How to carry long lumber without a trailer!

Long Lumber, Short Bed

You may not be able to tell from where you are sitting, but that is a 24′ board safely tied in the back of my 6 1/2′ bed. I have seen long lumber carried many different ways:

Through the back window. (My personal favorite to see)

Strapped along the side of the vehicle over the side mirror.

Stuck under the toolbox up over the tailgate waving in the air.

From the tailgate over the roof of the truck waving in the air the other way.

There are other acceptable ways to carry long lumber, most involve a truck rack which carries boards overhead.  Not wanting that constant encumberance, I purchased a truck bed extender Basically the truck extender is a two piece arm that mounts in your hitch receiver with an adjustable height 4′ wide rear bar.  The pieces nest for easy storage in my truck.  For really long boards or flimsy trim, it is helpful to place a 16′ board underneath to give the long board some added stiffness.  As a whole, leaving the trailer at home is priceless.  And instead of pitching long lumber or cutting it into shorter pieces, I tend to haul it to my next jobsite.  I keep red flags, a stapler, and a small roll of plastic wrap on the truck for added safety.  The tie down loops  on either end of the truck extender allow easy placement of a strap to fully tie things to the truck.

As always, the ultimate in time and cost savings is having the lumber yard deliver and then at the end of framing remove the unused lumber. Inevitably there will always be a few pieces to deal with, and this is how I have found works extremely well.

Question: Have any funny lumber lugging stories?

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5 Responses to How to carry long lumber without a trailer!

  1. Tim May 4, 2009 at 2:43 PM #

    Oh, man, that’s a great idea. It would perfect for my Tundra. And my wife wouldn’t laugh at me for having boards resting on the roof or through the back sliding window…

    • chriscrimmins May 4, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

      I hate to admit it, but there has been lumber in precarious positions in my history. In fact my wife laughs at my “ingenious” methods of procuring movement. Such as pulling my trailer with my mower so that I don’t ruin the grass. Need I tell you that its a small mower!

  2. Brad May 16, 2009 at 5:55 PM #

    Chris – I can imagine some of the ways you have moved material around. Oh the stories this industry brings up!

    I remember once stacking two 24 x 12 sheets of particle board on the roof of my van. Tied on with rope and four of us guys holding it all down while getting it to a work site. Man, it was like a scene out of a comedy. 🙂

    Awesome truck mate!

    • chriscrimmins May 18, 2009 at 1:42 PM #

      Thanks for the props Brad. It is startling when necessity presents itself what the mind will come up with. How do I transport x with y. Pure comedy is correct. Thanks so much.

  3. Ellen Weber May 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM #

    Great post and thanks Chris! In fact your stories here do remind me of a from room I tried to build on a country home once. At that time I was driving a Toyota Tercel and I carried all the lumber in that Tercel. I can still see the car coming down the highway with boards hanging out all the side windows, and I am still laughing. You would have built that front sunroom so much better than I did — but what fun I had and each day I would sit in my little room and write. I even wrote a newspaper column to describe the nightmare trips with boards hanging out all over:-) Thanks for the smile, Chris! Great site too by the way!

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