Anyone that uses their truck for work knows that one of the biggest problems is the large amount of equipment, tools and general stuff that tends to build up in the back. Besides just being messy, equipment gets damaged if it is left loose in the back of your vehicle, especially equipment such as ladders that are longer and lightweight. Installing one of the many different types of ladder racks will not only keep things organized but it will also extend the life of your tools. When equipment is secured and not moving about there is much less chance of damage to either the truck bed or the tools themselves. Both of which can be extremely expensive if you have to replace or repair.
Choosing which type is best suited to your needs depends a lot on what you will be hauling and keeping secure. There are ones that extend over the length of the bed, leaving the area over the cab clear. These are perfect for smaller ladders or materials that won't extend too far forward of the frame. Most of these over the bed racks are made of steel tubing and are rated for specific weights, typically around 1000 pounds. They can be mounted directly to the rails of the truck or can be mounted to plates that sit inside the truck itself. These types are typically offered at several different adjustments and positions that can be used to secure the items into very specific places, allowing room for hauling other items too.
Over the cab ones extend the length of the rack to include at least one cross piece or the frame itself extending all the way or part of the way over the cab. For quad cabs and extended cabs this can add several feet of additional length without adding any additional stress on the frame of the vehicle. As with the over the bed racks, there are additional cross pieces, positions and even adjustments to the height of the frame to make it fit within any vehicle from trucks to vans. It can be used even if the vehicle currently has a canopy or trailer. Adapter plates can be purchased, thereby allowing installation even with a camper shell.
Full mount ones can also double as ladder racks and provide a more efficient way to transport a variety of materials other than the obvious. Like both the over the cab and over the bed ones, these are very durable, made of heavy gauge steel tubing and come in a variety of colors and styles. Most have an additional lip or ledge at least down the sides to provide security and prevent loads from slipping and moving. Positioners, additional cross pieces and a variety of hooks and accessories can be purchased to keep it organized and tools and supplies secured safely.
Cab window protector guards are great as well. This is a mesh or barred type piece of metal that extends between both sides of the rack against the front of the bed and the rear window. Having this extra protection means that ladders or other long equipment won't accidentally knock or be pushed against the window causing breakage or damage to the glass.
With all the accessories, types and inventions regarding truck racks, it's safe to assume that assembling one on your truck or van will not cause you problems. Just take a minute when driving to survey your surroundings and see how many people utilize them in their everyday life. You'll be surprised just how easy they are to use, and how organized you can be if utilized correctly.
Andy West is a writer for Buy Auto Truck Accessories, cutting prices periodically on their products. They will even match any other retailers prices, on anything from ladder racks to sun visors. For more information please visit BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com.