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Mounting slideback bed?


Exile

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I'm considering putting a slideback bed on a hdt, and have a few questions, i think a few people on here have them.

 

Questions:

1 how easy are they to mount?

2 when buying a used bed (cheapskate here) what should i watch out for?

3. How long does it have to be past the frame to land on the ground?

4. If it is too short, will it be a foot off the ground when tilted, or will it just be really steep?

5. Does anyone use the hitch that is mounted to the slideback? Or mount another to the frame?

5. Will i need to remove the commercial hitch?

 

No, i dont have a truck bought yet, but expect it to be tandem axle.

 

Reasons why a slideback:

 

1. Wife doesnt like smarts

2. I can haul all kinds of stuff on it i couldnt get on it otherwise

3. Dont want a 45 ft fifth wheel, so length not a huge issue

4. With car length and rear ramp, fifth wheel hitch on bed would be cumbersome, so looking for bumper pull trailer

 

Thanks for your help.

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Before the advent of hydraulic rollbacks, I saw a setup using 1 long hyd cylinder with a long arm pivot. The pivot attached to the front of the flatbed, and the other end attached halfway the length of the bed to the top of the frame, like a rollback dumpster. Cylinder just pushed it back, not tilt or anything. My favorite yard has a bunch of car carrie trailers, plenty of cylinders. I think they have a wrecked roll back in the yard too. Yard is in Port Deposit MD. may be too far for you

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Yes it is Ronbo who has a rollback bed. The only one that I am aware of.

 

From the HDT Rally website:

14_Corwin_c.jpg

If I remember correctly his pump for the bed is electrically driven and not the trucks PTO. The hitch is recessed in to the bed surface and moves and tilts with the bed. I don't think he is able to to place the end of the bed on the ground due to the hitch installation. He does carry a set of ramps. I would think a vehicle with low ground clearance will not clear the hitch setup on his truck.

 

From talking to Ron it seems that finding a rollback bed at a reasonable price will be a challenge. In Ron's case he got it from a buddy that no longer was using it if I remember correctly. It appears that the industry standard is the truck wears out before the wrecker bed does so the bed gets swapped from truck to truck making it difficult to find one at reasonable price. It might be easier to find a complete setup then strip it and then sell the truck chassis.

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Many of those beds are 20' or longer for a reason: some of the bed has to remain in the sliding track for strength and stability. If you had perhaps 16' of the 20' bed that extended past the truck and the pivot point, you've have an angle of about 15 degrees, not suitable for a vehicle with low ground clearance but doable for others. However, to fit a 20' bed on the truck, you'd probably need to lengthen the frame, if for no other reason than to "buy" some space aft of the fuel tanks yet forward of the first drive axle, where you could mount the lift cylinders.

 

If you go with a partial rollback and use ramps, make sure the edge of the bed is SOLIDLY supported. I suspect the mechanisms of a rollback bed assume that the bed is supported at the pivot point (via slide rails) and the approach edge, and that the vehicle's center of gravity is positioned somewhat close to the pivot point. This prevents having to use 100% cantilever forces to raise the load.

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Exile

 

While we have considered a tilt-box configuration for our rather complex Dolly-hauler (and we still might convert to a tilt-box …...someday) we at present switch back and fourth between a rather ugly 12 ft wood bed and our 20 ft X 8 ft X 8 ft Morgan cargo box (ex-Ryder)).

 

We tow the Dolly-box 30 ft bumper-hitch toybox with a slant-load removable horse-haul module that fits in the last 3 ft of the garage.

 

When we are hitched up we are 64ft 8 inches overall length …...just legal.

 

I was well on my way to making a tilt-subframe for the Morgan box when I happened onto a set of 16 ft long X 18 inch wide fiberglass ramps rated at 3,000 lbs each and they have a heavy half-hinge fitting at each end so that the ramps can become a one piece ramp 3 FEET WIDE and 16 ft long …..very handy. When stored the ramps are carried on edge and strapped on the left side of the cargo box with plenty of room remaining for our vehicles.

 

The longer I use the 16 ft ramps the less desire I have to tilt the box.

