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09-22-2007, 02:07 AM #1
I'm looking for some corrugated steel for a small dump flatbed, and I haven't seen anything with small enough corrugations for my taste. Roofing, siding, decking for concrete structures, sure - but nothing with a fine enough "pitch". Where do I find something similar to a stock pickup truck's bed, with peaks and valleys no bigger than 1 1/2" wide x 3/4" deep? I know it's out there somewhere, because I've seen it on other small flatbeds, I just can't find it. I'll call the local flatbed fab shop, but in the meantime, any help is appreciated.
09-22-2007, 02:27 AM #2
Go to a junk yard and buy an old truck bed. Cut and paste to your flatbed.
09-22-2007, 10:41 AM #3
JC Whitney carried replacement bed panels at one time,but I haven't checked lately.They weren't full sized pieces.Don't know what size you need but Harbor Freight has corregated trailer side panels for their small trailers that might also work.If you need a lot I'd find the supplier to JC Whitney and purchase raw panels from them.In the long run the junkyard might be the least expensive choice.
09-22-2007, 11:18 AM #4
I would just weld in a sheet of diamond plate
09-22-2007, 12:04 PM #5
I second the diamond plate idea because the corregated stuff is hard to clean.
09-22-2007, 01:44 PM #6
I made an aluminum diamond plate cover for my Ranger.
09-22-2007, 02:04 PM #7
If your actually going to use it for a dump bed, i'd cover what ever you do put down with some of that plastic sheet material made for dump beds. At least that way, even "sticky" materials will slide out.
I build a dump bed for my pu using diamond plate, and i have to dump it straight up to get damp dirt out of it...
09-22-2007, 02:25 PM #8
Possibly more work/cost than you want to go to, but a large-scale fab shop can probably roll those corrugations into 12~14 ga. for you. You might need to get with them to turn some dies for their rolling machine that will result in the profile you want. If their roller isn't big enough, you can do it in sections.
09-22-2007, 05:45 PM #9
I have never seen corrugated on a real dump truck- only on little pickmeup trucks. Which is not to say it doesnt exist....
But on the little trucks, 1 ton and under, its usually quite thin, 14 or 16 ga, and in several pieces, each only 18" or 24" wide. In newer pickups, its a one piece stamping. In neither case is it made from a commercial pattern of corrugated- its a custom made part for the auto industry.
I would want smooth, not diamond plate, for a dump. And diamond plate is usually 1/8" or thicker, especially in steel. Which adds a lot of weight to the bed.
The corrugation on commercially made pickups is a way to use the least material, at the least cost and weight, and still have it stiff enough for average "half ton" usage. A beancounters compromise.
I think 1/8" plate, with a decent web of beams underneath, would be better for a dump that was intended to carry any amount of weight.
While there may be fab shops in Maryland that would make you custom rolls at a reasonable charge for their plate rolls, around here, I can imagine that asking a shop to make a set of 3 four foot long, 6" diameter rolls with a matching pattern on em would run somewhere between 5 and 10 grand setup charge, at a minimum. And most regular plate rolls dont have the daylight needed to open the rolls enough to add a big profile roll- they are designed to adjust an inch, at most.
Rolling corrugated is a specialty, that usually requires big, heavy, specialised rolls. Even for just rolling the 24 gage they use for metal roofing, its a big machine. To roll 12 gage- you are talking meat, and meat equals money, to misquote Morrisey.
09-24-2007, 06:13 PM #10
Thanks for (most of) your suggestions. Maybe the junkyard truck bed is worth a shot, if I can find one wide enough (5'). I still think my best bet is to talk to the local flatbed fab shop, though. The flatbeds I've seen with corrugated beds were all fairly small, as mine will be, so I don't think it'll be a problem to use corrugated 14 ga. with a suitable framework underneath - especially given that I won't be carrying more than 1200 lbs or so at a time (it's going on a 1970 Datsun).
09-24-2007, 06:28 PM #11
Wow, I'd think you are going to eat up most of your payload with the understructure.
For example, a dump bed has to have its own framework under it so it can be lifted from a single point about a set of pivots.
I'd say that has to be at least as stout as the pickup ladder frame underneath it, and probably more so because the lifting hydraulics don't act perfectly normal to the bed structure...IOW there's a load vector that's "stretching" or "compressing" the structure against the pivots as it rises, worst when it's trying to go from 0-1 degree up from the horizontal.
09-24-2007, 10:10 PM #12
At the same time you mit look at the floor of a van. When you are at the junk yard Mite be a little bite bigger.
09-28-2007, 01:51 AM #13
Matt, it's gonna be a tiny dump bed. Five by six and a half feet, and if it's only built to carry 1000 lbs or so, it won't have to be too heavy. It won't be 1000 lbs concentrated on one square foot! And on the (admittedly few) dump beds I've seen, the lifting force is in fact more or less perpendicular to the underside of the bed - the vector is really an arc described around the central pivot in the lifting mechanism. I suppose there's some compression of the bed's frame as the mechanism extends and the pivot moves farther away from the bed, but it's not enough to worry me. What's under the most stress here is the lifting mechanism.
Something similar to this:
but with an improved pivot design, and an actual frame or at least a pair of rails under the flatbed. This is a fairly typical design for a pickup dump bed, and while it has practically no mechanical advantage as the beginning of the lift, that appears to be compensated for by the use of an oversized cylinder.
Anyway, I'm no engineer, but I'm comfortable building a relatively light framework for a small dump bed. I don't think it'll weigh much more than the current bed does, minus the hydraulics. I'm not using it to haul heavy machinery, just for the occasional trip to the gravel yard or wood recycler.