Tailgate Tech: Finding the Right Mix

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Predicting trends is a mix of science and magic. As practical and no-nonsense as most pickup truck buyers are, sometimes the newest must-have feature can surprise even the most experienced owner.

Related: Tailgate Like a Pro in 2018 GMC Sierra 1500: Video

Clearly, the pickup truck bed is an important component of the vehicle. But tailgate technology has remained mostly unchanged since the first closed pickup truck bed debuted almost 100 years ago — until recently that is. Lately we've seen a boom in solutions for making bed access easier, with Ram firing the latest salvo during the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. Here's how current tailgate tech shakes out.

Ford

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Ford was the first to strike 10 years ago with a factory-produced integrated bed step for the tailgate of the F-150. The step can be hidden when not needed and pulls out with the tailgate down, complete with a grab handle arm and single, pullout step. Until this point, pickup owners looked to aftermarket companies for attachable bed steps that looked more like small ladders. The "man step" is an option on both light-duty and heavy-duty models.

GMC

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The newest — and most complicated solution to bed access — debuted with the introduction of the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500. Called the MultiPro Tailgate, it offers six separate positions to solve a number of truck-related problems, including easier access into the bed. Think of the MultiPro as a tailgate within a tailgate: A smaller tailgate drops separately inside the full-size tailgate. The inner tailgate is activated by its own button and can fold down 90 degrees to serve as a small, chest-high platform or drop down with the tailgate to provide a long footstep to get into the bed. The new system includes an extendable grab handle in the nearest corner of the bed. The MultiPro Tailgate is available on both the half-ton and HD models. One caveat: Make sure you don't drop the MultiPro Tailgate if you have any kind of hitch on your truck — damage may ensue, unless you have a trailer plug attached (where an internal sensor will prevent the latch button from activating).

Ram 1500

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Ram recently revealed its new Multifunction Tailgate on the 2019 Ram 1500 at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, but we've been hearing about this 60/40-split barn-door-style tailgate for almost 10 years. We checked it out at the auto show and it looks pretty good. We put our full weight on the doors (just like we used to do on barn doors, riding them all the way to fully open) to see how sturdy they were. We can attest the extra framing seems well done. The design required additional bed and tailgate reinforcements, adding 75 pounds to the Ram 1500's weight, which is not insignificant. A hidden cantilevered step sits under the bumper and allows access to the bed.

Honda

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It seems so long ago that the Honda Ridgeline entered the mid-size truck market with one of the most creative pickup beds in the industry. Not only did it have a hidden storage bin under the bed floor (complete with a spare tire), but it also had the first dual-swing tailgate we'd seen. The tailgate, with two separately activated grab handles, could drop down like a conventional tailgate or swing out (hinged on the street side) like the rear door of a crossover or SUV. The dual-action feature was great for those who wanted to access the bed or storage bin without having to reach over tailgate. The Ridgeline does not have a bed step.

We expect tailgate technology to continue to ramp up as manufacturers look for ways to separate themselves from the competition. As to the future, we're guessing Ford is due for a tailgate update and Chevrolet needs to do something interesting to be more competitive. For now, GMC's clever tailgate is getting the lion's share of the attention. Check it out in the video below.

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Comments

I knew I'd left someone off the list. The biggest whacker in the whole group---the fake tntgmc


Posted by: papajim | Feb 18, 2019 2:40:49 PM

FAKE papajim

LMBO!!! The one ford guy on 20 different names trying to defend Fords little flimsy little B****h step. It must be hard to own a Ford today! Dashes warping, doors won't latch, droping from 6th to 1st gear, Al that rips easier then paper, turbo engines going ka boom, and a new 7.3L that uses push rods! LMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This bit from GM didn't age well.

January 2009...

https://youtu.be/jGI8IRXRqpo

Now 10 years later GM has an entire commercial based on their man step. SMH.

@ imposter

Your the fake one 🤡

GMs bumper steps are the most innovative thing brought to the market yet!

Gmsrgreat is correct. The steps are still lower to ground then Ford's step, so those who where saying otherwise, need to look at both, or how about try both first!

GMC multi pro tailgate is very nice but will it last?

Ram's is nice, just don't like how it's split. Wish it looked better

Ford's step is well a Ford's step and never been fan of it.

@tntgmc

blah... blah..., blah...

who cares what you think

gm made that thing too complicated

wait till that sensor gets a little dirty...

oh that will be an expensive repair

just shut up tntgmc

I expected this to come from the dumb one

that way it could just be chalked-up as another misfire

everyone is gonna LOL @ U

that way it could just be chalked-up as another misfire

everyone is gonna LOL @ U
Posted by: Yard sale | Feb 18, 2019 3:15:34 PM

Misfire like when all of Fords DOHC engines go KA BOOM after the 40 mile long timing chains wear out after 60,000 miles. LMBO!!!!!!!!!!!

BTW.

