How to Build a Flat Bed for Pickup Truckby Nathaniel Miller
Pickup trucks with flat beds can serve a variety of purposes. Flat beds give the driver a number of options in regard to hauling things. Flat beds are easy to build on trucks and are a good option if your truck has a rusty or damaged bed. Follow this plan to build a flat bed for your pickup truck.
Remove the old bed from the truck. Slide underneath the pickup bed and locate the I bolts holding the truck bed to the frame. Use the ratchet set to loosen these bolts and disconnect the electrical wiring for the tail ights. Have a few friends assist in lifting the bed free of the truck.
Determine the dimensions of your flat bed by measuring to the outside of the fender wells of the truck bed and by measuring the length of the bed from back to front. You will need to build a square metal frame with these dimensions.
Cut four pieces of sheet metal to match the dimensions you took in Step 2. Weld or bolt the frame together into a rectangle, remembering that the rearward part of the frame will hold the tail lights. Lay the planking on the frame and bolt the ends of the planks to the frame using the short lag bolts.
Bolt the planks side by side until you have created a solid deck of boards. Have a couple of friends help you lift this frame onto the truck frame. Again, slide under the truck and locate the bed attachment on the truck frame. Use the attachment area as a guide to drill holes in the wooden planks. Drop the 6-inch long lag bolts through the holes in the wooden decking and tighten down to the truck frame.
Mount the tail lights on the rear of the flatbed by using the provided hardware to bolt the lights onto the planking. Connect the wiring harness and check to make sure the lights work.
- A sturdy flatbed can be made out of solid sheet metal as well, albeit a bit more expensive than a wooden flat bed.
Things You'll Need
- 1 by 4 treated lumber planking
- 2 by 4 treated lumber
- 6 inch long 3/8 inch lag bolts
- 3 inch long 3/8 inch lag bolts
- Ratchet set
- Consult local law enforcement inspection policies before completing your flatbed project. Some states require that fenders be present in order for the car to pass inspection.