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Flatbeds- Steel vs Aluminum

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Rat_Power_78, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Considering putting a flatbed on one of my pickups in the near future, looking for opinions on steel or aluminum. Obviously I know aluminum won't rust but beyond that I dont typically carry much for weight in the truck while plowing-spreader is on a dedicated truck, usually don't need a blower on this trucks route, etc. mainly wanting to do it for the visibility and versatility. So, guys with steel, how quick are they getting rusty? Guys with aluminum, how are they holding up, meaning cracking, abrasion, etc? Do you notice a weight difference?
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,413

  3. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Agreed, aluminum is overrated
  4. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    We have a steel flat bed on our 05 F350 and as far as rust...I think it's held up very well. We bought the truck with the bed on it used and it was in good shape then and haven't really done anything to it as far as paint. It's starting to get to the point where we need to remove it, have it blasted and re coated with something line X or this epoxy type paint Ive found. It's a dedicated salt truck so its seen about 400 tons or so of salt on it, in it and spreading it. The biggest problem we have is keeping the clearance lights from rotting out every other month. I removed all of them until we get everything blasted. I can't speak for an aluminum bed but our liquid salt supplier has an aluminum dump bed on his 1 ton and it's held up for years it looks like. I guess if I have a choice I would go with an aluminum bed just for the fact of it holding up cosmetically
  5. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I would much rather go steel as I have the capabilities to build/modify/repair steel. Aluminum, not so much. Just dont want to spend time and money on steel if its going to rust faster than I expect.
  6. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,508

    Id like to eventually get a steel flatbed for my brick. All the reasons stated. Rust shouldnt be an issue if preventative maintenance is kept up with.
  7. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,105

    My aluminum boxes are both 10+ years old, I had a steel box on one truck but got really tired of painting it to keep it looking good. It depends what you do with them. The difference in weight is negligible, but aluminum being a softer metal will gouge more if do a lot of aggregate, or stone. I am also lucky enough that my manufacturer isn't far and really specializes in aluminum welding. I have never had to return to them to fix a cracked weld. I will never return to steel boxes.
  8. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I would never put a steel flatbed on a truck again. I have had a alum truckcraft flatbed on my truck since 2003 it looked as good as the day I put it on. My new truck has a aluma body on it but it has not done as well as the truckcraft. I did have some broken welds due to poor welding. All taken care of under warranty. I put a steel flat bed on my other truck after 3 years it was a rusted mess. As for weight 115" x 94" body weights 450lb and steel is 930Lbs
    My recommendation is spend the extra money and buy the alum body well worth the money.