Best Ladder Rack for Trucks

Looking to move houses but do not want to make multiple trips to transport cargo? Or planning a trip down the river with friends but finding it hard to take your kayak along? Doesn’t matter which trucks you own, at times taking heavier stuff with you can become more of a headache.

This is why; you certainly need a ladder rack for truck! Believe it or not, this ladder rack will change the game for you once and for all! It is one of the safest, easiest, and convenient ways to transport your cargo, be it heavy or light. And yes, the rack makes a great one-time investment, providing their services to you for as long as it lasts.

But of course, finding the right one for your use is certainly feels like a mountain to conquer! Hence, here is a list of the best ladder rack for trucks that’ll help you choose the right one.

Product Features Price
TMS 800 Truck Pickup Rack Steel frame, carry capacity 800 pounds, sturdy and durable https://www.amazon.com/TMS-Adjustable-Utility-Ladder-Contractor/dp/B009VOQ05U
Erickson 07706 Steel Truck Racks Heavy-duty steel frame, carry capacity 800 pounds, affordable and durable https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015CJI7OE
AA-Racks Universal Pickup Truck Ladder Rack (X35-8Clamp) Flexible C-clamps,  quick installation, load capacity 800 pounds and black powder coated frame https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W5Q7CZ3/
MaxxHaul 70386 Pick-Up Truck Rack Heavy-duty steel, 3-bolt mount bracket, steel bars, adjustable bars, load capacity 500 pounds https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KB1V110
Highland 2006200 Bar Carrier Gauge steel frame, telescopic bars with extra bolts, load capacity up to 400 pounds, easy to install https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019RNQC1Q/
TracRac (37002) T-Rac Pro2 Truck Bed Ladder Rack Load capacity 1000 pounds, aluminum body, two load stop bars for tie-down, lightweight frame https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFMHAH4
AA-Racks Model Universal Pick-Up Truck Ladder (X3501/3502) Carry capacity 800 pounds, extendable crossbars, easy to install https://www.amazon.co.uk/AA-Racks-Capacity-Extendable-Pick-Up-Two-bar/dp/B07H2VYTG9
Apex ATR-RACK Heavy Duty Universal Rack Universal utility, lightweight, 800 pounds load capacity, adjustable crossbars, clamps for drill-free installation https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XPFBL69/
MaxxHaul 70423 Universal Truck Rack Load capacity 400 pounds, reinforced structure on crossbar, extendable crossbars, adjustable cargo bumpers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011NP8UHA/
AA-Racks Model APX25 Compatible with most vehicles, aluminum frame, cargo capacity 800 pounds, upgraded accessories for rear window protection https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075T62ZGH/

 

  1. TMS 800 Truck Pickup Rack

The TMS 800 truck pickup rack makes a fine choice for people looking for a piece of super sturdy equipment to carry heavy cargo down the long routes.

The rack stands up tall at a maximum height of 30 inches with the height of the truck bed included in the measurement. With dimensions 51x 26.2x 1.5 inches, the rack weighs up to 50 pounds, which is not very heavy for someone to hold up high that’s used to carry heavier equipment. And in case you find it difficult to handle, there is no harm in asking for help!

The frame is made of durable steel, thus giving it the strength to carry things that weigh up to 800 pounds without bending or breaking. The TMS 800 truck pickup rack is light in weight, stable, and can easily slide onto the bed of your truck. The slide bars stand 5 and 7 feet at distance and conveniently push the rack into the bed, hence, only a few hand tools are required for installation!

How do you install it?

You might need to drill two holes in the truck and use the eight screws to fix it in place. In case you do not want to ruin the beauty of your pickup truck by all the drilling, using clamps seems the next feasible option! The rack itself has been manufactured from high-quality steel and painted with a coat of rust-free paint. But of course, the paint can quickly wash off, thus, you might need to re-paint it with quality rust-free varnish to ensure it lasts longer.

Although, in general, the TMS 800 trick pickup rack tops the list today, some users do complain of losing threaded bars at the crossbar being inappropriately chained together. But of course, it isn’t much of a problem as it can easily be fixed with an additional screw being placed at the right point.

  1. Erickson 07706 Steel Truck Rack

A simple design that achieves to satisfy with its productivity, the Erickson 07706 Steel truck Rack is a crowd pleaser! The super-simple design makes it a straight fit for your truck while being steady enough to carry your load without breaking a nail.

Whether it’s about carrying kayaks or something smaller, the heavy-duty steel bars will easily carry up to 800 pounds of weight for you. This ladder rack is sturdy, stable, and durable, thanks to the simple design manufactured from quality metal.

The quick installation of the rack makes this product a great piece of equipment to own! All you need to do is drill holes in the truck and fix the ladder rack in place with screws. The rack itself weighs approximately 88 pounds and takes merely 40 to 45 minutes to install, that too if you are new at work.

The Eirckson07706 steel truck rack offers the safest installation option and yes, is the best one in the market at such an affordable price. It is great for carrying heavier cargo, won’t bend or break underweight and get you through bumpy roads without a hassle!

Although the frame of the rack itself is strong and sturdy, you might need to paint the nuts and bolts with non-resistant paint to ensure durability. The ones that come along in the pack aren’t rust-free, so either paint these or buy new ones.

  1. AA- Racks Universal Ladder Rack for Truck (X35-8Clamp)

Looking for a rack that is good for shorter trips? Here is a rack that is easy to fix and quick to de-install! The AA-Rack universal pickup truck ladder rack comes with bolts and screws for easy installation. It is sturdy and weighs almost 50 pounds, a bit heavy for a rack with excellent performance.

