Tailgate Wars: Why the 2024 Ford F-150 Has a Swinging Door Out Back

Truck makers have been reinventing the tailgate for the past few years, and Ford’s latest attempt might be the most interesting.

byJames Gilboy|
2024 Ford F-150 Pro Access Tailgate


A few years back, pickup truck makers began to reimagine the potential of the humble tailgate. It's now more than something to heave firewood over, or a place to relax before the ballgame, with Ford improving its potential as a workspace. And on the 2024 Ford F-150, it'll get even better with an optional new "swing gate" that'll make bed access easier than ever.

Coming soon on the updated full-size Ford, the Pro Access Tailgate basically adds a sideways-opening door within the conventional tailgate. At first, it sounds a lot like Ram's "barn door" tailgate from a few years back, which had a built-in step but never set the world on fire. Ford learned from Ram's misstep, though, and worked out a way to make its own tailgate more functional.

The swing gate has its handle on the left side and hinge on the right, shortening the distance from the driver's seat to where you open the bed. Its hinge has detents to stay in place at 37, 70, and 100 degrees, allowing worry-free use in various space-restricted scenarios.

You'll keep it at 37 if you're trying not to bonk a trailer jack, or maybe 70 if you're backed into your garage. One-hundred degrees is the max, for when you want to slide something out but don't need to swing down the whole tailgate. It'd save you from leaning across the tailgate, giving you 24 inches of extra reach into the bed according to Ford, which a regular tailgate could get in the way of. It also eases access to functions like Pro Power Onboard and the bed storage box, and has been designed to work with bed accessories like dividers and a tonneau cover.

In addition to a key fob release for the tailgate, the 2024 F-150 brings on an optional rear bumper step that's wider and deeper than before. Like the outgoing model, the tailgate also features a work surface, ruler, cupholder, and more for job site work.

It's unclear which trims the Pro Access Tailgate will be offered on, though it's easy to see them being available from top to bottom.

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