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Suggestions needed for metal thickness to fab a headache rack of sorts

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  • Suggestions needed for metal thickness to fab a headache rack of sorts

    I want to make it for my truck as a simple design, but sound enough to hold metal when picking up from the metal supplier. Most of the times i pick up metal for a project, its cut down to manageable lengths, but anytime they are not, its a very slow, back roads drive home, even with it secured and flagged, just don't like all that hanging out the back.. So i don't have a design yet, BUT i do want to consider making my own one that will allow me to have the metal up over the cab, and then with my hitch adapter rack, i can have it the length of the truck without concerns..

    So it needs to be strong enough to support 1/4" bars(all types) without bending and hitting the cab in the long run.

    Is 3/16" to thin? should i stick with 1/4"?
    I was thinking maybe either square or rectangle tubing for the portion that spans across the cab,

    I don't have a design yet, just trying to figure out what material ill need to use and then work the design around that..

  • #2
    Not trying to take away your creativeness nor building abilities.......but a standard pick-up rack similar to mine will serve you many functions as it has for me for years.........no matter if there's 20 ft metal or 16 ft 2x4's on board it has always been a useful item for many purposes and can be had fairly cheap in the used market. Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Looks good and let me add a little back story or reasoning behind my idea.. My projects and client work is just side work i do because i know how and like making things. so not a full time gig.. with that said, my truck is my daily driver and not really a work truck, (who doesnt own a truck that isnt for work, LOL)

      Where i work i park in a parking garage and being that my truck is lifted and already close on clearing the ceiling, i need something custom so i can stay within the room i can work with. Since it would be mounted and on the truck all the time, i wanted to make it as low profile as possible. Now if i had another truck then i would def look for a more suitable solution that would serve multiple purposes..

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      • #4
        I get it but if your going over the cab.....you already have that height to contend with and if your going forward of or near the windshield line your going to need bracing of some sort out to that point...years ago the plumbers used to take everything down the right side near the side view mirror and use the front and rear bumpers as support.....just a thought!!

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        • #5
          I just copied a "backrack" many years ago. It's now on my third truck. 2 x 2 x 1/8 tube with some 1/4" flat bar. I have a hitch extender thing that plugs into my hitch when needed. If I need to carry anything thin and floppy I just put an extension ladder up there to lay the pcs on. Otherwise I just set them up there. I have a 6-1/2 ft bed and the extender sticks out enough so I can open the tailgate. 12ft pcs I put inside the tailgate and on the back rack, anything longer I use the hitch extension.
          MM250
          Trailblazer 250g
          22a feeder
          Lincoln ac/dc 225
          Victor O/A
          MM200 black face
          Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
          Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
          Arco roto-phase model M
          Vectrax 7x12 band saw
          Miller spectrum 875
          30a spoolgun w/wc-24
          Syncrowave 250
          RCCS-14

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          • #6
            Cuban, I was in a similar situation. My main reason for building a rack was because, at some yards, cut charges for steel are ridiculous, so this is what I built. It's all made of 1" square x 16 ga. tubing. Now, keep in mind, this is a LIGHT duty rack. Since I've retired, I mainly do welding projects for around the house, so my needs for heavy steel is minimal. If I do need some small strap, tubing, or anything really flexible, I'll throw a long 2x4 on the rack and strap to that. If I need something heavy, I'll have it cut and then use my bed extender. I also didn't want to drill holes in my bed, so I made it to clamp to the bed rails.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Get a trailer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MMW View Post
                I just copied a "backrack" many years ago. It's now on my third truck. 2 x 2 x 1/8 tube with some 1/4" flat bar. I have a hitch extender thing that plugs into my hitch when needed. If I need to carry anything thin and floppy I just put an extension ladder up there to lay the pcs on. Otherwise I just set them up there. I have a 6-1/2 ft bed and the extender sticks out enough so I can open the tailgate. 12ft pcs I put inside the tailgate and on the back rack, anything longer I use the hitch extension.
                Thanks for the feedback, the whole purpose for this is simple to carry the already long 12ft or 14ft pieces i get sometimes facing the front of the truck instead of hanging out the back.. My bed is only the 6 ft bed i think its def not any longer, but ill also be using a hitch extender

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Metjunkie View Post
                  Cuban, I was in a similar situation. My main reason for building a rack was because, at some yards, cut charges for steel are ridiculous, so this is what I built. It's all made of 1" square x 16 ga. tubing. Now, keep in mind, this is a LIGHT duty rack. Since I've retired, I mainly do welding projects for around the house, so my needs for heavy steel is minimal. If I do need some small strap, tubing, or anything really flexible, I'll throw a long 2x4 on the rack and strap to that. If I need something heavy, I'll have it cut and then use my bed extender. I also didn't want to drill holes in my bed, so I made it to clamp to the bed rails.
                  Nice, i like that, since the portion against the cab will always be there, i need to make sure to make mine within the height of work garage, but i do like the simple design and thats what im going for. Since the work i do is once in a while maybe few times a year, it wont ever be extremly heavy. So def going to make it somewhat light duty as well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                    Get a trailer.
                    I have a trailer, that needs to be finished, its all in peices and with the heat, not working on it until later this year. But once its road ready, abosolutely will be using that, its a 14ft trailer..

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                    • #11
                      I understand the heat, for sure. I don’t blame you for putting that off. Fortunately most of my work lately has been machine work or small enough I can get it in the shop. It’s not much cooler in the shop, but it’s also not out in the sun.

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                      • #12
                        project pictured is 1/4 wall perimeter with 3/16 wall x-mem 2 x 6 tubing....complete overkill

                        For a light duty PU I'd go with .120 for uprights and .188 cross bar with gusseted connections and/or fish plates IMO for the OP's project
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          That almost looks like a rollback wrecker, man! Heavy duty.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cubangt View Post

                            Nice, i like that, since the portion against the cab will always be there, i need to make sure to make mine within the height of work garage, but i do like the simple design and thats what im going for. Since the work i do is once in a while maybe few times a year, it wont ever be extremly heavy. So def going to make it somewhat light duty as well.
                            It would be easy to hinge an extension on the top of the rack that would fold back down when not needed. If hauling material, fold it up & pin it. Forget it is up, drive into the parking garage & the pins shear letting it fold back down!

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                            • #15
                              Pics of my setup with 20ft tubes on it. You can see the rear hitch pc is slightly lower than the headache rack. This keeps material a little bit farther away from roof vs if it was the same height.
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                              MM250
                              Trailblazer 250g
                              22a feeder
                              Lincoln ac/dc 225
                              Victor O/A
                              MM200 black face
                              Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                              Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                              Arco roto-phase model M
                              Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                              Miller spectrum 875
                              30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                              Syncrowave 250
                              RCCS-14

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