Truck racks—they’re a vital part of the complete truck-owning experience. With dozens of options available, however, choosing the truck rack that is right for you can be an overwhelming experience.
We’ve spent the better part of 35 years here at Camco Wheel & Axle recommending the perfect truck accessories for those that need quality equipment to get the job done. Through our years of experience, our service technicians know exactly what kind of truck rack you need.
Where Do I Start? Custom Fit Or Universal?
Should you buy a truck rack that’s tailored for your make and model, or do you invest in a universal truck rack that can be used across varying models? If you upgrade to the newest truck model every few years, or if your older truck isn’t aging gracefully, a universal rack might be the superior choice.
While a universal truck rack will enable you to add it to your next truck or use it on someone else’s truck if needed, a model-specific rack is designed for that perfect, sleek fit to your truck with only a few clean, welded joints. Once that truck is done, though, so’s the rack.
Is Steel the Metal I Need?
Before you decide whether you need a custom or universal rack, you need to consider its material. Truck racks made out of steel are strong and available in multiple designs. Most steel versions vary from the single ladder units to heavy-duty systems made to support over 1,700 pounds. Also, steel racks are powder-coated, protecting them from rust. Some may also have an e-coat finish for increased service life as well.
While steel seems to be the obvious choice, aluminum racks have exploded in popularity recently. Not only do aluminum racks add to the aesthetic of modern trucks, some are finished to permanently eliminate corrosion.
When it comes to price, aluminum racks can cost a bit more than steel, but it’s worth noting that the long service life of a rust proof aluminum rack can make the cost of ownership much lower.
Don’t worry about the toughness factor; the weight capacity of an aluminum rack compares favorably to a steel rack—some sliding racks can rate up to 1,250 lbs. Plus, numerous aluminum models don’t require drilling to mount the rack.
Once you’ve made your choice based on your fit and composition, you need to figure what type of rack you need depending on the rest of your needs.
Truck Bed Racks
If you use your work truck to haul equipment often, you might need to consider a truck bed rack. Even the longest pickup truck can’t often handle extra-long and massive loads. Truck bed racks fix that by adding the ability to haul an extra 1,000 lbs of weight capacity above the bed of your truck, given that everything adheres to your gross vehicle weight rating.
Side Mount Truck Rack
If you need to haul longer pieces of gear (e.g. ladders) for work, then you might need a side mounted rack. It can secure full-sized ladders, lumber, carpet rolls, and pipes for those long hauls to the next job site. This rack is ideal for upgrading your pickup truck’s hauling capacity without removing any space from the bed of your truck.
Over Cab Truck Rack
If the previous two don’t work for you, you might need to consider this design. Over-cab truck racks can optimize your work truck by offering you an appropriate amount of space for hauling. These allow you to maximize every space of your truck’s roof while still leaving you copious amounts of space in the bed.