Could we see this on the next-generation Tundra?
Although it may seem as if all the pickups in your neighborhood do little more than haul air and double park, there's still a silent majority of trucks that put in a hard day's work.
If you're one of those people who've ever subjected your truck to a full day of labor hauling stones, dirt, garbage, or whatever else, you know just how gross the bed can get. If you don't sweep out the bed or wash it right away, leftover dust and residue will find their way into every nook and cranny over time.
Luckily, Toyota knows just how annoying that scenario is. According to a recently published patent discovered by CarBuzz in the US Patent and Trademark Office database, Toyota has developed an integrated truck bed washing system. Engineers at the company's R&D headquarters in Michigan have come up with a slick little system that uses a series of conduits and nozzles integrated within the truck to wash the bed.
According to the document, the arrangement would ideally use conduits routed between the inner and outer walls of the truck bed to feed the spray nozzles which would be mounted and spaced evenly just under the bed rail, or placed lower to the surface. The patent also makes provisions for the nozzles being configured to deploy and retract from the bed walls or even oscillate.
Of course, in order to actually wash the bed, the system will need a fluid source. Toyota's engineers envision trucks equipped with a bed washing system would feature a panel that houses a standard water hookup inlet, much like an RV. Additionally, there could be a secondary inlet for pressurized air, allowing you to clean the bed pneumatically or even a third connector allowing you to connect a pressure washer.
Toyota claims the system could have different arrangements where the trucks actually store their own fluid within an onboard water tank or even feature an onboard air tank and compressor which would be powered by the engine.
No one's really quite sure when the next-generation Tundra will debut–the current one has been around since 2014– similarly the future of the truck bed washing system is unclear. But with rivals like Ram and GMC coming up with ingenious bed and cargo related solutions, Toyota needs to hit back with something better than Kyle Busch always winning to try and woo truck buyers to visit their local Toyota store. On the other hand, maybe Toyota has a few clever things on deck for the inevitable Tundra Hybrid.