Toyota Tacoma Truck
Wooden Bed and Crane.
A reliable truck with modifications for the man
who wants his truck to do Everything!
Well,  in the course of building the wall I destroyed my truck bed.
At first I thought I would go to a "parts recycling" business and get a
used one. They wanted a thousand dollars.  
Right. Plan B.
So I decided to build my own. Iron? Too heavy. Aluminum? Too
expensive, hard to weld. Wood? Why not?
So I took off the old bed and bought a couple 4X4's and a bunch of
1X5/8's. Relatively cheap, easy to work with and not to heavy.
Between the wood and hardware I dropped about $300.00
But it was well worth it since I built into this new bed some really cool
features.
Here is the bed with the sides up. I stained the wood
with stain/polyurithane. One board that I replaced (top
of tailgate) is the natural color. The wood is pressure
treated.
Here it is with the sides and tailgate down. The
sides can be left down and the truck can still be
driven. This gives it the flexibility to be a truck with
a bed and a flatbed.
I wanted the tool box to come off quickly. So I
attached it with turnbuckles. They work, but tend to
loosen up over time...
I used off the shelf LED trailer lights for the break
light and turn signal. I wanted great reverse lights
so I used small fog lights (fuse change required).
Schematics can be found online.
The block of wood on the back of the tailgate rests
on the bumper when the tailgate is lowered.
The latches are from Northerntool.com. See Safety
Latches. Very heavy duty, very easy to use. I had to
modify them a bit since the flat piece to the right was
originally bent 90 degrees. I flattened it.
This is where I made the big mistake. I used 4X4's to be
the base of the bed. I used bolts in the same holes
where the original bed bolts were. The problem is the
bed is two low. When fully weighted down, the wheels
hit the bed. I plan to change the 4X4's to 4X6's. I also
plan to put these on:  
http://www.timbren.com/timbren-application-guides/ap
plication-pdfs/TORTAC4A.pdf
I used 3/4 inch rods and angle iron to secure the Crane
around the frame.
For the base of the crane used iron plate. The crane
itself was nutted below and above the crane base.
This allows me to take the crane off by taking off the
top nuts. I purchased the crane from
NorthernTool.com.   
The crane base in this picture is on backward. I welded
the washers on the side of the crane to attach nylon
ratchet come-alongs. I also attached a bolt to the very
top for the same purposes. This keeps the crane
straight up when under load. I also attached a piece of
pipe  to the side to put a bar in to turn the crane when
loaded. The cable winch shown is a replacement. The
first one lasted a day....
I wanted a full rack for my truck. I just wanted it so I
could pull it off. Seen here is the base for the rear
rack piece. It is the same size as the front, it slides
into the piece here and is pinned. I have two pieces
that slide on the top of the front and back racks to
connect them. I used off the shelf 11/4 pipe from
Lowes. No cutting. To give it strength under heavy
loads I use Nylon Come-alongs. I attach the front
rack to the rear hooks and the back rack to the front
hooks.
 Since I am going to change the 4X4's to 4X6's to raise
the bed two inches I will have to redo all of this. But I
thought I would put this up to give ideas. I cut holes to
let the fuel cap and pipes to sit naturally and allow
access to it when the sides are up. The protective
cover is the top of a mailbox.
Notice the 2X4 holder on the inside of the sideboard.
There are four of them and they allow me to slide in a
sideboard extension (two feet) to allow me to carry
much more stuff. Like wood.  
This picture is of the hinge and the mud-flap. The
hinge is hardware store bought. I cut one end and
then used a 1/2 by 6 inch lag bolt to secure it.
The mud-flap is from Northerntool.com. Very cheap.
  
   Here is the stone pickup tool I have built. It was originally a log puller with pointed tips that I
bought from Northertool.com. Cheap.
I than cut the tips off and welded angle iron onto it to "cradle" the stones. The heavier the stone  
the harder the tool grabs.
I just run the cable from the crane through the ring and then attach the hook back onto the
cable. The hook has a small piece to keep the cable from coming out after attached. Bought that
at Home Depot.  
Here is the truck with tool box out, side boards in and
carrying a load of wood. I have toyed with the idea of
adding a rear side board, but at this point I am happy with
the load it carries and if I put a rear side board in there will
be more weigh to the rear.
 
I get  a certain amount of crap for the way my truck
looks. What people do not understand is the truck
is; modular; and built to get things done.  
This pic shows probably the largest stone size I can
carry. Due to the weight, I have all of the straps on
for support. The yellow one goes around the bed
and to the frame.
Update: I have found with my new air bag
suspension, and by attaching cargo straps to the
top of the lift to both sides of my frame, I can lift even
bigger stones than this one.  
Very carefully ........
Try this with your pretty Furd or Cheby! Bitches.
Here is a fellow who looked at my site and put his own twist on the bed. Notice he used the 4X6's
to give him the space he needs for suspension movement. Where I actually lost a foot of bed  (I
wanted the tailgate to rest on the bumper) he seems to have increased his. I think his way may be
better.  Longer bed and protection of tail lights.
I finally broke down and purchased a air suspension for $250 online. It has been the best purchase I
have made in a while.   At 30 PSI I can carry over one ton (2000 pounds).  It has made the truck ride
right and now I do not have to change the 4X4's to 4X6's to avoid wheel rub.
Having had the air suspension, I can say it is far superior than a mechanical one. All you guys with
your big expensive pick ups are getting sold a second rate suspension by the auto manufacturers.
Here is another fellow who has made us all look bad:). His bed is the best so far: