Ram first made headlines with its new range of heavy-duty trucks at the North American International Auto show in Detroit last month. Aside from their astounding capability, Ram’s new HD trucks are also loaded with luxury and convenience features that would make a BMW blush. The latest addition to the Ram option sheet is a fancy Multifunction Tailgate that has more moves than Bruno Mars, and while I personally find it absurd that we live in a world where a heavy-duty, work-focused pickup is also delivering eye-catching gimmicks, the truth is that the tailgate actually looks like a good piece of useful equipment.
For a long while, traditional truck boxes have had simple tailgates. Reliable, functional, and trustworthy, hopefully just like the trucks themselves. But in this modern golden era of utility vehicle capability, a simple fold-down tailgate is not enough. Ram has now entered into the wild modern tailgate market with the exciting design.
This new Multifunction Tailgate is available across the 2019 Ram 1500 model range and has a price tag of $995. The key feature is a 60/40 split with swing-away functionality, allowing easier access to cargo in the bed. Ram’s competitors have been building tailgates that have built-in steps designed to help a person climb into the bed (a step can be added to the Multifunction Tailgate for an additional $295). Ram’s design allows you to keep your feet on the ground while accessing almost all of the bed floor, which can be a benefit if the weather is nasty. Jobsite safety saves money.
The Multifunction gate is one more aspect of Ram’s tech. Ram already has the RamBox, which adds dry and secure storage to the bed sides—an underappreciated feature amidst the rise of quad-and crew-cab trucks, which have plenty of storage behind the first row of seats. Not everyone wants tools rolling around the backseat, though.
Another smart innovation is the split function that allows bed access with a trailer still hitched to the truck. Other modern tailgates have been known to “self-clearance” (read: dent themselves) when opened while a trailer is hitched. Unrestricted bed access keeps truck function intact.
I’m a luddite when it comes to truck technology, preferring simple and unfussy designs that have been around forever. A part of me thinks it’s just one more part that can fail and cause a delay in accomplishing a task when on the job. Yet even I see the benefits of the Multifunction Tailgate, at least more so than the integrated steps that Ford and Chevrolet brought to market. As for my standard tailgate, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead, work glove-covered hands.