If you’ve ever had to live with a pickup, then you understand that no matter how handy that bed at the back looks like there are still certain types of cargo that it won’t be able to carry that easily. Anything long like a ladder or a surfboard, for example, can be a bit tricky to load up onto the bed.
Of course, you can go the aftermarket route and accessorize your pickup so that it can get that particular job right. But not all pickup owners like dressing up their trucks, right? Well, here’s a very neat fix: Ford’s Flexible Rack System (FRS) that it just released for the all-new Ranger in Australia.
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The FRS consists of a sliding load rack on the bed and a folding roof rack up top. The former is a C-shaped contraption that’s able to slide all the way to the back of the bed as shown above, and it works in tandem with the latter to enable the loading of cargo that spans the length of the vehicle.
The sliding load rack locks into five different positions out back and also features a pop-up crossbar that’s also shown in the image above. It was designed to fit the design perfectly and alow it to sit within the profile of the vehicle.
“We wanted the Sliding Load Rack to ‘belong’ on Ranger, no matter where it was positioned,” said Ford Ranger chief designer Max Tran. “It needed to be functional, of course, but it also needed to match and complement the shape of Next-Gen Ranger while being user-friendly and as quiet as possible when deployed.”
Ford came up with this clever design together with JAC Products. The carmaker identified the need for a feature like the FRS after meeting with pickup owners during the development of the all-new Ranger.
“We learned from our customers that they would load things like canoes into the load box and then lean them up against the sports hoop before tying them down. This was awkward and meant the load box couldn’t really be used for storing anything else a customer might want to take with them,” said Ford Ranger application specialist Danny Trentin. “We also learned of their frustrations when it came to carrying items of longer lengths. With an 80kg dynamic load limit, the Flexible Rack System eliminates those frustrations.”
This is arguably one of the most clever ways to improve your pickup’s utility without messing up the stock look. Do we want this feature to make its way to our market? Of course we do.
Unique flexible rack system for the all-new Ford Ranger: