close up of a truck tire | PowerStop

If you are looking for the best brakes for your F-150, you are in good company. The Ford F-Series surpassed 640,000 trucks in 2022, making it America’s best-selling truck for 46 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 41 years.

Whether you are planning to tow heavy loads, go off-road, or just want to make sure you have strong, reliable stopping power, this guide will help you find the best brakes for your Ford F-150.

What Are the Best Brakes for Towing with an F-150?

When selecting the best brakes for an F-150, safety should be at the top of your list of considerations. F-150s can weigh between 4,021 and 5,540 pounds (base curb weight). Add the weight of whatever you’re towing, and you need brakes you can trust to stop heavy loads.

With so many brake options out there, it can feel daunting to decide which brakes you can trust to keep your cargo and passengers safe. To help, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to highlight the key features you should consider.

Choosing the Best Brake Pads for an F-150

Not all brake pads are created equal. It’s important to take time to research your brake pad options in advance.

Brake Pad Material

The material that makes up your brake pads has a significant impact on how they perform. Your F-150 may operate in a wide range of conditions, from long highway drives to rolling dirt roads, so you need brake pads that can perform in a lot of different situations.

Here are some of the different types of brake pads available today:

  • Ceramic Brake Pads: These types of brakes are a reliable and cost-effective option for F-150s that tow. Ceramic brake pads offer substantial wear resistance and consistent friction levels, making them ideal for most towing needs.
  • Carbon Fiber Brake Pads: These brake pads are effective for heavy-duty towing, thanks to their high friction coefficients and exceptional wear resistance. Carbon fiber materials deliver long-lasting, severe-duty braking power, making them a great choice for F-150s.
  • NAO Brake Pads (Non-Asbestos Organic): Utilizing organic components such as rubber, glass, fibers, and high-temperature resins, NAO brake pads have a softer composition than metal-based pads. These types of brake pads alleviate strain on rotors and reduce noise levels.
  • Low Metallic Brake Pads: Brake pads are considered “low metallic” when they contain roughly 10 to 30 percent metal. In addition to organic materials, low metallic brake pads generally contain some steel or copper. These pads provide a blend of noise reduction and durability.
  • Semi-Metallic Brake Pads: These types of brakes comprise approximately 30 to 65 percent metal. Semi-metallic pads typically combine a friction-modifying element with materials such as steel wool, graphite, copper, or wire.

When you need severe-duty brake pads you can trust in a wide range of situations and environments, you can rely on PowerStop’s Z36 Truck & Tow Carbon-Fiber Ceramic Brake Pads. Featuring a blend of carbon and ceramic, these brake pads offer severe-duty stopping power with everyday drivability. They minimize vibrations and noise and come equipped with premium stainless steel hardware. When you choose PowerStop, you can expect the highest standards of safety and durability.

Braking Noise

Unwanted braking noise, particularly when towing, can be caused by vibrations and friction between the surface of the brake pad and the rotor. When looking for the best brakes for an F-150, consider brake pads that are designed to reduce brake squeaks and squeals, like PowerStop brake pads; this will help you enjoy quieter braking.

Read More: Brake Squeal – Causes and Solutions

Heat Dissipation

The friction between the brake pads and the rotors can cause significant heat. To prevent brake fade, effective heat dissipation is necessary.

PowerStop’s Drilled & Slotted Rotors provide better heat dissipation and help minimize brake fade. They are an ideal choice for everyday F-150 drivers who may also need severe-duty stopping power for heavy-duty applications.

How Much Can an F-150 Tow?

The towing capacity of an F-150, or any other vehicle, depends on various factors that must be considered. Vehicle manufacturers provide an estimated towing capacity, but this figure is typically based on the assumption that only the driver is inside the vehicle. Depending on what you plan to tow, the manufacturer’s towing capacity may not be accurate for your specific situation.

When determining how much an F-150 can safely tow, it is essential to consider the GCWR, GVWR, payload capacity, and the specifics of weight distribution, as outlined by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Understanding Towing Capacity

Your vehicle’s towing capacity is crucial for safe towing and depends on various factors, including the setup of the vehicle, the existing weight, and how you load and control whatever trailer you’re towing. While manufacturers provide an estimated towing capacity, it may not account for real-world situations where the vehicle carries more than just the driver.

Calculating Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)

To determine how much your F-150 can safely tow, find the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This encompasses the total weight of the truck and the trailer, including passengers, fuel, and fluids. Staying at least 10% below the maximum GCWR is recommended for safety.

Consideration of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight a vehicle can have with all its cargo. Exceeding this limit can lead to legal issues and compromise safety. Check your owner’s manual or the label inside the driver’s door for specific details.

Payload Capacity

Payload capacity is a crucial consideration. It represents the maximum weight your F-150 can carry in both the cabin and the truck bed. You can find this information on your VIN sticker, in the manual, or by calculating the difference between GVWR and curb weight.

Braked vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity

Understanding the difference between braked and unbraked towing capacity is essential. Braked towing capacity is the maximum weight when a trailer has its own brakes, while unbraked towing capacity is for trailers without brakes.

Importance of Proper Weight Distribution – 60/40 Load Weight

The concept of “60/40 load weight” is crucial for maintaining stability during towing. This refers to the distribution of weight between the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle and the trailer. Proper weight distribution is essential to avoid issues like swaying, difficulty steering, and uneven tire wear.

Following Manufacturer Guidelines

If you want to tow safely and steadily, you need to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for your specific towing setup. This includes adhering to recommended weight limits, distributions, and safety precautions to ensure a secure towing experience.

The Powerstop Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Upgrade Kit Offers Severe-Duty Stopping Power for F-150s

If you’re looking for the best brakes for your F-150, PowerStop has you covered. The PowerStop Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Upgrade Kit is specially designed to increase braking power for nearly any truck, SUV, or 4×4 that tackles tough jobs like towing, mountain driving, or offroading. 

The kit includes carbon-fiber ceramic Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Pads, Drilled & Slotted Rotors, stainless-steel hardware, and high-temperature brake lubricant. Each of these components works together to increase stopping power and handle the added strain of towing.

Key features of the kit include:

  • Carbon Fiber Ceramic Material: PowerStop Z36 Truck & Tow brake pads provide severe-duty stopping power with everyday drivability.
  • Drilled & Slotted Rotors: In addition to helping prevent rust and corrosion, the drilled, slotted, and zinc-plated rotors provide maximum cooling.
  • Premium Stainless Steel Hardware Kit: PowerStop provides high-quality hardware parts in every brake upgrade kit, ensuring reliability and longevity.

The PowerStop Z36 Truck & Tow Brake Upgrade Kit is easy to install with no need for vehicle modifications. It comes with a 36-month/36,000-mile warranty and a 60-day hassle-free return policy.

PowerStop brakes are built to excel in tough situations. When you select PowerStop brakes for your F-150, you can be confident that you are choosing safe and reliable braking performance that can handle almost any job and keep you and your cargo safe.

Have a Question? PowerStop Can Help

PowerStop is dedicated to providing top-quality performance brakes for nearly every vehicle on the road. If you have a question about any of our products, contact us today online at [email protected] or toll-free at (888) 863-4415. Our customer service team is available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). Se habla español.

Have a question? Check out our FAQs and How-Tos