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What Truck Rack You Need for Your Haul

 Posted on: May 12th, 2021

What Truck Rack You Need for Your Haul
A red truck with our Aluminum Universal Truck Cap Rack

Interested in beefing up the capabilities of your truck? A truck rack or ladder rackis a great feature you can add on to your truck to get the most utility out of your vehicle.

There are a wide range of truck racks available on the market; the type you use will depend on a variety of factors, especially the kind of work you do. A landscaper, for example, will use a truck rack different than a painter or a roofer.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues you will need to consider when selecting a truck rack.

Elevate Outdoor Steel Adjustable Ladder Rack
Our Elevate Outdoor Steel Adjustable Ladder Rack

The items you will be hauling

The kinds of items you intend to haul in your truck will be one of the most significant influences on the kind of truck rack you will purchase.

You might be able to get away with a half-width rack in some cases, especially if you’re hauling long, thin objects like lumber, ladders or kayaks. These types of racks only take up about half the space of a full-width rack, which means you’ll still have place in your bed for hauling other, larger items of varying sizes.

Elevate Outdoor Steel Adjustable Ladder Rack
Our Elevate Outdoor Over-Cab Truck Rack

In other cases, a full-width rack might be more appropriate. If you know you’re going to be hauling large, wide items like plywood, furniture or multiple kayaks or canoes, this will be the best kind of rack to accommodate those items while still allowing you to easily access your truck bed.

The rack material

Most truck racks on the market are made out of either steel or aluminum, both of which have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Steel, for example, is an extremely strong material, capable of lasting many years while providing superior resistance to bending and fatigue than you’d get with aluminum. It’s an ideal option if you’ll be hauling heavy materials and tend to load or unload multiple times a day, as it will be capable of handling more abuse. Some steel racks are powder coated for even greater durability.

Aluminum is advantageous in that it is more resistant to rust and corrosion than steel. It weighs significantly less than steel, which can improve fuel efficiency. However, aluminum is typically more expensive than steel, and will not be able to handle the same weight or level of abuse, so there are more restrictions with the kinds of items you can use aluminum racks to haul.

Your truck’s hauling capacity

Exactly how much weight is your truck capable of hauling? You’ll need to make sure your truck can actually handle the weight of your rack and the additional load. You can find this information in the owner’s manual, or on a sticker that’s usually placed on a door jamb on the driver’s side.

The combined weight of your truck and what it’s hauling should never surpass the gross vehicle weight rating. So if you don’t have as much weight to work with and typically haul lighter items, you can probably opt for a lighter or simpler rack setup.

Your vehicle model

There are truck racks you can find that are tailored for specific makes and models, or you can opt for a universal truck rack that you can easily switch out and use with multiple trucks.

Your choice depends on your habits. If you only have one truck that you plan to own for years to come, shelling out the extra money for a rack specific to your vehicle model might make sense. However, if you have multiple trucks with which you want to use your rack, or you know you’ll be upgrading your truck sooner than later, then the universal model is probably the better option.

The model-specific racks cost more money because they have a better fit and tend to be more aesthetically pleasing when installed.