For the most part, a pickup truck is used for either towing or hauling goods. Which also suggests that you get your fair share of dents and dings on your truck bed no matter how careful you are. Then again, the bed is made off just a thin metal of sheet with little support on the frames. So, it can get damaged pretty quickly from everyday use.
Now like any other part of a vehicle, you may have to remove the truck bed from the frames in order to work on it. What if you want to work on it at your own garage and that means you have to remove the bed on your own. You could take the help of a friend of a family member but let’s face it, in most scenarios it will more likely be a one-man job. You could remove it to repair it or to install it on another naked pickup. Or you could just use it for something else, which you will see later in the truck bed hack section.
So, in this blog, I’ve laid out a couple of ways you can remove the truck bed from the cab or the frames at home on your own.
Equipment you might need:
- Impact wrench
- Ratchet straps, ropes or chains
- Six to seven pieces of wood logs
- Long car jacks
- Jack stands
- Pneumatic hoists or crane
- Small hydraulic jacks
- Scaffolding pipes
How to Remove a Truck Bed from the Cab?
First you have to remove the bumper of the truck bed. What I would do is I would slide down under the truck bed and unplug any electricals attached to the bumper area; it would usually be two LED bulbs from both sides of the bumper.
For most pickups, the bumper would actually be hooked to the hitch from both sides. Each would be tightened to the hitch using four nuts and bolts along with a washer setup.
After removing the bolts from both sides of the hitch there will be another bolt hooked through the hitch and the bed, which you should be able to see through the hole in the hitch.
Next remove the four bolts that are connected between the number and the hitch from the back of the truck bed, but before that, you have to remove the license plate. By now, the bumper should easily slide out and you will see the hitch exposed and sticking out under the bed.
Next stop is to remove the taillights which have to come out and then drop the auxiliary trans cooler.
Take down the tailgate and remove the taillights by undoing the bolts from the side of the walls.
Next, remove the bolts that go through the frame to the bed and then use a manual car jack or hydraulic car jack to lift and bed up a little bit, and then slide the hitch out of the frame. There are eight bolts that hold the bed down to the truck or to the frame. Among them, two are in the back and one of them goes through the frame to the bed. There are a couple of bolts in the front and couple in the back, to remove which you will have to slide down under the truck.
The auxiliary trans cooler that is still connected are right above the drive shaft. So, you can wait till you pull the bed off to bolt that unbolts it because it is right above the drive shaft. Then when you pull the bed up off the truck, you can put it on top of the gas tank
Make sure that you unclip and unplug all the wiring from under the truck bed.
The filler neck on the side kind of pops in through the hole; which you might have to undo it from the neck if you can’t get it high enough. Then it’s time to remove the actual truck bed.
After undoing all bolts, auxiliary trans cooler, gas tank, etc, the bed already ready to come out. But for that, you need to build a four-pillar scaffolding.
First build scaffolding on the ground outdoors. The scaffolding will be 8×8 feet in dimension. It will have one side open from where you will reverse drive in the truck bed under the scaffolding.
Place their steel pipes on the ground which will connect to the erect pipes that go on the four corners of the scaffolding. The four corner pillar will have connectors to join the cross member pipes. The lower part will have three pipes with one side open through which you will reverse drive the truck bed under the scaffolding. The upper part will have four pipes connecting the pillar from all four sides. We will also get the pellets underneath it after pulling the truck out.
For older pickup models the truck bed doesn’t have any tie downs like one they have in newer beds. You have to have six ratchet straps for older models for each side of the bed except the cab that will pull the bed up using the top cross membrane of the scaffolding as the support to hang.
Next drive your pickup to the scaffolding area and reverse drive slowly such that the bed is right under the scaffolding.
Next bring six ratchet straps or any rope strong enough to lift up the bed. For older models, you will have to hook it up under the bed to the scaffolding and slowly pull up the bed. For newer model with tie-downs, you could use four ratchet straps each hooked to the tie-downs and you can just pull up the bed slowly from each end one by one all by yourself.
You could also use some chains to pull off the bed and keep some rags in between the bed and cab so that it doesn’t scratch the cab. Next, after pulling the bed high enough using ratchet straps or chains, you should pretty much get a floating bed and you can just drive out the truck leaving the bed behind hanging from the scaffolding.
Now that you have removed the truck bed, you can just let it rest on a few stacks of pallets.
