Your truck can be one mean work machine. Not only can it handle rough terrain but also some really tough work on the road. It can carry a lot of load and haul tons of equipment. You can just toss in some camping gear or strap down a bicycle in the back. Now if some tools or sports equipment just won't fit in the truck bed because they're too long or too wide or it's already crowded in there, you can always pull out your contractor rack. Simply tie down your kayak, canoe, ladder, or any other sports gear or building equipment to this rack. With this, you can tackle any cargo space challenge.
Different contractor rack designs
- Over-cab: This rack provides additional length that extends over the cabin. The overhead rack is used to carry especially long cargo that goes beyond the length of the truck bed, making it a good cargo space solution for trucks with shorter beds.
- Over-bed: Unlike the over-cab rack, it doesn't extend over the roof. Some over-bed racks can be adjusted easily, as each independent part or section can be moved along the rails.
- Side-mount: Compared to the over-bed and over-cab type, this rack is installed only on one side of the bed or bed rail. This clears up more space on the truck bed for cargo of various shapes and sizes.
- Other types of contractor rack: Some contractor racks are specially designed to fit into a certain truck such as the Honda Ridge, Ford Explorer, Dodge Ram, and Chevrolet Avalanche. Some specialty racks can be mounted through the bumper, roof, or hitch or even fitted with the tonneau cover. These come in various designs such as V-shape racks or racks with mesh. Contractor racks are also available for vans and trucks with camper shells.
Things to consider when buying a new contractor rack
- Load capacity: Racks have different load capacities, which may range from 125 lbs. to as much as 800 lbs. Know the maximum weight the rack can carry to find out if this will be the perfect solution to your cargo hauling needs, whether you want to load a kayak, canoe, lumber, sheets of metal, and other building materials or sports equipment.
- Adjustability: The crossbars should be easy to adjust, so the rack can accommodate differently sized (tall, large, or small) loads. By adjusting the crossbars, the weight of the load can be distributed evenly. The rack can also be adjusted to match the width of the bed and height of the cab.
- Materials used: Since the contractor rack supports a lot of weight, this should be manufactured from highly reliable materials that ensure dependable strength. Some heavy-duty racks are manufactured from aluminum and/or stainless steel. These are lightweight but sturdy enough to carry hefty loads. These may be built with powder-coated steel tubing, gusseted uprights and crossbars, stainless steel threaded parts, or swaged joints. Since the rack is exposed to different weather and road conditions, the one you buy should be rust- and corrosion-resistant.
- Special features: Some racks are specially designed to reduce drag and ambient noise. Others are aerodynamically designed with oval-shaped crossbars, siderails, and legs or crossbars with flat tops and rounded rear and front parts for smooth airflow that promotes increased fuel economy.
- Installation: Depending on the design, racks may be installed differently. They can be mounted with J-hooks or with other hardware. The contractor rack can be installed and removed in minutes, without drilling or cutting. However, for permanent mounting systems, you may have to make some drilling and use a crossover tool box. The rack should allow you to easily tie down or secure the cargo using ropes, cords, or straps.