I hope that you won't take off your tailgate because you will need to put some ballast on your truck bed for better traction. Think about it, snowplowing would requires frequent stopping and backing up. So the stuff in your truck bed will be slidding around (unless you drive really slow and gentle) and it could fall out of the box. I'd like to have the tailgate down because it can give me more and better view of where I am going when backing up. But I need the tailgate because I need the ballast.
As for the balast, Chevy has slots in the side of the bed for 2x10's right in front & behind the wheel humps, PERFECT for a row of sandbags. Take the tail gate off & yer all set...
I just installed some lights up under the truck on (next to) the hitch mount. Yeah thay dont shine back far. So now that you got me thinking I'm going to get a couple more & mount them to the 2x10's. You can never have to much light in back. or in front for that matter but not much one can do about that.
I forgot that some trucks have slots on their bed. It can work that way, but I am not sure if you could use 2x10's. Sounds a bit too big to me IMO, because that's pretty high enough to stack second row of sandbag and that could push the boards out of its slot if weight get shifted hard. My father have Chevy S-10 and I made a couple of 2x4's for him. It works well for him. The slots on his truck bed does not seems to be deep enough for 2x10's. Maybe the slots is deeper in the bigger Chevy trucks?
Mine stays on because I have a cap on my truck. I would leave mine on anyway if I didn't have a cap though. A tailgate holds the bed together and is a crucial part of the bed structure. Over time the bed will become weak and loose if you leave the tailgate down or take it out while driving. If you really want more visibility I would but a steel screen gate that you can see through but that still has the structural integrity of a tailgate.
My 75 came from the factory without a tailgate. (original owner picked it up at the gate & drove it to the camper dealership...) Except for the rust, my box is still rock solid. I finally got around to building a tailgate for it a couple of weeks ago & the corners were dead on to spec.
Got Grass, you mentioned adding lights on the 2 by's so that you'd have more light to the rear. I found that adding lights in the bed causes too much reflection and your eyes don't adjust for see past the bed into the darkness. I have a farm bumper on my Chevy and I mounted 55 watt lights on the inside body panel just below the bed surface. Lots of light since they are mounted higher.
Our tailgates are off, but we've got a couple of the 'old-style' Buyers tailgate salters and the iron bar that goes across the top of the bed holds the sides nice and firm. We cut a couple of 4"x4"s to fit snug beween the sides of the box back near the bumper. They keep the salt bags from sliding out, and you can see right over them.