More Cargo Space for Pickup Trucks: Installing Ladder Racks
Are you a certified do-it-yourself guy? For sure, that toolkit at the back of your truck is full of wrenches and ratchets to help you do any DIY job with ease. But can a ladder fit in there? We're pretty sure it can’t! So if you really want to call yourself the ultimate handyman, install a durable ladder rack at the back of your track to help you carry your handy-dandy ladder wherever you go!
Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
Tools you'll need:
- Allen wrench
- Nylon and metal washers
- Drill gun
- Assortment of screws
Step 1: Begin the installation by looking through the ladder rack assembly. Double check if you have all the parts indicated in this manual. The ladder rack must come complete with one horizontal arm, one diagonal arm, a clamp assembly (including top and bottom clamps), and a base tube.
Step 2: Once you have everything we need, you can start assembling your ladder rack. Start with the horizontal arm and diagonal arm. Take those two parts and position them in such a way that it forms a deformed letter T. The horizontal arm should lie vertically and is found on the top of the assembly, while the diagonal arm forms the base of the T and should stand upright.
Note: The horizontal arm is the metal piece with two rods on both ends. It also has another rod midway the length of the arm and is angled at 45 degrees downward. On the other hand, the diagonal arm is the longest metal piece in the assembly. It also has a metal strap that projects upward from the top end of the arm.
Step 3: Connect the horizontal and diagonal arm together by threading a hole on the bottom of the horizontal arm. Remember to keep the hole aligned to the diagonal arm's metal strap. Fasten both arms together with a screw and washer. Secure its fit using an Allen wrench.
Step 4: Put the arm assembly aside and assemble the clamp. There are two parts of the clamp and they are the smallest parts of the assembly. Connect the top and bottom parts together using the screws and washers provided.
Step 5: Join the arm assembly and the clamp together. Slide the clamp into the bottom of the diagonal arm.
Step 6: Take the base tube and insert it into the bottom of the diagonal arm. It should bolt right into the clamp.
Step 7: Take the first finished ladder rack assembly and work on the second one. Follow steps 2 to 6 to attach all parts together.
Step 8: Now that you have assembled both ladder racks, you should be able to place them on the back of your truck. Position the first rack assembly inside the truck bed's passenger side. It should lie adjacent to the bedrail near the front of the bed. Also make sure that the open side of the assembly points towards the outside of the truck.
Step 9: Separate the clamp top and bottom to get it to slide into the bedrail. The top of the clamp should rest on the rail, while the bottom should clip behind its lip. Move and position the rack into the far end of the trucks bed. Once that's done, secure the assembly in place by refastening the clamp.
Step 10: Adjust the height of the ladder rack by sliding the horizontal arm until it is at least 2 inches above the roof of your truck. You should also adjust the diagonal arm until one of the three holes on its side matches the hole found on the clamp top. Fasten the two parts together with the use of a screw.
Step 11: With the upper part of your rack assembly in place, attach its base to the bed of your truck. Lay the base tube on the bed's surface and mark trough the center hole. Drill through the floor of your truck using marked hole as guide. Secure the base tube and the rack assembly in place with the use of a screw.
Step 12: Install the rear ladder rack assembly by following steps 8 to 11.