As of late, truck manufacturers have been focusing heavily on innovating the truck bed to make it even more helpful for customers. With even more convenient tailgates to improve accessibility and even usability on a work site. But, it appears Ford has yet to be satisfied with what its pickup can do, as new patents have just been discovered, showing that Ford has some game-changing new ideas to take its truck beds to another level. Will we see these features on the 2024 Ford F-150? We’ll have to wait and see.
Details On Ford Extendable Bed Patent For Pickup Trucks
The first patent filing, titled “Extendable Cargo Bed Floor,” features a system with movable floor sections enabling the bed to extend past the pickup’s rear bumper. This would allow people to haul larger items without having the notorious overhang out the back, requiring a little orange flag to warn others of the objects. When not in use, the floor sections can fold up accordion-style and stowed at the front of the bed. The patent also mentions a section that slides straight out as a possibility. Adding to the versatility of this idea, the extendable bed floor could be complemented by a split-opening tailgate that splits in the middle, offering two tailgate sections. When opened, they would be angled parallel to the extended bed floor and work as bed-wall extensions. If that feature isn’t needed, they could also open 180 degrees to create a workspace, complete with tool hooks and auxiliary lights on the insides of the tailgate halves. If the 2024 Ford F-150 offers these features, there would be no immediate answer from Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, or others. Not to mention if they introduce this stuff on a future Ford Super Duty.
It’s unclear if the first patent has any features in mind to warn drivers while backing up that the back is extended. It’s not uncommon for people to back into things with their tailgate down, let alone have the bed extended an extra few inches or feet. There’s also a second patent filing that applies a similar concept to the bed’s walls. For this idea, the bed floor still folds out in sections, but the rear area of the bed also telescopes out. The inner bed walls extend, taking the taillights and tailgate with them. Theoretically, the backup camera would still be functional in this configuration. Additionally, Ford has considered adding a deployable rear step like what can be found on current pickups to the extendable bed floor system.
The deployable steps are described in a third patent filing as being able to fold up into one of the floor sections described in the previous two filings. Lastly, a fourth patent shows a ramp system that could be added to the extended bed floor. In this case, the ramp slides out from the floor’s rear section and stows away when not needed. This is pretty cool, especially in the mountain regions, as many people are hauling dirt bikes or 4-wheelers for fun in the mud.
First found on Motor Authority, these patents are excellent, automakers rarely turn those ideas into something that is produced. That said, we may see parts of these ideas come to pass, if not all of them, as Ford has thought extensively about the extended truck bed idea.