As an 8-Lug reader, it’s obvious you have an interest in getting work done with a heavy-duty truck. If that work includes hauling and dumping materials and you don’t have a high-quality dump bed insert installed in your truck, then listen up: you need one of these remarkably compact and durable units to make tough jobs go quickly and easily.

This story will illustrate the install of one of the most popular units on the market, the TruckCraft TC-120 ULTRA dump bed, by Weingartz Supply, a leading supplier/installer of lawn and garden service equipment in the Midwest. As you will see here, if you are using a shovel to empty your pickup bed, a dump bed insert is more than the answer to your dreams.

Dump Bed Basics
Dump bed inserts that install in full-size or shortbed pickup trucks have been around for many years, but recent technological advancements have transformed today’s dump bed inserts into modern marvels. These advancements include ultra-strong (but lightweight) extruded bed flooring, multistage telescopic hydraulic cylinders, compact hydraulic pressurizing systems, and the usage of high-end materials like T-6 aluminum and stainless steel hardware for a premium appearance and weight conservation. Without a doubt, these and other improvements have changed this market for the better.

The bed flooring is a critical component on a dump bed insert, as it must support the weight of the payload and take the abuse of whatever gets thrown into the dump bed. But the dump bed insert also needs to be as lightweight as possible to minimize the impact to the gross vehicle weight (GVW) load capability and be low-profile to keep the floor of the dump bed low on the vehicle. This problem has been impressively addressed by TruckCraft, a leader in dump bed insert technology, by welding together low-height extruded aluminum panels that interlock to create an incredibly strong, low-profile dump bed floor. Some of the older dump bed designs utilized thick steel plate as the flooring to handle the loads, but this resulted in an overall weight of about 350 pounds more than the TruckCraft aluminum floor dump beds—which is about double their total weight today (approximately 400 pounds).

A dump bed must pivot to a high angle to completely dump its payload, which usually means the hydraulically actuated cylinder needs to extend about 9 feet. But while at rest, the hydraulic cylinder on a dump bed insert needs to be less than 3 feet in height to end up shorter than the cab height of the truck.

So how is this accomplished, you ask? Well, the cylinder on the TruckCraft dump bed is a telescoping unit that is basically a hydraulic ram, built inside a hydraulic ram, built inside a hydraulic ram. There are three tubes that each extend to approximately 3 feet in length, which gives you 9 feet of lift. This solves a critical problem of packaging, while still allowing the dump bed to lift heavy loads to an extremely high dump angle.

Material Advancements
For years, dump bed inserts have been built with mild steel and painted to hide much of the day-to-day abuse heaped on these extremely useful tools. Lately, more dump bed inserts are being    created with aluminum and stainless steel for improved appearance and reduced weight. TruckCraft is a leader in this high-line appearance product. Says Chris Bolton, manager of Weingartz Supply, in Farmington Hills, Michigan, “We sell the most TruckCraft dump bed inserts in the nation because our customers want hard-working, good-looking, lightweight dump bed inserts. There are plenty of other dump bed inserts out there, but none that look this good brand-new and stay looking this good throughout their life.” And if you’re hauling and dumping, you know the abuse a dump bed insert will take over its lifetime—but better it take that abuse than you!

Cab Protector Install

Utility Rack Install

Mesh Screens Install

Aluminum Sideboards Install

Dump Bed Inserts: Costs and Features
The cost of a dump bed insert varies slightly depending on what features you want on it. Most dump bed insert companies offer a basic version of the dump bed insert that can then be personalized for utility and appearance. The base mild steel dump bed inserts usually start around $3,500. The cost of a base aluminum/stainless steel dump bed insert usually starts at about $4,500. The addition of add-on components like a cab protector, retractable mesh cover, utility rack, side panels, and even components like a leaf box or salt spreader add to that cost but make the dump bed insert able to handle just about any task you throw at it. Chris Bolton from Weingartz Supply added, “We’ve found that whether you choose a mild steel or aluminum/stainless steel dump bed insert, the final cost ends up within $1,000 of each other after the owner adds the components they need. That’s why we recommend our customers get an aluminum/stainless steel dump bed insert like the TruckCraft unit—they just look and work much better over the long haul for just a little more investment. And, TruckCraft offers the industry’s longest limited warranty, at three years, which means it believes in its product and stands behind it—which is peace of mind that our customers need for this critical component of their lives.”

Year-Round Dump Bed

Top Two Dump Bed Insert Maintenance Issues
Once you get your dump bed insert installed and operating, there are a few common maintenance issues to watch for. They include:

1.Debris In Ram Cavity
The hydraulic rams are not impervious to debris like wood chips, rocks, or other non-compressible items getting wedged underneath the ram pivot and limiting motion. Inspect this area regularly and clean it out immediately—before damage to the ram occurs.

2.Rattles
More than likely, the noise of the dump bed insert rattling around in your pickup bed will drive you crazy if you don’t address debris stuck in the pivot or resting mount areas. Another solution is to have the underchassis of the dump bed LineX coated to minimize metal-to-metal contact (which is where most of the noise comes from).

SOURCE
TruckCraft Coporation
5751 Molly Pitcher Hwy
S. Chambersburg
PA  17202
800-755-3867
www.truckcraft.com
Weingartz Supply
39050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills
MI  48335
248-471-3050
www.weingartz.com
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