Ford Introduces New Rock Sliders Offering Superior Protection for Offroaders

Ford Introduces New Rock Sliders Offering Superior Protection for Offroaders
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Ford has recently patented a groundbreaking design for deployable rock sliders, specifically tailored for Ford offroaders. These advanced sliders serve a dual purpose: protecting the vehicle’s rocker panels during rugged off-road adventures and enhancing ground clearance, while also facilitating easier entry and exit from the vehicle. The inclusion of cushioning pads beneath the rails effectively absorbs impacts, thereby extending the lifespan and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of these rock sliders.

Ford’s Commitment to Continuous Innovation

Ford’s relentless pursuit of innovation is evident in its latest patent, discovered by CarBuzz and filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This new design introduces deployable rock sliders equipped with unique cushioning pads. While aftermarket companies like Rock Slide Engineering have previously created rocker panels with integrated deployable sliders, Ford’s design stands out by incorporating cushioned sliders that are functional in both stowed and deployed positions, thereby broadening their practical application for Ford offroaders.


Ford Introduces New Rock Sliders Offering Superior Protection for Offroaders arabgt article

Dual Functionality: Stowed and Deployed Positions

Stowed Position:
In the stowed state, the rock sliders function as conventional protectors, safeguarding the rocker panels from damage caused by collisions with rocks and other off-road obstacles. This positioning maximizes available ground clearance, ensuring that the protective rails protrude just below the lower edge of the chassis. By remaining out of the way of turbulent air from the front wheels, the sliders also contribute to a slight improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, which is a valuable addition to Ford offroaders.

Deployed Position:
When it comes to entering or exiting the vehicle, the rock sliders can automatically deploy, facilitating easier ingress and egress. Remarkably, these sliders can be deployed even while the vehicle is in motion. Although ground clearance is slightly reduced in this state, the risk of damage to the rocker panels is minimized, as the sliders retract into the panels, providing seamless integration. This feature is particularly beneficial for Ford offroaders, enhancing both functionality and user experience.

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Technological Mechanism and Material Composition

To achieve this versatility, a worm gear connected to an electric motor—or potentially other types of motors—activates the deployment of the rock sliders. Beneath the metal sliders, non-metal shock absorption pads made from materials such as rubber, plastic, or resin provide an additional layer of protection. These pads offer a higher margin for error before the sliders themselves are damaged, ensuring prolonged durability. Moreover, the pads are designed for easy replacement, allowing vehicle owners to refresh their Ford offroaders and remove evidence of intense off-roading activities at a reasonable cost.

Assessing Production Viability

Despite the added complexity and weight this innovation introduces to vehicles, its potential benefits are substantial. The design is particularly suited for models like the Ford Bronco, as depicted in the patent. However, not every customer may find this feature necessary, making it more likely that these deployable rock sliders will be offered as an optional accessory through Ford Performance Parts rather than being integrated into new vehicles from the factory. The patent, first filed in November 2022 and published by the USPTO on May 30, 2024, suggests that if approved for production, these innovative sliders could soon be available at local dealerships, enhancing the capability of Ford offroaders.

Ford Introduces New Rock Sliders Offering Superior Protection for Offroaders

Enhancing the Off-Road Experience

Ford’s new deployable rock sliders represent a significant advancement in off-road vehicle technology. By combining protection, enhanced functionality, and ease of use, these sliders cater to the needs of off-road enthusiasts who seek both practicality and style. This patent underscores Ford’s commitment to enhancing the capabilities of its off-road vehicles, providing innovative solutions that elevate the overall driving experience for Ford offroaders.

As the off-road vehicle market continues to evolve, innovations like Ford’s deployable rock sliders set new standards for functionality and durability. Whether navigating rocky terrains or simply enjoying the convenience of easier vehicle access, these sliders offer a versatile solution that enhances the overall off-roading adventure. With the potential for these sliders to become a sought-after accessory, Ford once again demonstrates its dedication to pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering for Ford offroaders.