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Home Supercars Ford F-150, Ranger, Super Duty may soon have a magnetic cargo bed

Ford F-150, Ranger, Super Duty may soon have a magnetic cargo bed

Truck beds have always been used to transport a variety of items, the formula has been the same for decades, a large undivided area for items – typically large enough to hold at least a sheet of plywood – accompanied by areas to hold rope or cord can be secure cargo. Of course, lashing down loads requires some effort and responsibility, and there’s always a chance that the load will go unsecured during transit. To fix this problem, Ford Motor Company came up with a pretty clever solution, and we may soon see it on trucks like the Maverick, Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty.

Ford Motor Company has moved to patent a magnetized pickup truck bed that could seriously change the way we haul cargo. And it could even be controlled remotely via a phone app.

Ford F-150 Maverick Ranger Super Duty Magnetic Pickup Truck Flatbed USPTO

Ford F-150 Magnetic Truck Bed Cargo Management Patent: Details

According to a series of USPTO documents first discovered by MC&T, FoMoCo is investigating several ways to secure bedloads through magnetization. The documents detail the embedding of a series of magnets in the bed of the truck, which could be used to create a magnetic field that not only alters the magnitude of the magnetic force exerted, but is also capable of rotating relative to one another and move to create a magnet field that encompasses all or just parts of the bottom of the bed. Ford suggests that either a simple handle could be used to rotate the magnets, or a more complicated servo motor, drive wheel, and belt system to trigger the rotation automatically.

Drawings included in the document show that between four and six magnets could be embedded under the bottom of the bed. The magnets could also be selectively turned on and off, meaning the bed base could be detached and magnetized as needed.

Ford Motor Company Magnetic Cargo Management Transit E-Series Connect Van SUV Bronco Expedition

The second disclosure of Ford Motor Company’s Magnetic Cargo Management patent describes a magnetic “tie-down” system for securing cargo that would not be specifically limited to pickup truck beds such as the Ford F-150 and others, as it could be applied up to to SUVs like the mighty Bronco or vans like the Transit. The document outlines a plan to use strategically placed magnets, which could be powered via the vehicle’s infotainment touchscreen, to secure either a tie-down device or the load itself in place. As illustrated, a system of this type could allow cargo to be held overhead by magnetizing the roof, thereby maximizing usable cargo space in a van or SUV.

There are certainly other factors that would have to be worked out for a market launch of a magnet system. Magnetic flux can wreak havoc on vehicle electronic systems, so Ford would need to find a way to protect the wiring under the pickup truck bed from being affected. Things like fuel pump wiring could be affected, along with key rear axle systems like wheel-speed sensors and ABS. On SUVs like the Ford Expedition, the electronic limited-slip differential could be affected, as could parking sensors or even the interior lights.

As with all patent documents, it is unclear if or when Ford might implement a system of this type. But in the pickup space, where Michigan’s Big Three automakers consistently outdo each other, your neighbor bragging about an F-150 with a magnetic truck bed could soon be something happening in the future.

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