How to Build a Flatbed Truck Out of Woodby Jesse James Dean
Flatbed trucks are gaining popularity, especially within the farming community. A flatbed made from wood is convenient, inexpensive, and able to outlast a stock steel truck bed. The most appealing aspect of a wood flatbed is that you can design and build it yourself rather than purchasing an expensive, premade steel flatbed. Building your own wood flatbed will give your truck that personal touch and save you money.
Measure and cut the foundation. Lay three 4-by-4 inch pieces of lumber across the width of the truck frame, then mark the desired length using your pencil and square. Once this is done, cut the lumber to length.
Cut the floorboards to length. Measure the 2-by-6 inch lumber against the length of the truck frame, then mark and cut it. Measure and mark each piece individually to ensure it is the correct length.
Mock up the flatbed. Begin by laying the 4-by-4 inch lumber across the frame of the truck, one each at the front and back and one across the middle, parallel to one another. Place the 2-by-6 inch lumber on top of and perpendicular to this foundation, laying each piece flat, side by side, until the entire area is covered. Once all the pieces are in place, check your work. If you need to adjust the length or width of any of the boards, mark and cut them.
Install the foundation. Once your final adjustments have been made, remove the 2-by-6 inch floorboards. Make sure the three pieces of 4-by-4 inch lumber are positioned as described in Step 3. Drill through both ends of each piece of 4-by-4 inch lumber into and through the frame of the truck. Place a lag bolt in each hole from the top, thread a nut onto the bolt from the bottom, and tighten it with a wrench.
Install the floor. Lay all of your 2-by-6 inch floorboards in place. Where each floorboard intersects a foundation board, drill a hole through the center of the floorboard into and through the underlying foundation. You will make three drill holes for each floorboard. Place a lag bolt in each hole from the top, thread a nut onto each bolt from the bottom, and tighten with a wrench.
- The amount of lumber you will need depends on the make and model of your truck. To determine how many floorboards you will need, divide the width of the bed you choose to make by the width of the floorboards. Choose whatever type of lumber you prefer.
Things You'll Need
- Circular saw
- 4-by-4 inch lumber
- 2-by-6 inch lumber
- Lag bolts and nuts
- Wrench set
- Small square
- Drill and drill bit
- For some vehicles, you may need to double your 4-by-4 inch lumber to bring the height of the flatbed above the tires.
Jason, who holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, hails from Espyville, PA. Troutman is not only a successful freelancer, he also worked for NASCAR teams including DEI and Joe Gibbs Racing. Troutman is editor-in-chief of Outlaw Motor Sports, a publication devoted to everything racing, from engine building to car design.