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2021 Ford F-150 hybrid gets useful new Onboard Scale and Smart Hitch technology, plus more

“How much weight is in my truck’s bed?” It’s a good question, and one you should be asking yourself if you plan on loading it to the max and then wanting to drive safely.

“What is the tongue weight of this trailer? Is it too much?” More important questions you should be asking yourself every time you hook up to a trailer.

Some of these things you’ll inherently know, but being able to get an accurate measurement while you’re doing can make your life easier.

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Smart Hitch display on the infotainment display. Photo credit: Ford

That’s why Ford is making available some cool new tech for the 2021 F-150 (including our favorite hybrid version) to make it easier and safer.

First up is Onboard Scales. The technology can estimate the payload of the truck, including taking into consideration the weight of the passengers in the cab. As the truck fills with weight, LED lights in the taillights illuminate like a cellphone charging indicated until it’s completely full and lit up.

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Just a little bit of weight. Photo credit: Ford

Maximum payload is built into the system based on the truck’s configuration, but there’s also a scale mode that can be zeroed out for weighing items in the bed.

Smart Hitch takes the scales to the next level by weight the tongue weight of a trailer and helping guide the owner for proper setup on a weight distributing hitch. It’ll even let the driver know if the hitch weight is too high or too low and guide them through tensioning the hitch properly.

2021 Ford F 150 Tail Light indicators 04 1
A lot of bit of weight. Photo credit: Ford

Again, the LED taillights provide guidance here. But it can be done through the FordPass app as well.

Finally, F-150s will be available with continuously controlled dampers. Adjustable suspension will help improve ride quality both loaded and unloaded, and should help improve predictability when towing a trailer.

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Max payload achieved. Photo credit: Ford

Pothole detection is also included, which watches for a pothole and preemptively adjusts the dampers to avoid a jarring impact.

It’s all good stuff. It’s all clever stuff. Combined with the 7.2 kW onboard generator that is available on the hybrid, it makes the F-150 one of the most useful pickup trucks you can buy.

If you want an F-150 with this tech, you’ll be able to order one in early June for delivers beginning in late summer.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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