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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    156
    Location
    Schoharie, NY
    Tractor
    TC40A, Ford 8600, MF65

    Default To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    A cousin of mine is selling his 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 quad cab gasser for a good price because he wants to get a diesel. The truck has 86k miles, but soon after my cousin purchased it he noticed an oil leak and took it back to the dealer (he had a 3 mo warranty). They poked around (a lot) and could not figure it out so they replaced the motor, so the motor only has ~10k on it. Also, he beefed up the suspension and upgraded the axles so that it is effectively a HD. Anyway, that is just a little background.

    The real issue is that it is a short bed (6'). My wife and I will be using the truck to trailer horses, make trips to the lumber yard, the feed store, etc.

    The question: Will we regret getting a short bed pick up? Will we miss those two feet?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    LarryRB
    Guest

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    the quad cab short bed is actually a foot longer than a regular cab with 8 ft bed.. I haul around some pretty heavy tractors with an 18 ft equipment trailer and for me, I wouldn't have it any other way..

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    11,989
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    NH TC25D

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    I have an Extended Cab PU with a 6 foot bed and have the same uses you mention.

    <font color="blue"> My wife and I will be using the truck to trailer horses...</font>
    What kind of trailer will you be using, BP or GN? The pickup bed length doesn't matter with a BP, it can with a GN. We got a GN trailer with a tapered nose to avoid having the trailer hit the cab during sharp turns.

    <font color="blue">...make trips to the lumber yard...</font>
    This is where I wish I had the 8 foot bed since most lumber I use is 8' long. With a 6' bed it rests on the tailgate.

    <font color="blue">...make trips to the feed store...</font>
    Feed isn't a problem, we just stack the bags. I can already overload my 6' bed when getting hay so 2 more feet would only make things worse [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] .

    The net of it for me is, there are times when I wish I had an 8' bed, but it's not often enough to deal with that long a truck all the time. The truck you're considering is probably longer than my truck since it's a 4 door and not just an extended cab. If the number of times I needed the 8' bed increase, I'd consider getting a truck with an 8' bed.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    8,384
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    I have owned three Ford F150 pickups and every one was a standard cab with a long box, as I carried building materials I really needed the 8 foot length and for longer loads the tailgate could be folded down to provide another 2 feet. As for now I drive a Yukon XL and when the seats are folded in back I still have an 8 foot cargo area.

    If you are not going to carry building materials very often, I think you will be happy with the short bed...there are some aftermarket accessories that fit into a receiver hitch to help support long cargo. I never had one, but I carried a sheet of 3/4 plywood in the cargo box to use when I had to transport 12-16 foot long lengths of lumber. It was stiff enough to support items sticking four feet out past the lowered tailgate.

    I'm not sure if your horse trailer is the fifth wheel type but for some types of 5th wheel trailers a short bed would require a special hitch.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    284
    Location
    Southern NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    I've had both long and short beds. I like the short ones better for my use. 90% of the time I just need to haul whatever and only 10% involves lumber and ply. For that 10%, leaving the tailgate open is no big deal, though you might have to figure out how to secure the load. You do have to be more careful when dumping loose material (especially gravel) into a short bed so as not to hit the cab or dump material down the back of the tailgate.

    Towing? Depends. I wouldn't have anything but a long bed for a 5th wheel hitch (or gooseneck). The short bed sliding hitches are too expensive and problematic for my taste. With a tagalong, weight matters. The heavier the trailer generally, and the heavier the tongue weight, the longer you want the wheelbase. With a single or tandem horse trailer I wouldn't give it two second's thought. With a large stock trailer, I'd go with the long wheelbase (bed).

    Bill

  6. #6
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    3,388
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    I've had both and prefer the short bed with an extended or quad cab. With those and an 8' bed I feel like I'm driving a school bus. The ride is great but trying to park in town is a challenge at best.

    Someone else noted the lumber issue. That's the biggest thing I notice but it's no different than running an 8' bed and hauling 10' siding (which I've done many times). The right one for you is really a matter of your use and comfort level. If you're hauling plywood every day, get a long box. If you're doing a lot of errands in town, the short box is sure more convenient.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I hope this helps. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    156
    Location
    Schoharie, NY
    Tractor
    TC40A, Ford 8600, MF65

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    Thank you, everybody, for the responses. It sounds like the shorter bed is not a problem.

    MikePA, we will be pulling a no-frills two-horse BP for the time being. We may move up to a bigger gooseneck in the future, depending on what course we take (frequent showing, breeding, etc.), but by then, we'd be ready to get a new truck anyway.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    52
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Tractor
    International Diesel B414/Case 85XT Skid Loader/2k F250 SuperDuty 7.3 PowerStroke/John Deere 'B'/Allis Chalmers WD45

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    They also make a device called an "extend-a-bed" that incerts into the reciever hitch and is about 3 or 4 foot long with a riser that is level with the bed for hauling outsized lumber when needed. I haven't priced one so not sure of the cost.

    Steve

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    800
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    Regarding hauling lumber, I have three questions:
    (1) how often do you haul the lumber such that you would want the longer bed?
    (2) comparing with question #1, how often would the longer bed be a disadvantage in daily driving &amp; parking?
    (3) do you own, plan to buy, or have easy access to a long trailer that could haul the lumber?

    I personally would prefer the short bed truck because I use my current short-bed extended-cab truck as a daily driver more often than I use it to haul stuff. I have a 16' open bed trailer that I haul my tractor on that I have used on occasion when picking up long pieces of lumber. Now, if I didn't have the trailer, or didn't have access to one, or wasn't planning on buying one soon, then the longer bed truck would be more important to me.

    Kelvin

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,259
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: To Buy or Not to Buy A Short Bed Pick-Up?

    I find the long bed xcab to be the way to go. I like being able to have the whole 8' bed, and almost 10' with the tailgate down. Hauling stuff, it is just easier.

    I put a cross-bed toolbox in mine; it took a good chunk out of the longbed, although there is room for lumber ect to slide under the box.

    I like being able to stack things shorted in height, but longer; ie hauling hay. It is nice to have the load lower, especially in the taller 4x4. The longbed gives us room to spread it out a little.

    I don't find that I have problems manuevering. There's times it takes a couple shots at a parking space.

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