Easy fix to prevent the front and side separation on pickups used for severe duty and off-road work conditions
by Bruce W. Smith
A common malady on a lot of pickups used in rugged terrain, such as gas/oil well field service, right-of-way clearing and building road bases, is the front wall of the bed separating from the sides.
What happens is the severity and regularity of the bed flexing as the truck rocks and rolls over rough terrain breaks the spot welds holding the bed sides and front together.
The additional weight of side and crossbed toolboxes, which the majority of pickups used in those trades utilize, add to the problem.
Repairing bed separation is costly in both time and money.
A simple and effective fix that Truck Supply & Outfitters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been using for several years on trucks they upfit with toolboxes is fabricating a reinforcement “cap” that bolts to the top of the bed rails and front bed piece.
Their fabricators use 3/16″ 2″x2″ angle iron for the front that is welded to 3″x2″ angle iron for the bedrail caps.
The “U”-shaped reinforcement is bolted into place and the cross-bed toolbox sits on top.
This is a standard upgrade on every pickup they outfit that’s going to be used for oil/gas field service, utility companies or road builders.