Truck Rack

New York City, a mere 35 miles from here, is the center of the universe. Or, so you would think if you were a Wall Street wizard, or a Broadway performer. If you’re a wooden boat builder, you are outside of any respectable lumber yard’s delivery radius. “Sure, we got it. Come pick it up buddy!”

truck rackBeing a homeowner who fixes stuff, I already own a pickup truck. Simple, add a rack and go to the lumber yards. Whoa, have you seen the price of utility racks? An affordable answer is in an article from Workbench Magazine. It outlines a utility rack that’s plenty substantial enough for my occasional use and comes in at about one third the cost of pre-built racks. The ladder in the picture is 12 feet long, the same size as the boat I’ll be building.

The astute observer now knows why I was cutting bevels.

Click on the image to show a larger version.

6 Responses to “Truck Rack”

  1. TruckRack Says:

    I spent five years with my own “self-made” rack, so totally understand your point of view. But, nothing like a good, lightweight rack with plenty of easy tie-downs. Depending on how much you use the rack, well worth the investment.

  2. Steve Says:

    Hey Bob,

    Do you think this truck rack has the stability and weight capacity to hold an 8 to 10 foot Fishing boat?

    Also, how long did it take to build?

    I’ve got a skill saw & jig saw, drill, hammer and all the other basics… Do I need other tools, or will they do the job?

    Thanks for your help!

  3. Bob Says:

    Hi Steve,
    Aluminum boat? Easy! Wood boat? Most likely, depending on how heavily it is constructed. A 600 pound Whitehall might be pushing the limit, but you wouldn’t want to lift it that high anyway. I’ve carried 400-500 pounds of lumber with no qualms.

    Yes, you have enough tools. Time? Follow the link (in the posting) to the Workbench magazine article. They say “less than a weekend.” Even that is very leisurely. I built it in an afternoon.

    Hint: don’t skimp on the hardware. Use good stiff angle iron where the crosspieces join the uprights.


  4. Scott Imes Says:

    I found this great bracket kit for a truck rack, made my things easier and it can support quite a load. They’re only 40 bucks or so. The brackets are just mill finished but i painted them to match my truck and they look pretty sharp now. copy and past the site i found on ebay onto your browser if you want to check them out.

  5. Brad Hall Says:

    Bob, I have built the rack but modified it to clamp in place with the stake pockets on my truck so I still have use of the tonneau cover. I am to the finishing stages and do not know where to start for a durable yet smooth weather resistant finish. Any suggestions on how to get a good looking black finish.


  6. Bob Says:

    Hi Brad,
    I just checked the paint locker. I used a simple paint that you can get at any home center. It was Rust-Oleum’s “Painter’s Touch” multi-purpose paint. It is an indoor outdoor latex, which I got in semigloss black. I applied with a brush and it leveled nicely. Oh yes, I did put it over a coat of some nondescript primer.

    It’s been outdoors and on the truck about half the time since I built the rack in 2008. (NY weather, summers and winters) The paint looks like it was applied yesterday. Except for places on the very edges of the back beam where the boats slide during loading and unloading. That’s worn away from lots of fun boating. It does what Rust-Oleum advertises.

    Using the stake pockets seems a good idea. Enjoy!