Best Aftermarket Upgrades for Your Ford F-150 Work Truck
In the construction industry, nearly everyone drives a full-size work truck. I personally drive a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT Super Crew truck—that’s the 4-door model that can seat six people comfortably within. While this truck has some really excellent features, there’s always more you can add in terms of upgrading your work truck experience. While you can certainly pay Ford (or your local dealer) more for OEM parts, we find that you can actually get some really great aftermarket products—many of which aren’t available from the dealer. Following are what we consider some of the best aftermarket upgrades for your Ford F-150 work truck.
Upgrade Your Ford F-150 Floor Mats
One of the best aftermarket upgrades for your Ford F-150 work truck for interior aesthetics might be a good set of rubberized floor mats. Premium rubber floor liners can improve the usability (and quite frankly, the look) of your Ford F-150’s interior. When you upgrade your truck you can go with any number of solutions, from premium carpeted mats to something a bit more robust. Since this is ultimately a work truck for us (albeit a nice one) we wanted to go with the WeatherTech Ford 2015 F-150 FloorLiner DigitalFit. These are laser measured mats that fit snug to the interior carpet and line the front, back, and even the sides of the footwell. Since these mats are made from taking digital laser measurements of the interior surfaces of stock Ford F-150 trucks (in all available models), you get a really consistent perfect fit. Here is a before and after of the rear of the 2015 F-150 Super Crew:
For the front mats you can opt for a single full-width model or two individual mats for driver and passenger sides. We opted for the individual mats, which I find are easier to remove and clean. WeatherTech uses a patent pending high-density tri-extruded (HDTE) material that has a rigid core for strength while offering surface friction to the carpet (so it doesn’t move around). It also has a nice tactile feel to the surface. They use advanced surfacing to create channels that carry fluids and debris to a lower reservoir with further channeling to help minimize fluid movement while driving. Once fluids become trapped in the reservoir, away from shoes and clothing, they can be easily removed from the WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit over the door sill.
Get a Premium Tow Hitch for Your Ford F-150 Truck
While you can order a tow hitch for your Ford F-150 when and where you buy it, a lot of people (myself included) purchase used vehicles or may want to take up a dealer on a model that doesn’t already have a factory or OEM hitch installed. We wanted a Class IV tow hitch that could handle hauling a boat or dual axel trailer loaded with a lot of construction materials, debris, or maybe even an ATV. This is one of the best aftermarket upgrades for your Ford F-150 work truck to give it more capability. You never know what you’re going to run into around here, and we didn’t want to worry about our towing system not being up to the task. After doing some research we opted for the Draw-Tite Round Tube Max-Frame Receiver (#75910). This is a black powder coated tubular frame hitch that is rated to handle up to 6,000 lbs. (GTW) weight carrying (WC) and up to 12,000 lbs. (GTW) weight distributing (WD). It uses the standard 2-inch square receiver tube and has solid all-welded construction. These Draw-Tite hitches are custom built according to manufacturer & model year, so you can be sure they’ll fit and also that they’ll be safe to use. They also come with a nationwide limited lifetime warranty.
We opted to install our Draw-Tite Round Tube Max-Frame Receiver ourselves, and the instructions were pretty accurate in terms of laying out what was involved and giving us specific steps. The only snafu we ran into was that we needed to grind down about 1/16-inch off the included rectangular steel washers in order to fit them as needed within the frame of our 2015 Ford. Aside from that, the installation was a breeze, and me and a buddy had the new hitch installed and torqued to specs in no time.
Step Up to LED Headlights
We next turned our attention to LED headlights. We’ve been very impressed with LED lighting technology as it pertains to work lights, tool lights, and flashlights. It wasn’t a far stretch to want to incorporate LEDs into our work truck as well. LEDs can offer more lumen output and at different color temperature options to give you greater visibility at night (and particularly at the more difficult sunset hours). We turned to F150LEDs and their 2015 headlight Cree system MK II. This $299 system gives you two high powered Cree LED headlight bulbs for both high beam and low beam, laser engraved electronic heat dissipating fan units, laser engraved electronic digital ballasts, and two custom shrouds. What we really like about this kit is the simplicity of installation. Since you’re replacing your halogen HID lamps, you don’t have to run ground wires or strange harnesses aside from simply connecting the new Cree LED lamps and the associated ballasts. The result is a nice smooth light that does away with hotspots and delivers a truer white daytime light.
Price: $299 | Order online
LUND Nerf and Bull Bars
I don’t know any company better (or more recognized) than LUND nerf bars and bed steps. If your idea of the best aftermarket upgrades for your Ford F-150 work truck include making it look really cool (as well as more functional), then this is your company. We actually went with a few products from the company, including LUND oval straight stainless steel nerf bars and a bull bar with built-in LED light bar (also in stainless steel).
The addition of a product like LUND nerf bars may be an obvious choice. If you have a full-sized truck they not only make entering and exiting the truck easier, they keep the side stitching from your seat from getting worn away as you slide over it every day. A nerf bar lets you “sit” into seat directly—even while it helps people of shorter stature (like kids) get into the vehicle more easily. You can also get them in various shapes and configurations, though around here we favor the straight oval styles. With the bull bar, well—that simply protects the front of your vehicle from bumps, while adding a bit of visual prowess to your truck at the same time. If you’re worried about length, the bull bar will add a bit more, but if you ask us it’s worth it. The LUND bull bar we tested also incorporates an LED light bar which needs to be wired into your vehicle’s electrical system (you can either wire up a dedicated switch or tie it into your fog lamps). We wired ours up using a harness we purchased online for $26 and opted for a dedicated switch to keep the light discrete from our fog light system.
