While you can’t go wrong with a good winch, sometimes getting the right amount of traction is all you need to get yourself out of a difficult situation off the the road, which is why no rig is complete without a proper set of traction boards. But, storing them isn’t always easy, but it seems that Ford Motor Company has some innovative new ideas to equip the Bronco, F-150, and Ranger with these useful off-road tools.
Ford Traction Board Patent: Details
The Ford Bronco already has an expansive parts catalog, complete with valuable items to help further the SUV’s capability and other purely aesthetic things. Ford has the wheels turning, and new ideas are in the works that will help owners take advantage of their vehicles while off-roading. Carbuzz found a US Patent filed in October 2020 and published on April 21, 2022, which describes and pictures “Vehicle Design Integrated Sand Ladders” that are otherwise commonly known as traction boards.
Many off-roaders store their traction boards on the roof rack, or a utility rack in the case of a pickup truck, but Ford’s patent has a more practical use for them when they aren’t needed. The patent shows the boards being used as running boards or even door beams for the Ford Bronco. Ford has also described them as hood vents, grille inserts, tailgate inserts, and bumper inserts. The idea would make the traction boards take up less space when not in use, leaving room for accessories to mount to the roof like an awning for camping.
Though the idea is still in the patent stage, this is a clever innovation for the Ford Bronco, Ford F-150, and likely the new Ranger and Super Duty trucks, as well. Whether we see this come to pass or not remains to be seen, but it’ll undoubtedly come in handy when going off the beaten path.