The equestrian lifestyle and automotive industry share one very important thing: they both run on horsepower!

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Now, no matter how powerful or expensive any vehicle may be, they can never equal the beauty and sheer presence of one of God’s most magnificent animals. Having said that, the right vehicle can be very useful in helping you, the consummate equestrian, live your life well with the horses we love.

The Latest Trend is Versatile Tailgates on Pickups

Let’s face reality; Pickup Trucks are the lifeline between you and your lifestyle. We use them to haul our horses and everything they need, like hay and other stable staples. We use them to as everyday transportation, but they can be a bit overwhelming at times due to their sheer size.

Consider the tailgate on the truck bed. Now I’m a big guy and pretty strong, but I still need a considerable amount of effort to lift and secure those gates. They’re heavy, and sit pretty high off the ground, so truck bed ingress/egress can be a serious chore as well.

So the “Big Three” in the pickup truck war, Ford, General Motors (GM) and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), are dueling with each other to see who can create the most useful tailgate. Let’s break down offerings from these manufacturers:

Ford

Their popular F-150 and Super Duty Series Pickups have offered a built in step with grab handle for several years, but it’s not as impressive as the new unit on the GMC Sierra. On the Ford, the optional spring-loaded step and grab handle pop out of the tailgate when folded down and you push on a button to release.

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GM

On new GMC Sierra models, the optional “MultiPro” tailgate features a built in step when the gate is down, a small, fold out worktable when the gate is up, and cargo load stopper in the up or down position. The gate is also damped, and it’s easy-peasy to configure. With one button you can drop the new, lowered step, and a grab handle that neatly stows out of the way pops into action.  The rear bumper also features built-in steps on both sides, useful for gaining height while tying down cargo. If you are not hauling around pallets of materials, the GMC Sierra step/worktable/cargo stopper is the current best in tailgate tech.

The Chevy Silverado offers a power up/down tailgate that operates at the push of a button, but does not offer the MultiPro tailgate offered on corporate cousin GMC Sierra.

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FCA

FCA’s truck division, RAM, is also on the cutting edge of tailgate tech. In the GMC section, I wrote about having to haul pallets of materials. In the new RAM, the 60/40 split, “Multifunction” tailgate folds out like barn doors, creating a full width entry to the bed without the tailgate folding down in the way. This means that the RAMS are the only pickups with the ability to have a forklift drop cargo directly into the truck bed without drama. You can also drop the damped tailgate in traditional up/down fashion.  Stepping up into the bed is made easier via a retractable step.

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Whichever model you choose, all of the featured tailgates are designed to improve productivity and safety at the stables, around the barns and in everyday loading/hauling environments.