Securing cargo in pickup bed? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 13, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 8,303
Securing cargo in pickup bed?

Hi all! Long time no type... I have been going through some personal stuff, and just have not been feeling like being here. But, hopefully all that is behind me and I can get back to being a productive member.

The question I have today is safety related, and I tried googling and just can't find anything of use. I will keep looking, but in the meantime I figured I'd tap the brainpower here.

I, like probably a lot of others here, carry a "gear" box in the bed of my truck. You know, jumper cables, recovery straps, come along, etc. around 60-80 lbs including box. I have never used a conventional truck toolbox mounted to the bed rails behind the cab. I have always preferred the smooth tonno look, and since all my engineering field work was usually out of a rental pickup in whatever area of CONUS I happened to be, I never needed the ready access of the traditional tool box.

So, in my 01 Silverado, and in most of my earlier trucks and in my current Tundra, I used a good 2x8 or 2x10 board cut to fit the slots in the back of the truck bed to keep the box accessible.

Well, when my son and I went camping in the Poconos in early Feb 2008, I removed the board because we had a pretty full bed of camping gear. When we unloaded after the trip, I forgot to put the board back in place.

Then, when I wrecked the truck at the end of that month, that Rubbermaid locking cargo box became an 80lb or so projectile, and in the 6 feet or so of travel from the back of the bed to the front, it picked up and released enough energy that it drove the steel front bed wall, steel back of cab, and rear seat back forward into the cab 8 inches or so. If someone had been sitting there, I shudder at the thought of the injuries that could have been sustained.

So, with all that in mind, I have resorted to leaving my gear box in the garage most of the time. I have a 2x10 board in the bed, but with the flex of the factory Toyota under rail bed liner, I don't feel all that comfortable. But, there have been times I have needed some tool or something in the box, but it wasn't in the truck.

So, I decided to buy one of those ratcheting cargo bars, the $30 one sold at Autozone. It had good "reviews" but I can't find any kind of information about the strength of one of these bars to stay in place in a collision.

I just figured I'd ask you all if anyone has experience with a cargo bar, or even a good 2x10 (since mine was not in place, I don't know how well it would restrain the load of the box), holding back a load in a frontal type crash.

A broken back is no fun, and I am very concerned about keeping passengers safe. I bought some rings and big washers to add to my current plastic gear box, so that I could use tie down straps to the bed loops and really secure the box that way too.

I just wondered if anyone but me worries about this stuff and has any info or ideas to share. One broken back in the family is enough...

Thanks in advance all. I missed you all.

69 'vert project big block/TKO 600 RR
68 'vert driver RS clone -- gone!
Eric Kammerer is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 13, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: California
Posts: 75
Re: Securing cargo in pickup bed?

To keep it from becoming a projectile in the event of a front end crash, you should have it against the front of the bed, with the "keeper" keeping it from moving back under acceleration. So your Amazon buy may work perfectly well if used to keep it from moving to the back of the bed, as opposed to keep it from moving towards the front of the bed. I know this will defeat the purpose of having it at the back to access it without removing, raising the tonnue cover, but may be safer in the long run.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 13, 02:30 PM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: AUS
Posts: 3,585
Re: Securing cargo in pickup bed?

Eric, glad you're back.
I carry a lot of tools and equipment around in my work truck, and have seen the sort of incidents you experienced. It's scary, but so many people aren't aware of how dangerous unrestrained items in the rear can become in a collision, or even under hard braking.
I keep all my toolboxes and other items hard up to the back of the cab, using straps and cargo rings to retain them. When I need to access something, it's easier from the tailgate (I have a hinged hard cover on the cargo bed), so I undo the strap and use a rope to pull the item down to the tailgate. Kind of crude, but it works for me. Have been meaning to come up with a better solution involving a sliding toolbox on heavy duty roller runners, but work truck is about to be replaced in a couple of months, so will review it then.

1969 04A Van Nuys-built Z/28. Cortez Silver with dark blue interior and VE3. Sold Clippinger Chevrolet. Raced at Lions in LA.
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