 

The longer I use the 20 ft long Morgan cargo box the better we like it.

 

I have a wealthy self-sponsored racer that bought a very nice new tilt-bed to haul some of his car collection around on quick trips but he complained that he was stopped fairly often even though he had Pvt. Truck , Not for Hire in classy gold letters on each side. His solution was to have a custom 35 ft toter-home with a elevator double stacker garage built in on a new Freighshaker and it with less than $500k invested.....end of problem.

 

Not sure if this is true but he contends that local tow companies that comply with all of the DOT regs are very fast to report non-DOT compliant tilt-beds......very few tilt-beds are private carry rigs.

 

Our Morgan cargo box has a 4 ft wide curb-side door as well as the full width overhead back door with commercal hinges and massive locks so when we are away whats inside the box stays inside the box...

 

The Morgan cargo box is match painted to the Dollytrolley paint theme so it looks like what it is registered as.....a motor home, we have no hassles even in that foreign country to the South.....Kalifornia....

 

A full 20 foot long garage has drawbacks......too much room....and sometimes that can consume too MUCH junk that is carried and seldom / never used.....(it's a operator problem, not a cargo box problem)

 

Our smart car is a rather rare 4 X 4 , four seat model called a Samaria and it fits in the cargo box with tons of room to spare. Most of the time we carry a 330 gal tote in the right front corner of the box with a ton of Dolly-horse-hay stored above the water tote, and then a Honda quad a couple of dirt bikes and , and, and.........lets just say we sometimes leave less items at home than most campers.

 

The cargo box market is stable and the prices are not too bad considering what you get.

 

Something to ponder.....

Drive on.........(lets see where did I store the table saw........in the cargo box)

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Rick has the info correct. My frail rails are extended about 5 ft. The deck has a subframe that has pins at the back that it tilts on. The hole is welded into the frame extensions. I have 2 lift cylinders that tilt the deck. The attach on the bottom to a bracket that attaches to the sides of the frame and the rear bumper. I use a 12 volt hydraulic pump and added a pvc reservoir to have enough fluid capacity. I Use ramps frome Norther Tools. Higher capacity and lower cost than the smart ramps. I will be at the rally if my chemo is over so if you are there you can explore all you want and I will give my recommendations for improvements.

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IDK if it would affect our rigs...but I have been told that roll backs get HAMMERED on license or tax or something here in IL. I have a cousin who bought one for his auto business, and then found out what it was going to take to pay the state to get the permit/license....and went back to using a trailer.

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I see as short as 19 footers on tandem axle hdts online, and have seen 14 footers on mdts, 6500$ for mdt and operating bed locally. Used Beds appear to cost that by themselves.

 

 

Ronbo- how long is your bed and does it roll all the way up to your cab?

 

How long was your frame rail before extending?

 

Dolly- How do you swap from bed to box?

 

I dont think a corolla could handle that breakover, but maybe it could once i parked the truck in a ditch, lucky one on my driveway!

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I'll get some measurements tomorrow. We cut the front 4 ft off the deck. It carries a Jeep Wrangler. It doesn't go to the cab because I have a small job box and generator mounted over the from of the jeep. I have 2 pins that go into holes to lock the deck in place. I don't have to roll the deck to fuel up.

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Ron, is that a steel bed? All the ones I see down here are nice shiny aluminum. I wonder if that would explain the cost differences that several people have mentioned?

And I don't know how much cheaper your Northern Tool ramps are but the smart ramps are flat folding, not arched like the Northern Tool ramps. I could only get one of your ramps into the space where I get both of mine.

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Ronbo, could you post some pics of your rig with the Jeep mounted on the deck? Pics with the Jeep and the 5th hitched up would be even better. Just trying to get a sense of how it all goes together.

 

Also, what is the length of the overhang of the deck behind the the second rear axle?

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14_Corwin_c.jpg

 

 

 

That rear overhang seems rather long. Is the deck slid back in this pic? From what I have seen on tow trucks theses decks are designed to both slide and tilt. If this is the extended position, how much in approximate length is it slid back from it's normal position?

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