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.
Charge Against Woman in Arrest Video Dismissed
A judge has dismissed a charge against a woman seen in a video of a controversial Superior arrest. At a hearing Friday, Judge Kelly Thimm approved a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Natasha Lancour.
Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction
Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year. With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year
Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before
A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home.
Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored
On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.
Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together
People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.