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Old 01-05-2020, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Flatdeck tips, tricks, etc

I'm building a deck for my superduty. It's an f350 SRW, extra cab long box. I spent a year looking for a new box on good shape. I found exactly 1. Guy wanted $3000 canuckbucks for it, and wouldn't include a tailgate or lights. So a deck it is. This is progress so far.
Outer frame is 2x4 .125 wall, inner rails are 3/16" 2" C channel. Obviously you can see where I ran 4' short on the small C channel.
7' wide by 9' long, the back is pinched in 6" each side over the last foot of length.

Planning to use fir 2x whatever for decking
I'll be doing stake pockets and rub rails down each side, and a headache rack, solid up to the bottom of the rear window. Planning on using bars, not mesh over the window, I've been told that mesh is a bitch to see through at night. Anyone who wants to present a counter arguement, have at er.

I'm keeping an eye out for a cheap manual crane that I can mount up front, and I'll have to figure out how I will mount it. Kind of depends on size, how and where it will get mounted. I need to be able to remove it so I can put the camper on.

I thought about doing a flippable gooseneck ball, but as it stands, a goose is not likely in my future. If I end up with one, then I'll build it.

Also in the market for a couple of boxes for underneath it. I've got a regular drybox in the truck now that will serve for the time being though.
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Last edited by squamch; 01-05-2020 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good work. I'm fed up with pickup boxes too.

You could make the lower part of the crane round and have it slip-fit into a round pocket in the deck. Then it turns/slews all you want. Be careful to not build it so heavy you can't lift it out. The particular homebrew I saw, it even had bearings, 12volt winch... and needed a forklift to take on/off.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good work. I'm fed up with pickup boxes too.

You could make the lower part of the crane round and have it slip-fit into a round pocket in the deck. Then it turns/slews all you want. Be careful to not build it so heavy you can't lift it out. The particular homebrew I saw, it even had bearings, 12volt winch... and needed a forklift to take on/off.

I was thinking of maybe some kinda braced 2" reciever pockets, one by each corner, be able to drop the crane into any of them as needed.
I'm thinking of basically adapting an engine hoist, whether it gets a little ATV winch on it or just a hook...using a unit bearing or old hub for the pivot.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I got one of the Princess auto ones. I'm going to make a flush-mount version of the base.
https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...ne/A-p8558470e

I did consider adapting my engine hoist, but I have to limit the modifications so I can still use it for that.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Anyone who has built a deck for their fullsize/DD/work teuck/whatever else have any input?
Stuff you love about it, or hate about it?
Stuff you wish you'd done?
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fuel pump access panels, slice out a nice square or rectangle, weld tabs with nuts underneath, only way to go.

More tie downs than you think you need

Figure out where you can hide extra storage, like a compartment, or even a drawer above and between the frame rails, etc
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Toolbox/stroage on the bottom side. Nothing is dumber than a flat bed with a toolbox bolted down on top

Reinforce the piece you cut out for a gooseneck hitch. The flap always gets bent and never settles right
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Last edited by Black Sheep; 01-07-2020 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Depends a lot on intended use. Mine will need removable sides. And also some way to carry 16-20' lumber horizontal above cab height.

I have a rough 7'x9' deck to start with on a parts truck... just a little bit of work ahead of me.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Rub rails, full length and across the back so you can tie down anywhere.

Make sure you keep easy access to the fuel fill. Some beds position it where it's hard to open or where a fill nozzle won't stay put, it's annoying to stand there and hold the thing while you're pumping in 60 gallons.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Put drain holes in your square tubing. And I would just make the toolboxes to fit the space rather than buying them. 11 gauge sheets and have at it. Much easier to mount them now with no deck and easy access than it would be after it is on the pickup. Add some D rings in strategic places for anchoring and on the back for hooking to. Simple side boards out of a 2x6 and some 2x4's screwed to it are all I use. Keeps shit from rolling off the sides, and easy to build/re-build if you break one. Make damn sure your stake pockets will fit a 2x4. Add some provisions for mounting mud flaps. You can always leave them off, but they are kinda nice to keep mud from getting packed in everywhere.


I like to mount my spare tire and a hi-lift jack up on the headache rack. Might not be for everybody though...
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An example of some boxes I made for my old man's powerstroke.
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Fuel filler necks can be a pain in the dick. Mount them below flush of the deck. I've seen a bunch of people that mount them above, but that always looks like ass. Sometimes it is hard to get enough slope to get the fuel to run right though...
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Here's a crane I built out of an engine hoist. It just sleeves into a piece of pipe where those two flanges come together. No reason you couldn't build in a heavy walled pipe as your pivot point and insert/remove the crane as needed. I'd have it open to the bottom so crud wouldn't get caught up in there and fuck shit up...

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Old 01-07-2020, 01:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's a crane I built out of an engine hoist. It just sleeves into a piece of pipe where those two flanges come together. No reason you couldn't build in a heavy walled pipe as your pivot point and insert/remove the crane as needed. I'd have it open to the bottom so crud wouldn't get caught up in there and fuck shit up...
How much weight have you picked up with that jack? Curious how the hitch stands up to having that much weight off to the side like your last picture.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dealing with SOC CHP is one thing I hate about having a flatbed truck that has a 12k lb gvwr.

Dont know how many other states have such stupidly in their laws but somehow they treat it differently.


