Ode to the Tailgate,
You don't think much
about your trucks tailgate, but try to do without one. On the farm, my
tailgate was a workbench, sawhorse and picnic table. I had a vice bolted
to it, in the eighties had a tailgate with built in ramps for loading a
ATV. That ramp tailgate and the air flow tailgates didn't work well when
I needed to haul a load of corn to the hogs. Newer tailgates have the
same latching system as your trucks doors. They work so much better than
the old thumb tab systems that would stick and then the rods inside the
tailgate would bend and you'd have to operate. Now my tailgate is a
bill board covered in decals.
old knees don't like me climbing on my tailgate. I like Debo Step
because it's not in the receiver hitch like most aftermarket rear steps.
So I can use it with a trailer and with the tailgate down. Rated for 400
lbs, I can walk up my tailgate to retrieve cargo. It slides under the
bumper and locks into place. One of my favorite toys, I mean tools. For
hauled large round bales with my pickup truck and of course the tailgate
is my extension. Pulled the bale out thinking the tailgate would hold
1600 lbs. And that's how your get your tailgate to smile. Luckily I
could bend it back with a post. Most new trucks now also have a tailgate
assist hydraulic strut or torsion rod to help left the tailgate. Ford
has optional tailgate step and handrail that increases weight but with
the strut inside the tailgate, still open and close well. Nissan Titan
has the easiest tailgate to lift.
City folk invented
tail gate parties for pro football games, but we had tailgate parties at
high school football games before pro leagues. And at the county fair,
getting together on our tailgates in the parking lot was a social event.
My granddaughters have great fun riding my tailgate around the yard and
it becomes the diving board for our rubber swimming pool.
controversy, do you get better fuel mileage with the gate up or down?
Wind tunnel tests show that having the tailgate closed creates an air
bubble that allows the air coming over the cab to flow with less
resistance than having the tailgate down and stirring up turbulence in
the bed. I remember with the sliding rear windows first came out in the
seventies. Having that rear window open would suck the dirt and hay into
the cab from the truck bed. But I haven't see data on what speeds the
wind tunnel tested or if there was a difference at slow speeds and
Another theory is to
have the tailgate down part way. Droptail, remotely controls your trucks
tailgate in auto mode to adjust the opening for air flow to 50 degrees
and close your tailgate when you stop and you can lock it. Now wouldn't
that be something to remotely open your tailgate as you back up to the
gooseneck/fifth wheel trailer or to see the toddler chasing the cat that
just ran behind the truck!.
Droptail can sense
an obstacle stuck in the tailgate and open itself, give you some warning
beeps and await your next command. This tailgate has an electric
cylinder that would automatically open the tailgate when driving above
40 mph to be more aerodynamic. Then when you stop it closed. That was in
the auto mode. In manual mode you pushed a button to lower the tailgate
to back up to a trailer and pushed a button to close it and lock it. I
can’t say it’s not practical, who would have thought 10 years ago we’d
have backup sensors, heated seats, mirrors and power adjustable brake
and gas pedals on trucks. For more,