Buying Tips: Bed Racks

Buying Tips: Cargo Racks

Be accessory-minded when it comes time to shop for a pickup bed rack

When it comes to buying a bed rack, the number one consideration for most owners is usually carrying capacity. A plumber may need to carry 1,200 lbs of galvanized piping and a carpenter may need a rack with a 700 lb capacity, while a surveyor or landscaper may only need a couple of hundred pounds of carrying ability.  

Capacity is important, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be the only determining factor in purchasing a rack.

Construction details are also important, especially if you are planning to accessorize you rack or use it in conjunction with bed boxes, use it with a bed cap, or install auxiliary lighting.

Flexibility is the key here.

When shopping for a rack, ask if it comes with mounting plates to accommodate a bed cap. Also, consider what tie downs and cargo security devices you’ll be needing such as tie down cleats, extra clamps, tracks, and so on.

If you are considering carrying tool bins at a later date, you’ll need to be considering a rack such as those sold by System One.

If you want portability and invisibility, then U.S.Rack and Invis-A-Rack may offer products compatible with your needs.

Planning on installing auxiliary lighting? Well, in our opinion, for safety and appearance sake, wiring needs to run in the structure and not be tied to the exterior where it’s exposed to the elements. This means that for most purposes a box steel or aluminum rack is better than steel tube construction, as it is easier to run wiring.

On the whole, it is better to examine a particular company’s racks along with their accessory offerings.

Not all accessories are compatible with all brands, so try to think ahead, choosing a rack that provides the most immediate practicality combined with future flexibility. –Peter D. duPre