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The Steel Box of the Chevy Silverado vs the Aluminum Box of the Ford F150
Lab tests and field
Silverado’s roll-formed, high-
strength steel bed
outperforms the competitor’s
stamped aluminum bed.
This is a dramatic example of
Chevrolet engineers’ work to
select the right material,
enabled by the right
manufacturing processes, for
the right application.
According to Sandor Piszar,
Chevrolet truck marketing
director, it also demonstrates
why Silverado is a smart
choice for customers
shopping for a truck they can
use as a truck:
“We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind. For example, Silverado features a
roll-formed, high-strength steel bed because truck customers demand the ability to haul their toys, tools and
other cargo. These videos demonstrate the real-world benefits of the Silverado’s bed, in both extreme and
To demonstrate the advantages of Silverado’s construction, Chevrolet conducted three comparisons to the
stamped aluminum bed of the 2016 Ford F-150. Demonstrations were done without bedliners, evaluating the
susceptibility of each bed to punctures.
In scientific testing using a wedge-shaped striker weighing 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms), the Silverado sample
remained intact up to 90 joules of impact energy. By comparison, the aluminum bed floor exhibited hairline
cracks at just 30 joules, and was completely punctured at 40 joules.
As an extreme example of the Silverado’s
strength, 55 landscaping blocks weighing a
total of approximately 825 pounds (347
kilograms) were dropped into the beds of both
trucks from 5 feet above the bed floor. In 12
out of 12 comparisons shot for video, the
Silverado exhibited only scratches and dents
that did not affect the utility of the bed. The
aluminum Ford F-150’s aluminum bed
sustained punctures in every drop, with an
average of 4.3 punctures per drop that could
reduce the utility of the bed.
To replicate the kind of accident that can
happen at any jobsite, the videos also show a
steel, handheld toolbox pushed off the side rail
of each truck. For the Silverado, the toolbox
only dented the roll-formed high-strength steel
bed in 12 out of 14 demonstrations. In the
remaining two demonstrations, the toolbox left
a pinhole puncture on the bed floor. For the F-
150, the toolbox only dented the aluminum
bed once out of the 14 demonstrations. In the
remaining 13 demonstrations, the toolbox left
a sizable puncture through the stamped
aluminum bed floor.
The strength of the Silverado bed stems the
material used and how it is formed. The high-
strength steel alloy is so strong, the required
geometry of the bed floor cannot be formed
using traditional stamping. Instead, Chevrolet
uses a roll-forming process that enhances
material strength by creating less material
fatigue than stamping.
“Obviously, any material can be pushed to the
breaking point if you subject it to enough
impact energy,” Piszar concluded. “If a
customer does manage to puncture the high-
strength steel bed of the Silverado, they have
the added peace of mind knowing steel tends
to be easier to repair than aluminum —
potentially saving money and minimizing time
without their truck.”
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