Adding Hydraulics/Stake Body


LawnSite Senior Member
Elizabeth, WV
As some may no I have a 1989 ford Superduty/450 with a 12' Stakebody that is fixed. I made the decision to keep the truck and would like to make it dump. Did anyone ever do a conversion like this? I saw kits in Northern hydraulics but didn't know how their quality is. Any thoughts? Thanks Matt

Gravel Rat

LawnSite Fanatic
British Columbia
I'am in the same process I have a 95 F-450 I'am trying to decide to make the current 12x8 flatdeck dump or buy a new dump body (8000 clams). The first thing your deck needs is 6" long sills which is what the crossmembers sit on. If your deck doesn't have that then it needs to be modified. To change the long sills is alot of work you have to grind off every weld that holds the crossmembers to the sills. Once that is done you weld in 6" deep C channel sills the length of the deck.

Now hoist decissions you can go with a front mount hoist alot more lifting power and less weight. You can go with a underbody hoist (scissor) which is alot more common on smaller dump trucks. The drawbacks of a scissor hoist is you add 550lbs to the truck right off the bat. You need a hoist rated for alot more than you plan on carrying because you are trying to lift a load in the center (less leverage). You can think of it this way try standing 4x8 sheet of plywood on its end by grabbing the middle of the sheet (scissor hoist) or at the end (front mount) and you can see what has more leverage.

For both hoists you need to build a subframe that holds the rear hinge brackets and its a flat set of rails for the longsills to sit on and evenly distribute the load on the trucks frame. There are scissor hoist manufactures like Rugby that have a hoist with a subframe which is the best way to-go so expect to pay around 2500 dollars. You bolt the subframe to the truck then you bolt the hinge brackets to the long sills on the deck and bolt the other part of the scissor hoist to the deck.

The deck you have should be fairly strong as once you start dumping a load it can twist and bend the deck.

Those kits you buy from Northern Tool are not strong enough you need a hoist rated for 8-10 ton. You look up Rugby or Venco Hoists or Scott Hoists you can see what options you have. With scissor hoists the ratings depend on the dump angle you want you can have a scissor hoist that has a good rating for a 45 degree dump angle and its not enough at 50 degree.

I'am still undecided if I want to stick with a flatdeck or go with a regular 11' mason box. I haul renovation and construction debris to topsoil sand and gravel. If I go with a mason box I will have to give up the lumber hauling work as you can't forklift load a mason box. The landscape box with the fold down sides may work but you don't get the full 7'6" width.

A dumping flatdeck is lighter = more payload plus you can add taller sides to haul the real bulky materials like brush a mason box is limited to its fixed sides.

Like I said I do haul alot of debris away from construction sites so a flatdeck does come in handy because its easy to lift stuff over the side of the truck.

Anyhow if you want your deck to dump you may want to visit a welding shop that can do the modifications for you. I'am a welder by trade so I can do all the work on my deck myself. I really don't want to do try modifying my current deck because its a major to change the long sills.