John Gilbert Staff Editor
December 8, 2015

A few days ago we told you about Ford’s new line of like styled trailers, campers and toy haulers, so now here’s the latest news on Ford’s all-new pro trailer backup assist. The option is available for the 2016 Ford F-150 and makes it easier for drivers of all skill levels to back a trailer up to launch a boat or park in a driveway.

Backing up a trailer can be tricky. The truck’s front wheels have to be turned the opposite direction the customer wants the trailer to go. Turn too hard and the trailer can hit the vehicle, or jackknife. Whether working alone or with a spotter, backing up a trailer can be a tension-filled ordeal.

Pro Trailer Backup Assist helps take the frustration out of backing up. It works by letting the customer steer the trailer with a control knob while the truck steers its wheels and limits vehicle speed.

To operate Pro Trailer Backup Assist, the customer rotates a knob to indicate how much the system should turn the trailer. The technology automatically steers the truck to turn the trailer the desired amount. The system may limit vehicle speed to enhance occupant comfort over various road surfaces. The result is less time required to back up a trailer with improved confidence – it even helps towing experts by reducing time lost to maneuvering mistakes.

Past Ford innovations in Towing

Segment-first integrated trailer brake controller, 2005: The first integrated, factory-installed trailer brake controller for the 2005 F-Series Super Duty, the Ford system ties into the truck’s brakes to activate the trailer brakes by sensing truck brake pressure

Segment-first trailer sway control, 2009: The first trailer sway control for the 2009 Ford F-150, the Ford system senses differences in movement between truck and trailer, using the wheel brakes in both vehicles to counteract sway

Segment-first smart trailer control module, 2015: First system to the truck’s productivity screen to show the driver which lights on a trailer connected to the truck aren’t working – meaning the driver or a passenger doesn’t have to get out of the truck and walk around the trailer to find lights have blown out

Class-exclusive dynamic hitch assist, 2015: A rearview camera feature that incorporates a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display helps customers line up their truck and trailer with no spotter or need to exit the vehicle

Best-in-class light-duty towing, 2015: 2015 Ford F-150 can tow more than any other light-duty pickup truck – up to 12,200 pounds

Best-in-class heavy-duty towing, 2015: 2015 Ford F-450 Super Duty can tow more than any other heavy-duty pickup truck – up to 31,200 pounds