End Gates Patents (Class 296/50)
  • Patent number: 11066111
    Abstract: A tailgate assembly for a vehicle includes hinge and track assemblies that enable opening of the tailgate from a closed position to a horizontal open position and further to a vertical open position to enable comfortable access to items within the cargo bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Dragan B. Stojkovic, Steven William Gallagher, Shawn Michael Morgans, Jack Marchlewski, Joshua Robert Hemphill
  • Patent number: 10981610
    Abstract: The air guiding device for a motor vehicle, having a fixed part intended to be fixed to the motor vehicle, and at least one moveable part mounted on the fixed part, the moveable part being rotatably moveable relative to the fixed part between a rest position and an extended position, the moveable part comprising a first air guiding surface and a second air guiding surface, approximately opposite to the first air guiding surface, the first air guiding surface guiding the airflow when the moveable part is in the rest position. The second air guiding surface guides the airflow when the moveable part is in the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: Flex-N-Gate France
    Inventor: Cyrille Guyon
  • Patent number: 10920472
    Abstract: A hinge to removably mount a tailgate to a vehicle is provided. The hinge comprises a tailgate leaf connected to a tailgate and a body leaf connected to the box of the vehicle. The tailgate leaf is attached to the slider through a hinge pivot. The body leaf has a first chamber in which a slider can be locked and unlocked through a locking mechanism in the second chamber. The locking mechanism comprises a locking wedge, a threaded shaft, and a cam lever to operate the locking wedge without the requirement of a tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Daniel Trentin, Dave Spink
  • Patent number: 10724283
    Abstract: A variable output torque rod system for panel counterbalance includes a telescoping torque rod having a solid inner rod with a first end concentrically disposed in a tubular outer rod, wherein the tubular outer rod includes a first end fixed relative to a storage area, and wherein the solid inner rod includes a second end secured in a slider block relative to the panel. The telescoping torque rod is configured to store energy by being twisted when the panel is pivoted in a first direction relative to the storage area, and wherein the slider block is operative to adjust an overall length and cross-sectional area of the telescoping torque rod when the slider block is moved from a fully extended position to at least one other position that is less than the fully extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: James M. Townson, Himanshu H. Mehta, Alvin N. Standard, Ankita N. Joshi, Gregory S. Erwin, Spencer T. Seufert
  • Patent number: 10697221
    Abstract: A variable output torque rod system for panel counterbalance includes a torque rod having a first fixed end relative to a storage area and a second fixed end relative to a panel, wherein the torque rod is configured to store energy by being twisted when the panel is pivoted in a first direction relative to the storage area and release the stored energy when the panel is pivoted in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction. A slider block is disposed on the torque rod between the first fixed end and the second fixed end wherein the slider block is free to be moved along an axis of the torque rod when a set screw is loosened from the torque rod, and wherein the slider block profiles against a portion of the panel to prevent rotation about the torque rod when the set screw is tightened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: James M. Townson, Douglas P. Gonsler
  • Patent number: 10518821
    Abstract: An improved vehicle cargo tailgate enclosure particularly adapted for ease of installation and removal. The tailgate enclosure comprises two side walls and a rear wall. The rear wall is configured to slope upwardly and rearwardly to provide additional storage space to a cargo bed of a vehicle. The cargo tailgate enclosure further comprises tubular members which comprise a non-circular cross section which provide exceptional strength a structural stability to the cargo tailgate enclosure. The cargo tailgate enclosure further comprises a plurality of upright members. Some of the upright members are configured to attach the cargo tailgate enclosure to a vehicle and to cap the tubular members. Other upright members are configured to support the tailgate enclosure against the surface cargo bed or a tailgate of a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Lund Motion Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony Smith
  • Patent number: 10479265
