4:16 PM WDIO.com

The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the top selling truck in the country for decades. And it's also popular here in the Northland.

"It's a mainstay of why we're here," said Al Birman, owner of Cloquet Ford Chrysler. 

For the 2015 year, Ford Motor Co. has created the next generation of trucks, making the body out of an aluminum alloy.

"The truck will be about 700 pounds lighter. It's going to be safer, because it can stop faster, and it can haul more, with better mileage," explained Birman. "Our staff are excited about it. Customers are already asking about the new F-150."

However, the change might mean auto body shops are going to have to make big changes of their own.

"Aluminum is here to stay. In my 44 years in the business, this is one of the biggest changes I've seen," said Mike DeBoer, owner of the two Abra Auto Body and Glass shops in Duluth and Cloquet. "With manufacturers being required to meet mileage standards, this is the wave of the future."

DeBoer said he is working on making sure all of his technicians are trained for the new body work. "We're concentrating on having all of our guys trained and certified, in structure repair and the welding aspect that goes along with aluminum."

"There's also a lot of equipment that needs to be bought, because aluminum repairs require separate tools, hammers, etc. Metal shavings, if they come in contact with aluminum, can cause it to corrode."

Because of the need for separation, DeBoer is planning on building a completely separate "clean" room for aluminum repairs at his Cloquet location.

Back at the dealership, Birman said it's hard to pinpoint a delivery date. "We hope they are here in the fall."

The body of the truck is still made out of steel.

Ford Motor Co. Photo

Front Page

  • Proposal May Change Coverage For Hearing Device Used By Cloquet Baby

    A hearing system clipped to a pink headband is the only way a 10-month-old baby in Cloquet can hear. The device is currently covered by insurance, but Medicare is proposing to change its classification and coverage. The Dowell family is worried other insurance companies will follow.

  • Sheriff: Man Attacked Homeowner before Fatal Shooting

    Koochiching County Sheriff Brian Jespersen says a man who shot and killed an intruder was defending himself and his mother, who had been attacked.

  • Update: Missing Hurley Man Found in Submerged Vehicle

    Police say the body of a Hurley man missing for nearly a month has been found inside his submerged vehicle. Duane R. Jussila, 74, was reported missing on July 5.  He had last been seen in Ironwood.

  • Former IRRRB Commissioner Gustafson Dies

    Jim Gustafson, who represented Duluth in the state Senate and headed the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board for seven years, died July 23 at the age of 75. During his tenure, Gustafson helped complete Giant's Ridge Golf Course, negotiated the Northwest Airlines ticket reservation center, and cut Ironworld's subsidy by $1 million.

  • Folks Getting Ready For Christmas in July

    It may be summer, but folks in Grand Rapids are getting ready for Christmas in July. Operation Christmas Child delivers shoe boxes full of goodies to kids around the world during the holidays. On Tuesday, people will get together at Grand Rapids Alliance Church to stuff shoe boxes and learn more about the project.

 
Advertisement