Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a new farm truck

I've basically standardized on the ford f450 as my farm truck; the model year 2000 and 2001 has a good engine, the 7.3 liter diesel, and they're pretty much bomb proof.  The f450 can carry a couple of tons of weight comfortably, and is rated to tow a 22,000lb trailer.  We usually tow trailers that weigh about 8,000lbs, but occasionally move a tractor around, so the extra capacity is used. 

I've got three of them, the latest was a county truck, purchased at auction.  They'd taken a flatbed and put a bunch of toolboxes and stuff on the back, which I actually like:  it drives the price down for the basic truck.  in 30 minutes with a grinder and a cutting torch we're back to the original flatbed. 

 Where the toolboxes rested on the bed the wood is rotted out, but the frame members are ok.  an hour of work with a crowbar and a saw, and we're down to the bed frame itself. 

 The county added a steel plate across the back of the truck, which put another 250lbs of weight on the truck, and that's something that I really don't need for my application.  By removing the plate I can both attach the new boards more easily, and I'll save fuel for the rest of the life of the truck -- I don't have to move that weight around. 
 I measure up the bed, and with a little bit of math figure out that if I space the boards 5/16th" apart, I don't need to cut a board.  The original deck was tongue-and-groove, which does make for a stronger deck surface, but I've found that 2x6" douglas fir boards stand up well, and are unlikely to break under my typical loads.  What's nice about this particular bed is that they've put 4 big toolboxes under the bed -- two on each side, and you really can't have enough storage space on a working truck.  Straps, binders, chains, you name it. 
And this is the new, finished flatbed truck.  8.5x12' flatbed.  We'll be using it a lot I think.  Picking up hay and feed, farm materials, transporting equipment and tractors. 


Adam Stevens said...

How much did you end up paying, if you don't mind saying.

Bruce King said...

The truck itself at auction was $6500. 119k miles.. Wood and screws for the new bed cost $125 and took about 3 hours to complete. We are using it basically every day now, mostly for hauling hay