Ladder / Lumber Rack

SirRobyn0

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Ok guys. I was given a rack this afternoon. It's pretty cool, but will need some rehabbing before it can be used. The side rails that go on the bed rails is in good shape and is nice and straight, as are the up and down posts. but the bad thing is the two top cross bars, which is just basically square tubing, fit together in the center so it could be adjusted for slightly different bed widths. However the last owner took and cut a bit off of the tubes so it could fit on a 8' stepside. So the cross top bars pull apart before they will reach across the width of the truck.

The two top bars are square tubing, each half of each top bar is the same sized tubing, but one half has a smaller tube welded in it, that slips in the other side and is then pinned in place. It looks like the larger "receiver end" was cut off, I haven't taken measurements yet but I'd guess it's about a foot short of being wide enough for my truck, maybe less. My thought is to either cut one of the tubes and weld a fixed tube slightly smaller inside of it to length it, or to cut off the existing smaller tube that slides in the receiver end and simply weld in a longer piece in. It seems impractical to add metal where it was cut. I'm sure this is hard to picture, but all I have are these few pictures he sent me. By the time I picked it up it was dark, so I'll snap a few at some point tomorrow. In the photos the top bars are closest to the camera on the sawhorses. I can weld well enough to do the job, but do you think I have a good plan or if you have a another idea I'd like to hear it. I've circled the slip joints in each picture.

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The only other thing needed is a coat of paint, one of the cool things about this rack is that the cross top rails come off the posts with pins, and then the posts fold down forming end to end bedrails. I've never see one quite like this, but I'm sure others are out there. Some of you are probably aware I've been thinking of getting a softopper or tonneau cover which I've not made a move on either yet and I have no idea how this will play into any of that, but maybe if this turns out well I might try to make a homemade canvas cover to go over it. Well see that's getting a bit ahead of myself.
 

SirRobyn0

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Sorry no better pictures today. The rack is in the pole barn at the farm and there is a lot of farm crap in there and the lighting is terrible. With rain today and me wanting to paint them I didn't want to take them outside and get them wet just for pictures. Well it turns out all 4 of the latches that hold the poles in the down position were frozen so I had to rehab those. First soaked with penetrating oil, work them until smooth and then greased any place I could get grease to. Then a good cleaning and paint. I wanted to do gloss black, but only had one can on hand and did not want to run out. I had a couple of cans of satin black, so I went with that. Tomorrow I'll look at them again and see if I'll be happy with satin, if not I'll top coat with the gloss black, I should have enough for one coat without needing to buy any.

On the top cross bars. I've got a plan, I think. I'm going to go with chopping off the current smaller tube that slides into the larger pipe, and welding in a newer longer one in place. I don't have anything on hand that is the same thickness so I will have to buy it. I'm planning a run into town tomorrow and hoping it'll be available locally.

Once I get these done and on the truck I'll take some pictures, at that point it'll be a little easier to understand what I'm talking about.
 

SirRobyn0

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Picked up the metal I need to extend the cross bars today. So the plan tomorrow, provided that I don't have any issues on the farm, will be to mount the rails on the truck, once that is done I can measure to be sure of how much metal I need, and then I'll cut the amount of metal needed, weld up the slip joints with the added metal. Of course I'll need to paint the cross bars after welding in the metal, then it'll be install and take picture time.
 

wanderinthru

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Read through this when you first put it up, couldn't really figure out the problem. Figure the width is adjustable and has been hacked? Adjustable is nice at times, permanant is stronger. If you dont need the adjustability could you not replace the cross pieces with solid?
 

