A Truck Owner's Guide to Ladder Racks

By: Julia Bennet

Ladder racks are structures that can be attached to a van, pickup truck, or other large vehicle, with the primary purpose of carrying ladders or other similar items while traveling. Although it is also possible to simply secure the ladder to the side or the top of the vehicle using a rope or cable, this is not considered safe at all. In some places, doing so may even be illegal in which case you will have to pay fines should you get caught.

When choosing which ladder rack to install on a vehicle, there are several factors that must be kept in mind in order to end up with the right choice. First and foremost, the ladder rack needs to be the right size. It has to be able to fit onto the vehicle and it needs to be capable of carrying all the items that you plan on bringing along. It is worth noting that these racks are not just meant for ladders but can also be used to carry many other kinds of items as well.

Another important matter to consider when shopping for a ladder rack is whether it is going to be used on a regular basis or only on rare occasions. The reason why this is important is because there are two different categories of ladder racks those that are permanently attached to the vehicle and those that can be removed and reinstalled upon demand.

Ladder racks are also be differentiated according to where they are installed on a vehicle. There are side-mounted ones that may be installed along the inside of a pickup truck bed or along the side of a van or similar vehicle. The other type, called the cap racks, consists of those racks that are installed on the top of the vehicle, either over the roof of a van or on the bed of a pickup truck. A side-mounted ladder rack is usually just capable of carrying one ladder while a cap rack may be able to hold a varying number of items at a time.

Different types of materials are used for making ladder racks, and the choice of material would affect the cost of the rack, its weight capacity, its net weight, and the installation process required.

Aluminum racks are fairly common because they are lightweight and very easy to install even without professional help. The cost and durability of these racks are in the average range. Galvanized steel racks are far more durable and can carry more weight but they are also significantly more expensive. There are also black powder coated racks that are valued for their durability and resistance to rust. The price is average and the only drawback is that they are quite heavy.

Before going ahead and choosing a ladder rack for your vehicle, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the different kinds of racks available, as well as the pros and cons of each, so as to be able to make the right decision.

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If you are not sure as to which type of ladder rack to buy, we have capable representatives at our online ladder racks store who can guide you into making the right pick.

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