There are plenty of reasons why you’d need to learn to remove a truck bed by yourself. Maybe you need to repair or repaint some part of your vehicle, and the truck bed is just blocking your way. Or perhaps you even need to replace it with a bigger or smaller one.
Although truck beds can be a beneficial addition to your vehicle, they can get damaged pretty easily. That’s why learning this skill can be helpful – especially if an emergency occurs and you’re left on your own!
No worries, we’re here to help. In this step-by-step guide, you can learn how to remove a truck bed by yourself and find all the needed equipment for this somewhat exhausting task.
Roll up your sleeves and read along to find out more!
First Step: Preparations
Before any hard work, learning the preparation process is essential. First thing: remove the hitch. Then, get under your vehicle and disconnect the electrical components of the rear bumper of your truck.
This step is essential because the next thing is – well, removing that bumper.
Although removing the bumper is easier than removing the actual bed, it still has its obstacles. The hardest part of replacing the bumper is removing the fasteners.
However, the main obstacle here isn’t the screws but the rust that’s usually on them.
To make this process easier, you should treat all the fasteners with spray rust penetrant. A few days before you decide to remove your truck bed, generously apply the rust penetrant on the screws.
Trust us; this will make taking the bumper off much easier.
After taking care of the fasteners, remove the license plate. There, you’ll see the bolts that hold the rear bumper to the truck. If you successfully take them out, you’re almost good to go!
Just pull the bumper and get ready for some hard work.
Next stop: removing the truck bed.
How To Remove a Truck Bed By Yourself
Now, it may seem difficult to remove the truck bed all by yourself; we get it! We can’t say that it’s the easiest job in the world – but it’s probably not as complicated as you think.
The only thing that another pair of helping hands would do is shorten the time it takes to finish the job – and keep you from feeling a bit sore tomorrow.
It’s absolutely doable – and let’s face it, you need to know how to do this yourself in an emergency!
We’ve created a kind of guide to help you through the process. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get some dirt on those hands.
Building The Scaffold
Okay, so the bed is ready to come off – the wires have been disconnected, and the screws are loose. So, what now?
Well, it’s time to build your scaffold. Assembling it is pretty easy, though we have to mention how important it is that the construction is solid and ready for your truck – and the bed.
The first thing you need to do before starting the assembly is finding level ground. That’s important because a scaffold is as sturdy and stable as the ground is level.
And since we’re planning on basically hanging the whole truck bed on it, we need to make sure it’s as stable as it can be.
The construction needs to have four pillars. The size should be 8-by-8 feet. That’s the ideal spacing; you need to ensure that you have room around your truck while it stays nice and stable.
Anything bigger or more complicated than that is basically unnecessary – but if you want a good workout, go for it. All jokes aside, an 8-by-8 pillar will keep you and your truck safe, so we suggest you stick by the plan.
Just make sure that you have room to back your truck into the scaffold. Trust us; there’s nothing worse than having to move the whole thing after you’ve assembled it.
The reason for that is that you’re not moving it by yourself here – you’re disassembling it and putting it back together.
Let’s Remove The Thing!
First, you need to back the truck into the scaffold that you’ve just finished and turn off the engine to start the removal process. Now, it’s time to strap your bed and hang it on the scaffold.
Well, we might’ve jumped the gun a bit – but we’re getting there. Firstly, get your ratchet straps out!
Now, we don’t want to judge the strap that you may have, but let’s just say that you should go for some quality straps. Well, at least if you don’t want to hear your truck bed hit the ground as soon as you drive away.
We know that it seems that most ratchet straps will do the trick, but you can’t trust all of them, that’s for sure.
Depending on what kind of truck you have, there’s a chance that the bed has tie-down hooks used to help you secure whatever you’re carrying in it. These hooks will help you immensely here, as you won’t have to search for whatever spots to which you can attach your straps.
But don’t worry if you don’t have any; people have been taking out the beds of their trucks long before companies decided to give us tie-down spots!
You want to attach the straps to all four corners of the bed to distribute the weight equally. Use the ratchet straps to lift the bed one corner at a time. But it’s imperative not to lift any corners all the way up at once.
Instead, lift each of them little by little, one at a time. This way, the truck bed stays level, and all the straps will have the same amount of weight on them.
Make sure to take your time and stay safe along the way. Lifting a whole truck bed and hanging it from a scaffold isn’t tricky but can be dangerous if you’re reckless.
The last part of the process is getting in your truck, turning the engine on, and driving out without your bed.
It’s important to mention that even though it’s a simple process, there are many parts of the plan that you’ll need to adjust along the way. After all, there are many truck models and brands – and all of them have their own way of designing the vehicle and its bed.
There are things that you might miss in the steps, something that will stay attached that you should’ve taken off, etc. Because of that, it’s essential to take your time with the project.
Be tedious while detaching the parts; lift each corner slowly while keeping an eye on something you potentially missed.
The same goes for driving out of the scaffold. It may seem like everything is done and that you can just turn on the engine and go – but don’t risk hurrying out.
Drive out slowly and keep an eye out for anything pulling you back!
The Grand Finale
After the truck is out of the way and the truck bed is hanging safely on the scaffold – well, it’s time to get it down to the ground. You’ll need either jack stands or sawhorses, so the bed doesn’t get straight to the ground.
Place whatever you have beneath the bed and start lowering it strap by strap.
Just as you did while getting the bed up, take your time in lowering the corners. Never drop one corner all the way down before moving on to the next one. Do a couple of inches of one corner and then go on to the next one.
Keeping your truck bed safe is essential – but keeping yourself safe is the number one priority!
Just as you did while building the scaffold, ensure that the platform on which you’ll rest the bed is level and stable. But remember that no matter how stable it is, if you drop a corner too fast, the whole bed could fall to the ground.
In this worst-case scenario, if you’re lucky, you’ll still have enough time to get another ratchet strap, hook it up to the scaffold and lift the part that’s out of alignment.
Once all four corners are rested on the sawhorses or jack stands, take off the straps and disassemble the scaffold. You can even leave it out if you wish; the important thing is that your truck bed is stable and that it can’t go anywhere.
And we’re done! If you followed all the steps, your truck bed should be off the truck – and safely stored wherever you decide to keep it.
Again, no two models are the same – especially if you’re used to one specific brand. But taking your truck bed off is kind of like riding a bike. If you manage to do it once, you’ll know how to do it forever!
Just stay safe and make sure to follow all the steps carefully, and you’ll be good to go.