Ford makes the #1 selling vehicle in America, Ford’s F-Series pickup. General Motors’ Chevy brand makes the #2 selling vehicle, the Chevy Silverado. The competition in the American pickup market is fierce. So fierce, the long ubiquitous tailgate is undergoing some of the greatest innovations ever seen in a pickup truck.
Ford Integrated Tailgate Step
Ford has long offered the integrated tailgate step as an optional feature on the F-Series pickups. Here’s how it works:
- Open the tailgate
- Press a center button that pops out the integrated step. Pull it and it drops to its step position.
- Pull out the hand bar and then lift it to the upright position.
Chevy Auto Tailgate Close
Not to be outdone, Chevy ups the ante in the tailgate arms race with a radical new tailgate. One of the features is a remote operated tailgate close feature. Ford has the automatic open which auto unlatches and uses springs to slow the natural gravity fall. Chevy however steps it up a major notch with a gravity defying motor assisted close. Yep. That’s right. You click the remote and the tailgate closes on its own. Pretty cool considering tailgates can get heavy.
GMC Smart Tailgate
Chevy’s sibling, GMC, introduces the World’s First Six-Function MultiPro™ Tailgate. Aside from being a mouthful, it can truly do a whole lot.
- After opening the tailgate, it has a lip that opens up and acts as a mini tailgate wall for keeping larger loads inside the bed
- It has another feature that folds half the tailgate straight down. That allows you to get a whole lot closer to your bed without having to climb in and out of the bed.
- Finally, the 3rd trick is that the lip can pop out after the tailgate is folded down to act as a step to get in and out of the bed.
So What’s the Best Tailgate?
The auto open and auto close are cool features but not critical. Our favorite feature is the ability to get in and out of the bed with the tailgate step features. The GMC feature is definitely more complex engineering than the Ford feature which is a simpler setup.
Here’s where the Ford integrated step shines. If you have a load of lumber that is longer than your bed, it will be resting on your tailgate. In many cases, extending beyond the tailgate. The GMC tailgate effectively shortens the tailgate in order to fold as a step. As a result, it can impact how you load lumber and other long items in your truck. Furthermore, it begs the following question. How do you close the tailgate step when a load is present? The other thing we found odd is that the step hand rail bar pulls out from the sidewall of the bed. This safety bar may be inaccessible if you have a full load.
In our experience, the Ford step does not interfere with a load of lumber and doesn’t sacrifice the tailgate loading capability in order to offer a step.
But that’s our opinion. We’d love to learn more about what you think. Comment below or share your thoughts on social media.