random #21: some ramps for my truck, almost

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-26-2009 11:06 AM 2104 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: The whimsical art furniture of Jake Cress Part 21 of random series Part 22: JACKPOT »

To save my back the next time I luck into some huge logs, I found and purchased some Highland Ramparts brackets from Pep Boys, while there replacing my new truck’s dead battery. I’ve seen gardeners in the area loading and unloading rider lawnmowers and everything else with these things, so me and a log on a hand truck should be fine, despite my ample size.

I also picked up the required 2×8s, each 8’ long. Unfortunately, measuring my truck’s unfolded tailgate height just now (33”), and using the lookup table in the Ramparts’ included instructions, I should be using 10’ 9” planks for a 14° angle, which is about as steep as you want to go. I modeled it in Sketchup, and it’s a pretty sharp angle, though doable with a handtruck.

But those are huge planks! My bed is only about 6’. I don’t want 4’ 9” – almost half their length – sliding around over the edge on a long drive to pick up some lumber. Also, anything over a 2’ 0” height (7’ 9” long boards) should have intermediary support. I imagine something like a 2×4 or 2×6 screwed on edge to the bottom through the top of the flat board to create T-beams. Now the idea is even more unwieldy.

I guess I didn’t just solve my loading problems after all. I knew it was a high bed. Originally I was looking for something like my dad’s Toyota from the 80s, small and dark blue, and not unlike this one, though that’s an ‘88, and his must have been from between late 70s, or very early 80s. As a kid I could easily sit on the tailgate, whereas the truck now I have to leap up into a bit. Still, I would have put quite a strain on that little truck’s shocks getting all those huge eucalyptus logs home :)

I think the winch + unfoldable/steep ramp idea is gaining traction.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

7 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5067 days

#1 posted 06-26-2009 03:08 PM

soudns like its time to convert your truck to a low-rider.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5645 days

#2 posted 06-26-2009 04:14 PM

forget the low-rider and use the hydrallics to make a lift gate, similar to all the modern day bob-tail trucks, or keep an eye on craigs list for an old-used wheel chair lift (like off a handicapped van or something)...

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5585 days

#3 posted 06-26-2009 04:41 PM

Get a winch that operates off a car battery and hook up an eye hook, heavy duty of course, to the front of your bed and hoist the suckers up.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Trikzter's profile


42 posts in 4595 days

#4 posted 06-26-2009 04:54 PM

I don’t know if this will help or not but Harbor Freight has a bed extender that might work,
called a ””bed extender””:http://

-- Rick... A tree knows more about wood then I do.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5067 days

#5 posted 06-26-2009 05:34 PM

Hydrolics sound good and all, but I’m far more concerned with maintaining Gary’s sense of style than his convenience.

View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 4735 days

#6 posted 06-27-2009 03:21 AM

Well Gary you may want to look at Cabellas or any sporting goods store for a game lift. They usually fit into a hitch reciever and allow the loading of heavy items into the back of your truck. They consist of a crank loaded with cable and some models will swivel over the bed. You would have to rig up a sling to go under the logs.
Alot easier on the back


-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4720 days

#7 posted 06-28-2009 12:49 AM

Hokie – that would make it easier to get into! I feel less than cool taking 2 maneuvers to hop up into it, instead one smooth, practiced slide.

Rob – a tailgate that could lower would be pretty cool, I admit. Wheelchair lift, maybe not so much :)

Mike – yeah, that was a suggestion back in my post about the huge euc logs, and I’m very much considering it, provided I can secure it well enough to the bed. It has a black plastic liner I’d also need to get through. I don’t really want to cause too much damage to that, but I don’t know how strong a winch bolted onto a plastic substrate (through metal beneath) would be. I’m wondering if it would crush into the plastic while wrenching up heavy stuff.

Trikzter – it’s a possibility, though I’d be a little nervous about having almost 5’ of lumber sticking out past the usual back end on the LA freeways. Thanks!

Rick – this might be one of my favorite ideas to date. I was wondering if there was just a simple crane arm, like those used for loading and unloading boats that I could rig up somehow. Interesting that it works with the tailgate up, meaning you have to lift even higher, but if it’s doing all the lifting, especially with a winch, might work out for me! I’ll look into them. I have a Sport Chalet right down the street – 2 department store sized floors of almost everything sports-related. They might have it. Thanks!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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