    Abstract: An auxiliary brake light system has a middle light bar, a left light module, and a right light module for being mounted on a back of the vehicle. The left light module has a right part extending upwards and a left part. The right light module has a left part extending upwards and a right part. The middle light bar is above the left light module and the right light module and has a left part extending downwards and a right part extending downwards. The left part of the middle light bar and the right part of the left light module are separated from each other and opposite to each other. The right part of the middle light bar and the left part of the right light module are separated from each other and opposite to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Inventor: Wei-Tai Lin
  • Patent number: 10450008
    Abstract: Vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle, which is equipped with a tailgate which can be pivoted on the rear of the vehicle. The tailgate can be pivoted by way of a pivoting device, around a pivoting axis between a closed position, in which a loading surface of the rear of the vehicle is defined, and an open position in which the loading surface of the rear side is open. In order to pivot the tailgate, the pivoting apparatus includes at least one pivoting arm on which the tailgate can be moved in a translatory manner and can be detachably held in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: Gebrüder Jacob GbR
    Inventors: Dirk Jacob, Jochen Jacob, Rüdiger Jacob
  • Patent number: 9908568
    Abstract: A vehicle cargo bed structure includes a tailgate and a tailgate gap cover. The tailgate gap cover has a first attachment structure fixedly attached to a bed floor of the vehicle cargo bed structure, a second attachment structure fixedly attached to the bed floor at a location spaced apart from the first attachment structure, and a biasing structure. The tailgate gap cover is pivotal between a horizontal orientation with the tailgate in an open position, and an upright orientation with the tailgate in a closed position. The tailgate gap cover covers a gap between the tailgate and the bed floor with the tailgate in the open position. The biasing structure extends from the first attachment structure to the second attachment structure and biases the tailgate gap cover into contact with the tailgate in both the horizontal orientation and the upright orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Nissan North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Long Ngoc Vu
  • Patent number: 9797180
    Abstract: A control device is used to move a pick-up truck tailgate. The control device comprises a first gear arrangement connected to a drive cup and a second gear arrangement that is connected to a motor for driving the second gear arrangement. The control device also includes a clutch arrangement positioned between the first and second gear arrangements. When the clutch arrangement is in an engaged position, it couples the first gear arrangement and the second gear arrangement to transmit torque to the first gear arrangement and the drive cup. When the clutch arrangement is in the disengaged position, the first and second gear arrangements are not coupled. Optionally, the control device comprises a brake unit to slow or stop movement of the tailgate. The control device can be positioned within the pick-up truck tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: MULTIMATIC INC.
    Inventors: John Salmon, Andrew R. Daniels, Muamer Hodza
  • Patent number: 9545958
    Abstract: A reinforcement plate is assembled inside a D-pillar of a pick-up truck to prevent twisting or matchbox deflection of the D-pillar when an accessory, such as a hydraulic lift gate, is assembled inside the tailgate opening of the pick-up truck. The plate includes a horizontal planar portion that is attached by a front flange to a front wall of the D-pillar. An outer flange connects the plate to an outer wall of the D-pillar. An offset flange is secured to a rear cross member by fasteners inside the D-pillar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Jack Marchlewski, John Comiez
  • Patent number: 9411294
    Abstract: A bypass feeder, which is included in an image forming apparatus, includes an opening/closing unit opening and closing with respect to an apparatus body between a unit closed state and a unit open state, a bypass tray opening and closing with respect to the opening/closing unit between a tray closed state and a tray open state, a linkage including a flexible-member fixing member and connecting the opening/closing unit to the apparatus body, and a flexible member having one end fixed to the fixing member and the other end fixed to the bypass tray. When the opening/closing unit is changed to the unit open state while the bypass tray is rotated away from the opening/closing unit to the tray open state, the fixing member of the linkage shifts by pulling the flexible member to hold the bypass tray at a substantially horizontal line with respect to a sheet loading surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventor: Jumpei Aoyama
  • Patent number: 9221499
    Abstract: A tailgate striker support bracket assembly for a pickup truck box. The assembly having a bracket with a striker support section sandwiched between a striker and a floating striker nut. The bracket having a web extending from the striker support section to a flange. The flange being affixed to a D-pillar of the truck box. The D-pillar being disposed between a side panel of the truck box and an outer panel of the pickup. The D-pillar also being disposed longitudinally forward from the striker. The pickup truck box being made from mostly aluminum alloy components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Jack Marchlewski, John Comiez
