Combined Steps Patents (Class 296/62)
  • Patent number: 10967801
    Abstract: A vehicle step mounting assembly includes a vehicle frame member, a first mounting bracket and a retractable step assembly. The first mounting bracket is attached to the vehicle frame member, with the first mounting bracket being cantilevered from the vehicle frame member in an outboard direction. The retractable step assembly has a second mounting bracket and at least one step retraction link attached to an underside of the second mounting bracket. An upper side of the second mounting bracket is attached to the first mounting bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Nissan North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Sam Kaddouh, Josiah E. Wilson, III
  • Patent number: 10836321
    Abstract: The truck bed ladder is configured for use with a pickup truck. The pickup truck is further defined with a bed. The truck bed ladder comprises a collapsible ladder and a bed box. The collapsible ladder is stored in the bed box. The bed box mount underneath the bed of the pickup truck such that the superior surface of the bed box is accessible from the bed. The bed box is accessed through the bed of the pickup truck. The collapsible ladder is a structure used by an individual to change elevation. The collapsible ladder is a collapsible structure. The collapsible ladder collapses into a rectangular block structure that is contained in the bed box. The collapsible ladder deploys into a linear structure used by an individual to change elevation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Inventor: William Clark
  • Patent number: 10569812
    Abstract: A swing and drop tailgate is configured to undergo two distinct motions, each with advantages depending on circumstances. The swing and drop tailgate can undergo a rotation motion about a hinge, as well as a swing down motion via a linkage. The swing down motion allows closer access to the bed, and extends less far from the rear of the vehicle as compared to the drop motion. The motions may be manually controlled, or actuator controlled. One or more latches may constrain motion, or prevent, of the tailgate. A tailgate assembly may include a post assembly and a tailgate, that may move together as a rigid body when dropping, or move relative to one another when swinging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Rivian IP Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Sheetanshu Tyagi, Dwight Brooks, Brian Gase, William Kirk Robinson, Larry Parker
  • Patent number: 9862430
    Abstract: A tailgate cover assembly including a first panel and a second panel fixed to a vehicle tailgate and connected to the first panel by a first hinge assembly, the first panel being pivotable with respect to the second panel. The tailgate cover may also include a third panel fixed to the second panel by a second hinge assembly and being pivotable with respect to the second panel, wherein in an extended state, the first panel and third panel provide a flat surface on the tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Dragan B. Stojkovic, Jack Marchlewski, Joshua R. Hemphill, Robert Reiners
  • Patent number: 9155948
    Abstract: A folding-type luggage panel provided on a main body of a golf cart has a fixed panel and a turnover panel. A fixed support is provided on the fixed panel, the fixed support and the main body of the golf cart are fixed with each other, a rotation shaft is provided on the fixed support and the outer side of the back end surface of the fixed panel, a rotation block is movably sleeved on the rotation shaft and fixed with the turnover panel so that the turnover panel may be rotated around the rotation shaft, and the back end surface of the fixed panel and the front end surface of the turnover panel are matched with each other through a positioning hole and a positioning convex block provided on a joint surface of the bodies of the two panels, so that the bodies are closely engaged with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: SHENZHEN AOXIANG INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CO.
