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Ford patents cargo bed extension system for pickup trucks

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Truck cargo bed extension

Ford has recently submitted a patent application outlining an innovative cargo bed extension system designed for pickup trucks. This system is intended to enhance the truck’s capability to transport longer items when necessary.

In the published patent application, which was made available by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on November 16, after being initially filed in May of the previous year, Ford introduces the concept of dividing the cargo bed into two distinct components. The outer walls of the cargo bed would remain attached to the frame, resembling a typical pickup configuration, while a tub would be positioned between these walls, capable of sliding forward and backward on rails.

This inner tub essentially serves as the cargo box of the truck. Notably, the tailgate would connect to the rear end of the tub rather than the sides of the bed. At the front end, there would be a folding panel to cover the floor space between the tub and the cabin wall when the tub is extended.

It is important to highlight that this patent differs from a group of four patent filings revealed in September. Those earlier patents not only presented an extendable cargo bed but also incorporated built-in steps, ramps, and a split tailgate for pickup trucks. Furthermore, they featured a slightly different mechanism for extending the bed, involving floor sections that folded out in an accordion-style manner, along with telescoping bed-wall panels.

Another distinctive aspect of this recent patent filing is the specific reference to the vehicle depicted in the accompanying drawings, described as “an electrified vehicle and, in particular, a battery electric vehicle.” Ford does acknowledge that a plug-in hybrid or a traditional internal combustion vehicle could be employed instead.

Ford has outlined its plans to introduce a new electric pickup known as the T3 in 2025. Unlike the existing F-150 Lightning, the T3 will be constructed upon a dedicated electric vehicle platform. This clean-sheet design approach could potentially facilitate the incorporation of innovative features such as the extending cargo bed.

It is worth noting that automotive manufacturers often patent various ideas, and not all of them necessarily make it to the production stage. However, in the case of the T3, its fresh and dedicated electric vehicle platform could make it more amenable to incorporating novel features like this extended cargo bed system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Truck cargo bed extension

What is the main concept behind Ford’s patent for a cargo bed extension system?

Ford’s patent introduces a cargo bed extension system designed to enhance the capability of pickup trucks to carry longer items when needed.

How does Ford’s proposed cargo bed extension system work?

In Ford’s patent, the cargo bed is divided into two components: the outer walls, which remain attached to the frame, and an inner tub that can slide forward and backward on rails. The tailgate connects to the rear end of the tub, and there’s a folding panel at the front to cover the floor space between the tub and the cabin wall when the tub is extended.

How is this patent different from previous ones by Ford?

This patent differs from earlier ones as it focuses on the cargo bed extension system alone. Previous patents included additional features like built-in steps, ramps, and a split tailgate, along with a slightly different mechanism for bed extension.

Is this cargo bed extension system limited to electric vehicles?

While the patent describes an “electrified vehicle” as an example, Ford mentions that a plug-in hybrid or conventional vehicle could also use this system.

What’s the significance of this patent in Ford’s future vehicle lineup?

Ford intends to launch the T3, an electric pickup, in 2025. This patent could facilitate the incorporation of the cargo bed extension system into the T3, highlighting its potential importance in future vehicle designs.

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4 comments

EcoWarrior99 November 23, 2023 - 12:36 pm

Electric T3 and clever cargo bed? If it helps the environment and makes life easier, I’m all for it!

Reply
AutoEnthusiast23 November 23, 2023 - 3:24 pm

Interesting concept by ford cargo bed extension, makes sense 4 haulin’ long stuff, hope they make it, tho.

Reply
TruckLover55 November 23, 2023 - 6:00 pm

F-150 has the legacy, but T3, electric and fresh, might just rock with this new bed thingy. GooD job, Ford!

Reply
TechGeek007 November 24, 2023 - 4:17 am

Ford always cOmes up with crEative ideas. Pickup beD innovation, promising for t3, lOoking forward to seeing thIs in action!

Reply

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