Toyota patents tonneau cover with integrated loading ramp system

Ramps and tonneau covers are common pickup truck accessories. A recently surfaced Toyota patent application combines them.

Published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) April 16, 2024, and originally filed by Toyota in 2022, the application details loading ramps that could be stowed on the underside of a tonneau cover—freeing up more space in the bed.

Toyota patent image for tonneau cover with integrated ramp system

 

According to the application, the ramps would be secured on rails that would allow them to slide out and used to load cargo on top of the tonneau cover, leaving the covered bed space below free for other items.

Toyota says in the application that the tonneau cover would be made out of “a plastic material or a composite material,” but very sturdy versions of those materials would likely be needed to support the weight of any cargo resting on top of the cover. The ramps could also be used without the tonneau cover, attaching to the back of the tailgate like conventional loading ramps, according to the application.

 

Toyota patent image for tonneau cover with integrated ramp system

Other automakers also appear to be considering integrated loading ramps. A General Motors patent filing published earlier this year shows foldable bed ramps designed to create a shallow ramp angle for easier loading while still being able to fit into the bed itself.

A ramp system was also mentioned in a 2023 Ford patent filing for an extended cargo bed. In this case, the ramp would telescope out from the floor of a pickup bed, which itself could be extended or retracted to lengthen the loadspace. In another patent filing, Ford also discussed an integrated loading ramp for SUVs.