Building my own hotshot truck bed

Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by crocky, Dec 1, 2021.

  1. crocky

    crocky Road Train Member

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    A few months back I posted pictures of the rear fenders I built for my Chevy 5500. They looked nice but embarrassingly they lasted 2 trips before the road destroyed them. Broke one in Arizona then finished the other off in Michigan..

    It was these.. The way I attached them to my hitch plate allowed for bouncing and they beat themselves apart. Had I connected them from side to side they would have mostly been ok, but they were not permanent anyway was just a temp set up just more temporary than I expected.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I bought the truck in Jan but haven't had the time to convert it as I intended. I wanted to install a Semi 5th wheel which I already owned and put a sleeper on the truck plus add side boxes. Over Thanksgiving, I was finally able to get the basics done and I built the subframe for the hitch section, so I could mount the hitch and get new fenders put on.

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    The idea is to build a hotshot style bed that I can attach everything to it, so I don't have to drill a billion holes in the frame to make the DOT cry.. This is the rear section and it will still get covered with some diamond plate steel and get a rear bumper with a receiver so I can bumper drag if need be. Then it will get toolboxes mounted on each side.

    Where the toolboxes are now will be another separate frame that attaches to this one to mount the sleeper onto. I built it in 2 sections because if I decide to remove this bed to put on another truck later the current section will be the right length for say a crew cab extended frame truck. That or I can always remove this frame and still leave the sleeper on this truck once it's mounted.

    A closer look at how it's built and how the 5th wheel mounts. I ended up going with the store-bought rear fenders this go around because I didn't have time to rebuild a different set.

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  3. 24kHotshot

    24kHotshot Heavy Load Member

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    I wish I had the time, skill and room to be able to do the same.
    Good job, looks nice and clean
     
  4. crocky

    crocky Road Train Member

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    Yeah, it's not my shop I had to do everything at my dad's place which is where I keep my trailer anyway but I'd like to have my own shop set up because I'd do a lot more stuff just for the hell of it. I kinda like little building projects like this. Will be nice to get it all finished so I can finally get a sleeper on my truck some 50k miles after I bought it.. lol
     
  5. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

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    So it's not going to be a walk-in sleeper I am guessing? Not sure I'd want anybody to cut into the cab or have the guts to do it myself.

    5th wheel looks good. Looks like a Jost...had one on an old Volvo I used to drive. Took me a second to figure out you had to lift up on the handle and pull it out at the same time to release it. At bit awkward but makes it less easy to tamper with.

    You'll probably get 2 or 3 years out of those poly fenders before they gnaw themselves apart. There's a company that makes polished stainless ones that looks sharp but can't remember the company at the moment. Phoenix maybe?
     
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  6. crocky

    crocky Road Train Member

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    No, not a walk-in, because a truck this size and the sleeper aren't really big enough. The sleeper has a side door, but I will most likely pull the rear window of the truck out so I can have crawl through access if I want.. ( I really just want access into the cab but I'm ok with entering exiting from the side.) So really no different than how guys with crew cabs do it but I'll just have a real sleeper.

    Yeah, it's a jost 5th wheel. It was almost new, the guy used it like 6 or 8 months before he decided to put a sliding 5th wheel on his semi. I looked at the normal heavy duty 5th wheels they sell for hotshots and they are all really expensive and seem like eventually stuff might break or wear out vs this thing will never wear out on a truck my size and I got it for $300.

    I'm planning to have my flat deck modified to something similar to this. (turn the gooseneck into a step deck) I just want it a bit lower and I want it with a front overhang of about a foot and a half. The idea is to get a 10ft deck over the truck so I can fit 3 cars or 50ft of freight. So with that in mind, I wanted a real semi hitch.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
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  7. rccarlson22

    rccarlson22 Medium Load Member

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    I’m so close to chopping my gooseneck and making it like this. What a world of difference it would make
     
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  8. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

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    How expensive is the chop and alteration ?
     
  9. crocky

    crocky Road Train Member

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    Yeah, I'm pretty frustrated that mine still isn't done. The entire reason I bought the trailer was to make it a step deck.

    I just don't like how they did the deck on the 1 in the picture though. For mine, I want the deck to be the same height as the i-frame rails like the regular deck is. Also I want mine extended out the front as well so it's a full 10ft.

    This way I have 50ft of deck but can still do 3ft ramp extensions on the front of the deck.
     
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  10. crocky

    crocky Road Train Member

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    I was quoted around $2,5k from the shop that was supposed to do mine.

    If I can't find a shop that will do it, I'm about to do it myself. I'm fine with doing the fab work, in fact I'd rather do it myself because I can better fine tune what I know I want vs trying to get someone to do it.

    My problem is the structural welds. I'd have to get a mobile guy to come out and do the ibeams and kingpin.
     
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  11. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

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    This day and time that is really good considering the lag time to build. The price of used trailers nowadays is crazy.
     
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