    Inventor: Qiang Tian
  • Patent number: 9067525
    Abstract: A ramp system for a vehicle storage bed includes at least one longitudinal bed channel defining a longitudinal bed track. At least one longitudinal tailgate channel is recessed into an inner panel of the tailgate, aligned with the bed channel, and defines a longitudinal tailgate track. A lateral tailgate track is recessed into the inner panel and extends substantially transverse to and in communication with the bed/longitudinal tailgate tracks. At least one ramp member has a track member configured to be stowed in the bed channel in a stowed position and slidable in the bed/tailgate channels from the stowed position to a fully deployed position during which the track member moves along the respective bed/longitudinal tailgate tracks and into the lateral tailgate track without having to raise the track member out of the respective bed/longitudinal tailgate tracks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: FCA US LLC
    Inventors: Deyan Ninov, Joseph S Dehner, Gregory A Howell
  • Patent number: 8985660
    Abstract: An apparatus for accessing the bed of a pickup truck having a rear bumper and a tailgate includes a step assembly having a lower linkage assembly with first and second ends and being pivotally mounted at the first end to the rear truck bumper; an upper linkage assembly having third and fourth ends and being pivotally mounted at the third end to and proximal the distal edge of the truck tailgate and being pivotally mounted at the fourth end to the second end of the lower linkage assembly; and a step connected to the lower linkage assembly; and includes a handrail assembly including a handrail, a storage locking bracket assembly securing the handrail to the step assembly in an up, closed position, and an erected support assembly for securing the handrail in an upright, user assist position when the step assembly is in a lowered, open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Robert M. Weber
  • Patent number: 8919853
    Abstract: A deployable step and handle system for a tailgate. The handle is used to secure the deployable step in the stowed position that eliminates the need for a separate release system. The handle is placed adjacent a top edge of the tailgate to prevent debris from being trapped under the handle when the handle is closed. The ladder has a step surface disposed opposite and at an angle relative to a top surface of a spoiler that provides a step surface. The ladder rails are guided by rail guides as the ladder is moved between a stowed position and a deployed position. A unitary support bracket is used to connect both the handle and a ladder rail to the tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Venkatesh Krishnan, Bhupendra A. Patel, David Manuel Rogers, Thomas M. Herline, Marcus Edward Merideth, Michael Bryan VanBelle, Charles Gregory Bambenek
  • Publication number: 20140203587
    Abstract: A deployable step and handle system for a tailgate. The handle is used to secure the deployable step in the stowed position that eliminates the need for a separate release system. The handle is placed adjacent a top edge of the tailgate to prevent debris from being trapped under the handle when the handle is closed. The ladder has a step surface disposed opposite and at an angle relative to a top surface of a spoiler that provides a step surface. The ladder rails are guided by rail guides as the ladder is moved between a stowed position and a deployed position. A unitary support bracket is used to connect both the handle and a ladder rail to the tailgate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Venkatesh Krishnan, Bhupendra A. Patel, David Manuel Rogers, Thomas M. Herline, Marcus Edward Merideth, Michael Bryan VanBelle, Charles Gregory Bambenek
  • Patent number: 8613475
    Abstract: A device for assisting access to motor vehicles having a grip handle moveable between at least one stored position and a deployed position for assisting a user to climb up onto the tailgate and bed of a pickup truck is disclosed. A handle arm having the grip handle at one end thereof is pivotally mounted at the other end thereof onto a mounting bracket which itself is installed at the rear and on one side of a pickup truck bed. The handle arm is pivotally moveable between a deployed position extending rearwardly over the tailgate of the pickup truck and at least one stored position within the bed of the pickup truck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: DoMore Truck Company, LLC
    Inventor: William A. Statz
  • Patent number: 8573673
    Abstract: A stake pocket mounting bar for removably attaching a step to a truck bed or other generally horizontal surface, comprising: an anchor member defining at least one open slot for removably receiving a looped end of a strap; a leg member having first and second ends wherein the first end is attached to the anchor member and the second end defines a plurality of teeth. The anchor member may define two open slots. The leg member may define a bend, preferably about a 90° bend between its first and second ends so that when the leg member is inserted into a stake pocket of the truck bed, the teeth will be disposed generally horizontally such that they may engage the side of the truck bed. The anchor may be made of angle iron.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Inventor: Kenneth Lee Puglisi, Sr.
