GM has filed a patent application for a new foldable ramp design for pickup trucks. The new GM patent application has been assigned patent application number US 2024/0017657 A1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and was published on January 18th, 2024. The patent application was originally filed on July 13th, 2022, and lists Brian V. Castillo from Birmingham, Michigan as the inventor.
The patent application describes a foldable ramp system designed to more-easily load items into the bed of a pickup truck. The ramp sections are broken down into specific areas that are joined together by a hinge. This hinge incorporates a tension element, as well as foldable support sections that fold out into a V-shaped structure. The patent images also describe the foldable ramps as fitting within the pickup bedside for easy storage when not in use.
As the patent application points out, pickup trucks are typically used to load heavy items like ATVs, motorcycles, lawn mowers, and similar items. As such, a ramp is preferable to help load these items into the bed without physically lifting the items.
Although shorter ramps can be more easily stored, longer ramps provide a lower angle to load items. With that in mind, a foldable ramp solution is preferable. However, foldable ramps present a different challenge, namely limited weight bearing capacity. In order to produce a foldable ramp of sufficient weight-bearing capacity, a heavier material is often used, as is a thicker, more-robust structural profile. However, thicker ramps made of heavier materials can make the ramps unwieldy and difficult to place for an individual.
With all that considered, this foldable ramp design seeks to create a low-approach angle that’s easily storable, while still providing a high degree of weight-bearing capacity.