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Ford Uses Heavy Duty Humans to Test the Seats of the 2015 F150

Ford Motor Company wanted to make sure that the new 2015 F150 was better in every way so they’ve gone to unusual testing procedures – including using some big men to help test the resiliency against wear of the new leather seats rather than robotic testing.


The biggest news pertaining to the 2015 Ford F150 is the redesigned exterior that is comprised largely of aluminum, but Ford has put just as much fine detail and precision testing into making sure that the interior is just as impressive as the exterior. If you have owned a vehicle with leather seats for any length of time, you know that as you climb in and out of your vehicle tens of thousands of times, the leather wears down and becomes less attractive. In some cases, the leather will wear enough to expose the inside padding, but with the 2015 F150, Ford wanted to make sure that buyers would have to worry less about excessive leather seat wear.

To make sure that the leather seats in the 2015 Ford F150 are tougher than ever, Ford Motor Company turned to an untraditional form of wear testing. Rather than having a robot run a piece of denim over a seat a few thousand times to simulate the wear and tear faced by leather seats, Ford hired a group of guys to simulate the normal entering and exiting actions performed over the course of a few years of F150 ownership. These human analogs were all between 265 and 275 pounds and they were all wearing denim blue jeans…which have a texture that is the toughest on leather seats when sliding in and out. These guys spent a week working up to ten hours a day doing nothing more than climbing into the 2015 F150, plopping down in the driver’s seat and then sliding back out. This action was performed some 10,000 times over the course of a week so provided that you get in and out of your truck 4 times a day on average – this test cycle simulated almost 7 years of regular use in just a week.

In order to further make the seat wear simulation tests more accurate, the guys climbing in and out of the 2015 Ford F150 added commercially sold simulated dirt known in the industry as Arizona Fine Dust to add in the element of course dirt to the tests. Finally, water was added to insert the effects of moisture on the seats while sliding in and out of the newest half ton F Series pickup.

While many of the variables of this testing procedure were designed to test the leather seating surfaces for signs of excessive wear and tear, this week long process was also set up to test the durability of the 2015 F150 seats. Like the body of the next generation F150, the seat framework is largely comprised of lightweight aluminum so in picking human test subjects that were 265-275 pounds, Ford also had a chance to see if there was any damage to the seat frame with a big guy climbing in and out of the 2015 F150 10,000 times. In the end, all of this effort will help to make the 2015 Ford F150 more durable while also being more efficient due to the weight saving efforts.

Souce: UT San Diego

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