Ladder rack, bed rack, pipe rack - no matter how you choose to call it, this accessory is definitely a very useful and valuable aftermarket product one can ever imagine. This is especially true for carpenters, landscapers, plumbers, contractors, and other pros who use racks for whatever reason (e.g., for hauling tools, equipment, and cargo to the job site and from there, etc.) Same as any other piece of the latest job equipment, a bed rack has to perform the required job, and it's design should keep pace with modern technology; otherwise, it's off to the scrap heap.
Over the past few years, a good many changes have taken place: tough business climate, continuously rising expenses and shrinking profit margins have made business owners to reconsider the vehicle they drive and even the way they use it. In this regard, trucks are no longer used with just cargo hauling in mind. Nowadays fuel economy is among the first criteria when it comes to picking up a truck.
Greater utility value
Since today's pickups are used for personal and business use, it means that on the weekends, all tools and other equipment are put neatly away and the dirt bikes, ATVs, and kayaks are welcome instead. Therefore, the bed racks must be multipurpose.
Though it may sound obvious, but the fact is a ladder rack with permanent anti-slide bars may not be suitable for hauling a kayak or canoe as the vertical bars can cause damage to boats and other stuff you may be transporting. Likewise, a bed rack with non-removable crossbars is likely to make loading ATVs and bikes a hassle.
Fortunately, current bed racks are more flexible for both work and play. Nowadays a rack is part of a cargo management system that makes your truck more functional and useable.
For instance, the innovative truck racks by Spyder Industries act as cab protectors and can be customized with LED lighting for improved safety and visibility.
In case you don't need a rack every single day but want the unrivaled flexibility of having one, the Invis-A-Rack is designed for you: it clamps onto the bed rails and pops up, providing excellent load carrying capability whenever you may need it. The accessory folds away once the job is complete.
Among a number of other racks on offer, there are accessories that are designed to be loaded by forklift, install or remove in no time flat, carry integral tool boxes/bins, or even convert to carry bikes, boats, and so on.
Fit & Finish
As a rule, most bed racks were initially painted with a thin coat of semi-gloss black to protect the steel construction. Such kind of finish usually looked good just for a few months before the rack started to rust.
These days many aluminum and steel racks come with a durable powder-coat finish. Besides, some companies offer their finishes in either matched or coordinated colors that would go with your vehicle's paint job. As for the box aluminum racks, these are also available with a mirror-like polished finish.
Whether you need a versatile bed rack, portable, multi-functional, adaptable, or even the one that folds out when not used, odds are bed rack manufacturers make it.
by Timothy Zahl on