To save my back the next time I luck into some huge logs, I found and purchased some Highland Ramparts brackets from Pep Boys, while there replacing my new truck’s dead battery. I’ve seen gardeners in the area loading and unloading rider lawnmowers and everything else with these things, so me and a log on a hand truck should be fine, despite my ample size.
I also picked up the required 2×8s, each 8’ long. Unfortunately, measuring my truck’s unfolded tailgate height just now (33”), and using the lookup table in the Ramparts’ included instructions, I should be using 10’ 9” planks for a 14° angle, which is about as steep as you want to go. I modeled it in Sketchup, and it’s a pretty sharp angle, though doable with a handtruck.
But those are huge planks! My bed is only about 6’. I don’t want 4’ 9” – almost half their length – sliding around over the edge on a long drive to pick up some lumber. Also, anything over a 2’ 0” height (7’ 9” long boards) should have intermediary support. I imagine something like a 2×4 or 2×6 screwed on edge to the bottom through the top of the flat board to create T-beams. Now the idea is even more unwieldy.
I guess I didn’t just solve my loading problems after all. I knew it was a high bed. Originally I was looking for something like my dad’s Toyota from the 80s, small and dark blue, and not unlike this one, though that’s an ‘88, and his must have been from between late 70s, or very early 80s. As a kid I could easily sit on the tailgate, whereas the truck now I have to leap up into a bit. Still, I would have put quite a strain on that little truck’s shocks getting all those huge eucalyptus logs home :)
I think the winch + unfoldable/steep ramp idea is gaining traction.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator