Stupid questions about hauling plywood w/pickup

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Forum topic by Woodtechie posted 05-18-2014 09:06 PM 19204 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 1834 days

05-18-2014 09:06 PM

I have an F-150 (6.5’ bed), and I intended to use a “bed extender” which installs onto the tailgate to give me over 8’ of room for plywood. It turns out the tailgate step built into my tailgate is going to prevent this plan from working!

So I guess my options are… either try and replace the tailgate with a regular one so I can use this “xtremegate” (this won’t be cheap I imagine), or just deal with it like everyone else.

The stupid questions are… if I throw plywood in the back and lean it on the tailgate (closed), does it need to be secured? Can it possibly shift out of the bed if I accelerate fast, or will the weight hold it down? If I do need to secure it from sliding out, how would I do that? How about long 2×4’s and such?

18 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3063 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 05-18-2014 09:37 PM

If the tailgate is closed and the sheet is against the front of the bed it’s not going anywhere. I just haul 4×8 plywood with the tailgate down. There is enough friction between the bed floor and plywood its secure. You could run a strap from the tiedown backet around the end of the wood if that makes you feel better.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4295 days

#2 posted 05-18-2014 09:39 PM

You’ll be fine. Most of the sheet is inside the bed. I’m not sure if it’s physically possible to accelerate quickly enough to have it come out.

I often load up 12’ boards ( 2x or rough stock) in my 8’ bed, with tailgate up, no problems. I do tie the boards together, and do put a strap on one of the tie doe downs. Not because they will fall out, but keeps the boards from shifting side to side.

-- Nicky

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3916 days

#3 posted 05-18-2014 10:05 PM

Would securing the sheets prevent them from sliding out in case you get rear-ended?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Don W's profile

Don W

19017 posts in 2771 days

#4 posted 05-18-2014 10:15 PM

I dumped a whole load of plywood in the middle of an intersection once, so I strap mine in. A strap from the bumper to a tie down takes about 35 seconds.

It wasn’t so much the reloading, it was the honking and laughing as they went by that got me.

If its one or two sheet its ok with the tailgate closed. If its more leave it open.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Woodtechie's profile


55 posts in 1834 days

#5 posted 05-18-2014 10:17 PM

If someone rams me in the back while I’m hauling ply, I’d PREFER it to smash their hood in. ^_^

But that’s cool, this is what I suspected—that crap is heavy.

View Woodtechie's profile


55 posts in 1834 days

#6 posted 05-18-2014 10:18 PM

Okay just saw Don’s msg.

Did that happen with the tailgate up or down? I assume down since it was a “load”.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3165 days

#7 posted 05-18-2014 10:22 PM

Strap it in. I haul 8 ft. and longer with the tailgate up in our Dodge Ram with 6-1/2 ft. bed. Just like to be safe. If someone would get hurt as a result of plywood coming through the windshield or trying to avoid it on the road, it’s lawsuit city.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19017 posts in 2771 days

#8 posted 05-18-2014 10:26 PM

The tailgate was down. I’ve hauled lots of plywood with the tailgate up. I just don’t trust the latches with a heavy load. That’s why I said for a few sheets only.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View ChrisK's profile


2014 posts in 3285 days

#9 posted 05-18-2014 10:29 PM

I have the 5.5 ft bed. I leave the tailgate up if there are only a few sheets. I always toss a a strap over the pile to prevent a sheet lifting off while I am on the hwy. If the tali gate is down I secure the pile withe a strap or two front to back to keep the top sheets from sliding out when I pull away.

-- Chris K

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 1732 days

#10 posted 05-18-2014 10:32 PM

I have the same truck with the short bed and I haul a lot of sheet goods. 2 or 3 sheets I will leave the tailgate up, but I still throw a strap around it. Then I don’t worry one iota about it. When I’m hauling more, I leave the tailgate down and I strap it from 2 directions. Better safe than sorry. And if your ever hauling melamine you wont keep it in your truck unless it’s strapped. There’s no reason not to strap it in my opinion for the little amount of time it takes. Can you imagine what it would be like if the sheets came out of your truck and caused an accident with a fatality? Just strap it and keep everybody safe. Don’t be an “Armature” :)

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View Woodtechie's profile


55 posts in 1834 days

#11 posted 05-18-2014 10:40 PM

lol Yeah based on the responses here it looks like some straps will be purchased – any suggestions for something that’ll work well off Amazon or @Depot?

View Don W's profile

Don W

19017 posts in 2771 days

#12 posted 05-18-2014 10:46 PM

Something like this will work fine. I like the ratchet type best.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View muleskinner's profile


919 posts in 2640 days

#13 posted 05-18-2014 11:03 PM

In my state (Washington) they have an unsecured load law with fines that can be pretty onerous. I have an f150 with an 8 foot bed and a tool box in the bed and I carry my plywood like most everyone else – tailgate up with the sheets resting on top of the tailgate. Just to avoid any arguments with over zealous state troopers (which I’ve never found to be fruitful) I throw a tie-down strap across the back mainly for show. But I’m usually only driving a few miles on state and county roads. At freeway speeds with semi truck air blasts and cross winds its not inconceivable to imagine a sheet of 1/2 plywood going airborne.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 3225 days

#14 posted 05-18-2014 11:04 PM

I keep a couple of ratcheting motorcycle tie downs in my truck at all times. They work quickly enough that it only takes seconds to strap something down, they’re strong enough to hold a pretty significant load in place, yet don’t take up all the space of full size ratcheting tie downs.

Since my lumber dealer is about 30 minutes of 65mph+ freeway driving away, I always feel better with the load secured whether it’s a full size load flat on the bed with the tail gate down or just a couple of pieces riding on top of the raised tail gate.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3851 days

#15 posted 05-18-2014 11:09 PM

I hauled plywood up steep hills for years in the back of an SUV….
I used a strap to tie down the hatch back so I suppose the
plywood might have dived out if the strap was there.

You can lean it against the closed tailgate and it will probably
stay in place in almost every situation. You can also load
it with the tail gate open and tie a strap running from the
bumper tie holes (underneath) to some point at the
front of the bed.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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