Make Your Bed: Ram patents tailgate-mounted side step
With the Detroit Truck Wars showing no sign of slowing down, R&D attention has turned to the ubiquitous cargo box in order to get a leg up on the competition (pun firmly intended, you’ll see in a sec). If the latest patent from Stellantis is any indication, bright minds are hard at work trying to suss a retractable side step for use on Ram pickups. The eagle eyes at American car outlet Motor Authority were the first to spot this new patent from Auburn Hills.
It appears this step-type feature could swing downwards from the sides of the tailgate, instead of from the centre portion itself. Think of a folding knife being deployed from a sheath on the side of a tailgate and you’ve got the general idea.
It’s worth noting that nothing in the patent guarantees this feature will ever show up on Ram trucks; many patents are secured by automakers in order to simply protect an idea, one which may never see the light of day. Alert readers will notice the truck in this drawing has taillights unlike any full-size Ram on sale currently, though patent illustrators often add generic backgrounds to the specifics of their work.
Seeking to differentiate themselves in distinctive ways, truck-makers are burning plenty of development dollars researching new methods of utilizing – and accessing – the cargo box. After all, that open space is the entire reason for trucks in the first place. Generator outlets, ample tie-downs, and handy quick-open buttons are all part and parcel of the selling proposition at some brands.