Steel truck beds...what's the pros & cons?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by David Haggerty, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. I've been looking for a bed for the truck I intend to order.

    Used flat beds are virtually non-existent.

    The Omaha Standard dealer said 90% of the flatbeds he sells are wood.
    A stake body wood 12' bed with bulkhead would be $1600 carry out.

    Tegtemeyers have an all steel bed with bulkhead for $1000 carry out.

    Is there something I should know about owning a steel bed truck? It's not smooth but is the non-slip diamond plate or checker plate or whatever it's called.

  2. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    What size truck you intend to put it on
  3. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    I have both - half dozen of one or 6 of the other. The steel rusted at the weld at the bulk head but it is 5 or 6 years old. Just need to put a piece of angle to resolve. The wood ones will root just like a trailer floor and need to be replaced. It is what you prefer. The steel beds like you where looking at should be lighter.

    My buddy just had a steel bed made for a truck just like the one you were looking at. This thing is NICE. 16 ft flat w/ 4 ft dove and ramp gates. He had it custom made a truck body place in Sharonville. I can find out the name if you would like. He spent 4000 bucks on it including tool boxes, and a few other options on it as well. It is well worth the extra money when you are using it everyday. It will last much longer than the beds like Tegtemeyers sells. I am sure they could make a 12 fter for much less.

    Off the subject but I wouldn't deal with Tegtemeyers if they were the last dealer in town. When I started this business I walked in with cash in my pocket looking for a trailer and going to buy right then. I walked in the office after looking around outside and the guys says and I quote "don't waste my time with me showing you what I have, you aint got enough money to buy anything here." I whipped out 1500 bucks from my pocket and said see ya. Bought a 16 ft square tube later that day from Smiths and never looked back. Just my story.
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Go with a smooth steel bed, every thing will dump easier. I have the diamond plate and had to put a sheet of plastic over it to make it slippery for dumping.

  5. pjslawncare/landscap,
    I want a 132" wheelbase to ride like my old pickup. The 14' bed is standard for that wheelbase, but 12' will fit. I wanted the bed shorter to place the trailer hitch closer to the rear wheels for better trailer control.
    The truck's gonna weigh around 4700# with a GVW of 14,000#.

    gene gls,
    I thought the diamond plate might be difficult to shovel from. (No dump bed for me yet) The extra costs plus higher tags and insurance wouldn't benefit me right now. I could always upgrade later. I'll probably go with the diamond plate so I won't be charged extra for an option. I think without the diamonds the steel has to be thicker cause the diamonds add structural strength.

    kickin sum grass
    That's about what I figured about wood vs. steel. I'll probably get the steel. Maybe undercoat it. Prolly work out best for rocks, dirt & mulch etc.

    I thought that custom bed was kind of high till I read about the tool boxes. The Mitsubishi/Fuso dealer off of I-275 has a bed like that on a FE-SP he was dying to sell me. Auto, Air electric windows stereo and 175 hp. He was down to $32k for the package. I think he'd go lower.
    I couldn't use it tho. I need a tow piece for a trailer.

    I understand what you're saying about Tetgtemeyers. And I wouldn't doubt it. Terry can get wound up a little tight at times. I kind of like sometimes though. If he tells you the wiring will be done by noon, you can count on it. He wrangled a heavy duty tailgate out of a manufacturer for me for no extra cost.

    But I might get special treatment. My wife used to work for Terry's folks at their bicycle manufacturing plant. And Terry's sister and my wife's been friends for years. And they'll all say that he can be a little pushy. Luckily his business has gotten big enough that he's hired some pretty nice sales people.
    The atmosphere is more relaxed in the new facility. The sales staff deal with the customers and Terry just runs the business.
    Fancy showroom. And with Terry running it you can be sure it's clean and well stocked.:D Everything for trailers you'd ever want.
    You ought to drop in there some time. You prolly won't even see Terry. :D

  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    If you are going to get a flat bed, make it dump. You will save the extra cost of the dump in a short time by not needing manual labor to unload. You will also take on jobs with the dump that you wouldn't dream of unloading by hand. My body was custom made, 10' long, $5200.00, complete, installed with dump hoist. Watch out what you buy when you buy a cheap flat bed. Most cheap ones are made with pressed steel instead of structural steel.

  7. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Used flatbeds are hard to find is true.

    I finally found one at a local construction company for $2000.00.
    1988 F350 diesel. Motor is good, needed paint and flatbed in poor shape. Steel floor with lots of rust. Scraped and wire brushed floor, and painted with rust inhibitor. Had some stake pockets welded on, going to lay some 3/4 " plywood over it and build a wood stake body. Cab re-painted ay Maaco. Looks great and almost ready to go. Did some minor work to get through inspection. Maryland inspection is a bear. Very pleased with end result so far.
  8. bayfish,
    Sounds like you got a deal. The bed alone is nearly worth what you paid. I was just looking for a used bed at a truck wrecking yard. They're hard to find.

    gene gls,
    I hadn't heard of anyone using stampings for bedrails. So I'd never thought to look for that. But I did remember seeing that they'd used channel for the bed I looked at. But I'm going to look again. Thanks for the heads up.

    I may need to add dumping capacity later. I found this kit in Northern Tools. I may have to reinforce the bed at that time too.
    It's rated for 7.5 tons. They have one rated for 10 tons for $1,549

    This is from their website:

    Hoist Kit Makes Your FLATBED a Dump Truck!
    Makes unloading faster. Lifts truck's flat bed to 45° dumping position in 30 to 45 seconds. Stop lifting and lowering in any position; cab-mounted switch. Installs on truck or trailer with flat, straight frame. Items 3309025 and 3309022 have heavier duty scissor and cylinder than item 3309021 to increase capacity. Truck Ship. U.S.A.
    Ships From Mfg
    Delivery Time: 10-14 Business Days
    Ship Wt. 450.0 lbs
    Item# 3309025
    Discount Price... $1399.99

    sm lift_lg[1].jpg
  9. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

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