SirRobyn0

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@wanderinthru and anyone else watching. Yea I knew the lack of decent pictures would really be a hinderance to help, but you have the right idea. It's built to have the width be adjustable, to fit slight width difference in a long bed fleetside, but the PO cut it down to fit a long bed stepper. I'm not done yet. I ran out of time this morning, but hopefully I'll get back on it this afternoon. The main thing left is for the paint on the cross piece to dry and to install the bed rails. Here are some pics and it'll all make sense.
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Above pic: One of the cross bars, so that middle piece slides in each of the end pieces and is pinned in place. That's how it was from factory and what I have replicated, but I certainly agree it would be stronger if it was one solid piece and even probably welding the joints would be stronger than pins, is if I find myself wanting to put heavier stuff on it, I'll probably weld it.
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Above picture bed rail sitting on bed.
Below one leg flipped up just to show how it works.
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So you can see it's not a super heavy duty thing to begin with, but what I like about it is it's flexibility to be put up or down, well of course I like the free price tag too.....
 

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SirRobyn0

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Well just like one of my typically truck projects, I didn't have the time this afternoon to get it finished up. Actually I had a little bit of time, but realized that the lip on the trucks bed on both sides has is a little bit bent. Not severely but like someone got a little overly happy with a ratchet strap in the past. Well I really should pull the tool box off and straighten that so the rails will sit flush like they should. My plan was to do install omitting the front two bolts until 2 weekends from now when I need to do a grain haul and would be taking the tool box out for that anyway.

So I've got the rails on the floor of the bed right now, so with a little luck I'll be able to finish the install at work one day this week.
 

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Somehow I missed this thread until now. That's a pretty cool rack/rail setup.

Those top rails, what's the wall thickness of the square tube? If it's 1/8" then the pins probably aren't going to be the limiting factor. They may rattle though.
 

SirRobyn0

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Somehow I missed this thread until now. That's a pretty cool rack/rail setup.

Those top rails, what's the wall thickness of the square tube? If it's 1/8" then the pins probably aren't going to be the limiting factor. They may rattle though.
Thanks ya, For me one of the things I like besides the price (free) is the flexibility. I've already got tie downs the former owner installed, but still I'm sure I'll use the rails for that as tie downs aren't always where you want them.

Yes, it is 1/8" steel. I know it's light duty compared to some of the newer ladder racks that go into the stake pockets and out over the cab. I figure for a ladder, or 1/2 dozen long pipe or boards, or one 16' gate like we have on the farm. it could probably handle those things, but can't be loaded to the gills like some guys will load the heavy duty units.

What do you guys think as far as compacity? I'm think probably 150lbs would be a good safe limit, but perhaps it could handle more.
 
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AuroraGirl

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Thanks ya, For me one of the things I like besides the price (free) is the flexibility. I've already got tie downs the former owner installed, but still I'm sure I'll use the rails for that as tie downs aren't always where you want them.

Yes, it is 1/8" steel. I know it's light duty compared to some of the newer ladder racks that go into the stake pockets and out over the cab. I figure for a ladder, or 1/2 dozen long pipe or boards, or one 16' gate like we have on the farm. it could probably handle those things, but can't be loaded to the gills like some guys will load the heavy duty units.

What do you guys think as far as compacity? I'm think probably 150lbs would be a good safe limit, but perhaps it could handle more.
it can always handle more lol.

But it looks nice for sure. if you wanted to put some rubber mat cut up on the places it would touch it would help the rattle. Like thick(relative to rubber not to the steel) mudflap kinda stuff or something
 

SirRobyn0

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it can always handle more lol.

But it looks nice for sure. if you wanted to put some rubber mat cut up on the places it would touch it would help the rattle. Like thick(relative to rubber not to the steel) mudflap kinda stuff or something
Well I still gotta get the holes drilled out and the rails installed on the bed. Then I can put the top rails on and drive it around a bit to see how it is. Obviously I won't leave it up normally, but do want to just to get a feel for rattles and wind noise. To be honest, I really hadn't thought about rattles, but I did wonder how much wind noise it'll create. I suppose that will vary depending on what's loaded up there.
 

bucket

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My hunch is that it doesn't add any wind noise at all.

As for load capacity... just progressively load bigger and heavier loads until something gets tweaked, then don't load that much again :rofl: Seriously though, a lot has to do with the shape and size of the load, and how rough of a road you will be on.
 

