HomeNews and EventsGM Patents Foldable Bed Ramps For Pickup Trucks

GM Patents Foldable Bed Ramps For Pickup Trucks


General Motors has designed foldable bed ramps that could make loading motorcycles, ATVs, or lawnmowers into the beds of pickup trucks more convenient.

Ramps allow wheeled vehicles to be driven or pushed into a truck’s bed, but there’s a tradeoff between a high-angled ramp that can fit in the bed, but makes loading more difficult, and a low-angled ramp that may be difficult to store. GM explained that in a patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Jan. 18 and originally filed on July 13, 2022.

General Motors foldable bed ramps patent image

GM’s proposed solution is to make the ramps foldable. This allows for the ramp to be long enough to create a shallow angle, so loads don’t have to negotiate a steep incline to reach the bed, while still allowing for in-bed storage of the ramp itself.

As described in the patent application, each ramp consists of two sections hinged in the middle, with structural supports so it can handle sufficient weight. When fully deployed, they attach to the tailgate. When they’re no longer needed, the ramps fold in half, allowing them to be stored on the bed walls.

General Motors foldable bed ramps patent image

GM isn’t the only truck maker working on elaborate bed ramps. Ford patent filings from 2023 mention a ramp that would be part of an extendable cargo bed floor. In this case, the entire bed floor would be able to slide backward past the end of the tailgate, with the rearmost section pivoting downward to form a ramp.

The GM design is much simpler, as it doesn’t require any changes to the bed itself—so while no automaker patent is guaranteed to reach production, it may have a better chance than Ford’s complex solution.

HIGH-RES GALLERY: General Motors foldable bed ramps patent image




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