The first F-Series truck (known as the Ford Bonus-Built) was introduced in 1948, replacing the company's previous car-based pickup line. It was a modern-looking truck with a flat, one-piece windshield and integrated headlights. Options were the "See-Clear" windshield washer (operated by foot plunger), passenger side windshield wiper & sun visor, and passenger side taillight. The F-1 truck was also available with additional chrome and two horns as an option. All F-series were available in "Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive" until 1959.
Design of the F-Series truck changed little from 1948 to 1952. From 1948-1950, the grill was a series of horizontal bars and the headlights were set into the fenders. For 1951 and 1952, the headlights were connected by a wide aerodynamic cross piece with three similarly aerodynamic supports. The rear window was wider in the later trucks and the dashboard was redesigned.
F-series trucks were built at sixteen different Ford plants. Serial numbers indicate the truck model, engine, year, assembly plant, and unit number. The most common model was the F-1 with a 6 ½-foot bed followed by the F-2 and F-3 Express models with an 8-foot (2.4m) bed.
The models are:
- F-1: 1/2 ton (4,700 GVWR max)
- F-2: 3/4 ton (5,700 GVWR max)
- F-3: Heavy Duty 3/4 ton (6,800 GVWR max)
- F-3: Parcel Delivery (7,000 GVWR max) & optional rear spring pkg (7,800 GVWR max)
- F-4: 1 ton (7,500 GVWR max) & optional 1 1/4 ton pkg (10,000 GVWR max)
- F-5: 1 1/2 ton: Conventional, school bus, and cab over engine (C.O.E.) (10,000-14,500 GVWR)
- F-6: 2 ton: Conventional, school bus, and C.O.E. (14,000-16,000 GVWR)
- F-7: Conventional (17,000-19,000 GVWR)
- F-8: Conventional (20,000-22,000 GVWR)
- 3-speed light duty, F-1 only
- 3-speed heavy duty, F-1 through F-5
- 4-speed (spur gear), F-1 through F-6
- 4-speed Synchro-Silent, F-4 through F-6
- 5-speed overdrive, F-7 and F-8
- 5-speed direct drive, F-7 and F-8