  • Patent number: 8505944
    Abstract: A step device mounts on the tailgate of a truck to pivot downwardly and rearwardly from the open tailgate in a working position for providing easier access to the truck box. The step device includes a base fastened onto the tailgate upon which two rails are slidably mounted between retracted and extended positions. A pair of legs are pivotally coupled to rear ends of the respective rails and are joined by a step member opposite the pivoted ends. The base is fully unobstructed between the rails and the area between the legs is fully unobstructed above the step member to remove any tripping hazards in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Inventors: Kerry Genest, Randy Genest
  • 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: 8348325
    Abstract: A pickup truck tailgate assembly is provided that includes a primary tailgate adapted to pivotally latch to a pickup cargo box and has an opening formed in the central portion thereof. The assembly also includes a secondary tailgate pivotally attached to the primary tailgate in the central opening. The assembly further includes a pivoting connection connecting the secondary tailgate to the primary tailgate so that a secondary tailgate may pivot downward relative to the primary tailgate. The secondary tailgate may further be deployed to form a step for access to the cargo box and may provide a gate for retaining items within the cargo box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Henry W. Hausler, Brian Robert Sankey
  • Patent number: 8201869
    Abstract: A tailgate assembly for connection to a vehicle body includes a first panel portion configured for hinged connection to the vehicle body, as well as a second panel portion hinged to the first panel portion. The second panel portion is configured to be pivoted from a first position in which the second panel portion is generally parallel with the first panel portion to a second position in which the second panel portion is generally perpendicular to the first panel portion to reduce a first height of the tailgate. In some embodiments, the tailgate assembly further includes a third panel portion hinged to the second panel portion and configured to be pivoted between a stowed position in which the third panel portion extends generally parallel with the second panel portion and a use position in which the third panel portion extends generally perpendicular to the second panel portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: GM Global Tehnology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Albert H. Butlin, Jr., James G. Gobart
  • Publication number: 20120126564
    Abstract: A pickup truck tailgate assembly is provided that includes a primary tailgate adapted to pivotally latch to a pickup cargo box and has an opening formed in the central portion thereof. The assembly also includes a secondary tailgate pivotally attached to the primary tailgate in the central opening. The assembly further includes a pivoting connection connecting the secondary tailgate to the primary tailgate so that a secondary tailgate may pivot downward relative to the primary tailgate. The secondary tailgate may further be deployed to form a step for access to the cargo box and may provide a gate for retaining items within the cargo box.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Publication date: May 24, 2012
    Inventors: Henry W. Hausler, Brian Robert Sankey
  • Patent number: 8182013
    Abstract: A tailgate ladder assembly includes a pickup bed having a tailgate hingedly coupled thereto. A housing includes a bottom wall, a top wall and a pair of side walls. The bottom wall is attached to the tailgate and has an open end facing away from the bed. A pair of guides is slidably mounted within the housing and each abuts one of the side walls. Each of the guides has a first end that is extendable outwardly of the front end in a deployed position. A bottom ladder includes a pair of legs and a plurality of steps attached to and extending between the legs. Pivot rods extend through the legs and the guides to pivotally couple the bottom ladder to the guides. The bottom ladder is pivotable to be extendable into the housing or to extend downwardly from the tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Inventor: Rodolfo H. Alvarado
  • Patent number: 8091943
    Abstract: An apparatus for accessing the bed of a pickup truck having a frame, a rear bumper and a tailgate having a distal edge and being hingedly mounted to the frame includes a lower linkage assembly having proximal and distal ends and being pivotally mounted at its proximal end to the rear truck bumper at a first axis; an upper linkage assembly having proximal and distal ends and being pivotally mounted at its proximal end to and proximal the distal edge of the truck tailgate at a second axis, and being pivotally mounted at its distal end to the distal end of the lower linkage assembly at a third axis; a step connected to the lower linkage assembly; and, wherein the distance between the first and second axes is an effective length LB, the distance between the second and third axes is an effective length LT, and the distance between the first and third axes is an effective length LS, and wherein the ratio of LS to LT to LB to is approximately 2.9 to 1.8 to 4.5.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Inventor: Robert M. Weber
