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: Homemade Flat-Bed for Truck Help

05-13-2010, 01:22 AM
my ole van died soooo i need a truck/van

i may be fixin to buy this truck from a friend for a $150 ..... yes its $150, its not much to look at, its a 86 Dodge D50, lil 4cyl regular cab clear title, one tiny rust hole beind passenger door, 12x,xxx miles, runs and drives like a champ, just one thing....... no bed :biglaugh:

so i think i will buy it and build a flat bed for it, i want it a litte wider than the cab, maybe 5" on each side not much, i figure with out mesuring it, i will have somewhere around a 5x7 bed (not sure have yet to messure) and will have a 2x6 wood floor

im thinking 2" angle will work for it, the most weight on it will be a 4 wheeler or the snapper, anything else i can tow on my little trailer...... but yall think 2" angle will be fine for it, or smaller or bigger

all this truck is going to be used for is to drive to work (2 miles) and to haul crap around if i need to, i got cars so it will not be a go to the store or out to dinner truck at all

suggestions, tips, ideas

05-13-2010, 01:36 AM
I've seen a few home made flat beds made out of wood on trucks. They had pressure treated wood running down the frame. With preeasue treated wood screwed down to them, 2 X4s or 2 X 6's. they looked good. I don't know how long they lasted. Gary

05-13-2010, 11:14 AM
I suspect you will run into tire clearance issues. Consider how a pickup bed has the fender wells inside the box. You'll have to build around the tires on your flatbed or have the bed so high it would not be practical.

Any chance you can find another pickup bed to put on the truck?

Way easier and less expensive I would think to just replace the bed rather than build one.

Flat beds are kind of neat to have as they can be loaded from the sides easily. Be sure to put in provisions for side racks and tie down points.


05-13-2010, 11:47 AM
I shouldn't be too high I built and installed 1st a homemade and then a factory built one on a '71 F350. 2x1/4" angle should be fine, I would first cut a pair of sisterred (Glued & Screwed ) PT 2x6's cut to the proper profile to run on top of the frame rails then then 2 (or 4 if you have the material or tend to overbuild like me) pieces of angle from front to back to rest against the wood supports to run out as far back as the bed will go. Might be over kill but I would put 4 cross pieces front rear, and front and rear of the tires so you can attach the mud flaps, which are required by law,Thinking about just now, those middle 2 cross pieces may only have to be notched and have to go from the perimeter frame to the the two running down the frame. Hope this helps even if you do it differently

05-13-2010, 01:04 PM
PT lumber would do fine on that, I would think. You could even use a couple of 6x6's notched and attached to the frame to get the clearance/levelness issues resolved if the frame is higher/lower from front to back.

Check the tranny over good, the bearings were known to be short lived on the manual 5 speed.

Side boards made from 2x12's doubling as ramps are always handy!

If I remember right, the bed was 4x6.5. 5x7 would work well.

05-13-2010, 02:31 PM
i make my beds, then run wood 4x4's perpendicular in front and rear of the axle hump. then mount the bed on those. then a steel strap in the middle (1/2"x 1 1/2 or 2" welded to the bed and bolted through a frame hole. long carriage bolts can be ran through the flooring, the 4x4, then the frome to hold her down.

05-13-2010, 02:36 PM
I used a section of pallet racking to make a nice flatbed for my old '74 GMC I had..they were made of 4" channel iron,but the ones made of lighter perforated square tubing or similar stuff would be fine for yours..I welded two sections together and they were 79" wide,the same width as the original bed was..often you can get this stuff free or cheap if you look around..

I used 2" angle iron welded across the bottom of the racks and a peice of 2" aquare tube for each mounting bolt to pass thru,and raise it up off the frame enough so the tires would not rub--the "rails" on the racking happened to line up perfect so there was a 1'wide space where the tires were,so no wheel wells were needed,and I didn't need to hack up the racking....

I never had them rub once,even when loaded heavily--if it ever did,I would have just extended the rubber bump stops,so the axle couldn't let the tires go that far up..I had 8 leafs in the springs ,along with add on coil overloads,and the tires never came close to touching the bed..

