October 26, 2018
Almost a decade ago, Ford introduced a tailgate step to the Ford-150 to assist its customers in mounting and descending from the bed of their pickup trucks. The intention was to address the problem caused by the continuously increasing size of pickup trucks over the years, which made the pickup bed more and more difficult for users to effectively maneuver.
As an apparent response to GM’s tailgate functionality, Ford has patented a Full-Size Tailgate Step. The US Patent and Trademark Office granted this patent on September 25, 2018.
This Step would work by sliding the open tailgate out from the bed using a rail assembly, and then pivoting and lowering it from the extended position in order to create a giant step. The telescoping rail assemblies would attach to opposite sides of the tailgate and integrate underneath the bottom bed of the cargo area or within the side walls of the truck in a cavity behind the rear wheel wells. The patent document suggests that a latch mechanism would be used to “selectively pivot the tailgate between a closed position, a tailgate deployed position, and a step position.”
It will be interesting to see if competitors attempt to follow in Ford’s footsteps.
Author: Samanthea Samuels