Bed extenders are nothing new. From the Nissan Frontier crew cab to Ford's own Explorer Sport Trac and the previous generation SuperCrew F-150, the movable metal cage that is the typical bed extender has been the solution to add a few inches of utility to short-bed pick-up trucks. It's too bad that when they're not extending the bed, they're in the way of cargo you might want to haul with the tailgate up. For its new 2008 SuperDuty line of trucks, Ford is offering a well designed solution to the aggravation of the current flip-like-Wilson metal cage bed extenders. The industry-unique stowable extender made from blow-molded polypropylene can withstand up to 1,000 pounds of static pressure. It is split into two separate sections that can be stowed in the sides of the bed, and is clamped together in the middle when it needs to be used.

After the jump you will see photos of the extender in action, as well as a photo of the optional Tailgate Step, which is integrated into the tailgate (look closely at the top of the tailgate and you'll see the panel behind which it's hidden). The Tailgate Step and bed extender are examples of how Ford hopes to differentiate its heavy duty pick-ups to better meet the needs of its customers. While Ford may wish to differentiate itself with these unique features, we hope they disseminate across the segment as standard fare over the next few years.

[Source: Ford]