shortbed pickup bike hauling...what's the over/under on bending the tailgate?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by DriveShaft, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

    May 17, 2005
    Planning on putting the pig in the bed of the pickup in the next few weeks. Should I lay down the plywood? Use a load extender?

    Has anyone here, for example, hauled their liter bike & gone over a pothole/speedbump to discover that they've bowed their tailgate, bent the attachment point, or ripped out the cable? I realize that the deadweight is relatively small, but also realize that it's in the worst possible spot (center-beam, edge of tailgate), concentrated on the contact patch (roughly 9sqin) and if you start going over rough terrain, it can actually be quite a bit more than the dead weight coming down on your tailgate?
  2. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

    Sep 28, 2007
    Norton, VA
    Depends on the truck and your definition of pig.

    Late model Toyota Tacoma? I've personally seen them bend from loading a F650GS in there.

    My 07 Chevy Silverado? I've put my fully loaded vstrom in there and never given it a second thought.
  3. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Jul 9, 2007
    the 'Ha
    It's really a lot less fun when you ask the question BEFORE you put the load in the bed and haul it over bumps.
  4. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Dec 24, 2006
    Only N flowin river emptying in an ocean
    You are most right to consider the bounce factor.

    I used a 2x6 pressure treated board & strapped a the rear wheel to the 2x6. (through the spokes)
    NOTE: the 2x6 went all the way under the front tire too. I screwed in about a foot of 1x2s on both sides of the front tire to keep the front tire from sliding off the 2x6.

    Later I found a 1x6 channel of AL & that became my KEEP in place track for the VStrom & anyother bike that kept resting on the tail gate.

    Plywood will work but does not remove the down ward shock while going over rough roads as well as something stronger directly under the bike's tires.

    Have seen some very creative designs from guys who had not tail gates at all & still in short bed trucks.
    One guy used his ramp to support the rear tire over hang.
  5. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Aug 12, 2005
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    Depends on the truck. I loaded some "green" red:lol3 oak 8x8 beams in a Toyota tacoma that were 10'. I was only going 1 mile. The weight was so ridiculous I went of a rise and completely lost steering for a second. The resulting bouncing periodically caused the steering to regain, lose, regain lose for about 100 yards. Enough to cause major pucker.

    Obviously WAY overloaded. Cause a slight bow in the tailgate, surprised it wasn't worse actually.

    My Chevy 2500HD? Wouldn't even give it a seconds thought even if I had a goldwing in there.

    You could always turn a ramp upside down, like a U channel and as long as the front wheel is on the ramp should eliminate any worry even on a lightweight truck as the back of the bed will help distribute the load going over bumps.
  6. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    2001 Ford F150 Supercrew. DRZ400S. Rough road with dips. Only tied down the front. Big dip, too fast. Truck goes down, back of bike stays up. Truck comes up other side of dip, bike meets tailgate. Overall structure of the tailgate is just fine. Inside had a recessed area where the bike tire landed. I got lucky.

    That being said, I now tie the back down all the time. I've hauled my DR650 in it many times and my GSA once. Haven't killed the tailgate yet. The GSA was on pavement the whole time though.

    I'd agree with the other comments. Depends on the truck and tailgate construction. But always tie down the back too. :eek1
  7. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

    Mar 6, 2012
    On my '04 ford ranger, my Veestrom's rear wheel actually sits right at the leading edge of the tailgate when the front wheel is pushed all the way up to the front of the bed. Tied down 4 corners, pulling it forward/down in the front with ratchet straps and then back and down in the rear. Nothing under the rear wheel. Hauled it around 30 miles that way with no damage.

    I used to haul my Ducati up to Maine and NH and such all the time back when I had that, but the point is moot there because there was no weight on the tailgate at all.

    If I were hauling a longer bike, I'd probably put something under it to keep the weight off the tailgate... according to my owner's manual max weight rating for the tailgate down is 100 lbs.
  8. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

    Jul 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    same there. my bikes' rear tires are barely on the tailgate so no issues for me.
  9. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

    May 17, 2005
    :lol3 Yeahhhh...didn't want to be that guy.

    Interesting feedback and suggestions. I think I'll cut up a sheet of plywood and coat the top in rhino liner, call it done. I already have a hunk of plywood down in the front to chock the wheel.

    The pig is an 1150GS, so bigger than a 250cc dirt bike, but shy of a full-dress touring rig. Definitely big enough to make me wonder what a 350lb pig jumping up and down on my tailgate might do. I doubt that was the scenario they had in mind when laying down the specs.

    The truck is an avalanche. So, it's supposedly comparable to the silverado, but the whole sail-panel unibody thing makes me believe it's alot more related to the Tahoe than the Silverado. Is the tailgate up to 1500 or 2500 class specs? I wouldn't be surprised if it differed right where it counts.

    I know they make load extenders. But those all add serious length. @Sailah, they would've been perfect for your needs in your taco. Funny story, though, in a 3rd person sorta way.

    I wonder if anyone makes hitch-mounted load extenders that stop just higher and just further than the tailgate. for hauling bikes, you don't need it super longer...I just need to clear the gate.
  10. tree18is

    tree18is n00b

    Mar 23, 2008
    Tail gates gonna be fine !!!
  11. montanaman

    montanaman Traveler

    Oct 30, 2003
    So far no issues. I have a 6'5" bed so once they are in there is almost no weight on the tailgate. Just the up and down part..
  12. Grover6

    Grover6 Been here awhile

    Sep 15, 2010
    Are you running it straight in or on an angle? I can load my Xr650L in my '05 Dodge Ram with the 6'5" box on an angle and have about 6" or so to spare. Tie down four corners and close the tailgate, good to go.

    I hauled it around like this on my 2 week camping trip, and no issues there or back. Yes, I did lots of riding in between, way more than if I would have left it at home, just saying:lol3.
  13. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Dec 4, 2003
    Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
    03 taco
    6 foot bed
    It's had dl650s ducatis r100gs two xr650l and all sorts of other bikes hasn't dented bent or tweaked the tailgate yet.
  14. BCC

    BCC I know better

    Jul 22, 2004
    Central Florida
    2 big dirt bikes in a Ridgeline and 2 trackbikes in a shortbed Screw, many miles, no problems, both on tailgates.

    Never thought to ask first. Good idea.

    A board to spread the load of a pig might be a good idea.
  15. IL8APEX

    IL8APEX Been here awhile

    Oct 16, 2006
    I have an '11 Avalanche, haul my sport bikes all the time.

    My Tiger 800 is a bit longer, so instead of running it straight down the middle I went corner to corner in the bed. Gave me more peace of mind that the load would be nearer the hinge of the tailgate, less likely to cause damage.

  16. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

    Jul 2, 2009
    I've got tens of thousands of miles on my truck with a snowmobile in the back. It's fine. If you're really concerned about it, yeah, a sheet of plywood will help. With one bike, you can load it in diagonally. My bike fits in the shortbed diagonally, along with my 8-foot snowmobile ramp, with enough room to close the tailgate.

    Depends on the truck though. I've seen some trucks (mostly the smaller ranger/tacoma types) that bend because of weight on the tailgate. I'm sorry, but if it can't handle two or three grown men sitting on the tailgate, it's not a very useful tailgate. And with that kind of weight on it, a bike or sled is not going to be a problem. Just keep an eye on the cables, replace those every year or two.

  17. dualsportride

    dualsportride Been here awhile

    Dec 4, 2011
    Plainfield, Indiana
    I put 3 bikes in mine with the tail gate down ,and have never had any issues.