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Old 07-20-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


I tried the bolt-in truck rack that the local sporting goods store sells. It had too much side to side wobble, and attached by clamping onto the bed rails. It just seemed like it would deform or damage the bed of my truck over time, and I ended up taking it back. I looked at another one at a shop here, but it required drilling through the bed rails to attach it. I don't like the idea of drilling into the body, so I passed on that one.

So, I searched for home made truck rack on google images, got a few ideas, and got started. I wanted something that wasn't permanent, wasn't time consuming to set up, and something I could easily store in a shed without taking up too much room.

First, I thought that if I built a square frame close to the tailgate, I could strap the boards to that, and the other end to the roof of the truck. This is what I came up with.



I built it to sit flush against the floor and sides of the bed.



Once I put a board on top, I hated the idea and figured it would never work, or be very safe.



After rethinking my plan, this is what I came up with.



I ditched the diagonal supports on the back. I made another frame for the front. The top rail is a 2x4. This is supported by another 2x4 that I ripped down to 2x2, and then counter sunk screws every 6 inches across. There's also two 3/8" eye-bolts running through both boards. The front and rear frames are attached with a 2x4 running from front to back, held in place with carriage bolts. Every joint has glue, except for the two boards that run from front to back.

I added another 3/8" eye bolt at each corner, so I can strap it down to the truck bed.





Once strapped down, I can grab the top of the rack and shake the whole truck.

It sits just above the roof line, with the rear being somewhere around 1/2" - 3/4" higher than the front.



Here's the first test, carrying eight 12ft boards of crown moulding. They are strapped down using the eye-bolts on the top, with roughly about 3ft overhang in the front and rear. At 60mph it was pretty solid and never shifted.



As for the color, I had some Red Mahogany wood stain that had been sitting in my garage for a while, and decided to make use of it. After it was complete, I gave it 2 coats of Spar Urethane.

To take it out of the truck, I just remove the carriage bolts from the side boards (4 bolts total) and it comes out in 4 pieces. The front and rear section, and the two side boards. It takes me a total of about 4 minutes to unstrap, unbolt, and remove it from the truck. I can store it up against a wall taking up about as much space as some fold up sawhorses.

I haven't tried it yet, but am curious to see how it will handle a canoe on top, especially considering the canoe will be catching a lot wind resistance.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:49 PM   #2
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


Ayuh,.... Looks Good,.....

I welded one up for the '79 Ford pickup I was drivin', back in the early '90s,....
Used it on the next 3 trucks, modified it many times, extended it when I went to the club cabs,....
Gonna need a major overhaul before it sees the next truck though,...
Showin' it's age,...

The key to it's versatility is the removable cross-bars,...

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Old 07-20-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


Nice work!

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Old 07-20-2016, 08:10 PM   #4
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


I like it! Is there a base to the front section similar to the rear? Otherwise, how do you keep the front from wanting to pivot on the side braces and possibly banging up your cab? Just the tightness of the carriage bolts and tie-downs?

I have the same problems of carrying long lumber in my mid-size truck plus lack of storage space between uses. This could be a project. Tnx.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


i have an S-10 x-cab. i thought about doing just what you did. but, what i do = open the sliding window, slide the boards into the cab, sometimes up to the dash. strap em down real good. put flags on what hangs over the tailgate. no problems yet. and i have had well over 12' boards.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:42 PM   #6
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


That rack is useful, and well thought out.

EXCELLENT.

Back in the day 20 + years ago I had an 84 Ranger 4X4 the same color as yours, with the same paint flaws on the hood, seems that Ford Silver is lousy in the sun.

Good use of using what you have to do the job needed.

ED
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
I like it! Is there a base to the front section similar to the rear? Otherwise, how do you keep the front from wanting to pivot on the side braces and possibly banging up your cab? Just the tightness of the carriage bolts and tie-downs?

I have the same problems of carrying long lumber in my mid-size truck plus lack of storage space between uses. This could be a project. Tnx.
It's built to sit right up against the tailgate, and the front of the bed, with no wiggle room in-between. There's no room for it to move forward or backward. The carriage bolts in the side boards really stiffen it up once tightened down. After I pull the straps tight at each corner, it doesn't move at all. I can grab it and shake the whole truck around with it. It's like a solid box. I left the "feet" on the back piece thinking that I would need them to keep it from moving, but after using it and seeing how solid it is, I don't think I will keep them. I may shorten them down to make it easier to store.

I also considered another board similar to the side boards, but running front to back in the center of the tops to keep it from wanting to fold in. I've decided against that, because it won't fold in, and also because once the boards I was hauling were strapped down, they did just what the extra board would have done.

As for banging up the bed of my truck, I don't think it would dent it due to the lack of room for it to move. As far as scratches inside the bed are concerned, well, they wouldn't be the first. But, I was thinking about putting some kind of padding everywhere that it does come in contact with the bed just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
That rack is useful, and well thought out.

EXCELLENT.

Back in the day 20 + years ago I had an 84 Ranger 4X4 the same color as yours, with the same paint flaws on the hood, seems that Ford Silver is lousy in the sun.

Good use of using what you have to do the job needed.

ED
Thanks. I'd like to have one of the older 4x4 Rangers. I think they're still nice looking trucks.

In the 2nd to the last pic, you can sort of see my '04 Ranger. It's a lighter shade of silver, but is already showing signs of the clear starting to flake off on the top of the bed. I used to wax the '96 once every 3-4 months, but once the paint started coming off, I just gave up on it. If it makes it to 400k problem free miles, I'll have it repainted.

Last edited by r0ckstarr; 07-22-2016 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


No problem with what you built, but it would have been a lot simpler to purchase a truck bed extender from Harbor Freight for $69.99.


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Old 07-22-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


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Originally Posted by Arky217 View Post
No problem with what you built, but it would have been a lot simpler to purchase a truck bed extender from Harbor Freight for $69.99.


Arky
That's what I did, but the OP's rack will allow him to get wider cargo
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:37 PM   #10
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


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Originally Posted by Arky217 View Post
No problem with what you built, but it would have been a lot simpler to purchase a truck bed extender from Harbor Freight for $69.99.


Arky
If I got that, then I would have to get the receiver as well. Neither of my trucks has one. The description says that it extends the truck bed by 3ft.

So, 9ft of bed, and 3ft of overhang isn't bad on a 12ft board, but, what about something longer, like a 15ft canoe? There would be 6ft of boat hanging out of the back.

With my setup, I can strap the canoe to the wooden rack, use the foam blocks that go between the canoe and car roof, and strap the front of the canoe down to the front of the truck with minimal overhang on both ends.

This:



or this?

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Old 07-22-2016, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: 12ft boards in a 6ft truck bed - DIY truck rack


I thought of building something similar to haul a 32' two-section ladder around. Similar problem. I also thought of maybe building a kind of a side-rack that would carry things on the passenger side. Never got around to it yet.

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