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My hunch is that it doesn't add any wind noise at all.

As for load capacity... just progressively load bigger and heavier loads until something gets tweaked, then don't load that much again :rofl: Seriously though, a lot has to do with the shape and size of the load, and how rough of a road you will be on.
The rails would be in the windstream violently disrupted by the square front end and steep windshield. they are creating all the noise lol. how much IS he planning to carry up there lol. I wouldnt want to stack hundreds of pounds high for sake of top heavy and lifting over head. But if its a decent amount of hardwoods just across or a ladder or two, I think hed be surprised at how effective a basic frame can be. If you can tie your stake pockets to a solid reinforcement under the bed somehow, to avoid bowing the tail end on the bed support, that would prob shore it up a lot.
 

SirRobyn0

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My hunch is that it doesn't add any wind noise at all.

As for load capacity... just progressively load bigger and heavier loads until something gets tweaked, then don't load that much again :rofl: Seriously though, a lot has to do with the shape and size of the load, and how rough of a road you will be on.
I was beginning to think that I was the only guy who thinks about how rough roads effect loads. I'll come right out and admit that having the dump kit on the truck bed means I'll occasionally haul gravel with it. Well you know what happens when you go to a yard and the loader operator loads you up. Next thing you know your at 2X your payload.....

The rails would be in the windstream violently disrupted by the square front end and steep windshield. they are creating all the noise lol. how much IS he planning to carry up there lol. I wouldnt want to stack hundreds of pounds high for sake of top heavy and lifting over head. But if its a decent amount of hardwoods just across or a ladder or two, I think hed be surprised at how effective a basic frame can be. If you can tie your stake pockets to a solid reinforcement under the bed somehow, to avoid bowing the tail end on the bed support, that would prob shore it up a lot.
This rack does not go into the pockets at all. The base of it is the rails, and it gets bolted to the top of the bed. No I don't plan anything crazy. I have been known to occasionally remove chainlink fences for people, and that usually involves at least a few 16 foot poles. Maybe the occasional 12 foot board for the farm. I think it'll be fine for that, but of course you only get one chance if I miscalculate.
 

AuroraGirl

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I was beginning to think that I was the only guy who thinks about how rough roads effect loads. I'll come right out and admit that having the dump kit on the truck bed means I'll occasionally haul gravel with it. Well you know what happens when you go to a yard and the loader operator loads you up. Next thing you know your at 2X your payload.....


This rack does not go into the pockets at all. The base of it is the rails, and it gets bolted to the top of the bed. No I don't plan anything crazy. I have been known to occasionally remove chainlink fences for people, and that usually involves at least a few 16 foot poles. Maybe the occasional 12 foot board for the farm. I think it'll be fine for that, but of course you only get one chance if I miscalculate.
I think it will work. my dad had a chinsey kind of rack on the gmt 400 and it held a lot of heavy **** surprisingly for him.
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Those cages have hand tools, some rebar, form pins, other heavy things. and he always had something on there temporarily like those pipes
 

SirRobyn0

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@wanderinthru, @bucket, @AuroraGirl and any one else interested. Now it should be easier to understand the initial question though I have now solved it. I had sometime at work today, pulled to tool box, straightened out the little tweaks on the top of the bed, and installed the rails. Installation was straight forward, position rails, drilled hole in the bed where they already were in the rail, install bolts with washers and tighten. I think they look really good on the truck though because the inside of the box is rhino linered, they blend in a bit more than I'd like but that's ok. I still think they look good.

First two pictures, rails just installed and tool box reinstalled.
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Next two pictures, because I did not have the top rails with me I had to take these after I arrived at the farm this evening, so they are taken under the luxurious mercury vapor farm lighting. Obviously that doesn't lead to the best pictures and I only put one top rail up, just so I could get an idea of how they would work and to take these pictures. In the first picture you can roughly make out where the pinned joint it's above the center, passenger side rear silder pane.
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