The new generation Ford Ranger Wildtrak and GWM POER P12 come with ingenious steps that aid access into the truck bed.
Pick-up truck manufacturers are finally, we hope looking at smart solutions to make cargo beds a bit more accessible to their owners.
While it's easy to just plonk cargo on the bed through the flip-down tailgate, pick-up truck owners will attest that they have to be a ninja to get into one or even take items out of the truck bed.
Traditionally, pick-up truck manufacturers have provided some sort of step to help with the ingress into the truck bed, and usually, this involves integrating a step at the rear bumper, where the middle part is lower than then the rest of it.
But the problem with this is that it only works if the tailgate is not flipped down because if it is, that step aid is pretty much useless as there is no access to it. A way around this problem is to use the tyres as a step, but it's still not the easiest thing to do as tyres on pick-ups are usually huge.
Recently, however, we have seen a couple of trucks for the Malaysian market with some ingenious features that seem to resolve this problem.
GWM POER P12
When we got the chance to preview the GWM POER P12 at Go Auto's HQ in Glenmarie, we were highly impressed with the truck's rear step-up ladder, which is integrated into the tailgate.
It's such a simple and functional idea that solves the truck bed access problem without interfering with anything else, especially the look of the truck. All you have to do is unlatch the tailgate and drop it down, and pull the mini ladder out of the tailgate. The ladder, which sits about a foot off the ground really does make life easier.
2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
While GWM went to the trouble of adding a ladder into the tailgate, Ford went with a simpler idea to help with truck bed access.
During the recent launch of the new generation Ranger Wildtrak, Ford was keen to tell everyone that they had been observing how customers climbed up into the truck bed. This was their inspiration for creating an integrated side-step behind the rear tyres to help provide a strong and more stable way to access the cargo bed.
While Ford's idea is simple yet effective, we're not sure if we are a fan of the look as it makes the area unclean as there is a big gaping hole.
If we had to choose which one we would prefer, we would of course, go for the hideaway ladder in the POER, as it is neatly hidden away when not in use - but then again, the fact that the POER's ladder needs to be pulled out, makes Ford's rear box step more functional as it can be easily used all the time.
Both step-up features however will provide owners of the trucks better access to the truck bed, and with this in mind, be helpful no matter how you look at it. It's better to have something rather than nothing.
Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.