1996 - Volume #20, Issue #1, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Low-Bed Pickup Easy To Load, Unload
The sides of the bed are only 10 in. high, and the floor is only 28 in. off the ground compared to the 38-in. height of the truck's original bed.
"The bed's low floor and sides make it much easier to use than the bed on a conventional pickup," says McNiff. "I can reach halfway across the bed to pick up or place tools."
McNiff left the front end of the bed alone. To shorten the sides, he cut through a seam that ran even with the top of both fender wells (the seam divided double wall steel at the bottom from single wall steel above it). He shortened the tailgate by cutting an 8-in. high section out of the middle, then welding the top and bottom sections back together.
"I get a lot of comments on it wherever I go. People look and look and look at it," says McNiff. "I got the idea because at one time I had a 1954 Chevrolet pickup with a low bed and sides, and I liked it a lot.
"Because I use the pickup mainly to haul fencing materials, tools, motors, etc, I don't need sides more than 10 in. high. I use a 2-wheel trailer behind the pickup to haul bigger items. I didn't want a flatbed because you can't haul anything on them without it falling off on corners. I keep three toolboxes in the bed - one ahead of each fender well and another one behind one of the wells.
"I can mount a shop vise and a manually-operated, swing-out boom on the floor. The vise mounts on a steel plate that's welded to the top of a 2-in. dia. steel pipe. The 2-in. pipe slips inside a 2 1/2-in. dia. pipe that goes through the bed floor to a steel plate that bolts onto the pickup's frame. I can slip off the pipe to remove the vise and replace it with the 5-ft. high boom which also mounts on a pipe. I use the boom to load big electric motors, car engines, etc. I made a stand to put under the side of the pickup so that it won't sag under the weight of the boom load."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard McNiff, 1307 1st St., Franklin, Neb. 68939 (ph 308 425-3764).
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