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Old 09-27-2010, 04:57 PM
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Default building new sled deck. want advice / opinions

so i have decided to build another sled deck to fit my new truck. overall size is going to be 8ft wide X 7 or 7.5ft long, no beaver tail. with a 10 or 11ft telescoping ramp. all aluminum with plate sides and plate headache rack. question is what size tubing should i use for the cross members, i was thinking 1.25" sq x 1/8" wall thickness. all plate will be 1/8" thick as it is just for looks. and it will have 4 legs rather than a box frame. ramp is going to be based off of telescoping quad ramps that he made, just a bit beefier. what are some of your guys and gals opinions on this?
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:11 PM
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Make sure to give the legs a nice large "foot". Bt's is disigned that way and when we pulled it out of his old pickup there was four nice smashed in divets in each corner of the bed where it sat.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:16 PM
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this is what i got. ramp hasnt been drawn up yet

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Old 09-28-2010, 05:36 PM
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I built my own as well.

The main frame rails are large, (4" I think) C-channel, with the openings facing in, and the correct width for the ramp to slide inside the "C" channel openings.

My deck is 8' long, plus a 2' beavertail, the beavertail is supported by the railings that come down, and are in tension. - I can send pics if you want - and the tail is plenty strong. My truck is a dodge with the level kit and 35" tires, so it's not too tall, but not too short either.

I agree with 777 that you should make sure the 'feet' are large enough to distribute the weight, and since you are making it yourself to fit a specific truck, take a good look at the bed, and see if you can put the 'feet' directly on top of (or real close to) the bed supports. If possible, you don't want the feet in the middle of just corrugated steel.

Also, keep in mind that the loading is a violent process, and keep in mind where the bulk of the weight will be carried. My truck has a short bed, and so, with the sleds loaded, almost all of the weight is carried by the rear legs, so they are VERY strong, and well triangulated.

Also, figure out where you plan to put your tie downs (that tie the deck to the truck), and make sure your design will accommodate that plan. I installed large, steel eyes in the floor of the bed of my truck, with large thick aluminum plates that are glued (body seam sealer) to the underside of the bed bed floor, with large steel washers. I also welded the eyes closed. I use chain and turnbuckles to hold that thing in place, and It doesn't move. Also when you are planning out your tie down anchors, consider that you want compound angles coming both down and out from the deck, that will hold the deck in place side to side as well as front to back. I used a piece of angle across the front that contacts the front wall of the bed. I use the front turnbuckles first to suck it up tight to the front wall, and that does a good job of centering the deck, and holding it tight, then I tighten the rears and they go out and down to keep the back from waging around as I go around corners. When loading your forces are really only front to back, but if you have to make a sudden move while driving to avoid anything, you want to make sure the back end of the deck isn't going to fold over.

Like you mentioned, I also kept the underside clear to store stuff, and it works great. I chose a wood deck, and have gotten 3 years out of mine. I have to replace it this fall, but I would have gotten more if I used some plastic skids under where the carbides run. (will do that this time) And, we live in WA, where it is wet a lot. I used 1/2 CDX ply, and threw a coat of Thompson's water seal on it when it was first installed. None after that.

The main decking framing is simply 1x2 rectangular tubing, .125" wall, and they are 2" apart. I made railings out of 1x1 box tubing, also .125" wall. I like the railing idea better than the sheet angle for rails: 1) it allows me more ways to tie down, 2) a better handle, 3) if it snowed a lot, it's easier to kick clean before loading, 4) if it snowed a little bit, the skis are less likely to go over the railing, as it's several inches up 5) it allows for the 'member in tension' I referenced earlier if you should decide you like a beaver tail.

Again, I'm happy to send any pics, and I should probably actually make a post of the design and what I found I liked and disliked about my deck. Also, I checked the legal limits in my state (WA) and I can go 8'6" wide w/o any extra permits or flagging, my deck is right at 8'2" wide, (two 4' ply sheets, plus the width of the railing vertical supports) I used LED lights for the running lights, and put some loading lights on a water proof switch that is all tied into my a trailer (RV style) plug that I installed into the bed of the truck (just like for a 5th wheel or camper) This fall, I'll add another light to the underside of the deck, so it's not such a dark hole when I'm loading in the dark.

My headache board is not nearly as cool as your plan, but I don't have access to a plasma. I was able to buy 1" box tube out of the scrap bin for less $ to just weld up a framed one. Also, on the headache portion, the cross bar is the correct height to catch the skis if I happen to use a little too much throttle on the load process, but with your sheet style plan, your idea would do the same thing.

Like I said, if you want, shoot me a PM with an e-mail, and I'll fire off those pics. I don't pretend to be the best or have the best idea, but I'll certainly share with you where I messed up, and what i liked about what I did.

PE
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:33 PM
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well i ordered all of my aluminum today, will start up a build thread when i start it.
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