  • Patent number: 9114692
    Abstract: A vehicle includes sidewalls, a tailgate located proximate to rear ends of the sidewalls, and a tailgate energy management system. The tailgate energy management system includes a governor coupled to one of the sidewalls and to the tailgate. The governor selectively applies a governing force to the tailgate to reduce an opening speed of the tailgate. The tailgate energy management system also includes a speed sensor sensing an opening speed of the tailgate and an electronic control unit electronically coupled to the governor and the speed sensor. The electronic control unit includes a processor and memory storing an instruction set. The electronic control unit receives a speed signal indicative of the opening speed of the tailgate and the processor executes the instruction set to cause the electronic control unit to transmit a control signal to the governor to slow the opening speed of the tailgate based on the speed signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Norman Charles Kerr, III
  • Patent number: 9108685
    Abstract: An apparatus for a vehicle is provided. The vehicle generally has a front wall, two side walls, a truck bed, and a tailgate that altogether define a tonneau. The apparatus includes a tonneau cover that has a front panel and a rear panel. The tonneau cover is slidable along the side walls of the vehicle to move between a closed position and an extended position. In the closed position, the tonneau cover substantially covers the tonneau. In the extended position, at least a portion of the rear panel overhangs the tailgate exterior to the tonneau. The tonneau cover is securable in at least one of the closed position and the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Thomas H. Froling, Scott C. Anderson
  • Patent number: 9027979
    Abstract: A rotary damper has a cylindrical housing. A rotor is rotatably supported inside the housing for rotation with respect to the housing by a first bearing and a second bearing. The second bearing has a greater length in the axial direction of the rotor than the first bearing. The rotary damper can be employed in an opening and closing mechanism for a vehicle door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Somic Ishikawa
    Inventors: Keigo Ozaki, Tatsuya Kitada
  • Patent number: 8979161
    Abstract: A number of variations may include a product including an extruded support beam constructed and arranged to be used as an inner support for a vehicle end gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Derek L. Patterson, Paulo M. Mendonca, Paul E. Krajewski, Joseph E. Champa, Robert A. Greene
  • Patent number: 8944484
    Abstract: A locking assembly and method of securing a dump truck tailgate to a sidewall of the dump truck, and a truck incorporating the same. The locking assembly includes a pressurized pin mechanism mounted on one of tailgate and the sidewall; and a spool mounted on the other of the tailgate and the sidewall. The spool is engageable with the pin mechanism to lock the locking assembly and secure the tailgate to the sidewall, and is disengageable from the pin mechanism to unlock the locking assembly and release the tailgate from its securement to the sidewall. A hinge assembly is provided on an opposite side of the tailgate from the locking assembly. The tailgate is selectively pivotable relative to the truck bed about a vertical axis extending through the hinge assembly or about a horizontal axis extending through both of the locking assembly and the hinge assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Mac Trailer Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott A. Kibler, Michael A. Conny
  • Patent number: 8864208
    Abstract: A utility vehicle according to the invention includes a cargo bed having a panel locking mechanism. The panel locking mechanism includes a locking lever pivotably supported on a gate-type panel, a substantially U-shaped movable hook made of a spring steel and coupled to a middle of the locking lever, and a stationary hook provided on a panel adjacent to the gate-type panel and with which the movable hook is engageable. When seen from above, the middle portion of the movable hook is pressed onto a surface of the gate-type panel so as to press the gate-type panel inward of the cargo bed by a resilient force upon locking. For example, the movable hook can be formed with a straight portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hidetoshi Kaku, Yoshinori Tsumiyama, Tyler Furman
  • Publication number: 20140265414
    Abstract: A number of variations may include a product including an extruded support beam constructed and arranged to be used as an inner support for a vehicle end gate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Derek L. Patterson, Paulo M. Mendonca, Paul E. Krajewski, Joseph E. Champa, Robert A. Greene
