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Old 01-17-2006, 12:35 AM
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Default Truck Rack

I built a truck rack for a buddy of mine. He has a Ford Ranger and needs to carry long stuff, ladders etc. So, After showing him a bunch of different materials, he decided on 1 1/4 sch 40 pipe...going heavy duty.

I designed it and bid it, cutting him a huge deal in the process. I knew in advance he was planning on helping me on my slab and building. So, I figured I could help him out a little. Wasn't doing much at the time anyway. Well, when I am about to start it, he comes to the shop with a drawing of how he wants it to look.....didn't you see that one coming??? Well, his design complicates it further, but I stuck to my deal......I just decided he gets the honor of using the vibrator when we pour my slab. ( BTW, we need an evil laugh smilie!) His design did end up looking better.

The basics.....pipe rack with an angle iron base that will ride on top of the bed rails. The rack is 10'6" long ( 1 pipe cut in half ) and 49" inside to inside. Base width is roughly 54". The uprights will angle to the rack after a 6" verticle rise. I needed a pipe bender for this, but sliced, notched and welded them instead..his idea, not mine. That was a pain, but it ended up looking very good. The front ones were simple, one bend. The rear was more complicated. I had to straighten them out again to tie into the rack, so add another set of slices, notches and welds. The upper rack is about 23" above the top of the bed. The ends of the front of the rack are weld elbows with a tiny piece of pipe inbetween them. I wanted to make the trusses 8" tall, but he wanted 6"...now the grinder won't fit..enter die grinder. That worked like a champ. The rear of the rack has a single elbow at the top and ties into the upright. The last two crossmembers are removeable. I made slides out of 1" sch 40 and welded them to the 1 1/4 cross piece. The recievers are 1 1/4 pipe at 3" long as are the slides, and are welded to the upper rack. The center one is welded parallel to the truss and the back one is verticle. Sionce the verticle will take the most abuse, I added a plate front and back to help hold it. The slides and recievers are drilled and have 5/16 PTO pins in them. That worked out well.

Everything went fairly smoothly. I did have a tiny bit of warp issues, but they were dealt with easily. I had planned on putting it all together on my table, but my ceiling was too low for the hoist and stands to do what I wanted, so I ended up squaring it up and tacking it on the floor. I wasn't going to weld it up on the loor. It would have been the jungle gym from hell at 23" tall. So, after tacking it all together and adding some braces, I hoisted it up to the table...praying all the tacks held..they did. Welded and ground it all down without incident. Added 45° braces at the corners, all pipe except the two in the bed at the cab. Made those out of 1 1/2x1/4 flat. I have an idea about a slip in, bolt on cab protector for later. So far, so good. Everything going smoothly and as planned. Bells should have been ringing somewhere, sirens, lights the works....my stuff does not go this smooth. Turns out I was saving the best for last.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2006, 12:44 AM
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More pics.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:53 AM
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Great job Don!
Now, hehe
SInce you said the customer took liberty in picking material and design, I dnt feel bad asking you. What does this thing weigh and whats the weight limits on the ford ranger hes got? I did one like this a few years ago. It was 1 1/2 sq tube. Had to make it as light as possible cause the specs on that ranger...80 sumpin I think, like late 80 sumpin...but it said 500lbs payload...a little 4X4 6 ft bed. I couldnt beleive it. Anyway, he was a drywall contractor so yeah he needed it to be as light as possible. This is not light. Looks awessome but as you said its heavy duty. did you weight it thouh? or he consider the weight? Just wondering and all Course I know a lot of trucks are carryin a lot more weight now than they were a few years ago so it might make the differnce. Just wondering what came up in the discussions on requirements....
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:55 AM
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Also, what di dyou do about the sweeps? did you buy sweeps or did you get them bent? I cant ever decied what is more economical
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:09 AM
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The fun started on the initial install. I had omitted the foreward 45° braces since I didn't know if they would have enough clearance. When it was on the truck, it was clear they would have plenty of room. So, being the nice guy that I am, suggested we add those braces quickly. Those horns, lights and sirens should have been deafening at this point.

