How difficult is it to mount an aluminum utility truck bed on a Ford F250? Why would one install a utility flat bed on their pickup truck? We went do to CM Truck Beds‘ Oklahoma factory to learn everything about it, and to also install a SK-AL bed on Mr. Truck’s F250.
The truck we are working with is a 2012 Ford F250 with a gas 6.2L V8. It’s a crew cab 4×4 with a short (approx. 6.5 foot) original bed. Ford makes the original bed mounting bolts easy to get to. The bolts go all the way through the bed and the truck’s frame. You can get to them inside the bed, but they are generally difficult to get out due to the high amount of torque and the hex heads. It took some doing to get the bolts out. The next challenge was the network of air lines that are associated with the AutoFlex air suspension of this truck. Also, the gooseneck hitch, the rear hitch, and the bumper had some stubborn bolts.
Once all of those original components were out, the actual installation of the CM truck bed is easier by comparison. It does require both welding it and bolting it to the truck’s frame. Although, the SK-AL bed body is all aluminum, the sub-frame underneath and the hitches are steel. This allows the bed to handle up to 26,000 lbs of gooseneck trailer capacity, or up to 14,000 lbs of rear (aka. bumper) hitch capacity. The CM bed’s wiring harness makes the hookup relatively easy.
We chose the SK-AL bed because it offers a flat loading floor and four additional sealed storage boxes below. It also makes for a sleek appearance. This bed is approximately seven feet long by seven feet wide, and offers a headache rack to protect the truck’s cab. While the floor of this utility bed is a little higher than the floor of the original bed, there are no bed sides to hinder access to the cargo or the trailer hookup. If you tow a gooseneck trailer in an off-road situation (loading hay in a field), the absence of bed sides also offers better articulation between the truck and trailer.
CM Truck Beds pricing starts at around $2,000 for a basic steel flatbed. The pricing goes much higher for a full-featured product, but pricing and installation fees vary greatly depending on region and the dealer. This is why exact pricing is not listed.
Aluminum truck bed costs about 20% more than a steel bed with equivalent setup and features. Of course, an aluminum bed also weighs approximately 20% less than a steel one. This helps a lot with the payload capability.
Check out the video for all of the details.