  • Publication number: 20140203586
    Abstract: A seal is provided for a body shell opening of a flap, particularly a tailgate of a motor vehicle. The flap has an exterior flap wall with at least two exterior wall parts, which, on facing circumferential wall areas, each have one edge area angled inwardly, which are mutually connected. The flap has an interior flap wall with at least one interior wall part. The interior wall part is connected at a distance from the angled edge areas of the exterior wall parts with at least one circumferential area of the exterior flap wall and, in the area of the angled edge areas of the exterior wall parts, forms a gap together with the exterior flap wall. Before connecting the exterior flap wall with the interior flap wall, a gap filler piece is moved into a closed position, which, after the connection alone or together with a gap sealant, seals off the gap.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2014
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Achim DOCKWEILER, Markus ROTTELBERGER, Harald LATHWESEN
  • Patent number: 8764090
    Abstract: A vehicle includes sidewalls, a tailgate located proximate to rear ends of the sidewalls, and a tailgate energy management system. The tailgate energy management system includes a governor coupled to one of the sidewalls and to the tailgate. The governor selectively applies a governing force to the tailgate to reduce an opening speed of the tailgate. The tailgate energy management system also includes a speed sensor sensing an opening speed of the tailgate and an electronic control unit electronically coupled to the governor and the speed sensor. The electronic control unit includes a processor and memory storing an instruction set. The electronic control unit receives a speed signal indicative of the opening speed of the tailgate and the processor executes the instruction set to cause the electronic control unit to transmit a control signal to the governor to slow the opening speed of the tailgate based on the speed signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman C. Kerr
  • Publication number: 20140175826
    Abstract: A vehicle having a tailgate attached by hinge assemblies. The hinge assemblies have a pair of first hinge halves secured to a rear sill with a hinge leaf extending rearwardly, and a pair of second hinge halves, each secured to the tailgate with a pair of double hinge plates extending therefrom. Each of the second hinge halves include a hinge pin mounted thereto that is selectively slidable between a removal position, a locked position where each of the hinge pins extends into hinge pin holes in the second hinge halves and hinge pin holes of the first hinge halves to pivotally secure the tailgate to the vehicle, and an install position where a tapered end of each of the hinge pins is located in a gap. A latch secures the tailgate in a closed position and releases the tailgate for pivoting about the hinge pins.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Henry W. Hausler, Andrew Kammerzell
  • Patent number: 8733815
    Abstract: A tailgate outside handle assembly may include a housing installed in an outer panel of a tailgate, an actuator unit, a manipulating handle installed in the housing and having a manipulation portion in a front surface thereof, and a hinge shaft that may be coupled to a top end portion of a rear surface of the manipulation portion, wherein a bottom end portion of the manipulation portion may be engaged with the actuator unit and selectively rotated about the hinge shaft such that after the manipulation portion may be withdrawn to the outside of the housing by a driving force of the actuator unit when the tailgate may be to be opened, the manipulating handle works as a handle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Young Jin Kwon
  • Patent number: 8696046
    Abstract: A tailgate hinge retaining mechanism for a truck bed. The retaining mechanism can have a post bracket and a tailgate bracket. A retaining bracket is also included and attached to the tailgate bracket, the retaining bracket having a sleeve with an offset slot that prevents the tailgate bracket from being undesirably removed from the post bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Jay Leonard Sackett
  • Patent number: 8684441
    Abstract: A vehicle includes sidewalls, a tailgate located proximate to rear ends of the sidewalls, and a tailgate energy management system. The tailgate energy management system includes a governor coupled to one of the sidewalls and to the tailgate. The governor selectively applies a governing force to the tailgate to reduce an opening speed of the tailgate. The tailgate energy management system also includes a speed sensor sensing an opening speed of the tailgate and an electronic control unit electronically coupled to the governor and the speed sensor. The electronic control unit includes a processor and memory storing an instruction set. The electronic control unit receives a speed signal indicative of the opening speed of the tailgate and the processor executes the instruction set to cause the electronic control unit to transmit a control signal to the governor to slow the opening speed of the tailgate based on the speed signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman Charles Kerr, III