  • Patent number: 8079628
    Abstract: A deployment assembly 16 which selectively and efficiently allows entry and exit into and from the bed 12 of a selectively movable assembly and which includes a plurality of independently movable stair assemblies 202, 204, 206 which may be respectively extended and retracted and then placed in a stored upright position to cooperatively form a tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Inventor: John Micheli
  • Publication number: 20110233954
    Abstract: A deployment assembly 16 which selectively and efficiently allows entry and exit into and from the bed 12 of a selectively movable assembly and which includes a plurality of independently movable stair assemblies 202, 204, 206 which may be respectively extended and retracted and then placed in a stored upright position to cooperatively form a tailgate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Publication date: September 29, 2011
    Inventor: John Micheli
  • Patent number: 7909381
    Abstract: A tailgate assembly is provided for a cargo bed of a vehicle. The tailgate assembly includes a support panel and a tailgate panel. The support panel is configured for attachment to a vehicle such that the support panel is selectively pivotable between horizontal and vertical positions. The tailgate panel is attached to the support panel. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define an end wall for the cargo bed when the support panel is in the horizontal position. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define a step when the support panel is in the vertical position. A vehicle including a cargo bed having such a tailgate assembly is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Honda Motor Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Darin D. King, Lee N. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7896419
    Abstract: A vehicle tailgate side mounted step assist mechanism attachable to a vehicle including a vehicle bed coupled to a pillar and a tailgate pivotally attached to the vehicle bed for providing access to the vehicle bed in a tailgate open position and securing contents of the vehicle bed in a tailgate closed position. The mechanism may include generally parallel supports rotatably mountable to a side of the tailgate, the supports capable of being deployed when the tailgate is in the tailgate open position and stowed when the tailgate is in the tailgate closed position. A tailgate step is disposable between the supports at a predetermined distance from the side of the tailgate, and a lockout device prevents the tailgate from returning to the tailgate closed position when the tailgate step is deployed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Midway Products Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Adrian Nicholas Alexander Elliott, Jason Falenski, William Boberg
  • Publication number: 20100207415
    Abstract: A tailgate assembly is provided for a cargo bed of a vehicle. The tailgate assembly includes a support panel and a tailgate panel. The support panel is configured for attachment to a vehicle such that the support panel is selectively pivotable between horizontal and vertical positions. The tailgate panel is attached to the support panel. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define an end wall for the cargo bed when the support panel is in the horizontal position. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define a step when the support panel is in the vertical position. A vehicle including a cargo bed having such a tailgate assembly is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2010
    Publication date: August 19, 2010
    Inventors: Darin D. King, Lee N. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7766357
    Abstract: A step assembly is easily mounted on the trailer hitch of a vehicle, and easily folded to a closed position or unfolded to an open position in place on the vehicle or off of the vehicle. In the open position, a person or a pet can more easily enter or leave a vehicle. In the closed position, the step assembly is more easily stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Inventor: Margherita Arvanites
  • Patent number: 7735894
    Abstract: A tailgate assembly is provided for a cargo bed of a vehicle. The tailgate assembly includes a support panel and a tailgate panel. The support panel is configured for attachment to a vehicle such that the support panel is selectively pivotable between horizontal and vertical positions. The tailgate panel is attached to the support panel. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define an end wall for the cargo bed when the support panel is in the horizontal position. The tailgate panel is configured to selectively define a step when the support panel is in the vertical position. A vehicle including a cargo bed having such a tailgate assembly is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Honda Motor Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Darin D. King, Lee N. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7712811
