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Plastic Lumber flooring..

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Doug Z., Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I'm in the process of building a my dump truck. I bought a used dump body. The steel on it is in great shape. It has 3 foot wood sides, a metal bulk head, and a wood floor.
    my plan is to tear off all the wood, sides and floor. sandblast, prime and paint the frame. Then I'd like to put down 2 x 8 oak boards. Usually, they put down a sheet of metal on top.
    But, I got to thinkin, has anybody ever used the sheets of plastic on their dump beds? Or, I was thinking of just getting 2x6 plastic, and using that..
    One factor of doing it this way though, is the cost. Any Input would be great.
  2. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    I'd be concerned about the strength of the plastic 2x6's, oak is probably much stronger. more expensive probably, but stronger.
  3. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Are you talking about plastic on bottom?? Sounds scary I would stick with wood or metal.
  4. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I'd be concerned with
    1) very slick when wet
    2) heat deflection, exhaust (even very hot day) will cause it to warp
    3) combustion temp, exhaust could cause this too !! (plastic burns very well...)
    4) Plastic will bow and take a set with weight on it (actually plastic is a very viscous liquid)
    5) expense
    6) weight

    Good thought, but I think I would try to find someone with a saw mill that could make you some extra thick hardwood planks

    (maybe I'm just a disgruntled :mad: EX- plastics engineer, laid off in June, 6 wks prior to retirement:gunsfirin )
  5. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    So, would you put the 1/4" plastic sheets over the oak planks, or just have the metal sheeting put on.
    I understand its going to be slippery, but that is what I'm looking for, I hate having to climb up into the truck to get out what ever gets hung up in the top of the bed.
    I've seen it being used on the big tri and quad axles though, and, from what I understand, it works great as far as getting loads out of the box.
    People have been telling me how strong those 2 x 6" in plastic are.
    One person I talked with was trying to get me to only use the 2x6's - he's trying to get me to use those on the grounds that they will never rot, so you should never have to replace them. I asked him, in the 40 years that you've had dump trucks, when is the last time you replaced the 2bys in the floor of you beds(Under sheet metal)??? so as far as that goes, maybe it would be better to use the oak. I never thought of the heat deal..
  6. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    If you only use bed only for dumping material, the sheets would be an aid. If you walk around or haul stuff you don't want to slide, they could be a problem

    you could also use the plastic 2x6, with heat precautions (if it wouldn't be too heavy, like in a 1T dump, where you are limited by GVW and usually a whimpy hoist)

    don't forget about thermal expansion, as plastic really moves. Leave plenty of space for that, and don't fasten in such a way as to restrict linear growth (i.e. 'nest' planks at ends so they can float, or use slots for screw holes)
  7. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    My platform dump body came with a diamond plate floor. Every thing stuck to it so I put a plastic sheet over it. Like the big boys use,1/8" thick. Works good for a couple of years then as the scratches increase, the material sticks. I would go with a smooth sheet of steel next time. If you use plastic, only bolt it at the front and allow about 1/2" for movement along sides and back on a 8x10' body.
  8. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I note the "Bed dealers" are promoting "bamboo" as lighter and stronger, and more durable than oak. I would also be 'slicker'
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    I suggest the 'steel' idea too. Get a fab shop to cut ya the pieces, then lay them over your wooden subfloor, maybe fasten from the sides only, not the middle or something to keep it slick?
  10. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Thanks guys,
    I think I'm going to put the oak down, and then put the sheet of 1/8" or 1/4" steel down. It may not be as slippery, but that could be good and bad..

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