Most flat bed trailers are used to haul lawnmowers, heavy equipment or other cargo that needs to be tied down safely. However, flat-beds are limited in their usage for general hauling of items that would not require tying down each piece of cargo. This includes loose items like cardboard boxes or even landscape refuse. To improve the flexibility of your truck or trailer, adding a stake body framework is a good idea.
The idea is to build “gate” sections that latch together to form a strong framework but are also quickly removable so the trailer can perform its other tasks. Stake bodies can be simple wooden structures or CAD engineered works of art designed to perform a specific task. If stake body is to be wood and the trailer has pre-installed stake pockets, the job becomes fairly straightforward and pocket position determines how the gates are constructed.
Starting on the long side of the bed, trim the appropriate number of 2×4 wood lumber, cut to the desired height and insert in the stake pockets on the frame of the trailer.
Bolt-On Stake Pocket, 3″ x 1-1/2″ ID #B2373G
The end of the wood being inserted in the pocket will have to be trimmed on all four sides to get a tight fit. Often, the wood is selected on its ability to withstand the elements, such as “treated“ lumber. These 2 x 4 boards will become the upright (or vertical) post assemblies for the stake body frame.
Select the length of the horizontal wood slats (such as 1” x 6”) that connects two of the uprights to make the first gate. The horizontal slat length should be set based on proximity to connect to the adjacent gate horizontal slats. Screw or bolt the horizontal slats to the vertical 2 x 4” stakes to complete each gate. For best results, be consistent in choosing the size and spacing of the horizontal slats for a professional appearance.
Each gate should be trimmed so that it lines up closely with the next gate. It will be linked to the next gate by specific interlocking hardware:
For improved stability of the gates and rigidity of the whole structure, the connecting hardware should be added to two different horizontal slats.
Corner Stake Rack connector sets can be used for mating two corner gates:
Corner Stake Rack Connector Set #6020
These types of connecting hardware will allow the middle gate of three to be easily lifted out of the way to load or unload cargo. However, the two outside gates of three will not be able to be removed unless the middle is removed. These can be set-up in different ways so that a specific gate will always be removed.
Or Stake Body Spring Loaded Latch w/Keeper #06035 can be used for easy removal of any gate. This is also a more safe option since it prevents gates from being jostled loose while traveling down the road.
Stake body conversions require a good bit of thought beforehand to determine the best configuration for your needs. The custom design approach will allow the proper parts to be ordered before the process begins.