- LUND 5-inch Oval Stainless Steel nerf bars (#23990004) – $399 | Get more information | LUND Nerf Bars Review
- LUND Bull Bar with built-in LED Light Bar in Stainless Steel (#27021206) – $499 | Get more information
AMP Research BedSteps
The Amp Research BedStep2 offers some convenience when reaching into the bed of your truck. Instead of having to step onto the wheel or climbing in via the tailgate, the original Amp Research BedStep allows you to easily drop them down when needed and get that additional reach to pull out supplies from the truck bed. They’re incredibly convenient, and you can barely see them when lifted back up in place and stowed away. We got a pair for use on each side of the truck (behind the LUND nerf bars). The Amp BedStep2 is another option that can go behind the rear bumper and give you nice step up when accessing the bed from the rear. If you have a third-party tow hitch you may find that there’s not enough thread clearance to install the BedStep2, so check your vehicle before ordering.
- AMP Bed Step (#75312-01A) – $209 | Get more information
- AMP Bed Step2 (#75412-01A) – $229 | Get more information | Read our Amp BedStep2 Review
Beef Up Your Audio with a Kicker Subwoofer!
The audio system in the 2015 Ford F-150 truck is not bad—I’ve heard a lot worse. One thing it lacks, however, is punchy bass on the low end. To reclaim that you’ll need more than just upgraded speakers—and don’t even touch the EQ on the radio, that won’t do it either. The Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer kit is a multi-channel amplifier and powered subwoofer upgrade system that works with any 2015 Ford F-150 Super Cab or Super Crew with a MyFord radio. It doesn’t matter if you have the 4-inch or 8-inch screen—this kit comes with everything you need for the install, including cable harnesses and the power supply cables which you’ll ultimately run through the firewall and attach to your battery’s positive terminal. This particular kit won’t work with the upgraded Sony, however Kicker provides the SF150SC15 powered subwoofer for that application which doesn’t include the multi-channel amplifier.
We installed this subwoofer in a few hours (it will take a professional and experienced installer less time than that), and it dramatically increased the quality of audio in the cab. Kicker has not only made a great product here, it’s done so with a solution that fits neatly behind the rear seat without taking up any valuable cargo space. This is as close to a factory upgrade as you can get, and it’s an amazing upgrade every truck owner with a stock radio should consider.
A lot of Pros are getting new Ford F-150 trucks for work—but they’re also incredibly fun to drive. With that, the shorter beds are very popular (and also considerably more maneuverable). When you have a shorter bed, however, your ability to carry longer loads is hampered by the available space. That’s where’s TracRac SR sliding truck rack comes in. We reviewed the TracRac TracONE universal truck rack system several years ago, but the TracRac SR is their most advanced sliding rack system that lets you carry sheet goods, lumber, ladders—even canoes or kayaks—to your heart’s content. You just put them up top and secure them to the included tie downs and cleats.
What we love about this system in particular is that it not only looks great, but it also allows you to independently slide each rack rail as needed—you can even store them both up close to the cab when not in use. There are also accessories that let you add a truck box and sliding tie down points along the rails as well. It’s an incredibly versatile system.
WeatherTech TechLiner Bed Liner and Tailgate Liner
While spray-in bed liners are extremely popular, you may not need or want the additional cost associated with these permanent bed liner solutions. If you want something that’s affordable and durable, the WeatherTech TechLiner Bed and Tailgate Liner is just the thing. This is a two piece kit (you can also get just the truck bed liner on its own) that attaches securely to the truck bed and protects it from scratches and dings while you haul your supplies and materials to and from the jobsite. Installation was super-easy, and we found it to be a really nice upgrade that helped protect our bed while keeping our supplies and materials from sliding around. It’s also good to note that since our bed is made out of aluminum—and not steel—all the talk about trapping moisture underneath is a non-issue. When Chevy goes to aluminum in a couple years it will be a non-issue for them as well.
Price: $224.90 | Order online
Peragon Retractable Aluminum Tonneau Cover
If you want to make use of your truck bed while protecting contents from theft as well as the elements, a tonneau cover is a great solution. While there are dozens to choose from, we found the USA-made retractable Peragon aluminum tonneau cover system to be one of the easiest to install and use that we’ve seen. It is also one of the few tonneau covers that folds in such a way as to allow you the full use of your bed when in use (there’s no space taken up by a roller). It even works with the TracRac SR sliding rack system, though you’ll need to install this first and then re-install any racks. You can order the Peragon tonneau cover in white or black, or you can have them paint match your truck—very cool if you want to get a very nice finished look. Available options include stainless steel hardware, a dual-deadbolt lock, and a tailgate seal kit that helps keep water out of the bed. You can also remove the entire cover by allowing it to accordion fold and then removing it from the bed. Since it’s narrower than the bed, it can store in the back of a SuperCab or Super Crew.
There are an infinite number of upgrades you can add to your work truck, but these are some of our favorites. What you do to your truck depends on what your needs are and your budget, but these are some of our favorite aftermarket upgrades, and it really transformed our stock Ford F-150 XLT into something special. Let us know what your favorite aftermarket upgrades are in the comments—we want to know what you think make for the best truck upgrades.