Lots of cars have employed four-wheel steering over the years, but it's not currently available on any of the vehicles that you'd think could really benefit from increased low-speed maneuverability: fullsize pickup trucks. General Motors dabbled in the technology a few decades back, but the company's Quadrasteer system hasn't been offered as an option on Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra trucks since the mid-2000s. A new patent application indicates that Ford, America's leader in fullsize pickup truck sales, is at least considering the possibility of four-wheel steering for its F-Series trucks.
Originally spotted by PatentStorm, which goes on to explain the drawings and explanations in detail, Ford's four-wheel steering design incorporates Ackerman steering geometry. That allows the inside and outside wheels to trace different paths and thereby reduces tire scrub and wear. The Drive points out that German automotive supplier ZF used a Ford F-150 as a test bed to try out its own four-wheel steering setup for trucks, but we can't say if the two systems are related.
The images included in the patent application depict a heavy duty pickup truck with single rear wheels. The steering gear is mounted as a tidy package to the truck's rear axle, which is suspended by leaf springs. It's unclear if or when Ford may offer four-wheel steering on its trucks, but at least we know it's on their radar.
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