Revolutionary Patent: Ford’s Retractable Bed Rails for Ultimate Utility

Efficient and Secure Cargo Loading Without Extra Equipment: A Game-Changing System

Car manufacturers are notorious for obtaining patents for strange inventions solely to safeguard unusual concepts, however a new patent from Ford appears to offer a practical and useful feature. The automaker suggests that installing retractable tracks into the sides of a truck’s bed would greatly enhance the process of securing and loading cargo.

The mechanism operates in a straightforward manner. Heavy-duty tracks running along each side of the truck bed would hold linear actuators with a lifting capacity of 1,320 pounds each. These actuators could be controlled to elevate and lower as needed. To secure large items in the rear, a net can be extended between the rails and lowered over them. However, Ford has gone beyond this basic function.

Due to the immense strength of the actuators, they can function as a makeshift hoist with the assistance of an additional attachment. This attachment pivots from one of the rails to the back of the truck. A cable is attached to this swing arm’s tip, allowing it to hoist heavy objects. The raised bed rails help lift the weighty object and then maneuver it into the truck bed. Quite ingenious.

Ford submitted their patent application in 2021, however it has recently been made public. This indicates that the company may have been working on the concept for some time, although there is a possibility that they are not actively pursuing its development. As stated previously, Ford could simply be safeguarding against others using the idea instead of actively incorporating it into their upcoming trucks.

The Ford Motor Company commonly holds patents for this type of gadget. In previous instances, they have obtained patents for various additions such as bolt-on axles that can convert a car into a six-wheeler and a mechanism for operating a truck while standing up. Hence, it can be challenging to predict the future innovations that are in development and distinguish them from ideas that are simply being safeguarded by the company.

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Source: US Patent And Trademark Office via The Drive

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