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Modular Smart Car Beds


bmzero

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As I'm working through my various prototypes for my bed design, it would be great to get some of these onto some trucks. The one I have built so far, I used to carry a RZR to the HDT rally. It's setup for Smart car track width. It's a fully functional platform built for Volvo frame rails.

 

Currently, I have the bed surface plates at LineX getting coated and the bed rails at a painter getting sprayed with high impact black paint.

 

I would like to make revisions to this design a couple more times and get feedback from the buyers of each bed. The changes made so far have been applied, by hand (48, 1/4" holes over the weekend - sore hands now), to the current components, so this bed up to date with the CAD. However, as part of the development process, I need the laser shop to produce components with the new features to ensure they have the process down as well.

 

 

For anyone wanting to know, I removed this entire platform Saturday in about 30 minutes. The heaviest piece is 198lbs. That's the larger bed surface plate. It takes about 5 minutes to remove all of the bed plates for easy servicing/inspection. Bed plates are removable separate from the VersaTie track. VersaTie track is mounted directly to the 1/4" frame rails.

 

 

After everything is back from paint I'll post up some photos of this bed platform installed, hopefully this weekend, as I have a month long trip planned to the West Coast starting next week.

 

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Once 1/8" of LineX is applied, the bolt heads and VersaTie Series 2 track will sit slightly below the bed surface, allowing cargo to slide over the top of each easily.
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Would this design work for carrying a "regular" car? Mine is a VW Jetta TDI, which is about 16' long.

 

There are a lot of considerations there (how do you want to load from rear, track width of car, etc.). Weight-wise, yes this design will support a 3300lb vehicle without a problem. However, it would need some design changes to handle a length-wise track system. I would also change it to use the same main floor joists, length-wise, for the car to run over. All do-able, but I would consider that a slightly separate project.

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How would you incorporate side boxes in your modular design?

 

Glenn, there is already a standard bolt pattern cut into the main beams. The storage boxes will connect to the platform system through those holes.

 

It may be a little hard to understand in this photo, but rest assured, that's a major feature of this system - the ability to use several different box options.

 

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Yes, I'm thinking very hard on this. I am a welder and a bed would not be a big deal for me. Time is not my friend though. And according to my company, not any time off unless I take in for 1 1/2 years. So this would really benefit me. I'm also only 5ish hours from you. Convent La for several months.

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Where are you going to be heading to on the west coast? I'd like to take a look at your set up in person if it works. I am in Northern CA.

 

Initially, headed to Glamis for Camp RZR on Halloween weekend. Then, off to SEMA in Vegas for a week. I would love to show it off and get some feedback in person.

 

I'll also be in Corona for a day before heading to the dunes.

 

If the truck I eventually buy does not come with a Smart bed, this will be a VERY attractive option.

 

Thanks.

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Yes, I'm thinking very hard on this. I am a welder and a bed would not be a big deal for me. Time is not my friend though. And according to my company, not any time off unless I take in for 1 1/2 years. So this would really benefit me. I'm also only 5ish hours from you. Convent La for several months.

 

Glenn, my preferred laser cutter is close to you in Baker, LA. Picking up directly from them would definitely be an option.

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Scrap had previously mentioned in our truck bed build to make sure you sand the laser cut edges to make sure paint sticks. I figured I would pass that tip on in case you were not aware of it.

 

Thanks. They got fully prepped and a coat of etching primer before LineX'ing. Good advice, though. The laser causes a thin layer of charred steel. Easy to remove, but that means it's easy for the paint to come off with it as well.

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Can't wait to see the pricing once the manufacturing starts. I think LineX is a good move, especially if their color options are available. I liked Erector sets when I was a kid. This reminds me of those. The ability to remove the bed for mx seems to be a good idea. Plus the bed doubles as a nice work surface.

 

Granted, the consumer base for this product is small, and the competition has very good reputations, but this product appears to be a really well planned accessory that a do-it-yourselfer can add without having their HDT out of service for several weeks. To me, that makes it attractive, too

 

Best of luck bringing it to market.

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Can't wait to see the pricing once the manufacturing starts. I think LineX is a good move, especially if their color options are available. I liked Erector sets when I was a kid. This reminds me of those. The ability to remove the bed for mx seems to be a good idea. Plus the bed doubles as a nice work surface.

 

Granted, the consumer base for this product is small, and the competition has very good reputations, but this product appears to be a really well planned accessory that a do-it-yourselfer can add without having their HDT out of service for several weeks. To me, that makes it attractive, too

 

Best of luck bringing it to market.

 

Thanks. I really appreciate the compliments.

 

To your comment about the bed doubling as a work surface points to another feature that works well for this setup. Each of the main floor joists can be equipped with a bolt-in receiver tube. There are tons of accessories on the market built off of a standard truck receiver tube (vise, hoists, tables, grills, etc.). The possibilities are endless. It's the common attachment point that is the key.

