Ford Super Duty All-Wheel-Steering?
In a patent filed for in December 2019, the Ford Motor Company made their idea public, they are considering producing all-wheel steering systems for F-Series trucks. If they implement this all-wheel steering plan, it will be the first time Ford utilized all-wheel steering in a production vehicle.
All-wheel steering has seen its shares of success and controversy. In the 1980s and 1990s, several sports cars had a form of all-wheel steering. In many cases, the cost and complexity proved an issue. Today, only a few exorbitantly priced vehicles (and industrial equipment) have all-wheel steering.
Ackerman Steering Geometry
This steering setup will utilize Ackerman steering geometry and is specifically designed for a live rear axle suspension. Ackermann steering geometry is a geometric arrangement of linkages in the steering of a vehicle. This solves wheels on the inside & outside of a turn needing to trace out circles of different radii.
This system is similar to the Qurdrasteer system once employed by General Motors. The system appears to be built for maneuverability and towing assistance. The Quadrasteer system was discontinued in 2006, but it’s still coveted by enthusiasts. The rear wheels could turn up to 15-degrees and it was built specifically for heavy duty applications.
Here is an excerpt regarding the steering system from patentswarm.com
‘Wheel Steering Apparatus to Generate Positive Rear Ackermann’
Patent: US 2019 375 453A1
“Vehicle suspension systems are described herein. An example wheel steering apparatus includes a steering actuator to couple to a rear axle, a tie rod, and a transfer link to couple the steering actuator and the tie rod. The steering actuator is positioned on a first side of a first longitudinal axis of the rear axle and the tie rod positioned on a second side of the first longitudinal axis of the rear axle opposite the first side.”
Check out this link to patentswarm.com for in depth descriptions of the submission.
One of the first thoughts that the TFLtruck staff considered was, will this system diminish payload or towing numbers? Other thoughts revolved around cost, weight and reliability. Yet others dreamed of a Ford Tremor bounding off-road utilizing all-wheel steering.
A special thank you to The Drive for the scoop. Time will tell if Ford will pull the trigger and produce trucks with all-wheel steering. If they do, it could shake up the industry once again.
What do you think?
Here we are testing the latest generation of the ZF rear-wheel steering system on a Ford F-150 prototype truck.