GM Patents Tailgate Step for Pickup Trucks

Jan. 19, 2017 By Josh Burns

General Motors may have poked fun at Ford in recent years with its use of aluminum in its F-150 body and bed construction, and it also took shots at Ford for the use of its tailgate step and handle a few years prior to that.

An advertisement back in 2009 from Chevrolet poked fun at Ford for using an step and handle that extend from the tailgate of the F-150. Chevy didn’t offer anything like it at the time and mocked the product for not being something a strong truck owner would need. Yet, Chevy did later introduce its Corner Step Bumper, offering a foothold in the corner of bumpers to aid users in stepping into the truck bed. It appears GM changed its tune regarding the Ford step it mocked years ago with the filing of a patent for a new tailgate step of its own.

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There are actually two patents filed, with the first titled “Multi-Panel Hinged Endgate Assembly With Edge Support For Step Panel” published in October of last year. The image accompanying the filing shows a two-piece tailgate with an upper portion that folds out to become a step. The step in the diagram is similar in theory to the earlier Ford step, but instead of sliding out of the top portion of the tailgate it uses a drop-down panel that offers additional area to step on.

There’s also a second patent titled “Tailgate Assembly With a Step Assist Handle” that was published just a few weeks ago, and this design shows the same step assembly from the earlier diagram but adds a retractable handle for the user to hold as they climb into or exit the bed.

Chevy clearly must’ve had second thoughts about the design Ford first unveiled year ago since it appears to be developing its own option. If we do see it in production there will no doubt be an explanation as to why it’s better than what’s out there, which should be entreating to see!

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