 

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To be clear, this product is not meant to be the same as a Herrin Hauler bed. His beds are straight up works of art. This system should be viewed as an upgradable/changeable "tool". I'm going to spend quite a bit of time styling the final product, but it will not have smoothed weld seams or body filler. That's a different product all together.
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OK Zero..........come clean..........how much Dr. Pepper do you mainline to keep up your creative-energy-level......do you ever sleep......

 

If we were to hack your Solidworkx box I'll bet we could find the latest file for.............the..........Quick-Attach-Smartcar / Razor-Auto-Loader..........that just pins right into the side mounted receiver mounts.........ya know your concepts are sorta getting to be the...........Glock-of-the-HDT-Bed-Class.....

 

Ok I am geezer so......... after reading your posts and pondering your drawings......and when I consider your energy and activity-levels I just feel the need to..........take a nap.....just thinking of your next posting..........

 

You likely don't know how entertaining you are for the geezer-crowd........

 

Drive on.........(Zero is a big-number........)

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To be clear, this product is not meant to be the same as a Herrin Hauler bed. His beds are straight up works of art. This system should be viewed as an upgradable/changeable "tool". I'm going to spend quite a bit of time styling the final product, but it will not have smoothed weld seams or body filler. That's a different product all together.

 

 

I'm clear on that and I hope everyone else is, too. I prefer function over form and your's seems to have out of this world function . I also prefer easy mx. Your bed looks like something that can be hosed off and air dried. No waxing and buffing.

 

Your point on the receiver tube should be a big mention in your marketing. That is a GREAT feature, IMO. Since you're a RZR guy, maybe you can create or modify an existing tire changer that will fit a receiver tube to change tires for RZR, trailer and motorcycle tires.

 

One other thing...any ideas on how the modular system could incorporate a RZR mounting system that is in-line with the truck? You know, an angled rack that points the RZR in the air. That would allow longer RZRs or maybe a Jeep.

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I'm clear on that and I hope everyone else is, too. I prefer function over form and your's seems to have out of this world function . I also prefer easy mx. Your bed looks like something that can be hosed off and air dried. No waxing and buffing.

 

Your point on the receiver tube should be a big mention in your marketing. That is a GREAT feature, IMO. Since you're a RZR guy, maybe you can create or modify an existing tire changer that will fit a receiver tube to change tires for RZR, trailer and motorcycle tires.

 

One other thing...any ideas on how the modular system could incorporate a RZR mounting system that is in-line with the truck? You know, an angled rack that points the RZR in the air. That would allow longer RZRs or maybe a Jeep.

 

There are existing tire changers for receiver tube mounts. Building an adapter kit to get the tire changer down to ground level should be a piece of cake. However, it might be just as good to use an existing tire changer product in the real, rear receiver hitch tube since it should be already at the proper height.

 

As for hauling lengthwise on a vertical angle, I would not use the Versatie track to secure the rack to the bed. Since that's a fixed system, there's no benefit for the Versatie system. I would just build that rack system to secure directly to the main floor joists with some heavy duty hardware. The Versatie track would still be useful for other mounting needs, though, maybe to either side of the vehicle rack.

 

Here's where I'm leaning on the ramps. The top portion of the ramps will be secured in a fixed position (vertically) to the bed due to the two pins. However, it will have some lateral (lengthwise to the bed) movement to match up to various vehicle widths (RZR is slightly wider than Smart car). The bottom hinge would be a "not to exceed angle". The middle top hinge would be movable. That will keep the ramp fixed when loading and unloading but still give it some freedom to reach down to the ground. The forward-most pin in the ramp (not the receiver tube) will be removable and allow the receiver tube to collapse flat. Once the pin is reinserted into the same holes, it will hold the tube flat within the ramps and the ramps can be folded and stored below the bed surface.

 

The ramp mockup is just that, a mockup, to test angles. If this holds water, they will be redesigned with real-world components.

 

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OK Zero..........come clean..........how much Dr. Pepper do you mainline to keep up your creative-energy-level......do you ever sleep......

 

If we were to hack your Solidworkx box I'll bet we could find the latest file for.............the..........Quick-Attach-Smartcar / Razor-Auto-Loader..........that just pins right into the side mounted receiver mounts.........ya know your concepts are sorta getting to be the...........Glock-of-the-HDT-Bed-Class.....

 

Ok I am geezer so......... after reading your posts and pondering your drawings......and when I consider your energy and activity-levels I just feel the need to..........take a nap.....just thinking of your next posting..........

 

You likely don't know how entertaining you are for the geezer-crowd........

 

Drive on.........(Zero is a big-number........)

 

Ha ha. No Dr. Pepper for me, but you're all over it with the lack of sleep. There are just not enough hours in the day.

 

I appreciate you checking out the design.

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Have you painted your bed parts yet?

Dave

 

Picked up the bed panels from LineX today. They turned out perfect!

 

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Then, back to the shop for some DA action, primer, and black.
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Tomorrow, I'll put the finishing touches on a few of the other parts. It will get a couple of days to dry, then assembly this weekend.
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