Accubuilt boosts Ford pickup beds

DALLAS -- Aftermarket upfitter Accubuilt, Lima, OH, is working with Ford Motor Co. to provide pickup truck beds for the F-450 and F-550 that are beefed up to handle the maximum payload and towing capacity offered by those chassis.

Re-engineered using Ford parts, Accubuilt adds five additional 17-gauge galvanized steel crossmembers to the chassis, enabling the bed to handle the maximum 11,300-lb. payload and 24,900-lb. towing capacity without cracking, said Ken Earnest, Accubuilt’s director of marketing, here at the Great American Trucking Show.

“Payload and trailer loads keep getting heavier and heavier, especially in the light construction market,” Earnest said. “Our main goal is to make sure customers can haul and tow the maximum weight allowed by the chassis without damaging the truck bed – improving highway safety in the process.”

Larry Savage, commercial truck marketing manager for Ford’s F-Series Super Duty line, agreed that safety is the key advantage to the beefed-up truck beds. “We want to make sure customers can haul the expected payload or trailer safely,” he said.

Earnest added that Accubuilt expects to produce 2,000 of these units per year, largely for customers hauling horse trailers and light construction equipment such as back-hoe loaders. Accubuilt’s pickup package also replaces the standard 19 gallon fuel tank with a mid-ship located 50 gallon model so a full-size spare tire can be mounted under the chassis. While it is still an 8-ft. pickup bed, it is also mounted flush to the cab without the need for gap or filler – giving the package a “cleaner” look, he said.

“That’s critical for resale value – not only is it engineered to carry the maximum payload, it looks more natural,” Earnest said. “It also allows light duty fleets to get a pickup that has a gross combined weight rating of 33,000 lb. without having to move up to a medium-duty truck.”

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