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Anyone who has built a deck for their fullsize/DD/work teuck/whatever else have any input?
Stuff you love about it, or hate about it?
Stuff you wish you'd done?
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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How much weight have you picked up with that jack? Curious how the hitch stands up to having that much weight off to the side like your last picture.
Probably a thousand pounds. I did beef up the hitch though. It wasn't nearly stout enough the way it was when I got it. Basically it was the receiver tube gusseted to the back of the flatbed and a couple brace rods running forward to transfer the pulling load to the frame. I sleeved a heavy square tube over the receiver from the back side of it and ran it forward to a channel iron crossmember that I mounted to each framerail...

I think most of your standard hitches would do ok with the side loading. At least most of them have a solid tube from framerail to framerail. I'd be more worried about having the load straight back on the hitch, cause there isn't a whole lot of separation in the fore-aft direction (maybe 8-10 inches) on most purchased units.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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nice looking build. I have been in the middle of building my flatbed for, well about a year. oops

I used 2.5" .120 tube for the overall frame, receiver tube for side pockets, picked up some 2'x4' 3/16 aluminum diamond plate for the floor (it was cheap on line), then Macs versa track for tie downs. The Macs was repurposed from the truck bed.

I picked up a couple under bed boxes from Ebay, nothing special. I may need to modify them a bit due to their size.

Ive thought about a harbor freight crane to mount to the bed. I have thought it could mount to one of the receiver stake pockets. Thought, not executed yet.

Looking forward to your finished project.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You got anything more weather resistant up there than fir???
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You got anything more weather resistant up there than fir???

Cost/weather resistance wise, no. Cedar, but it's soft. I can get good fir reasonably cheap with my contractor accounts.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Dealing with SOC CHP is one thing I hate about having a flatbed truck that has a 12k lb gvwr.

Dont know how many other states have such stupidly in their laws but somehow they treat it differently.
I have heard some guys have had issues with toll roads and bridges calling personal vehicles commercial because they have a deck.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I had an issue traveling across the GGB they get real assholeish when they can't get a pic of your plate to send you a bill you didnt agree to.

MY plate can be seen with naked eye but not with a camera.


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I have heard some guys have had issues with toll roads and bridges calling personal vehicles commercial because they have a deck.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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And how do you manage to cross the ggb without consenting to a toll???
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Without having a license plate chp can read with their digital camera.



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And how do you manage to cross the ggb without consenting to a toll???
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I had an issue traveling across the GGB they get real assholeish when they can't get a pic of your plate to send you a bill you didnt agree to.

MY plate can be seen with naked eye but not with a camera.
I assume your license plate doesn't reflect a certain wavelength of light very well but reflects the visible spectrum just fine. What did you use to get it to not reflect the wavelengths the cameras use?
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Probably a thousand pounds. I did beef up the hitch though. It wasn't nearly stout enough the way it was when I got it. Basically it was the receiver tube gusseted to the back of the flatbed and a couple brace rods running forward to transfer the pulling load to the frame. I sleeved a heavy square tube over the receiver from the back side of it and ran it forward to a channel iron crossmember that I mounted to each framerail...

I think most of your standard hitches would do ok with the side loading. At least most of them have a solid tube from framerail to framerail. I'd be more worried about having the load straight back on the hitch, cause there isn't a whole lot of separation in the fore-aft direction (maybe 8-10 inches) on most purchased units.
That's good to know. This is the hitch style that came with my CM flat bed. In your opinion, do you think this would design stand up to that type of load?

I'm looking at about 1000 lbs max as well, loading and unloading engines from the bed. I think a service crane would be best for what I want, but I don't want to dedicate the deck space to a permanently mounted crane.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:04 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLTHFJ60 View Post
That's good to know. This is the hitch style that came with my CM flat bed. In your opinion, do you think this would design stand up to that type of load?

I'm looking at about 1000 lbs max as well, loading and unloading engines from the bed. I think a service crane would be best for what I want, but I don't want to dedicate the deck space to a permanently mounted crane.
Honestly that would probably work fine. Looks pretty stout. When I first built the hitch mounted crane I just backed up to something heavy and started lifting. It was obvious my hitch needed some attention when I did that, cause I was cranking on the jack handle, and the ram was extending, but the load wasn't coming off the ground! So I just looked for the flex and found it at the hitch. Beefed it up and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm looking at about 1000 lbs max as well, loading and unloading engines from the bed. I think a service crane would be best for what I want, but I don't want to dedicate the deck space to a permanently mounted crane.
I have a 3200lb auto crane on a truck, it is sweet to have, but it's 750lbs I the right rear corner. I don't use it enough to justify a dedicated truck, with insurance.

I want a lesser crane, something removable, to swing engines in and out of a truck bed, weigh under 150lbs , and not prevent me from running a gn or 5th wheel.

I've got a couple more builds, then the crane is going away fur a bit.

I could see setting up a gin pole on a truck fur the occasional higher or heavier lift

Or, finding the right "classic" truck for the crane and paying $7mo collector insurance
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:21 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I have a 3200lb auto crane on a truck, it is sweet to have, but it's 750lbs I the right rear corner. I don't use it enough to justify a dedicated truck, with insurance.

I want a lesser crane, something removable, to swing engines in and out of a truck bed, weigh under 150lbs , and not prevent me from running a gn or 5th wheel.

I've got a couple more builds, then the crane is going away fur a bit.

I could see setting up a gin pole on a truck fur the occasional higher or heavier lift

Or, finding the right "classic" truck for the crane and paying $7mo collector insurance
I don't have flat deck, but I want to drop a crane that won't interfere with a 5th wheel or a goose neck in the back.

I was thinking something like this because it would be below the bed. I could go with a taller one, but I would have to modify it so I didn't have to un bolt it every time we wanted to haul the 5'er.

https://www.harborfreight.com/pickup...ity-60732.html
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