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Bed extenders on a pickup can often be a blessing or a curse. If you’ve got large bulky objects that need to be held in place, like a bunch of 2x4s, or small trees they can be great, but at the same time, if you’re loading items like flat pack furniture or breeze blocks they just get in the way, eating into valuable cargo space.
Detroit based designer Mike Jou, was tired of the major compromises brought by traditional bed extenders, so he elected to design his own for the Ford F-150. Jou’s version, dubbed the Plastech Bed Extender, features four individual folding sections, allowing multiple configurations to suit different types of cargo (most tubular extenders have just one or two), plus it can be stowed compactly inside the box when not in use. It also incorporates LED lighting to facilitate loading items at night, plus power outlets and also a first aid kit.
Despite offering more flexibility than rigid extenders, Jou’s design also uses fewer parts, requiring just 22 total components and 20 fasteners, most existing designs use around double the number of parts and yet the bars on these are fixed!
Jou has tested a working prototype on a late-model F-150 with a hard tonneau cover and from our analysis the results speak for themselves. Given that Ford already touts the versatility of the cargo box features on its current F-150, it would seem a no brainer to add a version of Jou’s extender as a dealer option.