I bash Ford turbo engines, engines designed for turbocharging. Yet I put a twin turbo set up on a 6.0L Vortec engine, an engine not designed for turbo.

Yes I’m an idiot

Awww the ford girls mad cause I throw a turbo on a good old chevy small block and now they can't keep up with a 7,000 pound 3/4 ton Loaded. The butt hurt is real LMBO!!!!!!!!!

Fake johnny doe got nothing but a flimsy b***h step to get into a bed of a Ford with out a trailer, so she has to change the subject to a mod I did to my truck. How cute LMBO!

The problem with the Ford step us that it is easily bent, then it doesn't slide back into the gate properly. I have replaced mine twice now.
I really like the GMC tailgate. If you try to open the step with trailer or hitch attached , it has a failsafe and won't come down and hit hitch, so no worries about accidentally hitting button, it senses obstacles and saves itself from damage. The fact that it is completely functional with a touch of a button , makes the GMC tailgate the easiest and smartest solution for a lazy man step.
The Ram is just weird, no step when opened normally, and an offset seam in gate.

If you notice johnny blows back and gmsgreat and tntgmc are gone. Whats that tell you? Tells me they the same person. Been knowing that for a long time now. I can't sit here and say anything bad about GMC's tailgate but it is way over done.Very exspensive to replace. Thieves will love that one. I use my Ford for work and its step has been invaluable. Tried the bumper step and its ok but really sux. The solution nobody likes. Where's Howie Long right now? He put down everything about Fords step and now look. GM guys relying on johnny blow to carry you are idiots, and I say that with a capitol IDIOT!!

More shyt to break and fall apart!

So more feminist bells and whistles is the modern truck?

I will stick with my traditional high strength steel tailgate that I can drive my 42-inch deck tractor mower up my Reese ramps into the bed of my 2016 Tacoma! and shut the tailgate behind the mower!

Awww the ford girls mad cause I throw a turbo on a good old chevy small block and now they can't keep up with a 7,000 pound 3/4 ton Loaded. The butt hurt is real LMBO!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: johnny doe | Feb 18, 2019 4:07:43 PM

FAKE news

@ yard sale

Again, havent changed....very sad

U offer nothing to the comment section


Another note

Tfl did testing on new 4 cylinder....it got 24.22 mpgs. Not a fan but those are decent numbers

https://youtu.be/93bQvBuAYwo

@tntgmc

all you offer the comments section is hate

you hate anything ford does or doesn’t do

so... you are actually worse for the comments section

Shut up with your hateful words

Shut up with your insults

Shut up with your lies

Just... shut up

@TNT

Thanks for posting that link, wow, the Silverado got 8 miles per gallon better than the Ram in real world testing...amazing! These are the kind of tests that I pay attention to when I make purchasing decisions. As cool as the tailgate stuff is, I wouldn't make a purchasing decision on any of that, my favorite of the bunch is just the simplistic GM bumper steps.

Yard shtick is all bent because the GM bumper steps are lower mounted then the Ford gay step.

@tntgmc: I suspect that the GM 2.7 truck engine will return class leading fuel economy out in the real world. I know several people with ecoboosts and they can't duplicate the fuel mileage that Ford lied to them about.

@thedumbone

for your information, tntgmc gets better mpg’s with his v8

than the puny 4 cylinder

and, he gets that mpg while towing going 75mph

so, shut up

we need a video of tntgmc towing with his bada$$ gmc

doing 75 —->80mph

that will show all of you who the boss is around here

come on tntgmc, post it big boy

come on dumb one

turn this article from gm’s complicated tailgate

to false gm mpg’s

keep twisting, you might hit something sometime

instead of misfiring

that was so funny, you called out for misfiring

LOL @ U FOREVER

If you notice johnny blows back and gmsgreat and tntgmc are gone. Whats that tell you? Tells me they the same person.
Posted by: Truck frame | Feb 18, 2019 4:58:26 PM

Sorry I'm still working using the bumper steps in my GM product while all the Fords are in the shop for a recall :D!!

@papajim,

You say the F150 tailgate looks flimsy? Well. That’s all you do is look at others. L0$3r!!!

Ford's Quality Testing ..LOL

https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2019/1998-ford-explorer-rollover.shtml

I ALREADY SAID FORD QUALITY IS JOB ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU MUST BE SOME CHEBBIE FAN WHO IS JUST JEALOUSS THAT CHEBBIE DOESNT HAVE THE AWSOM MAN STEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOVERMENT MOTERS IS OGING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

You say the F150 tailgate looks flimsy? Well. That’s all you do is look at others. L0$3r!!!

Posted by: Frank | Feb 18, 2019 7:58:34 PM

I parked my 2500 GMC HD next to an AL pop can ford and the AL ford folded in easier then the steel, frank way don't you go throw some bucks to get that 6.8L v10 get it off the bricks in your front yard LMBO!

You say the F150 tailgate looks flimsy? Well. That’s all you do is look at others. L0$3r!!!

