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building a rig bed vs using your pickup bed

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  • building a rig bed vs using your pickup bed

    Im new to the site and was looking at everyones rigs. There are alot of very nice built beds and then there are a bunch of nice rigs that have the original pickup bed with these big skids built for sitting in the pickup box. I was wondering why not build the whole bed vs building those big skids ? I ask because those aluminum skids look like they cost about the same as building a bed, and a bed seems like you could have more work space and storage.
    sigpic2007 dodge 3500 cummins

  • #2
    this is just an opinion,
    but on a full size pickup/truck I would never have a "regular pickup bed" on one again, a flat bed is so much more useful,

    welding truck or not, I dislike the space that is wasted on the side walls and the wheel wells, and the difficulty on over sides objects, and if it is a higher truck like a 4x4, to reach over the sides is a stretch,

    on my one tons, I have hauled two bunks of 12 foot dry wall, to grain, to welders and lumber and so on, on the one one ton I put top side tool boxes on the bed (removable) but was easy to keep sand in between and I did have the ability to put sides on them, hauled a 8'x9'x8' walk in freezer in one piece home one time, things one would never do with a "regular pickup bed" hauled bales (big round ones), at one time I did residential construction, on the side of farming.

    and on the welding one ton, it has a flat bed and some boxes under the bed, a well is cut for the tanks, I have bolted the welder on and the holder for the leads, it makes a great work surface, on the tail end, the only I thing I wish was it as a long bed 12' like my other work truck, instead of the 8' that it is,

    That is my opinion,


    • #3
      When you use a skid and need to have just a regular pickup, you can switch back and forth quickly.
      It takes a bit longer to remove the flatbed and re-install the pickup bed.
      At least that is how people who like the look and feel of a traditional pickup bed feel.

      Flat bed lovers tend to think "why in the heck would I EVER want to put the pickup bed back on...this truck does what I want the truck FOR!"
      Two completely different trains of thought.
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      • #4
        A carefully built skid will be a fair bit lighter than a complete deck. That is why I changed the first rig from a deck to a p/u box skid, because I went from a 700lb welder to a 1400lb welder and needed to lose some weight from somewhere, so I chopped the compressor, tank, etc and the steel deck and saved a couple thousand pounds so I stayed within my front and rear GAWRs. As far as utility goes, if I were to build another rig it would be a deck hands down. The skid in the truck box works, and makes for a tight package, but in my opinion having run both in a 3 year window, the deck worked better for my application. Everyone has their own needs and must make their own decisions regarding skid vs deck. There is a lot of work involved in building a good, well though out deck. A skid can be put together a fair bit faster IMHO.


        • #5
          The guys above have it right-- it all depends on what you want to do with the truck. I've built many of both skids units and decks for myself and other people.
          I'm a deck man myself because a lot of the work I do requires a lot more tools than most welders carry. I had a skid unit when I just did structural and pipe welding and suited me just fine. The beauty of it was I could have it out of the truck in under 10 minutes. Two 3/4" bolts held the whole thing down so I could just undo the bolts and hoist the skid out and I had my puckup truck back.
          Now I maintain heavy equipment so on top of my welding and fit-up tools I also have to carry wrenches, impact guns, port-a-powers, line bore mills, etc, etc and I need the tool box room that a deck is capable of supporting.
          I sometimes miss having a regular old pickup though....
          Big Blue 400D
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          12VS suitcase
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          Victor torches
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          Spectrum 1000 plasma cutter


          • #6
            I'm a general welder taking on any job that comes along.

            For what I do a custom welding bed works the best for me.

            I would not even conside working off a pick up truck.


            • #7
              The only reason why I would leave the pick up box is for resale trade value.


              • #8
                As you can see everyone has an opinion or a preference.

                The deck is easier to work off in most applications, hands down.
                However if you have major mechanical problems or get in an accident you are stuck twiddling your thumbs while you wait for the whole mess to get dealt with.
                With a skid you can just unbolt it and fit it in a buddy's truck, a rental.... you get the picture. Your back making money the same day.
                at home:
                2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
                2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
                2008 Suitcase 12RC
                Spoolmatic 30A
                2009 Dynasty 200DX
                2000 XMT 304
                2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                Sold:MM 251
                Sold:CST 280

                at work:
                Invision 350MP
                Dynasty 350
                Millermatic 350P
                Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251


                • #9
                  I have several electric welders and have not yet bought an engine drive, however I have a regular 4 door dually and an Excursion. I cannot leave electric machines in the back loose so I have a skid with big boxes and when necessary I can slip it into either the Excursion or the F350 and have a smaller mobile rig compared to my 28' cargo trailer. My truck with the trailer is 56' long where as the truck alone is about 18' or 20'. Size some times maters the mobile shop has advantages but the skid in the truck is much easier to get into small places.

                  The mobility part of the equation makes alot of differences for each individual operator. One buddy of mine had a basic plumbers truck with a van front and a high box rear, with outside doors and a partial inside shop and for his repair business its perfect.

                  All these setups are individualized to what someone thinks will work best for them. Some of these are in constant state of conversion and change frequently.



                  • #10
                    Dot cant touch a 3/4 ton truck,but are all over a 1 ton with a 10000 or above gvw.Alot of pipeliners are backing off 1 tons.flatbeds are much easier to work off imo.
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                    • #11
                      Pickup beds are a major pain, they make you look like a part timer, they raise the center of gravity of the truck.
                      Build a real bed and be happy ; )

                      Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.