Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a retractable drop leg trailer assist system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on March 18th, 2019, published on July 19th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11390254.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed a number of towing-related patents in recent months, including one for a trailer sideswipe avoidance system and another depicting an idea for a pivoting trailer hitch. That trend continues with this new Ford patent, which presents an idea for a vehicle that has a retractable drop leg assist system. Traditionally, the owner/operator of a vehicle manually lowers and lifts the drop leg when it is and isn’t needed, but this patent seeks to warn that person if they attempt to take off while the leg is lowered.
This system utilizes a vehicle’s cameras and controllers to take note of whether the drop leg is in use or retracted, as well as whether or not the vehicle is in motion. If it detects that the drop leg is extended while the vehicle is moving, the system will notify the driver via an alert inside the cabin, or even possibly stop the vehicle automatically if the driver doesn’t respond to the warning.
The drop leg is an important piece of any trailer, as it helps to support the weight in the front and keeps the tongue and coupler elevated above the ground, as well as making it easy to move the trailer around when it isn’t attached to a vehicle. Failing to lift the leg back up before driving can cause damage to leg itself or other parts of the trailer, however, so this particular Ford patent seems like a pretty simple yet very useful feature that could be added to the existing Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist quite easily.