    Abstract: A vehicle tailgate extender mechanism including a tailgate frame having a tailgate bed extender guide, and a bed extender assembly coupled to the tailgate frame and including an extender cross member. An extender guide may be secured to the extender cross member, and an extender support member may be secured to the extender cross member. The extender support member is capable of at least partial insertion into and extraction out of the tailgate bed extender guide. A cargo restraining panel is rotatably coupled to the extender cross member. A ratcheting mechanism may couple the extender support member to the tailgate frame and allow the extender support member to be linearly displaced in a first direction within the tailgate bed extender guide while simultaneously preventing substantial linear movement of the extender support member in a second direction opposite the first direction within the tailgate bed extender guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Dan P. Heaman, Craig Sandvig
  • Publication number: 20100089698
    Abstract: A folding ladder is provided for a pickup truck tailgate to assist a person getting into and out of the bed of the truck. The ladder includes a frame hooked to the tailgate, an upper ladder section pivotally connected to the frame, and a lower ladder section pivotally connected to the upper ladder section. The ladder is foldable between a storage position adjacent the tailgate and a use position extending downwardly from the tailgate. The ladder sections reside in a single plane when opened to the use position and nest adjacent the tailgate when in the folded storage position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2008
    Publication date: April 15, 2010
    Inventor: JEFFERY E. BRODSACK
  • Patent number: 7673922
    Abstract: A step device and method for stepping on or off a tailgate without structurally altering the tailgate. In exemplary embodiment, the step device includes a tailgate step frame and a step assembly pivotally coupled to the tailgate step frame. The tailgate step frame includes at least one frame element in contact with the tailgate and a plurality of strap mounting assemblies for releasably coupling the step device to the tailgate. Each strap mounting assembly compressively fits on the tailgate thereby anchoring the step device to the tailgate. In one aspect, each strap mounting assembly further includes a strap element coupled to the at least one frame element and configured to conform to the predetermined shape of the tailgate. One strap mounting assembly may be interchanged for another of either different shape or dimensions to accommodate a desired compressive fit on any tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Inventor: Gary Robert Grimes
  • Patent number: 7637518
    Abstract: A utility ramp having a latching feature to attach the utility ramp to steps mounted on the side of a vehicle. The latching feature provides a means for securing the utility ramp to the steps and allows the utility ramp to be used as a vehicle running board. Further, the utility ramp may include one or more jointed segments to allow the utility ramp to approximate a curved ramp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Inventor: John T. Adair
  • Patent number: 7549692
    Abstract: A compact ramp and tailgate system for a vehicle tailgate includes a tailgate having an interior hollow cavity for collapsible storage therein of a pair of ramps that are also telescopically extendable therefrom for loading and unloading heavy equipment into and off the bed of the vehicle such as a pickup truck with each ramp mounted to a locking hinge that allows the ramps to pivot up to ninety degrees and each ramp composed of at least three ramp members of decreasing size starting from the largest ramp members that are pivotally interconnected to the locking hinges. The ramps are independently pivotable and slidably adjustable left and right relative to the tailgate and the longitudinal extension of the vehicle for properly aligning the ramps with respect to the wheels, rollers, casters, etc., of the equipment to be on loaded and off loaded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Inventor: DerRon K. Washington
  • Patent number: 7530619
    Abstract: A pivotable grab handle device is movable between a stowed position, which is positioned against the main tailgate structure, and a deployed position that projects upwardly above the top surface of a lowered main tailgate structure. The grab handle device is mounted on a retainer bracket that is affixed to the top surface of the lowered main tailgate structure. The grab handle incorporates a spring-loaded latch mechanism that is cooperable with the pivot bracket when in the stowed position and cooperable with a striker plate mounted below the top surface of the main tailgate structure to fix the grab handle in the deployed position. A release lever projecting outwardly of the grab handle permits a retraction of the latch member to release the grab handle from either the pivot bracket or the striker plate to allow pivotal movement of the grab handle into the desired position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, LLC., Multimatic, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen L. Bruford, Laurence J. Holt, Charles Bambenek, Jeff Firzlaff, Robert A. Howell
