Building a flatbed is an important part of the process, and can be difficult to do if you’re not sure what you’re doing. The first thing you need to do is get your materials together. You’ll need a large piece of plywood, which should be at least 1/2″ thick.
If possible, try to find one that’s 3/4″ thick or more. The thicker it is, the easier it will be for you to attach the back of your flatbed. You’ll also need some wood glue and screws with a screwdriver so that you can put everything together properly.
Flatbed Truck Average Costs
Most new flatbed trucks cost anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000. Medium-duty trucks with fewer features fall on the low end of that price range while heavy-duty trucks with lots of upgrades fall on the higher end.
If that’s more than you’re looking to spend, consider buying a used flatbed truck. Once a flatbed truck has accrued a hundred thousand miles or more, the price drops substantially. However, you’ll still be able to find a reliable truck with a long life expectancy.
- Gently used flatbed trucks with low mileage begin at around $30,000.
- Higher-mileage trucks in good condition usually run $10,000 to $20,000.
- Very high mileage trucks with some wear and tear can be purchased in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Flatbed?
As you may have guessed, the answer to that question depends on a lot of factors. For example:
- What kind of flatbed do you want? (trailer, truck bed, etc.)
- How much material do you need?
- What tools and hardware are necessary for your project?
Now that we’ve covered some of the variables involved in calculating how much it costs to build a flatbed — here’s how we did ours:
We built our flatbed using 2x4s because my brother had them lying around his garage. We bought some boards from Home Depot for about $100 since we needed about 3 feet per board. We also bought two different kinds of bolts and screws from Amazon ($40) as well as metal brackets at Lowe’s ($25). All told, our materials cost us around $140.
How Long Is A Flatbed?
You can find flatbeds in various sizes, but the most common size is 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet high. This makes the truck height about 6’7″.
As a rule of thumb, you can fit two 8-foot long panels on a flatbed. That’s how many panels you can fit in general with this design as well (two 40 x 80 sheets). But if you have longer or wider panels than that—or if they’re not completely flat—then your mileage may vary.
Step 1: Planning Your Flatbed
Before you start planning your flatbed, it’s important to know why you need the flatbed. You can use a flatbed for many purposes:
- You might want to use it for hauling materials and equipment.
- Perhaps you are building or repairing things that are too large for most pickup trucks.
- Maybe you just want a space where people can stand while they’re working on something else that’s inside the bed of your truck. Whatever the reason may be, it is important that you know what purpose this flatbed will serve before starting to plan anything else about its construction or design.
Step 2: Frame Design
Once you’ve decided on a design, the next step is to figure out what materials to use in your frame. This can be tricky because of the different designs available and their cost. For example, if you want a flatbed trailer with several levels that are all connected together, it’ll require more materials than just one level with no connecting parts.
If you have an idea of what size your flatbed should be and how many levels it needs to have (if any), then you can begin designing your frame with these factors in mind. There are also ways of building a strong yet lightweight frame depending on how much weight each level has been designed for and how much excess weight there might be from items placed onto them during transport:
- Use high-quality steel or aluminum – These materials provide sturdiness without being too heavy for easy transportation by hand or forklift truck (depending on what type of vehicle will be used). They also won’t rust when exposed to moisture over time due to poor maintenance practices like not keeping them clean enough between uses/transportations; this keeps costs down since regular maintenance isn’t required unless there’s some sort of accident involving water damage (which isn’t likely given proper usage).
Step 3: Finding The Right Materials
Step 3: Finding The Right Materials
Once you’ve picked a design, it’s time to find the right materials. This is where things can get tricky because there are so many options out there and not all of them are cheap. It’s important to keep in mind that building a flatbed will require A LOT of material—and not just wood. Remember that this is an investment, so do some research, compare prices, and don’t forget to factor in cost of tools as well as labor.
Step 4: Order The Parts & Tools
Once you have the dimensions of your flatbed in mind, you’ll need to order the raw materials and tools needed to build it. While there are some things that can be bought at a hardware store (such as wood), most of what you need will come from industrial suppliers or specialized builders’ supply companies.
Supplies: You’ll need a variety of supplies when building your flatbed, including lumber for framing and flooring; metal fasteners like bolts and screws; paint or stain; adhesives like glue and nails; tools like hammers, saws and sandpaper; foam padding for bedding animals on-board safely; lights if they’re not already installed on your truck’s cabins already
Step 5: Gather Your Parts
The first step in building a flatbed is gathering your parts. The most important part is the bed frame, which will be where the truck bed will sit. You can get this from any used car dealership or on Craigslist or Ebay. If you don’t want to buy a used bed, then you could just buy an entire truck bed off of Craigslist and take out your old one to use as a base for your flatbed project (this is what we did). Either way, make sure that whatever vehicle/truck you choose has enough space for whatever it is that you’re planning on carrying.
Step 6: Building The Frame
Building a frame is not difficult, but you will need to know the dimensions of your flatbed. It is possible to build your own frame from scratch or buy a pre-made one.
If you are going to use wood as the material for your frame, it is recommended that you use treated lumber, which has been treated with chemicals that prevent rotting and decay. Wood can last longer than metal when exposed to moisture for long periods of time.
Step 7: How To Weld A Metal Bed Frame Together
This step is the most tricky. There are a few different types of welding that you can use to build your bed frame. Some welders prefer gas-powered arc welders, while others use more traditional MIG or TIG methods. If you have experience in welding, this will be easy for you because it’s just like any other project that requires welding—you just need to follow instructions and make sure everything is set up correctly before plugging in the machine.
If you don’t have any experience with welding at all, I would recommend taking some lessons at a community college or trade school so that they can give you an introduction to each type of welder and teach them how to set them up properly without damaging anything else around them while they’re working on their projects. This is especially important if there are children living nearby where these machines could get knocked over by mistake.
Step 8: Attach Lights & Racks
- Attach Lights & Racks
- Mount Lights & Racks on the Frame
- How to Mount the Lights and Racks on the Frame
Our flatbed cost only $220 to build.
If you’re like us and are looking for a way to save money, here’s what we did:
- We purchased a metal frame from Harbor Freight Tools. We chose this store because their products are high quality but also inexpensive. The total cost of the bed frame was $220.
- We then welded four 2x4s together in order to make our own bed slats for the flatbed. These were about $10 each at Home Depot and we used six of them in total (three on each side).
In the end, we spent $220 on a flatbed that will last us for years and years to come. If you’re looking to build one yourself, then use our step-by-step guide as a starting point for your own project.