Are you unhappy with your rusted pickup truck? You can easily gear up your truck by turning its bed into a steel flatbed. It also enables commercial suitability of your truck.
Building a steel flatbed truck bed is not an easy task if you don’t have a proper step by step guide. It requires patience and hardwork.
How to build a steel flatbed truck bed? Well, here’s our step by step guide, made easy for you, to build a nice and simple flatbed for your truck.
How Much does it Cost to Build a Steel Flatbed Truck Bed?
It costs around 600 USD to build a steel flatbed truck bed. Though the price depends on many things, like the size of your truck, the thickness of the steel, and current price of the steel. Here we give you an idea so that you can start working confidently.
For a 6′ × 6′ 5″ size flatbed frame and steel flatbed, the cost should be around – 250 USD for frame metals, 300 USD for steel flatbed, 50 USD for bolts and paint.
If you are thinking about a cost efficient way, you can use a wooden flatbed with metal framing. It will keep the cost down to 400 USD.
Supplies and Tools to build a steel flatbed Truck Bed
Building a steel flatbed truck bed requires some heavy tools and metals. It’s a lengthy process that takes a couple of days. Moreover, you should buy some iron bars, and angles, or make some to build the frame of your truck bed. If you have the heavy tools required to cut, bend, and weld the metals, you still need to spend a couple hundred dollars, for buying iron bars, steel, bolts, and so on.
Let’s make a quick list of supplies and tools you need to build a steel flatbed truck bed.
- You need iron tubes to build the frame for your flatbed. Your truck’s flatbed should be rectangular in size. The amount of iron tubes will depend on the size of your flatbed. First, you should need a measure tape to get an idea about the length and width of your flatbed. Then, buy iron tubes from any hardware store the amount you require.
- You need to purchase some iron angles and clamps from the hardware store, for shaping the frame for the flatbed, or you can make them yourself.
- Then, you need the steel flatbed. The thickness of the steel flatbed will depend on the load you want to carry. Hence, measure the size you should require for your truck and order one from the hardware store. You can also use wooden lumber instead of steel flatbed. It should be more cost efficient.
- You need a drill machine to drill holes on the iron frame and steel flatbed. The holes will be necessary to bolt down the flatbed with the frame.
- A Welding Machine is an important tool you need to execute this task. It will be necessary to build the frame by welding. If you want to build the angles by yourself, you require a welding machine.
- You need a metal-blade Saw and a circular saw to cut iron according to your need. These tools should come in handy for building flatbed frames.
- Hammer, marker, and anti-rust paint should be required to do several tasks. You can assist yourself with accurate measuring with a marker. Anti-rust paint should be useful to keep the frame from being rusted so quickly.
Apart from these supplies and tools, you must use safety supplies. It includes hand gloves, welding goggles, non-synthetic clothings, and boots.
How to Build a Steel Flatbed Truck Bed? (Step by Step Guide)
As we mentioned, building a steel flatbed truck bed requires hardworking and patience. You have to work with heavy metals and heavy tools. Hence, here we make it easy for you with our simplified step by step guide. Let’s gear up.
Step 1 – Remove Back Lights
To begin, you need to remove the back lights from the back of your truck. Cut or disconnect the wirings and remove the lights. You need to reinstall the lights in the end. So, keep it away carefully. If you try to remove the truck bed without removing the lights, you may end up breaking them.
Step 2 – Remove the Old Truck Bed
Now it’s time to remove the old truck bed. This old truck bed is bolted with the truck’s main frame. So, you need to unbolt all the bolts. You can find these bolts on the bed’s surface.
If the bolts are rusted, it may be difficult to remove them. In that case, you should cut the bolts to make them free. Anyway, after removing the bolts, you can easily remove the old truck bed. Yes, here you go; after removing the truck bed, the main frame is now exposed.
Step 3 – Clean the Main Frame
As the main frame is now exposed, it will be a wise idea to take care of it. Remove the rust by rubbing and hammering it nicely. Remove the rust from the bolt holes. You can also spray anti-rust paint on the main frame. It will increase its longevity.
Step 4 – Prepare Iron Tubes and Angles
After shining the main frame, keep it like this for a while. In the meantime, focus yourself on preparing iron tubes and angles. With these tubes and angles, you need to build a flatbed frame.
According to the size of your required flatbed frame, you need to cut the iron tubes with a metal-blade saw or circular saw. For preparing the angles and clamps, you need to bend irons and weld them.
If you are not good at doing this work, you can hire hardware metal workers to build the iron tubes, angles, clamps, and even flatbed frame for you.
Step 5 – Weld and Prepare the Bed Frame
After step 4, now you have iron tubes and angles ready for building the flatbed frame. Hence, make a rectangular layout according to your truck’s main frame, put the iron tubes and angles in right places, and weld them together with a welding machine. Hopefully, now the flatbed frame is prepared and attached with the main frame.
Again, these are incredibly hard working tasks. If you are not comfortable building and attaching the flatbed frame with the truck, you can hire metal hardware workers.
Step 6 – Paint the Flatbed Frame
Well, now the flatbed frame is attached to your truck. You should paint it nicely with anti-rust paint. It will give it a gorgeous color and durability against rust.
Step 7 – Attach Steel Flatbed
Now it’s time to attach the steel flatbed with the new frame. You can build a steel flatbed by yourself, or make the metal workers make one for you. The thickness of the steel flatbed will depend on how much weight you want to carry. Either way, you need to measure the size of your flatbed frame to make a well fitted steel flatbed.
For attaching the steel flatbed with the new frame, you need to drill holes on both of them. Drill sufficient holes and bolt down the steel flatbed with the new frame. Here you are; now you have built a brand new steel flatbed truck bed.
If you are thinking about a cost efficient way, you can switch to a wooden flatbed with metal framing.
Step 8 – Attach Back Lights
One small step to go. You need to put back the back-lights behind your truck. For attaching the back lights, you need to drill holes where you want to attach the lights. So, attach the lights and connect the wirings, color to the same color. Behold! Hats off to your new steel flatbed truck bed.
You need to put in a lot for hard work to build a steel flatbed truck bed. Working with heavy metals, and tools like welding machines, blade saw, drilling machines is required. In short, you really need to be a craftsman to build a steel flatbed truck bed by yourself.
We recommend you never work alone. It should be a good idea to get a second hand while you work with heavy metals. Hope, our simplified step by step guide has done a lot of good to you.