  • Patent number: 7516997
    Abstract: According to an exemplary embodiment, and apparatus includes: a non-collapsible single unit stair including: a pair of opposing side rails supporting at least a top step and a bottom step; and a rotator unit including a lower portion secured to a substantially horizontal surface, and an upper portion mounting the non-collapsible single unit stair, wherein the lower portion and the upper portion are rotatable with respect to one another about an axis oriented substantially perpendicular to the substantially horizontal surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Inventors: John Kuznarik, Evelio Acosta, Roberto Diaz
  • Publication number: 20090072571
    Abstract: A vehicle tailgate side mounted step assist mechanism attachable to a vehicle including a vehicle bed coupled to a pillar and a tailgate pivotally attached to the vehicle bed for providing access to the vehicle bed in a tailgate open position and securing contents of the vehicle bed in a tailgate closed position. The mechanism may include generally parallel supports rotatably mountable to a side of the tailgate, the supports capable of being deployed when the tailgate is in the tailgate open position and stowed when the tailgate is in the tailgate closed position. A tailgate step is disposable between the supports at a predetermined distance from the side of the tailgate, and a lockout device prevents the tailgate from returning to the tailgate closed position when the tailgate step is deployed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2008
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Inventors: Adrian Nicholas Alexander Elliott, Jason Falenski, William Boberg
  • Patent number: 7490889
    Abstract: A step assembly for use with a truck load bed has an elongated support member that can be inserted into a hitch receiver. The support is pivotally connected to a step that can be moved into several positions. In a rearward position the step is far enough to the rear of the body of the truck that the step may be stood upon when the tailgate of the vehicle is in an open, lowered position. This allows someone carrying something that is to be loaded onto the truck to approach the truck directly from the rear, to step onto the step and then onto the lowered tailgate. In an alternate, lateral, position the step is adjacent one of the sides of the load box. This allows someone to stand on the step member and reach into the load box to deposit or retrieve some relatively small article when the tailgate is in a raised, closed position. The linkages are constrained to keep a long side of the step perpendicular to the centerline of the truck in both the rearward and lateral positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Inventor: David Kenneth Scoggins
  • Patent number: 7488021
    Abstract: A pivoting cage cargo is formed of opposing gate assemblies mounted on the rearwardmost D-pillar of a pick-up truck and movable from a folded, collapsed storage position against the respective side walls of the cargo box into multiple selectable operative configurations. The pivoting cage cargo retainer can be positioned in two different transversely extending positions that span the cargo bed when the gate assemblies are connected together. In one transverse position, the coupled gate assemblies cooperate with a lowered tailgate to provide a bed extension function. The other transverse position spans across the cargo bed to provide a divider function. Each gate assembly is also positionable into a storage container configuration that defines a small cargo retention area adjacent the side wall for the retention of small objects, such as grocery bags. A latching mechanism retains the gate assembly next to the side wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2009
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Nelson Roos, Scott Miller
  • Patent number: 7441820
    Abstract: A tailgate ladder system includes a pickup bed that has a tailgate hingedly coupled to the pickup bed. A bottom wall is attached to the tailgate and a pair of supports is attached to the bottom wall. A pair of guides is provided and each of the guides has a first end and a second end. Each of the guides is pivotally coupled to one of the supports. The guides are selectively positionable in a stored position lying on the bottom wall or in a deployed position vertically oriented when the tailgate is horizontally oriented. A step assembly comprises a pair of legs each having a top end and a bottom end. A plurality of panels is attached to and extends between the legs. Each of the legs is slidably positioned in one of the guides. The legs are selectively positionable in an extended position or in a retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Inventor: Rodolfo H. Alvarado
  • Patent number: 7438304
