Today’s full-size pickup trucks have far more power and capability than most people will ever use, but four-wheel drive and a five-figure tow rating fall short of satisfying for some owners. That’s where companies like Hennessey Performance come in, offering thousand-horsepower upgrades and 6x6 conversions for popular models. A recent report from CarBuzz suggests that Ford is looking to get in on the upgrade action, as the publication found a patent application outlining a bolt-on third axle conversion for the top-selling F-150.
While Hennessey’s wild creations focus on the “look at me” and dedicated off-road crowds, Ford’s aim with its 6x6 conversion is to provide better payload capacities for people who use their trucks for work. The patent application also states that the kit could include a fifth-wheel coupling with a subframe extension, which would give the F-150 near-heavy-duty levels of capability.
The kit would allow owners to upgrade their truck’s capacities without stepping up to a heavy-duty model and could help Ford grab more profits without changing its production lines. Sleeved extension components give the truck the length it needs to house an extra axle, and Ford’s design drawings show a setup that could accommodate a load-leveling system.
Ford outlined alternate propulsion for the system that could include an electric motor to power the third axle. It's not clear what sort of battery pack that would entail. As CarBuzz pointed out, that could give owners with the base powertrain the ability to equip the kit and add an extra pair of rear drive wheels to boost performance, though, for 2024, Ford’s doing away with the base V6 in favor of turbocharged engines that offer stronger output.
While patent applications are often somewhat obscure and never see the light of day, this is one that we hope makes it out of the conceptual stage. It’s easy to poke fun at a massive six-wheel truck with a family home-sized price tag, but this kit would (in theory) only be used by people doing work. Of course, a 6x6 F-150 would make great YouTube content, so it’d likely only be a matter of time before the crazy videos appear.