I've seen quite a few flat beds made of all wood construction..some guys with small Toyota's and similar trucks used a large shipping pallet as a flatbed,they got free,made with 6x6 timbers and 2x6 decking,that large machines were shipped on..I think wood lasts longer than steel up here--my channel iron is rusted do half its original thickness,sheets were peeling off it underneath within 6 years of building it--while the 3/4" plywood I decked it with is like new underneath!..I used rubberized undercoating on it and it held up very well--especially since its been sitting in my backyard since 2003 when I got a different truck,the steel looks like crap though..

Don B.
05-13-2010, 02:57 PM
I built one for my 79 Dodge shortbed years ago.... 3" channel perimeter frame with 2"X1/4" thick angle going crossways to bolt the rough sawn oak plank floor to with 3/8" carriage bolts... yeah it was overkill but I BEAT that truck to a pulp for years afterwards; my "load sensors"? "the tires aren't rubbing the underside, I guess I can haul more"....
that truck started out as a Slant 6 3-on-the-tree with manual steering and brakes; I swapped a 318 and a 4 speed in for the last 70K I had that truck; sold it once, got it back and sold it again....
and I used the 4X4s between my custom flatbed and the frame; look at any "box truck" and you will see basically the same setup under the box to square up and bridge the gap between the frame and box, either side of the rear axlle hump.

05-14-2010, 12:17 AM
looked at it real well today, its got 700LBS of engine and trans from a bread truck resting on the frames and if i use 4X4 box as a spacer to raise the bed it will be high enough to clear the tires with 700lbs on it (more than ill put on it)

mesured it today to its going to be
6.6 feet wide (thats 6" on each side of the cab)
7 feet long

with braces i will need 49 feet of 2x2 1/8" angle, got some flat stock to use in the corners to stop it from twisting..... hope to get metal for $150, $150 for the truck and $200 for wood floor, lights, tie downs, spair steel and welding rods.....thats $500 for the whole truck set up the way i want it

as for the ???'s

i dont want a p/u bed

i dont think i will need mud flaps, im putting a pannel from bed to bumper.... plus cop aaround here could care less you should see all the hillbillys with duallys with no fenders, trailers with no lights, trucks falling slap apart

the trans is a 3 speed auto, truck has 86,000 original miles, and no it hasnt rolled over its got a 999,999 odometer.....wish it was a 5 speed but o well

trucks are like gold here you cant find one for under $800, if you find one for $800 it has about 160,000 miles and is pretty tore up normaly so i think it will be a good idea to go with this one

05-14-2010, 12:38 AM
I made a flat bed for a friends '81 C10 out of the square tubing that street signs are mounted on..I hit the mother load of that stuff back in April of 1997--we had a 3 foot blizzard hit here on april 1st,and the scrapyard near me must have bought a tractor trailer load of bent up street sign posts that plows or cars hit after the storm --filled my pickup bed twice with 8' lengths for 50 bucks..I had enough to build his flat bed frame and a headache rack,and a 10'x 24' shed frame,with some left over!..

Uni-strut is expensive,but would make a nice frame for a flat bed too..pipe is also a cheaper alternative that is strong also..

I miss my flatbed--it was ugly,but I could lift four garden tractors into the bed with the crane,thanks to having no wheel wells in the bed..I was looking it over today,and really wished I had the crane on it on my current trucks bed--if not the whole thing!..I'd make it dump if I put it on another truck though..

05-14-2010, 01:13 PM
buy it......i hand an 87 d50 and 91 d50. both got over 350k before they croaked. and i never did anything to them.

05-14-2010, 06:41 PM
score i got 3 20ft 2in 1/8in angle sticks for $75:D

picked up 5lbs of 7018 rods and 1lb of 6011 for only $17

given a set of brake lights, have some side markers laying around, i have a piece of 2" reciever to weld up to the bumper (need a slight rise to tow level) it allready has a trailer connector

looks like the only other things i will have to buy is some form of back up lights, some 2x6's for the floor, find a grille, and get a seat cover or put the bucket seats from the van in it, it may be even cheaper all said and done than i though