  • Publication number: 20140035310
    Abstract: A rotary damper has a cylindrical housing. A rotor is rotatably supported inside the housing for rotation with respect to the housing by a first bearing and a second bearing. The second bearing has a greater length in the axial direction of the rotor than the first bearing. The rotary damper can be employed in an opening and closing mechanism for a vehicle door.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA SOMIC ISHIKAWA
    Inventors: Keigo Ozaki, Tatsuya Kitada
  • Patent number: 8595901
    Abstract: A hinge assembly that includes a first hinge member and a second hinge member for mounting to an external vehicle closure member and a vehicle body, a pivot pin, a first clamp member with a first clamp surface, and a second clamp member having a second clamp surface is provided. The pivot pin is pivotally connected to the first hinge member to provide pivotal movement of an external vehicle closure member about a horizontal pivot axis between a closed position and an open position. The first and second clamp members are configured to clamp a mounting portion of the second hinge member between the first and the second clamp surfaces. The mounting portion of the second hinge member has an opening therethrough for receiving the pivot pin and is oversized relative to the pivot pin to accommodate relative radial adjusting movement during installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Ventra Group, Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Shaw, Joaquin Hung, Dan Gidden, Bradley F. Patzer
  • Publication number: 20130302105
    Abstract: A combination trailer is provided that includes a rear self-discharge trailer having a bottom surface, a front portion, a back portion, and two opposing side panels. The side panels of the combination trailer have a height that is less than the height of the front portion. An enclosure system is also included in the combination trailer and selectively covers an open top of the rear self-discharge trailer. One or more one locking pin assemblies are also included in the combination trailer and are attached to at least one of the side panels of the rear self-discharge trailer such that the locking pin assemblies can be used to secure the enclosure system in a desired position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Publication date: November 14, 2013
    Applicant: FIRST CLASS SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Randy D. Stroup, Benjamin J. Pritchett
  • Patent number: 8556322
    Abstract: A panel that may be raised and lowered in the rear area of a vehicle to provide added headroom. The panel may be secured to an opening defined by a roof of the vehicle. The panel may be secured to an opening defined in a tailgate of the vehicle. Side walls and a real wall may be provided that extend between the opening and the panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Jason Michael Babbage, Henry W. Hausler
  • Patent number: 8544930
    Abstract: A tailgate damping system for controlling movement of a tailgate assembly of a vehicle includes a speed sensor that provides rotational speed information of the tailgate assembly. A controller receives the rotational speed information from the speed sensor. A damping control assembly receives a tailgate shaft of the tailgate assembly. The damping control assembly includes a housing comprising a rotor chamber including a rotor member located therein. The rotor member is connected to a rotor shaft that is coupled to the tailgate shaft. A valve chamber includes a control valve located therein. The controller closes the control valve to inhibit exit of a damping fluid from the rotor chamber based on the speed information received from the speed sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Colin Michael Ravenscroft
  • Patent number: 8500187
    Abstract: A hydraulic system for a vehicle, comprising a hydraulic actuation device for moving one or more moveable components of the vehicle. The actuation device comprises a hydraulic pump with an associated drive means, a reservoir for hydraulic fluid as well as one or more hydraulic actuators connected to the pump through hydraulic hoses. The hydraulic actuators act on the one or more moveable components. The pump is designed to supply pressurized hydraulic fluid to the one or more hydraulic actuators. A pressure ripple reduction device for reducing pressure ripples in the hydraulic fluid originating from the hydraulic pump is provided, having an expansion chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Actuant Corporation
    Inventor: Daniël van't Veen
  • Patent number: 8500184
