• Oct 4, 2006

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]




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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting product, but I don't think Ford's extender will work with large, long cargo...like a motorcycle, ATV or even a couch because the extender can't be removed from the truck. You'd have to lift a motorycle OVER the extender to get it into the truck bed. Try it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In theory it is nice, but what about long skinny items such as what is pictured in the graphic? If you are hauling lumber, it seems that boards could easily slide right out under acceleration.
      • 8 Years Ago
      is he to fat to just jump up in the bed? Why does anyone need that?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Big Al - my last ranch truck (F250 crew-cab) had the rear seat that folded both ways, and when the seat bottom was folded up there was a steel storage tray that folded out to form a flat load floor. That was a 2004, and I'm not sure when they started offering that feature.

      As far as weight on the tailgate, the most I put on the tailgate was about 800 pounds or so. That didn't seem to be a problem, but I did discover that 100-pound bales of hay dropped 15 feet will bend the inside panels of the tailgate after a while. However, the outside still looked fine and the support cables held up.

      I'm not sure about the tailgate step - while it's an interesting idea, it doesn't look very sturdy or very stable. Plus, usually if you need a step it's because you're loading/unloading the bed...and I can't imagine trying to use that step while carrying 100-pound bags of feed. What I'd really like to see is some sort of loading ramp that slides under the bed, similar to large trucks & moving vans.
      • 8 Years Ago
      its almost like a terrible slow animation if you scroll down the page
      • 8 Years Ago
      Guys, GM was the company who had to recall their trucks because their tailgate support cables couldn't hold the weight of a BigMac and fries. Ford has never had that problem. It can hold the weight of Robert Lutz's BS.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #8. Is this a dealer installed accessory or something that rolls off the line?

      Rolls off the line... bed extender, tailgate step, and grab handle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Two great ideas.

      One thing I don't understand is why all bed extenders have perforations. If a piece of wood or pipe has to extend beyond the bed extender then what's the point? The only other thing I can think of is aerodynamics. The problem is it's a myth. DRIVING WITH THE TAILGATE DOWN DOES NOT IMPROVE GAS MILEAGE. There's an SAE paper on it and the MythBusters proved this, though their methods leave room for reproach.

      Why not make the bed extender solid so soil and mulch can be loaded in the front of the bed while items in the back stay clean?
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a great idea, but I still think Nissan got it right with the Titan. The "tracks" in the floor and inside lips of the bed rails with moveable anchor points are genius, as is the lockable, water tight storage compartment on the lower rear portion of the bed (behind the wheel well). Also, the Titan's rear seat folds either flat against the rear wall of the cab giving a huge open area for cargo, or the seat back folds forward providing a "shelf" like surface.

      I'm not a truck aficianado, but I have never seen these ideas before in any truck and they struck me as useful and ingenious.

      Okay, commercial over.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is this a dealer installed accessory or something that rolls off the line?

      Is it going to be a pain in the ass to get a bed liner installed?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford has thought of a way to be more proactive in desing and features. As for the nissan trac idea, anyone who uses the truck would see the flaws in that system. Try loading some bark or rock then seeing how well they work. They become alomst useless when for anything other than tying in a washer or dryer. Ford has been the leader in trucks for some time, if you dont believe me ask...
      PG&E, AMR ambulance, police, fire, railroad, construction comp, shall I go on?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wasn't there just a warning on Autoblog about putting too much weight on a tailgate? How much weight can this one support?
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