Posted by: Frank | Feb 18, 2019 7:58:34 PM

I parked my 2500 GMC HD next to an AL pop can ford and the AL ford folded in easier then the steel, frank way don't you go throw some bucks to get that 6.8L v10 get it off the bricks in your front yard LMBO!

Even though I am over 6’ tall, I’ve experieced this issue often, especially with the old K20 and K30 trucks on the farm.
The solution? I have a folding step stool I purchased at Lowe’s for a less than $15. It can fit behind the seat, or betwee the B-pillar and the door. It makes loading and unloading a snap.

$1000 tailgate steps... you people crack me up.

@James--I like your solution the best. I have used a step stool or a short ladder myself.

GM's solution is way to complex and expensive.


Posted by: Simple | Feb 18, 2019 8:27:26 AM

Too complex huh, here, hold my beer.

https://carbuzz.com/news/ford-patents-new-and-improved-man-step

When shopping to replace my old Silverado, I was torn between a new Silverado or a GMC. I decided to go all in and finally make the move up to GMC after being a Chevy guy for decades. The Multipro was a big selling point to me, but I wish I never got it. I'd rather have the power tailgate that's only available on the Chevy. Here are a few discussions where guys are having the same issues I found with this new tailgate. I also have an issue from a broken bag of tube sand I had in there for winter. The loose sand got into the mechanics of tailgate (many hinges and latches) and it now binds sometimes. The rest of my truck has been fine.
https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/219692-multipro-tailgate-problemissue-discovered-lack-of-engineering/
https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/216666-sierra-tailgate/
https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/topic/215438-new-tailgate/

@ yard sale

Looks like a touched a nerve🤣😂😋😊

Again, no change, so sad

@ Texas 1836

You're welcome. Loved the TFL review. They do some really good stuff just like PUTC

@ GMSRGREAT

Yes, i believe it will return very good numbers, and yes, I have many in family with EcoBoost engines and they don't come near MPGs they claim

"If you notice johnny blows back and gmsgreat and tntgmc are gone. Whats that tell you? Tells me they the same person"


@ Truck Frame

Don't know who you are, never seen you post here, but I am not either one of those people. I have one name. I have posted here on this site for about 3 years, and I only have used TNTGMC. I have to sign in now to account (That's why name is blue), because other clowns were posting under MY username.

Have a great day!

@ Silverguy:

Congrats on your purchase of a fine GM vehicle. The local dealer can't keep the Denali in stock. I guess that explains why I see these new trucks everywhere in town.

Mark,
Please stop giving Honda credit for its tailgate design. My parents had the exact same thing on their 1972 Chevelle stationwagon.

All 3 Silverados on the lot were instantly crossed off my list...

All 3 were Mexican made. My wife liked the look of the Blazer...until she noticed the the manufacturer sticker said made in Mexico.

GM sucks.

No tailgate is worth anything when the truck's engine breaks down.

That is why a GM V8 is the way to go.

Everyone knows that the GM makes better engines.

And everyone knows that Toyota makes even better engines.

And everyone knows that a cummins is the best heavy duty engine.

Probably time to just do away with the comments section.

Probably time to just do away with the comments section.


Posted by: Steve | Feb 19, 2019 12:33:42 PM

That’s not necessary. Just ban the GM guys ( papajim, TNTGMC, GMSRGREAT, johnny doe ) that constantly go off topic and make personal attacks.

They are the root of the problem here

How about PUTC just ban the commentor above^^^^^^^^^^^^ and his 30 other usernames he/she goes under. He/she ruins the site.

Thanks!

Thanks for proving me correct TNTGMC

@tntgmc

He/she ruins the site.
Posted by: TNTGMC | Feb 19, 2019 1:01:18 PM

and the drivel you post doesn't count???

The Ford fangays has ruined this comments section.

The Ford fangays has ruined this comments section.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 19, 2019 1:26:37 PM

So says the guy with another personal attack.

Thanks for also proving me correct

The gm fangays has ruined this comments section.
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 19, 2019 1:26:37 PM

@the dumb one

there, fixed it for you

you are so dumb

I bet you smell too

glad this is online then

U R soooo dumb, hence your nickname

@yard shtick: My previous comment was for a specific person and you responded. Mission accomplished. Hey, i'm not passing judgment on you orientation, just your continuous defense of Ford. Oh, you used the word dumb 3 times in the one response. No one does dumb better than you.

@ GMSRGREAT

Do you notice how Yard Sale always states "we" do insults, yet he is the one calling names?!? Who is the hypocrite?

This "person" has serious issues.....too many for me to even diagnose!

Children post here. Adults post at TFL.

And yes, I admit I’m a child. I don’t don’t own the Mexican built Sierra I crow about. It is my dads

@tntgmc

every post you make you have to display

you hatred for everything ford

your issues your problem'

ford sells more full size trucks than gm

I'm sure you will post some drivel or beat your pecs

you are a hypocritical liar

stop posting your nonsense

I'm gonna LOL @ U



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