Removing a Truck Bed Using Pickup Hoist
Follow the above-mentioned steps from Step 1 to Step 10. In the first few steps, you just have to undo a couple of bolts, unplug electricals and remove any other units connected to the bed.
In the next step, we will use ratchet straps and an engine hoist or a crane to pick the bed up.
Now you have to figure out a way to hook the straps to the bed. You could install tie-downs on four corners and then use the ratchet straps to make an “X” shape such that the straps diagonally meet at the middle.
Next, set up a hoist or a crane at the back of the truck with legs going under the bed for support.
Hook the crane or hoist to the middle of the “X” shaped ratchet straps. If you are using pneumatic hoist it should be as easy as pressing a button. For manual hoists, you just have to lever it up till the truck bed completely comes out and is floating.
Remove Truck Bed Using Two Post Lift for Professionals
Follow Step 1 to Step 10 from the scaffolding process, which is basically to undo all bolts and remove and electricals. Also, make sure to un-tighten to hex bolts that hold the cap neck to the bed.
Turn the arms of the post lift toward the truck bed. Then fix the arms along the truck bed wall using C clamps. You could use as many clamps you may like but make sure it’s sturdy and not wiggly.
Check if they are in level so that when you lift it should lift each side equally.
You can also tie a 1-ton strap for added safety.
Then just press the button the post lift and easily remove the truck bed from the frame.
Other Ways to Remove Truck Bed
Remove nine to ten bolts and four to five electrical supplies depending on the make and model of your truck.
After your truck has come loose also make sure to remove the bolts from the gas tank connecting the bed.
Get two wooden pillars that will go in each side of the truck near the rear wheels.
Another long wood will slide down the bed and connect the two pillar with it.
The rear of the truck bed will rest on the long wood log.
However to slide the rear wood log you have to use two jacks on either side to life the bed a little bit.
After the rear side of the bed rests on the wooden log, you can use two higher car jacks to lift the cab side of the truck bed.
After you have lifted the truck bed using the wooden lifts and jacks, you can just slide the truck out and you are good to go.
Here are Some Ideas for DIY Truck Bed Hacks
01. DIY Truck Bed Camper Cabinet:
A truck bed camper cabinet is an added advantage if you are a frequent camper. It includes its own sink, storage, phone holder, phone chargers, mason jar holders, LED lights and a lot more, powered by a 40,000 mAh battery pack.
For a full breakdown of the process, you should check out this video from Crafted Workshop.
- 40,000 mAh Battery Pack
- USB Charging Port
- uKeg 128oz Growler
- Piano Hinge
- Barrel Bolt
- LED Light Strip
- Sink Bowl
- 1″ Pocket Screws
- ½” and ¾” Plywood, roughly half a sheet of ½” plywood and one 2′ x 4′ project panel of ¾” plywood
02. DIY Truck Bed Storage Solution:
A simple truck bed storage comes near the cab end. Here you can drop and pick up your stuff from behind the cab through the windows.
- Two 6 inches aluminum C-channel
- Four Self-tapping sheet metal screws
- One 1×8 divider or a wood plywood
- Screwdriver and a saw to angle cut the divider from under.
You need a 6-inches aluminum C-channel mounted to both sides of the truck bed wall. It can be done using self-tapping sheet metal screws. Keep the distance between the cab end the C-channels as much as you want. Then simply slide down a 1×8 dividers into the channel. The channel is basically a piece of wood and you are good to go.
03. DIY Truck Bed Pool:
You can buy a truck bed pool and just place in your truck bed. If you want to DIY, you have to get a large tarp that covers the interior of the truck bed. Then you need a garden hose to fill up water. It is definitely fun to have a truck bed pool that you can carry it to your camp.
04. DIY Truck Bed Drawers:
All you need is a couple of roller slides and a few plywoods to build a drawer for yourself. For added advantage, you can have little cabinets within the drawers to organize your stuff. And you can add an upper platform to hide the drawers under. If you can imagine it, you can do it, it’s that easy.
05. DIY Truck Bed Hammock:
You need a wide hammock a little less than the width of your truck bed. Then you need two iron pipes on both ends i.e. the cab end and the tailgate end. Then hang the hammock and you are good to go.
It’s pretty obvious that the truck bed can be removed at home garage and using tools that are already available. No matter the reason, make sure you undo all bolts and unplug all electricals. And if you are planning to drive your truck without the bed, make sure you comply with local road laws. If you are taking it out for repairing, you should use the high-quality equipment for the job.