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How to build a flat bed for a truck out of wood

Updated April 17, 2017

Wooden flatbeds for trucks are cheaper and easier to customise than pre-made steel flatbeds. Whether you have an old truck needing a new flatbed or a new one you want to change, it is easy to build your own flatbed out of wood. There are many uses for flatbed trucks, and building your own will give yours a personalised touch.

Remove the old bed from the back of the truck, if you have not already done so. Make sure you find the bolts holding it on and use a ratchet to loosen them. Remember to disconnect the electric wiring before you remove the flatbed. You may also need to disconnect the gas tank filler hoses and the axle vent tube.

Clean the base of the truck. Now is a good time to make sure the truck's frame is in good condition.

Design your new flatbed. Now that your truck has been stripped down, you will be able to measure the exact dimensions of your new flatbed.

Weld steel body mounts to your existing frame, allowing for 7.5 cm (3 inches) of extra uptravel. Add tabs and drill holes into them for where you will attach the flatbed to the truck. This is the hardest part of the process, so if you are unsure about welding a frame, find a local welder to do it for you.

Choose your wood with care. A good hardwood is best. Divide the width of your design by the width of your chosen planks so you know how many to use. Cut the wood to size; then lay 5 by 15 cm (2 by 6 inch) planking atop 10 cm by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) planking to add strength to your flatbed.

Attach the planking by drilling holes over the tabs; then feed bolts through them, add washers and double-nut them. Make sure they are tight and that the boards are not moving around.

Add bedsides and a gate at the back if you wish.

Tip

Get friends to help. Building a wooden flatbed for a truck involves heavy lifting and manoeuvring as well as woodwork and possible welding.

Warning

Most countries have their own rules on road safety and what constitutes a legal vehicle. It is important to comply with all rules to ensure your truck remains road worthy.

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About the Author

Mark Wollacott began writing professionally in 2009. He has freelanced for "Kansai Time Out" and "Kansai Scene" magazines and he has also worked for Travelocity and the Austin Post, writing about travel, business and technology. Wollacott has a Bachelor of Arts in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Wales.