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Truck bed for Volvo VNL-630


reneritter2

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Hi,

 

I am planning to build my own truck bed for my 2005 Volvo VNL-630, is there anyone out there that can give me some idea's and / or plans to do this, eventually I want to install my home made motorcycle loading ramp on top of the bed behind the cab!

Thank you in advance for any help.

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Almost every bed design is a little bit different. Your best bet is to go yo the HDT rally coming up and take lots of pictures and measurements. That is what we did and I designed our own. You can see our bed build here:

 

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=101964&page=1

 

If you are near Wisconsin and need some assistance on the build, drop us a PM and I can see if our son can fit it in his shop.

Dave

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Hi Dave,

 

Thanks for the advice, I would love to attend the rally and learn from others, however I am in Newfoundland, Canada and a little to far out of the way, I followed your links and saw what you have done, this is what I am planning although I wont go out as far behind the truck, how did you extend the rails on your truck, e-o did you weld onto the existing rails or use a "fish plate", Also the idea of putting the exhaust under the truck is well though out, just need to check with our local DOT if this is okay for my province and it's regs. What size steel did you use for the two rails on top of the truck rails which forms the main frame?, thanks for any comments you may have, I am looking forward to the winter at which time I am planning to tackle the job.

 

Cheers.

 

Rene.

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I had decided to not do the "weed burner" mod. Don't have truck YET. From several posts on this forum it seems it is all cosmetic. No real advantages. .

I had a stack on my Volvo and now Weed burner from factory on my Kenworth. There is a lot more usable space at the back of the cab with my Kenworth. Now keep in mind my Volvo was a pre emissions 99 so the stack and muffler were large.

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I had decided to not do the "weed burner" mod. Don't have truck YET. From several posts on this forum it seems it is all cosmetic. No real advantages. .

Wait until you get the truck for that decision. The room that the stack takes is little enough, the supports for it on the other had take some space. With your welding skills, you should be able to take the existing pipe and reconfigure to your needs.

In my case, I need to replace the parts as they are getting a little holy...., so a weedburner it will be!

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Hi Dave,

 

Thanks for the advice, I would love to attend the rally and learn from others, however I am in Newfoundland, Canada and a little to far out of the way, I followed your links and saw what you have done, this is what I am planning although I wont go out as far behind the truck, how did you extend the rails on your truck, e-o did you weld onto the existing rails or use a "fish plate", Also the idea of putting the exhaust under the truck is well though out, just need to check with our local DOT if this is okay for my province and it's regs. What size steel did you use for the two rails on top of the truck rails which forms the main frame?, thanks for any comments you may have, I am looking forward to the winter at which time I am planning to tackle the job.

 

Cheers.

 

Rene.

Rene,

 

You may have to try for the East Coast Rally in April in Tennessee then, lots of Canadians come to that one!

 

For our frame extensions, it is covered in more detail in post #68 of our bed build but basically all we did was bolt the frame extensions to the existing frame where we had about 15 bolts holes that lined up on each side. The frame extensions were flipped so that the channel legs were to the outside. No welding and no fish plates needed.

 

We went the weed burner exhaust as we needed the deck space if we ever decide to haul a vehicle on there. It worked out good by reusing the existing muffler. Plus the stack would put out soot all over the back of the truck and trailer because we kept getting water down the stack and when we fired it up, it made a mess of everything. Have not any issues with the exhaust exiting out the side, just don't stand next to it for very long!

 

For the main bed rails running along the frame at the front (taller section), they are a small 8" x 6.5# per foot I beam. There is a 2" hard wood spacer between them and the frame. This height was needed for two reasons, 1st was to have adequate height for ramp storage beneath the bed and still clear tires when bags are empty and 2nd to give adequate height between the frame rails for a storage box to carry an extra trailer spare tire. (Which I still need to build).

 

The bed rails running along the frame at the rear (shorter section) are 2" square tubes. sitting on the 2" hardwood spacers.

 

One item to note, our freightliner only dropped 2-1/2" when the rear suspension bags are empty, a Volvo will drop more, I believe it is 5" so you have to adjust your bed height over the tires slightly to compensate, IF you do the ramp storage like we did, watch that the height of the bed is not too high and causes issue with trailer turning.

 

Henry's Rally presentations on bed building are very helpful.

 

For bed length, always make it long enough to carry what you want (and maybe what you dream of owning) and have enough distance for the swing of a trailer. Sometimes this also depends on what type of hitch you have or might have in the future.

 

Dave

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Dave,

 

I am in a RV Park in Gross Morne National park, I noticed that my last treat did not post so I will try again with the present WIFI available to me, Thanks for the information so far, The weed burner is a no brainer for me, and this will be build while building the bed in the winter, I just have to ensure that it is legal in my province or if there are rules about putting the exhaust under a transport truck! the rails for the main frame is going to be a challenge, I want to be able to load a 850 Lbs motor cycle cruiser on top of the bed once finished building the bed itself, I will have to keep the bed as low as possible in order to do so because of the angle of the bike while loading, with my present setup the two exhaust will touch the pavement once the front wheel levels with the present deck! I am not sure the maximum drop on my Volvo but it's more than 2.1/2 inches!

Anyway this is going to be a very nice project and hope to have it finished for next camping season.

Thanks for the info and if there is any other tips you might feel I can use please don't hesitate.

 

Cheers.

 

Rene.

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The salvage yard near me has a couple of what-could-be beds, probably darn cheap. I realize you are a ways from MD, but if you want to see a pic of a couple that could be had for a minimal buck, PM me. I mean like a few hundred tops. I did mine that way, bought one and modified it cheaper than I could have bought the steel. Maybe a yard nearer you has similar stuff.

