Very few vehicles that share the road with you and your truck can cause enough damage to the bed of your truck to be of any concern. However, if you do find yourself in a nasty collision with a semi or a dump truck, and you have lost most of the use of your truck bed because of the accident, there are ways you can restore it. If you do not have the skills to do the job alone, you can track down the parts and hire an auto body repair shop. If you have the skills, then here is how you can restore the bed yourself.
Find the Parts and Assess the Damages and Work Needed
When a much larger truck or other vehicle pile drives through your back end, you may not have much of a truck bed left. More importantly, your rear wheels may be broken or damaged as well. Before you can remove and replace the truck bed, be sure your rear wheels, axles, and drive train are all in good condition. Otherwise the new truck bed will not sit right on top of the wheels and you will not be able to secure it to the rest of the truck.
Next, consult with local salvage yards for a truck bed in decent condition that is the same make as your truck. It does not necessarily have to be the same model of truck, but it does help. You may have to pay the yard or a friend to pick up the bed for you if there is no way for you to haul it back home.
Steps in Your Workshop to Replace and Restore the Bed
Finally, follow these steps:
- Unbolt the truck bed from the frame of the truck.
- Use a metal cutters or welding tool to cut any part of the bed loose from the frame. There may be some areas where the bed is welded to the frame, in which case you will have to cut it loose.
- Crunched and damaged areas of the frame may need some extra work since you probably will not be able to straighten these areas out, but you can cut them off/out with metal cutters or a blowtorch.
- Replace these sections with duplicates from a salvage yard or your truck's manufacturer and use a welding machine to secure them. If you do not have a welder's license, use a blowtorch, solder and hammer like a blacksmith would.
- Put the "new" truck bed on and secure with bolts and welding or blowtorch and solder where needed.
For assistance, talk to a professional like Auto Collision Specialists.