A flat bed on a pickup can be one of the more practical features for a working vehicle. It allows you an open surface for cargo and easy access to the truck bed. But seldom do you find flatbeds at a dealership. This is one of those specialty items and often requires custom installs.
The editors of Diesel Tech Magazine have visited with the crew at Bradford Built in Washington, KS, to see what the process is to install a flatbed to a diesel truck. They contacted one of their dealers, Diesel Werx in Cle Elum, WA, who was in the process of an installation, to snap some photos for us. (Brett Bierek submitted the photos.)
Installs can take anywhere from two hours to a couple of days, depending on the requests/requirements and potential complications. Bradford Built has multiple dealers who make an effort to keep flatbeds in stock.
Here are the eight steps required to mount a flatbed to your truck.
Step 1—Starting with a bare frame, make or purchase brackets to bolt to truck frame. Brackets can be purchased through Bradford Built. If you choose to make your own brackets, it is recommended you use ¼-inch flat steel or ¼-inch wall tubing.
Step 2—Bolt the brackets to the frame. The location of the front two brackets needs to be at the front box mounts. The center brackets need to be close to the axle (you can use existing holes where available). The rear mounts should be located at the back of the frame. A total of six brackets are required. However, you can use more mounting brackets if you really want to secure the bed. During this process you also will need to lengthen the fuel line.
Step 3—Set the bed down on the brackets and align with the cab
Step 4—Weld the bed to the mounting brackets and hook up all wiring.
Step 5—Cut a hole in the side of the bed for the fuel sump (fuel bezel).
Step 6—Bolt the sump into the bed side and attach the fuel line.
Step 7—Add any boxes or accessories if applicable.
Step 8—Check to make certain your lights and fuel line are working properly.