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Old 02-07-2012, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
eco....something or other
 
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pickup bed to flatbed conversion MPG?

I want to take the bed off my truck and install a flatbed. I was looking at one of these.




I am wondering what I should expect as far as mileage goes.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It'll go down. Everything dirty. I'd also compare weight. Some of them are quite heavy. Popular on chassis-cab trucks (3500-4500-5500 series) in the erlfield with a GN hitch. Without a specific use in mind it's a step backwards from a standard pickup bed.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yep, not only will it get rid of that convenient 15* angle from cab to bed, the flatbed will spoil ALL the air coming off the more-or-less clean rear edge of the cab.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
eco....something or other
 
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The reason I ask is because my current bed is falling apart at the seams.
No joke, the sides flop as I go down the road. I often haul large items and it would be nice to have a flat bed.

I would put removable sides on it and make a removable aero cap. I can put tool boxes under the sides to make it more slick in the wind, and I would have places to put my chains, straps, cables, jack, etc...

It would also give me natural counterweight for plowing. I have been putting the chains on for the deeper/heavier snow because of highway tires and no weight on the rear axle.


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Old 02-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Work specific modifications always make "sense" even if mpg goes down some. That would have helped in answering the question with some accuracy. The majority around here are just trying to cut costs -- income preservation -- and do not run vehicles that produce income. It's a different point of departure for calculating "investment costs".

Given the age of the truck in question, though, mightn't this addition be worth more than the truck itself? If the bed is that bad, what of the cab? And can the frame deal with a non-flexing bed attached? IOW, this could shorten the working life of the truck.

Have seen some decently done wooden beds. That's worth a search.

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
eco....something or other
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Colfax, WI
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wood hauler - '91 Ford F-250
Team Pontiac
90 day: 18.97 mpg (US)

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I have seem some nice wood beds, but they don't do as well when you put sides on them and fill them with gravel and firewood. The sides like to rip out. My dad tried that and it lasted less than a year.

This truck does not really make me money, it just saves it. I use it to plow snow, get firewood, gravel, compost, etc... I have been thinking of turning the flatbed into a dump bed. That way I don't have to shovel anymore.

I'm just trying to figure out what to expect so I know what eco-measures to take.

BTW- The cab and frame are fine.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, as it may not directly "make" money, then it is at least income-offsetting:

Calculate the cost of delivery of those materials against the "savings" by using ones own vehicle (total cpm + hourly wage of you as owner). It is "cheating" to count one's own time as free or at minimum wage.

The value of the truck needs to be more than convenience to come up with a figure which makes sense to allow sinking money into it.

What is the current sale value of the truck?
What is the cost of upgrades?
How long will it be kept?
How many miles will it cover?

Versus having materials delivered and snow-plowing done in another fashion (or by another person), how often does the new bed in consideration have to be used to pay it off?

Then, and only then, do mpg-enhancements make sense.

I don't do any snow plowing (or climate comparable), so a dump trailer makes more sense to me. I know it can be a money-maker, and there are always buyers. In any event a truck bed or a trailer used locally/regionally is more about seeing to rolling efficiency than to aero qualities. More money to be saved, as well, by engine efficiency and route planning efforts.

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