A tailgate is a component used on the back of a truck,in order to seal off the back of the truck bed,in order to prevent items stored in the bed, from falling out. Tailgates come in many different designs and materials depending on the use of the truck. Most tailgates are made out of metal or a hard plastic that can stand up to harsh and rugged conditions. These different style tailgates can be a solid rectangle; or a rectangle with a slope going down towards the middle to accommodate a fifth wheel trailer.
With gas prices on the rise, a new more aerodynamic solution was needed to allow air that is trapped in the bed of the truck to escape. The most common solution was to drive with the tailgate open which would reduce air resistance but can cause things stored in the back to slide out. To fix this problem, a tailgate that has slots running down it was designed which gave complete protection to everything in the back, while letting air flow freely.
Most tailgates will have a handle built in which allows for easier opening and closing. The handle also reduced the risk of a tailgate accidently opening while the truck is in motion. Some tailgate handles feature a locking mechanism which can be opened with a key or a button programmed on a key fob. This locking mechanism is extremely popular on trucks utilizing a tonneau cover because it allows things to be stored in the back without the risk of it getting stolen.
When completely opened, tailgates will extend the length of the bed for things that are too large to fit in the bed of the truck with the tailgate shut. To keep the tailgate flat while open, a steel cable is often used which connects the body of the truck bed to the tailgate. These cables are designed to withstand a tremendous amount of weight which a tailgate is susceptible to see. Having the tailgate out also provides more leverage to get large objects such as a safe onto the truck without damaging close components such as the bumper. Most tailgates are designed to be able to be removed quickly incase a situation arises were it is in the way.