Thanks to stronger engines and beefier underpinnings, pickup trucks are more capable than they have ever been. These vehicles are also much more comfortable meaning you no longer have to have a spine shattering ride every time you have to use one for work or play.
With their payload capacities hitting over a ton, some pickup users will simply stack things in the bed and let the payload do all the work. Not only does it waste the bed's capacity, it is also a dangerous practice that may see debris flying off from the bed and may lead to accidents. To avoid such incidents, here are ways to make the most of your truck's bed the safe way.
Before we get to loading things onto the bed, let us first understand payload capacity. There is a common misconception regarding payload, mainly being the advertised weight being the carrying capacity of the bed alone. To clarify, it usually refers to how much weight a truck can safely carry in passengers and cargo in the cab and bed. For example, the Isuzu D-Max has a payload capacity of up to 1,100 kilograms meaning you can safely bring people and cargo until that weight limit. Anything more than that will severely compromise performance and more importantly, safety.
Now that we have a better understanding of payload, we now take a closer look at one of the main selling points of pickups, the bed. Three It's not enough to have just a long bed. One has to take height and width into account as well. Bed volume is the key here and the higher volume means a more practical the truck. Having a wide bed allows for more efficient placing of cargo on the bed while a taller bed allows higher stacking of objects. Using the D-Max as an example, its bed measures 1,485 millimeters long, 1,530 millimeters wide and 465 mm tall, giving it a total box volume of 1.05 cubic meters.
After knowing more about your pickup's capabilities, it's time to learn how to transport cargo as safely as possible be it small or large loads.
When carrying smaller cargo, it will have a tendency to move around in the bed and cause damage to the item or items you are carrying. To prevent small cargo from sliding around, a bedliner keeps things in place and to really hold these in place, it is also recommended to use a cargo net in cases of traveling over bumpy roads. This also reduces the risk of cargo being ejected from the bed. One can also but padding on the corners of the small cargo being transported. It also helps the pickup like the D-Max, that has a standard bedliner that protects the bed from scratches.
Larger items meanwhile need stronger straps to tie them down. Robust ratchet straps ensure minimal cargo shuffling in the bed, as well as keeping items from being ejected from the bed. For cargo longer than the bed, one may rest the items on the lip of the tailgate as long as it's light. Long and heavy items do not use the lip of the tailgate as you not only risk damaging your pickup but also increase the chances of cargo flying out if the latch gives way. For this sort of cargo, open the tailgate and crisscross the ratchet straps across the load. Attach one end of the strap to the opposite end of the bed corner and do the same for the second strap.
To maximize your bed's capacity, place flat and wide cargo on the floor first then stack them up as the items get smaller. As always, strap them down together or use a cargo net to secure these in place. For unusual shaped cargo, rest the item on a pallet to give it more surface area and therefore less slippage.
Before you hit the road, there are a few reminders to take note of when driving with cargo. When hauling long loads in the city, be aware of the extra length and do not rely on sensors alone. Adjust your mirrors accordingly to avoid mishaps. For the benefit of those driving behind you, place a marker, such as a red flag, for them to keep distance.
Another reminder when carrying loads on the highway or heavy rain, take note that you are distributing more weight at back. Sudden movements may cause the pickup to fishtail and cause an accident. Fortunately, there are driver aids to avoid such outcomes. In the Isuzu D-Max, it comes standard with traction and stability control standard, helping your truck stay straight at higher speeds and foul weather. These safety systems assist you while hauling but it always pays to be a safe driver. At highway speeds and inclement weather, make your steering inputs more gentle and obey the speed limit.
Now that you have a better understanding of your pickup's capabilities, it's time to go out there and enjoy the extra utility these vehicles have to offer. With this knowledge, you'll be able to bring your friends, family and cargo safe and sound wherever you go.