Jump to content

flat bed or dovetail


Recommended Posts

Hitch is set just below the king pin, at ride height. Seriously, the height question has been answered ad nauseum. The build pics start here, and get closer to completion as you scroll to the left. My hitch extension is unlike any other here, but isn't ground-breaking.


Edit to add: Phil has a bit of both, I believe. Isn't that called a dovetail at the very tail end?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I prefer the hitch set in a trough with the dovetail.

But make sure you put a lot of thought into it as to how you're going to use the bed you may want the complete flatbed as usable space.


I have a dovetail to help with loading my bronco from the rear. And I think it helps add some detail to the truck and looks a little bit less commercial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dovetail also gives you some space to be able to reach in and get at your hitch releasing arm. In our case it also gives us space to get to the air valve to put air in our hitch (it does not have a leveling device or direct feed from the truck yet). Our dovetail will also be our ramp storage if we ever get the ramps. Don't need them yet.


Consider the height of the bed minus the height to the underside of the trailer in that area to see if you can get between there to release the hitch.


Having a dove tail can also make it easier to climb up on the back of the bed when the trailer is not hooked up but that depends on the bed design anyway



Link to comment
Share on other sites



So many beds.......and you only have one.....truck.......decisions, decisions, and more decisions ........and now you have a choice of having the UPS lady drop off a few boxes and bingo.......with the ole impact wrench you now have a new "minimalist-bed-kit" installed........




Drive on........(HDT........bed hopping)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a full flat bed on an HDT, the hitch will end up in a trough, due to the hitch needing to be lower than the deck surface. Use your welder "eye" to make it the way you want it to look. Personally, I feel it looks better the way we did ours. :D




Wow!! That looks SWEET!!! Way too stylish for me, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glen, it all depends on your fifth or the prospective fifth you might purchase in the future.


Here's a "faithful" picture on the day I leveled the fifth and drove under my newly purchase HDT to contemplate what I needed to do, my skeptical wife is looking on after I said what I was planning but she went along. You are looking at the instance the ET was born (in my mind) after realization that no other crap on the market was going to do.




The bigger the fifth the more likely that the pin box will be shorter and more straight or even vertical. That puts the corners of the fifth in turns closer to the critical areas of the bed where it can come in contact with the bed, hence the need for a slope or beaver tail. My fifth with the flat floor represents perhaps the most extreme arrangement. Here you can see what the corner is doing trying to get around the corner, the picture was taken at about 45 degree turn.



Here's a picture of another "mishap" (we won't talk about it right now) where you can see how low the fifth is in relation to the ET and on the sides you see the temporary fenders I had with no slope. That was not enough distance to go around the corners with any kind of camber. You can also see in this picture newly minted ET prototype.




Wife and I smacked both corners of the fifth taking off camber turns with this arrangement.. My bed probably represents the most extreme solution to dealing with cornering and my fifth. It's like a triple dovetail.





Incidentally, the owner of this gorgeous Forks RV reported that he also smacked both corners of the fifth in off camber turns. There was some confusion during the build of his puller and the deck ended 2 inches higher than "usual" and that was enough to cause grief.




Put a beaver tail in there. Contrary to suggestions I heard that area is relatively useless for anything else and since you are getting an ET, with a beaver tail it will be easier to get to the handle to unlatch the ET.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Congratulations on the truck, I think all of us HDTer's are glad you pulled the trigger..... you work so hard and deserve some FUN! I will try to attach our work in progress, it has storage in the tail just in front of the taillights. I am a laymen when it comes to welding, so it's not a work of ART but gets the job done

Have Fun bob



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glen, the ET slides between the rail from the rear.





In this truck, as I mentioned before, we re-utilized the existing holes in the rails and drilled matching holes in the angles. Ended up using four 5/8 bolts instead of three 3/4 bolts.

Make sure that the bed building shop is aware that they cannot enclose that area and prevent the ET from being slid into that area.

Here's another example of a "beaver tail" (bed that slopes down and then flattens out again).



On this one we fabricated a custom rear ET plate that is oversize, covers the ends of the frame rails and has provisions for the RV plug, a 110VAC output outlet from the APU unit and mounted the license plate and its lights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...