aluminum v steel flatbed?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by MrRob, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. MrRob

    MrRob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    We have a steel rugby flatbed on our old 3/4 gmc & we're looking for a flatbed for our new 3/4 gmc & checking out our options. I'm assuming the weight savings is on the aluminum one, but it is more expensive. The steel flatbed after a few years looks horrible. Ice melt & salt are torture to it. Would an aluminum flatbed hold up any better? The look of aluminum is so much better than black/rusty steel. What are their downfalls besides price? It seems that %95 of flatbed are steel. Why arent more guys running aluminum?
     
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Your better off with aluminum for the weight savings and you don't loose payload on the truck. Aluminum does cost more but a 8 foot deck isn't that expensive.
     
  3. threeleafllc

    threeleafllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    MrRob
    I just had this same problem...we had a 05 f350 with a rugby 9 foot dump body it was getting all rusted and dented from daily use it started to look like crap...well the first snow of the year i got hit,the body was trashed and the new Sander was totaled.. well i have enough dumps so i said i would put a non dumping flat bed on,i found a all steel bed and i liked it but it was heavy.
    i bought a 9 foot truck craft all aluminum body.. some adv of a aluminum flat bed.. its only like 600lbs,with the way truck craft makes there body they use a extruded rail system so the deck has built in cross members,this enables you to mount the body much lower to the frame of your truck.this is nice in my situation because I'm short and need lots of tool boxes..a couple cons about aluminum is you cant replace an deck very easy so if your doping heavy stuff you have to be careful. next was a big one for me is its very difficult to mount a truck mounted crane on the bed there just isn't enough beef to it,we had to make all sorts of braces to do so .. at the end of the day aluminum looks the best, i think that's why i went with it.. Good luck
    Sorry about the long post
    Allen
     
  4. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,173

    We run aluminum flatbeds on two of our 3/4 tons. I think the weight savings of aluminum is a major advantage, especially on vehicles with low GVWRs. That was the main reason for our decision to go with aluminum.

    The other reason was the rust issue. However, don't expect the aluminum to stay shiny...after just one winter ours has gotten that dull look to it. We plan to acid wash and polish it, and then protect it with a product called sharkhide, we'll see how it works.
     
  5. bluesprucelawncare

    bluesprucelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    i have a hillsboro aluminum and a omha aluminum. they really arnt the best i dont think... these two are not as strong there both not duallys so maybe the dually beds are built better but they dont have very many cross members. i do like there looks and how lite they are... the hillsboro was put on in july i think and i have already replaced every light on the rear 5 clearence and 6 brake turn tail. in michigan dec. and jan we dint stop pushing and salting so i dint try to warranty them i just fixed them but it still pissed me off i know salts a ***** but come on. the beds that are advertised to the left sometimes look pretty nice... i thought hillsboro was good but i dont know any more good luck
     
  6. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,173

    We had ours custom built by Alum-Line. I really havn't looked closely at other brands to compare, but they seem very well built.

    Our beds have I-beams on 12" centers, and tongue/groove extruded flooring. Makes for a very solid bed. Our Dodge sits on 6" sills, and our GMC sits on 4".

    Here is a pic of the underside...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bluesprucelawncare

    bluesprucelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    can we ask what it cost for that dodges set up?
     
  8. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,173

    The one on the Dodge came out to $8,600 including taxes and installation.

    That also includes many custom options including the fold-down sides, tie-downs, stake pockets, LEDs, underbody boxes, etc. Everything is custom built.

    I think the same bed without hoist, add-ons, and installation would run somewhere in the $4k range.

    Pricey but well-built. Alum-line can give you a quote for anything you want.
     
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I have been pricing steel for a flatbed. Without decking I am up to about $500 for steel. That is not calculating consumables for welding.

    So for giggles I started pricing aluminum as an estimate I am up to about $700 for materials again no deck.

    For decking ether way of using green treated 2 x 8 wood.

    I would build it myself. But aluminum look appealing and the for the money it might be a worthwhile investment.
     
  10. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,213

    Thats interesting, do you have some more pictures of either of your trucks? I want to get a pickup again but am spoiled on having the flatbed and have wondered on taking the regular bed off and going with a flatbed, never thought about an aluminum flatbed.
     

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