    Abstract: A mount/dismount system for use with a personnel carrier (vehicle) having a substantially flat bed, includes a tubular frame and attachments for holding the frame on the vehicle. Specifically, the tubular frame includes a grip pole that extends perpendicularly from the vehicle bed. It also includes a cross bar that interconnects, and is coplanar with, the grip pole and a support pole. When the frame is attached to the vehicle, the support pole is positioned at a distance “d” from the bed of the vehicle. Additionally, the support pole incorporates a step for concerted use with the grip pole and the support pole by personnel as they mount/dismount the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Inventor: Stuart C. Segall
  • Patent number: 7422263
    Abstract: A ladder assembly is disclosed that mounts to a truck tailgate. In one embodiment, the ladder assembly includes a base which is coupled to the tailgate. A pair of legs are slidably and pivotably mounted to the based and each pair of legs includes three segments that define upper, middle, and lower ladder sections. A first pair of joints hingedly couples the upper ladder section to the middle ladder section. A second pair of joints hingedly couples the middle ladder section to the lower ladder section. The first pair of joints is larger than the second pair of joints such that when the upper ladder section is folded into the middle ladder section a pocket is formed therebetween for receiving the lower ladder section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Inventor: Wayne H. Pritchard
  • Patent number: 7401833
    Abstract: A cargo bed step is described including a frame having an upper portion and a lower portion. The frame is disposed proximate a rear portion of a cargo bed. A pivoting mechanism is disposed between an inner surface and the upper portion for selectively pivoting the cargo bed step assembly between a stowed position and an extended position. At least one step is disposed proximate the lower portion. The frame is selectively pivotable to be generally flush with the inner surface of either an inner cargo bed surface or an inner tailgate surface in the stowed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Dryja
  • Publication number: 20080136208
    Abstract: According to an exemplary embodiment, and apparatus includes: a non-collapsible single unit stair including: a pair of opposing side rails supporting at least a top step and a bottom step; and a rotator unit including a lower portion secured to a substantially horizontal surface, and an upper portion mounting the non-collapsible single unit stair, wherein the lower portion and the upper portion are rotatable with respect to one another about an axis oriented substantially perpendicular to the substantially horizontal surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2007
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Inventors: John Kuznarik, Evelio Acosta, Roberto Diaz
  • Publication number: 20080106111
    Abstract: A ladder assembly is disclosed that mounts to a truck tailgate. In one embodiment, the ladder assembly includes a base which is coupled to the tailgate. A pair of legs are slidably and pivotably mounted to the based and each pair of legs includes three segments that define upper, middle, and lower ladder sections. A first pair of joints hingedly couples the upper ladder section to the middle ladder section. A second pair of joints hingedly couples the middle ladder section to the lower ladder section. The first pair of joints is larger than the second pair of joints such that when the upper ladder section is folded into the middle ladder section a pocket is formed therebetween for receiving the lower ladder section.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2007
    Publication date: May 8, 2008
    Inventor: Wayne H. Pritchard
  • Patent number: 7347473
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a supplemental tailgate assembly, which includes a tailgate extender that retracts within the tailgate and is extendable therefrom and right and left hand gate assemblies. The supplemental tailgate assembly is able to provide bed extender, box extender, step assist, roof rack, cargo storage area, and box divider functions. The supplemental tailgate assembly is stowable to minimize interference in cargo space when not in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Scott Miller, Nelson Roos
  • Patent number: 7264253
    Abstract: A tailgate step for use on a vehicle. The step includes a guide rail bracket. A sliding member is arranged within the guide rail bracket. A support arm is pivotally connected to an end of the sliding member. A fact plate is secured to the guide rail bracket. The step also includes a stop plate pivotally connected to the support arm and a cover secured to an end of the support arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Inventor: Robert Cummings
  • Patent number: 7261357
    Abstract: A tailgate ladder apparatus wherein an articulated step ladder is attached to a vehicle tailgate in such a way that it may be stored on a ladder housing within the interior of the tailgate. When the tailgate is open, the ladder may be slid out and opened so that a user may walk up the ladder and step onto the open tailgate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Inventor: Nick R. Bechen
