Fiat Chrysler USA was just awarded an American patent for “a ramp system for a vehicle storage bed” which appears to be exactly what it sounds like, and would be a hugely helpful feature for folks like me who like to put heavy stuff in trucks but don’t always have friends around to help.
The always-attentive writers at Allpar caught the patent filing first, which you can read in its entirety right here. Basically there would be “at least one” ramp in a channel that would extend out across the tailgate, down, and lock for loading cargo. My first thought here is “motorcycle” but there doesn’t seem to be a posted weight limit so we’ll have to hold that thought.
Here’s a link to detailed drawings of the mechanism and how it would work, but you pretty much get the idea with the graphic above. That’s “Figure 6” in the patent showing the ramps in a fully-deployed position.
I’m inclined to believe this is a Ram product (as opposed to something for the Fiat Strada) because the patent authors are listed as Deyan Ninov; a Chrysler Group Exterior Designer, Joseph S. Dehner; the Head of Ram and Mopar design, and Gregory A Howell who’s Chief Designer at Ram.
It’s high time somebody put retractable ramps into a pickup truck bed. I got excited when Ford had a similar-sounding option for the 2015 F-150 but lost interest when I realized they were just regular-old ramps that you still had to carry somehow.
These RamRamps (what else could FCA possible call them?) don’t look like they retract below the bed’s surface, which would be truly awesome, but I like that they’re moving in the direction of “integration.”
Of course FCA’s filed for patents and done nothing with them before, as The Truth About Cars points out. Remember when Ram patented a barn-door style truck bed? Yeah, still haven’t seen that one at the store.
To my friends at Ram, sorry for showing this to all your competitors I guess. Get your butts in gear and get it to market before somebody else comes up with a better version!
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