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Couple of quick questions:

 

How do you plan to load/unload the cruiser? (With or without trailer hooked up, Ride up/down ramps, walk up/down ramps, crane in place, use bike loader, etc...) Hopefully those that put bikes on their bed can give you guidance here. If it was me (and this only my opinion) I would be craning, using a bike loader, or very large (wide) ramps and using a winch to help move bike up/down while I walked along side it. Probably come down to cost for me.

 

Have you measured where the top of your rear tires are at in relation to the frame when top is fully aired up and when bags are empty? You will need those dimensions to put bed at its lowest possible. this dimension can vary based on the tire size you have but most will have top of tires flush with top of frame when aired up.

 

Do you want a flat bed or can you handle raised area above the wheels and lower in other areas?

 

Do you need access to your fuel tanks behind the cab which might mean an access opening in the deck at this area?

 

Did you see the picture of the crane that was on Jim & Cathy's truck when Mike Grounds owned it? He used it to load a golf cart and I am sure others have used a crane to load bikes.

 

What other features do you need built into the bed that are on your wish list?

 

Dave

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Dave, Best thing to answer some of the questions is to show you my website; www.hdtrvwhitlelightning.com, I build the first bike loader a little like the "Rampage bike loader", it's okay for the Yamaha T-max 500 which weights in at a mere 500+ Lbts, the Royal Star Venture on the other hand is 850 Lbs, wet and quit a bit longer and lower than the T-max, I tried to load the Venture with the trucks air bags deflated, (Lowest point considering that the loading ramp is mounted straight on the trucks grating which is mounted directly on the railings), The venture will not clear the pavement doing the same as I do with the T-Max, what I was hoping is that making the ramp a full 102 inches long will cut the angle somewhat for the Venture.! Now that I am installing a deck will mean that the angle will increase because of the increase in hight!

Another way is to drop the entire loading frame on the pavement, ride the Venture onto the frame and than winch the entire assembly onto the deck which means I will have to completely change the setup for the loading ramp!

As you say, how will I be able to build a deck that 1) allows a lower loading point between the rear wheels and the rear of the cab, I have never seen something like that, 2) yes I do need access to both fuel tanks with the deck installed, any idea if this has been done before and where I can go to get answers...?

 

Cheers.

 

Rene.

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Ok, glad you planned to use a bike loader and not try to drive it up.

 

I check your site and a couple of thoughts. If you get some dimensions I could probably draw up a quick sketch in CAD to see what length you will need to get the larger bike on.

 

There is no reason why you have to run the bed all the way to the back of the cab. You could just stop it short up to the point of your loader. If you might want to use that space, make a solid panel that would go on top of the loader to fill in that area when not hauling a bike. I would still look at what it would take to mount the loader on the top of the bed just to see what it needs for length.

 

Have you thought of using something like a race ramp on the ground that would raise the bottom of the loader up and make it at less of an angle to load the bike? the ones pictured below have a 9" rise and are 95" long. You might be able to make your own but they would need to be light weight and would need a place to store them on the truck bed.

 

RR-TR-9-FLP_5_250.jpg

 

Many of the Volvos have the issue with the fuel tanks. Phoenix and a few others have come up with solutions to it such as leaving a boxed out area in the front corners and some have made extensions up for the fuel cap inlet. I will see if I have any pictures of any. It was not an issue on our Freightliner as our tanks were farther forward.

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Fave subject I've been making notes on - like mr cob we don't just travel with "the bike(s)" as in 1 per person... oh no... the more bikes to choose from the better...

 

Here is a motorcycle ramp calculator: http://www.discountramps.com/motorcycle-ramp-length/a/B6/

 

Click on the green calculator button or the words in line 2.

 

If you use a curved ramp it can be shorter - steeper at first then the curve allows the wheeled machine to level out over the deck edge... but stupid awkward to store...

 

Our toyhauler deck is fairly high but not as high as a deck atop the frame of a class 8 truck. The ramp door plus sloped beavertail floor inside is at least 10 ft long. And that is steep enough when riding tall bikes backwards down it :o:D.

 

If I were ramping on and off a HDT bed I would build my system to be ride on - ride off the other side with removeable front wheel chocks. My ramps would stow in pass through lockers so you load and slide the (aluminum) ramp pieces in this side and walk around the other side and slide out the ramp pieces for unload.

 

Riding or walking a bike up a ramp is less of a skill than riding or wrassle-pushing-walking a bike back down the ramp backwards...

 

But ... a power / crane loader where you load and tie down the bike on the ground on a module and power it on and off it's spot on the deck would be sweet...

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Ahh, the issues of loading motorcycles. And yes, you can never take too many. The most I've hauled on one trip was 6.

 

So far, we've only hauled the dual sports on the truck. Powered them up while walking beside them. All the other bikes have been hauled in the toybox. I have cheated, and parked next to a bank where the ramps were nearly level, but that's not always an option.

 

Now I've bought another bike with fairing and bags, which besides taking more space, is more difficult to tie down, and nearly impossible to lift via crane.

 

Susan sez it's time to thin the herd...... :o

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Dave,

 

My Volvo deflated measures 36 inches from top of truck rails to pavement, the top of the wheels are 40 inches, when the airbags are inflated the top of the rails measure 40 inches, so there is 4 inches difference, The idea of shortening the bed, attaching the loader and than finish the deck behind the cab is very appealing, the more I think about this the more I like it, e-o make the loading system integral with the deck itself, I have to sit down and make a drawing to see what is involved with the build, I don't have the measurements for the cruiser since I just arrived in Grand Falls, NL, although I know that OAL of the motor cycle is 106" and she is rather low, I could indeed consider a ramp as in your picture however that would increase the clime to the wheel chuck, something to consider.

This will take a little consideration and will get back with the final calculations.

 

Cheers.

 

Rene.

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