Ford Patents Bolt-On Third Axle to Turn F-150 into 6×6 Super Truck
Converting pickups into three-axle, six-wheeled monsters is not a new concept. However, these modifications are usually done aftermarket by companies like Hennessey and Rezvani. Now, Ford wants to give customers the option to add another axle to their F-150 pickups right at the dealership, according to a new patent.
Ford’s patent, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reveals a bolt-on third axle that can be added at any time. But the purpose of this additional axle is not purely for off-road performance or aesthetics; it’s primarily designed to increase the F-150’s payload capacity. Ford had previously offered a Heavy Payload Package for the F-150, but it was discontinued for the 2024 model year due to high production costs and lack of popularity. According to the patent filing, this new bolt-on third axle would be cheaper to produce and would allow customers to add it even after they have taken delivery of their truck.
What’s even more interesting is the potential for electrifying the third axle. While the extra axle would not be powered by the engine, Ford recognizes that customers might need additional power when carrying extra weight. As a solution, Ford proposes the inclusion of an electric motor on the third axle, powered by a small battery. This would effectively transform the F-150 into a plug-in hybrid, providing extra torque to assist the engine.
However, there is still a question regarding bodywork modifications. Ford would need to design a modified wheel arch kit for the bed to accommodate the third axle and two extra wheels. If significant body modifications are made to the bed, it could mean that the addition of the third axle becomes a permanent alteration to the truck.
The affordability of this option will be a key factor for F-150 owners. Some may simply want the look of a 6×6 pickup and would add the third axle for aesthetic purposes, even if it is a non-powered “lazy” axle. However, for owners who genuinely require the increased payload capacity, this option could be both visually appealing and useful.
Overall, Ford’s patent for a bolt-on third axle offers an intriguing possibility for F-150 owners. It provides flexibility in enhancing the pickup’s payload capacity and potentially electrifying the third axle for added power. This innovation could attract a range of customers, from those seeking a unique appearance to those requiring practical solutions for heavy loads. Ford’s commitment to meeting customer needs is evident in their pursuit of this patent, and it will be fascinating to see if and how they implement this modification option in the future.