    Abstract: A trailer has a rear gate that is closeable in a generally vertical orientation and openable in one of three orientations: the gate swings downwardly open to be used as a ramp; swings open to the left side, rotating around left hinges; and swings open to the right side, rotating around right hinges. Removal of pins from an upper left and upper right set of hinges enables rotation of the gate in the downward position. Removal of pins from the upper left and lower left set of hinges enables rotation of the gate in the right position. Removal of pins from the upper right and lower right set of hinges enables rotation of the gate in the left position. Removal of all of the pins allows the gate to be completely removed from the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: King Kutter, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Phillip Fraley, John W. Davis, III
  • Patent number: 8459716
    Abstract: A removable tailgate gap cover for preventing ingress of debris in a tailgate gap. The gap cover comprises an elongated cover plate having a top surface, a bottom surface, two longitudinal edges and an elongated support bar having an upper end and a lower end, wherein the upper end is fixedly attached to and substantially centrally aligned with the lengthwise direction of the bottom surface. The elongated support bar comprises a magnetic attaching means disposed along the lower end of the elongated support bar for attaching the gap cover to the floor of the end portion of the truck bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventor: David L. Kaplan
  • Patent number: 8444200
    Abstract: A tailgate control mechanism used to exert a force on a pivot. The tailgate may include a pivoting main body and a pivot fixed to a truck bed, where the main body may move about the pivot. The tailgate may also include a piston element including a first end connected to the pivot and a second end connected to the main body. The second end may be positioned above the first end when the main body is in a closed position. The piston element may also be configured to provide a counter force to balance the weight of the tailgate. The piston element may also be retrofitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Inventor: Polly Drinkwater
  • Patent number: 8444201
    Abstract: A tail gate step for mounting on a tailgate of a pickup truck comprising: i) a base having a downwardly folded rear side portion adapted seat on, the tailgate on the pickup truck; ii) spaced apart parallel slides positioned within a track mounted on the base; iii) step carrying side fold down members each having a top end portion pivoted adjacent to an inner side portion of a rear end portion of a parallel slide; iv) a fold down foot step member having an inner end portion pivoted to bottom end portions of the fold down members; v) folding step stops; and, vi) slide stops limiting forward and rearward movement of the slide within the track, so that the rear position defines an operative position wherein the step side fold down members rotate into a downwardly extending position adjacent to the folded rear side portion of the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Inventors: Marc A. Crawford, Marilyn A. Burnfield
  • Patent number: 8430441
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a removable bed liner. In one embodiment, the bed liner is comprised of a flexible material, such as polyethylene, nylon, or canvas. These embodiments may be used as a supplement to a rigid bed liner. Side curtains prevent loose material from spilling over the edge of the truck tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Inventor: Bruce Waterman
  • Patent number: 8408610
    Abstract: A door handle apparatus includes first and second handle cases constituting a door handle, a rotational-portion extending portion, an operational-portion extending portion, and a lock detection electrode of an electrostatic capacity sensor detecting that a door lock command is inputted, on the basis of a fluctuation of electrostatic capacity. The lock detection electrode includes an upper lock detection electrode and a lower lock detection electrode arranged to face an inner surface of an upper wall and an inner surface of a lower wall, respectively. A first electrode end surface of the upper lock detection electrode and a second electrode end surface of the lower lock detection electrode are formed into different shapes, so that a level of capacitive coupling between the lower lock detection electrode and the outer panel is set to be smaller than a level of capacitive coupling between the upper lock detection electrode and the outer panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Aisin Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kiyokazu Ieda, Eiji Mushiake
  • Patent number: 8403394
    Abstract: A tailgate accessory drill-less adapter for connecting a tailgate accessory to a tailgate portion of a pick-up truck includes an elongated body having a first side, a bottom edge, a first side edge, and a second side edge, the first side edge having a tailgate latch bolt slot transverse to the first side edge and through the elongated body, the slot positioned a predefined distance from the bottom edge, and an offset hook anchor having a hook portion and a hook body portion, the offset hook anchor connected to the first side adjacent to but spaced from the second side edge where the hook portion is adjustably extendable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Lock N Load Systems LLC