We yanked it off the truck, and slapped them on without too much problem. They welded on easy enough. The trouble started when I was grinding them....at least this was the first I noticed. When using the die grinder with flapper to blend the center of a truss upright, a piece of the grit got around my glasses and nailed me in the eye. Not good. Still not sure how it happened. My eye was really ok until the next day. Hurt like a big dog....and still does. I thought I got everything out, but it keeps on hurting. If it doesn't show marked improvement by tomorrow, I guess I'll go in and get it looked at.

More trouble...after finishing all the grinding, I noticed it looked funny sitting on the truck for what I erroneously thought was the final fitting. It seems I pushed welding the 45's a bit and warped the crap out of the rack. The very front part had dropped an inch and a half. We took it off and applied reverse side heat and quenching. That got about a half inch or so...not near enough. After putzing around with it for 45 minutes, we brought it back in where I reluctantly decided to cut it and reweld. When I cut it, I was amazed at how strong the pipe was when about 96% through. I had to use heat to relax it enough to get back in shape. It worked like a champ. Got it all back together and ground down and back on the truck at midnight. This whole install fiasco began at 5:30 stopping enough for a quick 20 minute trip to TSC for bolts and about 45 minutes for pizza. It was finally ready to bolt down this time. Everything stayed straight. I am very, very glad it is out of my shop. I will be even happier if I don't have to go to the eye doc tomorrow.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:11 AM
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Those lightweight tubing racks made by Weatherguard are supposed to hold up to 1000 pounds. That thing you built can take a whole lot more than would bottom out a Ranger, wouldn't it? Seems like he needs a lesson on diminishing returns.

I'm about two weeks from putting a rack on my F-250. I was just going to buy the Weatherguard for convenience. Then, I'll fab my own brackets off of it for holding my reels and such.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texrednek
Great job Don!
Now, hehe
SInce you said the customer took liberty in picking material and design, I dnt feel bad asking you. What does this thing weigh and whats the weight limits on the ford ranger hes got? I did one like this a few years ago. It was 1 1/2 sq tube. Had to make it as light as possible cause the specs on that ranger...80 sumpin I think, like late 80 sumpin...but it said 500lbs payload...a little 4X4 6 ft bed. I couldnt beleive it. Anyway, he was a drywall contractor so yeah he needed it to be as light as possible. This is not light. Looks awessome but as you said its heavy duty. did you weight it thouh? or he consider the weight? Just wondering and all Course I know a lot of trucks are carryin a lot more weight now than they were a few years ago so it might make the differnce. Just wondering what came up in the discussions on requirements....

Hey, Chris. Thanks. I did figure the weight. It was about 225 lbs. He said it would be perfect. He does punchout work for a framing contractor now. A waste...he used to work for me. Good finisher and great tractor man...but I digress. He carries very small amounts of material. A few of this and that...maybe a sheet or two sometimes..add that to his tools, ladders, compressor and it may be 500 pounds..maybe a tiny bit more.


I used weld elbows..purchased. They were 5 bucks or so. I didn't think that was bad.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAC702
Those lightweight tubing racks made by Weatherguard are supposed to hold up to 1000 pounds. That thing you built can take a whole lot more than would bottom out a Ranger, wouldn't it? Seems like he needs a lesson on diminishing returns.

I'm about two weeks from putting a rack on my F-250. I was just going to buy the Weatherguard for convenience. Then, I'll fab my own brackets off of it for holding my reels and such.
We talked about that as well. I got quotes from several different suppliers and presented all the facts ti him. This is what he wanted...and ultimately got. One hang up he had with the others was bolts. He did not want any bolt up racks...just the bolts holding it down.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:35 AM
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Don,
thats it....you did really good then. We never weighed, i dont know what it weighed. Thats great...ours was ugly square
i do like yours
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:40 AM
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Really nice job. I would charge about a grand for that.
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