  • Patent number: 7240947
    Abstract: An exemplary embodiment sets forth an apparatus, including a non-collapsible single unit stair comprising: a pair of opposing side rails supporting at least a top step and a bottom step; a coupler adapted to couple the apparatus to an edge of a horizontal surface; and a height adjustable user-support arm, coupled to one of the side rails with a rotatable coupling, wherein the user-support arm is moveable between a support position and a storage position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Inventors: John Kuznarik, Shirley Kuznarik
  • Patent number: 7234750
    Abstract: A tailgate that is hingeably connected to a vehicle and configured to pivot from a closed position to a generally vertical open position includes an inner panel having an inner tailgate surface and an outer panel having an outer tailgate surface. The outer panel is attached to the inner panel to define a pocket therebetween. An opening extends from the inner tailgate surface to the outer tailgate surface and is configured to receive a foot. A step assembly is housed in the pocket and is moveable from a retracted position enclosing the opening, to an extended position revealing the opening. The step assembly includes a stationary frame fixed with respect to the pocket and a moveable frame moveable with respect to the stationary frame. The moveable frame extends from a lower peripheral edge of the tailgate in the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2007
    Assignee: International Truck Intellectual Property Company, LLC
    Inventors: William W. Doolittle, James J. Bartel, Ronald A. Byrd
  • Patent number: 7232173
    Abstract: A step tailgate and mounting hardware system is presented where a tailgate can swing down to a position in order to create an intermediate stepping area. The tailgate has a primary hinge that allows the tailgate to swing down from a first position, to a second position. The tailgate has a bracket system that allows the tailgate to swing down to a third position in order to create an intermediate stepping area. The tailgate can move away from the vehicle by an inner arm. When the end of the inner arm reaches the end of the inside swing the inner arm can swing down by the inner and outer swing arms to a point where the swing arms are perpendicular to the main and inner arms. When the tailgate is in the third position the tailgate is below the truck bed, creating a stepping surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: Magna International Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt Katterloher, Lassi Mauno Ojanen
  • Patent number: 7090276
    Abstract: A pivotable grab handle device is movable between a stowed position, which is positioned within a mating cavity formed in the main tailgate structure, and a deployed position that projects upwardly above the top surface of a lowered main tailgate structure. The grab handle device is mounted on a retainer bracket that is affixed to a pivot bracket mounted to the top surface of the lowered main tailgate structure. When pivotally raised into the deployed position, the grab handle allows a person using a supplemental tailgate assembly configured into a step function extending below the plane of the lowered main tailgate structure to be stabilized while climbing onto the cross member of the supplemental tailgate assembly and onto the top surface of the lowered main tailgate structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Multimatic, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Bruford, Larry Holt, Charles Bambenek, Jeff Firzlaff
  • Patent number: 7086656
    Abstract: A step assembly for a vehicle includes a base member and at least one movable member. The base member and the at least one movable member each define a stepping surface on which a vehicle user may elevate himself. The movable member is repositionable with respect to the base member to selectively alter the length of the step assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin G. Kolpasky, Pradip V. Shah
  • Patent number: 7073837
    Abstract: A multi-purpose tailgate for a vehicle. The tailgate includes a multiple link mechanism operatively attaching the tailgate to the vehicle body. The link mechanism articulates the tailgate from a closed position into first and second open positions. First and second opposed spring assemblies operatively connect the tailgate to the link mechanism and the link mechanism to the vehicle body, respectively. Cables (adapted to support a predetermined weight) operatively attach the vehicle to the link mechanism and to the tailgate. First and second latch mechanisms are operatively defined in opposed sides of the tailgate/link mechanism and in respective adjacent areas of the vehicle body. The first latch mechanism is adapted to selectively open/close the tailgate. The second latch mechanism is adapted to selectively allow the link mechanism to articulate so as to move the tailgate between the two open positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Inventor: David L. Madlinger