    Inventors: Thomas A. Tardif, Douglas J. Lambert
  • Patent number: 8376443
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a utility vehicle that includes a cargo bed area, an adjustable seat assembly, a tailgate, and a latch. The adjustable seat assembly includes a seat portion and a backrest assembly. The adjustable seat assembly is selectively movable between seating and expanded cargo bed configurations. The seat portion is pivotally movable between the cargo bed area and a stowed position below the cargo bed area. The backrest assembly is pivotally movable from the cargo bed area to a stowed position adjacent the cargo bed area. The tailgate is pivotally attached to the backrest assembly. The latch on the tailgate is configured to selectively engage cargo bed area to hold the backrest assembly in the seating configuration and engage at least one coupling at the end of at least one of the cargo bed area at the rear bed opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: American SportWorks LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan Melven Kemp, P Enoch Stiff
  • Patent number: 8342590
    Abstract: A pickup truck bed having a tailgate operable to slidably stow underneath the floor of the pickup truck bed. The pickup truck bed further includes a first channel and a second channel integrally formed into the bed to facilitate the positioning of the tailgate such that the tailgate can be stowed underneath the floor of the bed. The tailgate further includes a plurality of wheels operable to engage the first channel and the second channel so as to slidably move the tailgate such that the tailgate is substantially underneath the floor of the pickup truck bed. The tailgate further includes a first attachment pin and a second attachment pin that are operable to pivotally transition the tailgate from a closed position to an open position. The first attachment pin and second attachment pin are further configured to be retractable so as to facilitate the tailgate being slidably transitioned such that the tailgate is underneath the floor of the pickup truck bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Inventor: William Richburg
  • Publication number: 20120326466
    Abstract: A system for controlling access into a vehicle through an opening in a rear portion of the vehicle body includes a tailgate arranged to selectively open and close to thereby respectively cover and uncover at least a portion of the access opening. The system also includes a first actuator and a second actuator, wherein each of the first and second actuators operatively connects the tailgate to the vehicle body and is configured to selectively open and close the tailgate. The system additionally includes a flexible drive system configured to operate substantially simultaneously the first and second actuators. Furthermore, the system includes a motor operatively connected to the tailgate and configured to operate the flexible drive system to thereby substantially synchronize the operation of the first and second actuators. A vehicle employing such a system is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventor: David M. Kileen
  • Publication number: 20120313395
    Abstract: An automotive vehicle including a removable table and char set is described. The set is constructed from a removable front passenger seat configured to releasably engage a seat mounting member secured to the vehicle and includes at least two legs configured to support the front passenger seat when positioned on a surface outside of the vehicle. A removable structural component of the vehicle is configured to releasably engage the vehicle and includes at least two extendable leg elements configured to support the structural component as a table when positioned on a surface outside of the vehicle. A removable rear passenger seat is configured to releasably engage a seat mounting member secured to the vehicle and includes at least two legs configured to support the rear passenger seat when positioned on a surface outside of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2011
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventors: Travis Newberg, Yousuf Riad, Christopher David Hall, Michael P. Hullihan, Joshua Kramer
  • Publication number: 20120306229
    Abstract: A tailgate for an automotive vehicle. The tailgate is coupled via a rod to a motor within the automotive vehicle to open and close the tailgate. The tailgate comprises a metal frame including a point of attachment to the rod. A garnish covers at least a portion of the frame and includes a passage through which the rod extends. A cover having a cupped body fills the passage and includes a hole through which the rod extends.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Inventors: Ryan V. Larcom, Hiroaki Taniguchi
  • Publication number: 20120286538
