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Old 06-26-2017, 10:46 AM   #1
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Replacing rusty pickup bed with utility body?

I have an '04 F250, super cab, 4x4, long bed, single rear wheels. Did I mention the 6.0 PSD and automatic transmission?

Anyway, the trucks built around this time, the beds are notorious for rust at the wheel wells. Mine is getting rather ugly and I am sure to have a body shop make repairs will be very expensive, and who knows how long they will last. I have considered replacing the bed with a utility body.

For those who don't know what I mean, that would be the squared off bed with tool lockers built into the sides and a 4' wide bed with a low tailgate in the middle. You have seen these on the road with brand names like Reading and Knapheide on the tailgate, and usually the name of some contractor on the doors of the cab.

I have a source for getting a new one at a lower cost than the average guy off the street, but it is still thousands of dollars. Roughly the same as buying a used pickup bed from a newer model year that is less prone to rust and having it painted to match my cab.

For anyone that has experience with utility bodies, I was wondering how they hold up over time. Would I be trading one potential rust bucket for another? How are the side lockers for security and water leaks? When I go on trips I have an in-bed box that I put several tool boxes in. The side lockers look very appealing for easy access, but maybe those compartments are best suited to a tradesman working out of them as opposed to being used as cargo lockers. I also wonder how well the bed will work for everyday use, as I have been known to haul mulch and topsoil for my landscaping and garden. It can be loaded in that utility body bed, but the width might cut down the volume I can carry, and shoveling out over the taller sides might be annoying.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:04 AM   #2
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No experience other than they look like a very good idea for the RVer. We have one that showed up at a WBCCI rally, but I was not able to meet the owner and discuss the pros and cons. Opportunity missed.

The concern would appear to be the added weight. Leaks should be easy enough to seal and rust should be preventable with the right paint or correctable if it does develop.

So, hoping you get positive info and add your experience to the knowledge pool. Pat
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:33 AM   #3
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Hi

Based on what the guys around here tell me, they get around three to five truck chassis swapped out before they scrap out the utility body. They put a *lot* of miles on per year. I'm pretty sure they don't get 13 years per truck chassis. A lot will depend on salt on the roads in your area and how much driving you do in the winter.

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Old 06-26-2017, 11:37 AM   #4
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Problem with utility bodies is their weight. Rear springs will have to be changed. Payload is different, etc.

I like them, but once packed, etc, one may be past ones desired weights per axle and tire ratings.

Am simply recommending more research.
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
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I'll have to check the weight of the utility body, and see if I can find any data on what my pickup bed weighs.

While the F250 has an amazing towing capacity, despite being a 3/4 ton truck the payload is not as impressive as you'd think.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:37 PM   #6
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There are a few places that sell southern rust free pickup beds reasonable. Southern Truck is one in my area. Turn it upside down and give it a good coat of Fluid Film and it will last forever!
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
I'll have to check the weight of the utility body, and see if I can find any data on what my pickup bed weighs.

While the F250 has an amazing towing capacity, despite being a 3/4 ton truck the payload is not as impressive as you'd think.


3/4T is to keep vehicle from crossing 10k CDL requirement for some states. Often, if not always, it's only different spring rates between that and a 1T.

Body manufacturer should have shipping weight for body.

You can scale your pickup with and without bed. Fill fuel to capacity each time before reading.

Extension of fuel filler neck, and maybe wiring harness compatibility also come to mind.

A utility Body cuts mpg. Not the weight nearly so much as the aero.

For an alternative, have a look at Adirednecks Dodge with an aluminum slide in arrangement.

I looked at utility bodies back when I had access to re-man diesel Onan generators. Was able to look over how genset was mounted. Etc.

Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2017, 05:27 PM   #8
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The other option is to have it aluminum....just like your trailer.

http://www.tgsales.com

http://eloquip.com

Here is another option as our dollar will only cost you .75 cents ($10,000 CAN body would cost you $7,500 USD)

http://www.wilcoxbodies.com

Last forever, light and could be resold easily.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:07 PM   #9
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Have you looked at BrandFX composite or Astoria fiberglass utility beds. I put a old Rawson-Koenig steel utility bed on my Dodge. The utility bed is 1000 lbs heavier than the pickup bed. My mpgs dropped about 4mpg. The extra storage is nice to have.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:30 AM   #10
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Hi

Driving around yesterday I started looking at the utility beds on the vehicles around me. I didn't see any that were running SRW axles, they all were DRW's. That's just a random observation on a couple of errands around town. My guess is that axle weight ratings drove them to the DRW.

Bob
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:43 AM   #11
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Had not thought of the mileage drop due to poor aerodynamics.

While it is common to see these bodies on a dually, they are also made for SRW and I see those quite a bit. Keep your eyes open and you will spot them.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:35 AM   #12
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What about a replacement pickup bed?
You may be able to get a brand new "pull off" bed from one of the upfitters that installs utility bodies.
My friend ended up with an '06 bed on his '99- different tail lights...
'99 coming...
'06 leaving...
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:27 PM   #13
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Ever look into a flatbed, a lot cheaper and more room..
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:51 PM   #14
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The guy I know who can get me the utility body suggested a flatbed with several tool boxes mounted on the sides and or small under mount ones forward of the rear wheels. He said the cost would be much less than the utility body and for people in my situation with non-commercial vehicles, this was a conversion that he does all the time.

That said I like having that pickup bed, enclosed on three sides with the tailgate. Though come to think of it, with a flatbed I could make some low stake sides with slats tight together, out of some really nice wood, varnished with Cetol or some other tenacious marine grade product. Sure would be pretty.
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:54 PM   #15
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I use the service bodies on my company Chevy 1500's. They do weigh more than the OE beds. I have bought used and new. The newest I believe have a powder coat finish. I am now running a 1987 body on a 2006 truck. I would say durability is good. Storage is Great and you would be prepped for anything just like the original WB world tours.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:01 PM   #16
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Another source for an aluminum body is Highway Products. They have standard configurations and will custom build. Lifetime guarantee. I have their Pickup Pack on my TV, and am pleased with the ruggedness and workmanship.
www.highwayproducts.com
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:23 PM   #17
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I have a Royal on a Chevy 3500 chassis, good quality, no leaks. One thing annoying is the T handles are attached with roll pins that always vibrate loose, if you don't check them often they will vibrate out and you will lose T handles on the road. The security is pretty good, besides each door locking there is a bar that slides in from the rear and secures the doors internally with some decent heavy steel. Course if they want in and nobody is around they'll get in.
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:37 PM   #18
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Check that this won't cause your truck to be treated as a commercial vehicle. I think it's different in the states, but in Ontario if your truck has a GVWR of more than 4500 kg, adding a non-factory box requires you to have a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration. This is the case even if you're only using it for personal use. I talked to someone at MTO and questioned the application of this law to personal vehicles and he confirmed that that is the case. Technically it also applies to vehicles from the USA driven into Canada, but he said that the chances of an American driver being stopped would be extremely low unless the vehicle was obviously being used for business purposes.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:35 PM   #19
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AirForums, or FordForums?
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:49 PM   #20
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AirForums, or FordForums?
Are you going to make us guess, or do you want to explain what you mean?
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