Since the bed of your pickup is what defines it as a truck in the first place and we know you have long since given up hauling gravel, we've put together a collection of bed styles that we hope will inspire you. These ideas could be just the motivation you need to add that special personal touch to your truck. Each of these techniques typically features a combination of elements, like paint, upholstery, polished wood, or billet aluminum trim. Once the cosmetics were established, many builders used the bed to showcase innovative chassis mods, air or hydraulic suspension additions, or entertainment elements like a grouping of audio/visual components.
Whatever your preference, the bed gives you plenty of room to express yourself and enhance the personality of your truck. By mixing and matching some of the ideas in this collection, you can come up with endless combinations that will set your vehicle apart from the rest. Follow along and then give it a try.
1. Wrought Iron
"40 Layers" is owned by professional painter, Mike Ayers. The truck gets its name from Mike's habit of repainting his D50, a truck he's had since he was 16. The bed work is amazing, beginning with the latticework tailgate and true cantilever airbag suspension, accompanied by the flat-black fuel tank, reserve tank, and nitrogen bottles.
2. The Slippery Slope
Jevon Herbert designed angled bedsides with mini-tubs to clear the wheels on his body-dropped '00 Ford Ranger. The sloping sides highlight all of the elaborate chassis mods of this symmetrical arrangement that includes the rear fuel cell flanked by twin Viair compressors, angled shock absorbers, a triangulated four-link, and airbags all housed in a silver powdercoated frame.
In addition to the tubular back half added to this '99 Dodge Dakota, there is a unique, powdercoated silver bridge, a triangulated four-link, and airbags. But "Doogie" took it a step further, adding distinctive, sculpted sheetmetal work to complete the bright red package.
4. The Steamroller
Mike Kendall's '96 Ford Ranger boasts a ton of mods, beginning with the huge "steamroller" centersection and wheeltubs. The bed floor is now flat on the ground, and the tailgate is hinged from the side. Hard-lined compressors on both sides activate the suspension, and just for fun the suicided driver door now swings 180 degrees. Flat black and blue graphics complete the package.
5. Outside In
The beautiful blend of exterior colors on David Dekorver's mini extend into the bed, drawing attention to the innovative metalwork like the custom tubs and centersection that clear the wheels and rear axle. Angled reserve tanks provide plenty of power to the air suspension, and both the tailgate handle and fuel-filler cap were relocated inside. The intricate mural in matching colors keeps show judges intrigued.
6.Clean & Simple
There are lots of interesting ideas evident in Barry Miller's '87 Mazda B2200 like the free-form, red powdercoated bridge with airbags positioned under the wishbone. Lines for the 'bags were kept out of sight by routing them inside the tubes. Twin Viair compressors fill the large chrome reserve tank and also provide power for the pair of chrome train horns.