    Abstract: The present invention provides a back door for an automobile including an inner panel and an outer panel made of resin. A pair of reinforcement metal plates is disposed on an inner wall of the inner panel at end portions in a left-to-right direction of a space formed between the inner panel and the outer panel integrated together. The reinforcement metal plates each include a damper attachment portion to which a damper-connecting member connected to a damper is attached, and a hinge attachment portion to which a hinge extending toward a car body is fixed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Inventors: Masayoshi IWABUCHI, Shigeo Suzuki
  • Publication number: 20120248810
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a closure assembly for a vehicle includes trimming an outer panel to define a first edge and trimming an inner panel to define a second edge, wherein the outer panel is formed from an aluminum alloy material and the inner panel is formed from a magnesium alloy material. The method further includes chemically shaping the second edge to define a substantially rounded edge surface having a radius, positioning the inner panel adjacent the outer panel such that the first edge extends beyond the substantially rounded edge surface, and bending the first edge of the outer panel around the substantially rounded edge surface of the inner panel to form a hem connection that secures the inner panel relative to the outer panel. A closure assembly is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Publication date: October 4, 2012
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Guangling SONG, Jon T. CARTER
  • Patent number: 8261628
    Abstract: An electromechanical driving device (1) for use in a tailgate of a motor vehicle, with an electric motor (2) for the rotary drive of a spur gear (4) which is accommodated in a gear housing (3) and is operatively connected to a gear arrangement (5) in order to drive an output shaft (19) for a window wiper mechanism, wherein the spur gear (4) is accommodated rotatably in the gear housing (3) by means of a co-rotating spur gear shaft (6), wherein a shaft section (7) of the spur gear shaft (6) extends out of the gear housing (3) on which means for actuating a closing mechanism (8) for closing the tailgate and/or a tailgate window are accommodated. An electromechanical driving device (1) for use in a tailgate of a motor vehicle is therefore provided, said driving device, which is used to selectively actuate a wiper mechanism or a closing mechanism, having a simple design and comprising a gear housing which is designed in accordance with a known construction for driving a wiper mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan Moecklin, Mario Huesges, Ulrich Metz
  • Patent number: 8240735
    Abstract: A tailgate damping and detent system is disclosed for a vehicle, including a tailgate lift assist system with a torque rod rotationally grounded between the tailgate at a first end and a first side of the vehicle's frame at a second end. “Damping” is achieved by increasing the diameter of the torque rod. The increased torque rod diameter overcompensates for the weight of the tailgate, so that this increased load decelerates the tailgate starting from the neutral balance point to the fully open position. The speed of the tailgate approaches zero at the end of the travel of the tailgate to the fully open position, which greatly reduces the “slam” at the end of travel. The tailgate is held in the open position by a link detent system. There is a slot in the gate side of the link that a spring loaded pin latches into.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: M & C Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew R. McIntyre, David J Smallwood
  • Patent number: 8226146
    Abstract: A tailgate dampening system for a vehicle including a tailgate lift assist system including a torque rod rotationally grounded between the tailgate at a first end and a first side of the vehicle's frame at a second end is disclosed. The dampening system includes a coupling shaft attached to one end of the torque rod, a bell crank arm attached to the coupling shaft, and a dampening strut attached between the vehicle's frame and the bell crank arm. The crank arm compresses the dampening strut as the crank arm is rotated by the torque rod through the coupling shaft as the torque rod is twisted in response to the tailgate being opened, so as to reduce the rate at which the tailgate falls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: M&C Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Duffy, Andrew McIntyre, Donald M. Austin
  • Patent number: 8220855
    Abstract: A tailgate structure having a tailgate (17) composed of an outer panel (31), a frame (32), and a lining (33); and a lock mechanism (43). The frame has an opening (61) formed between the lock mechanism and a mounting hole (35) for an externally mounted component, the hole being formed in the outer panel. The lining has a protrusion (68) that protrudes toward the exterior of the vehicle. The protrusion is positioned on a line that connects the mounting hole and the lock mechanism. When a rod-shaped member is inserted into the tailgate from the mounting hole, the rod-shaped member will come into contact with the protrusion and will not reach the lock mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Mitsuyoshi Nakamura