Converting pickups in to three-axle, six-wheeled monsters isn't anything entirely new. However, they're typically done on the aftermarket, with companies like Hennessey and Rezvani adding third axles to existing pickups for extra performance. However, it seems Ford wants to give customers the option to add another axle to their F-150 pickups right at the dealer, according to a new patent found by CarBuzz.
Ford's new patent, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), shows a bolt-on third axle that can be added at any time. However, it isn't for off-road performance or pure badassery (though, that's certainly a side affect). Instead, this additional axle is made to increase the F-150's payload capacity. Ford previously offered a Heavy Payload Package for the F-150 but dropped it for the 2024 model year, as it was overly expensive to produce and wasn't a popular option. According to Ford's patent filing, this bolt-on third axle would be cheaper to produce and allow customers too add it even after they've already taken delivery of their truck.
Even more interesting is the potential to electrify the third axle. While the extra axle would be a lazy axle that isn't powered by the engine, Ford recognizes that customers might need extra power if they're carrying extra weight. An electric motor on the third axle, powered by a small battery, would turn the F-150 into a plug-in hybrid and give the engine a hand with some extra torque.
There's still a question of bodywork, though. Ford would have to package some sort of modified wheel arch kit for the bed, to accommodate the third axle and two extra wheels. If body modifications are made to the bed, though, that could make the third axle a permanent addition to the truck.
Depending on the cost, this could be a very interesting option for F-150 owners. If it's affordable enough, I can see F-150 owners adding this third axle to their trucks just to have the look of a 6x6 pickup, even if the third axle is lazy. But for owners that might actually need the added payload capacity, this could be both cool looking and helpful.
Got tips? Send 'em to email@example.com