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A More Versatile Bed Rail System

Ford Stowable Bed Rail patent

A common pickup accessory that people can find being utilized is a railing system, which significantly increases the versatility of a truck as owners can haul around larger objects than would typically be possible with the limitations created by the walls of a bed. By adding these rails, customers can nearly double the size of their cargo capacity for their pickups. A new patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from Ford proposes rising rails on the walls of the bed, which can be stowed if they are not in use.

Ford Stowable Pickup Bed Rail Patent: Details

According to The Drive, the rails would stay retracted inside the bed walls under normal circumstances. But when needed, actuators could extend the bed rails up. With just the rails extended, owners could store longer items like ladders or lumber, freeing up space underneath for other storage. If the long item is too heavy to lift onto the extended rails, owners can place it across the bed walls with the rails retracted and let the actuators do the heavy lifting. The patent states that each actuator can lift 1,320 pounds, though it’s unclear what the weight capacity of the rails would be.

Ford Stowable Bed Rail Patent

But wait! The upper rails are made of two pieces, the top, which Ford calls “pivot bars.” They are thinner and rotate 90 degrees across the bed like roof racks. With both rotated across, they create another way to store items. Ford also mentions a function allowing the bed rails to secure any large cargo to prevent it from falling or moving around. This is where things get cool; when the actuators retract the rails, they will stop after detecting a certain degree of resistance from the net, securing the cargo in place.

Ford’s patent would add significant versatility for individuals who need these rail systems as the rails would raise and lower with a push of a button, so when they aren’t in use, they can be put away without the hassle of finding storage or removing them from the truck. This tech could be implemented on all Ford pickups as the actuators would be the same; the only difference would be the size of the rails, dependent on the size of the truck bed. As always, patents aren’t a confirmation of a future product, meaning we may never see the idea added to future Ford pickups, but it’s certainly a neat idea, if nothing else.

Ford Stowable Bed Rail patent

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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