But here is the twist! As easy as it is to install the rack on your truck bed, it is even more convenient to de-install it and pack the rack away. Yes, that is right! The rack also comes with eight non-drilling C-clamps that make the installation of the equipment temporary. Once you are done transporting your goods, take out the clamps, and pack the rack away until next time!

Unlike other ladder racks for trucks available in the market, this heavy-duty steel frame comes coated with high-quality weather-resistant paint which promises longer life of the equipment. To fix it to your truck, all you need to do is to spare merely 20 minutes from your schedule and unbox it. Either use the clamps for quick installation or if you have a longer trip to cover, drill two holes on each side of the truck and slide it in.

Even with the C-clamps in place, the rack is strong enough to manage weight up to 800 pounds, which means you can conveniently transport cargo that is heavier to carry otherwise. But what makes the X35-8Clamp ladder rack an excellent choice is the various sizes that it comes in. the rack is adjustable and is available in three different sizes, hence, you can easily find one that is compatible with your truck!

  1. MaxxHaul 70386 Pick-up Truck Rack

The MaxxHaul 70386 truck rack is power equipment, weighing at 53 pounds only yet it can easily manage to carry a load of more than 500 pounds in a single go. Take about durability, high performance, and quality, this rack here offers it all!

The frame is manufactured from the highest quality steel and coated with black powder that keeps it safe again changing weather and rust. This adds a point to its long-lasting performance and use over time without wearing and tearing.

The MaxxHaul’s rack is easy to assemble. It comes with a nut and bolt system which requires you to drill two holes in the truck, screws the nuts in place, and slide the rack inside the truck bed. No additional tools or bolts are needed to fix it in place and it takes just a few minutes even for an amateur to fix it right.

This rack comes with Gusset reinforcements and a 3-bolt mount bracket that makes it sturdy and durable. Even if you have a bumpy road to drive through heavy cargo loaded behind, the rack will stay intact! Also, the MaxxHaul 70386 comes with adjustable bars that can easily be moved from 52 to 71 inches wide and fixed inside the trucks of different models.

Overall, the rack proves to be a great purchase but the only thing you need to take care of is the paint. If you want the rack to last longer, repaint the frame with after every few months to keep it safe against changing weather and rust, adding more years to its life.

  1. Highland 2006200 Bar Carrier

Next place on the list goes to Highland’s 2006200 Bar Carrier, a ladder rack that will surely fit all your needs! From carrying a kayak to your favorite sports bike, the rack can easily handle load up to 400 pounds, allowing you to transport your “bigger things” without a problem!

Made of heavy-duty gauge steel to ensure durability, Highland’s products speak high of quality through their performance and design. This bar carrier is an ideal choice for van owners who have had a hard time carrying cargo that hangs out of the vehicle.

Highland 2006200 bar comes with a lot of bolts to work along and is easy to install. Even for a person who isn’t into mounting and equipment, the installation of this rack won’t be a problem. The addition of extra bolts adds to the secure transportation of your stuff, thus, this is why you’ll surely love this product!

It is light in weight! Weighs only 22.1 pounds and most importantly, comes with adjustable bars that can be moved to fit as per the size of your van. Also, for amazing features like these, the rack is pretty affordable!

The frame comes coated with black paint which makes it weather-resistant, also keeping it scratch-free. Although the product is pretty fantastic in terms of quality, price, and performance, you might need to make a few adjustments just to ensure the rack lasts longer. For the scratch-free frame, use rubber protection over the clamps and tighten the telescopic bars with either extra bolts or stuff the gap to avoid the “rattling” noise while driving.

  1. TracRac (37002) T-Rac Pro2 Truck Bed Ladder Rack

If you’re in search of an affordable ladder rack for a truck then this might not be the one for you! Nevertheless, the TracRac Pro2 ladder rack shouts quality and performance to the top. This aluminum rack is stable and durable. The metal used ensures the rack lasts longer than others, and to the cherry on the top, it is coated with black powder to increase resilience.

The TracRac Pro2 comes with two load stop bars and tie-down hooks to keep your load safe in place. The bars and hooks are pretty adjustable, which means, you can stretch them over your load and adjust it by the size. Hence, to fix your kayaks or paddles in place, you won’t need ropes to tie them down.

And here is the kick; this wonderful rack has been designed around the basic principles of aerodynamics. Yes, this is right! no matter how fast you drive, the wind deflectors will assist you in your travels! With such great features, the ladder rack seems like a piece of difficult equipment to install, right? but worry no more because the makers have ensured you waste no effort and time in fixing it in place.

There are no holes to drill, rather the rack comes with single-axis universal mounting clamps, that make installation quick and easy. The TracRac Pro2 weighs around 25 pounds only, which means lifting it won’t be a problem too! Unfortunately, with all the amazing functionality it offers, the rack comes with a manual that is difficult to understand. You might find the instructions pretty vague, thus might have to look up for reviews or ask friends regarding installation, or call some professional for help.

Additionally, unlike other ladder racks for trucks in the market, this one here does not come with adjustable bars. Although you can find different sizes being offered in this model, you’ll still need to be careful in buying one that is compatible with your van. Or else, you’ll just end up wasting money!. You can go through our review article on the best truck bed bike rack for more such racks.

  1. AA-Racks Model Universal Pick-up Truck ladder (X3501/3502)

Both X3501/3502 racks by AA-Racks are light in weight and can easily manage load up to 800 pounds. Not only these, but the racks themselves are also sturdy and made of quality material which adds to its durability. And most importantly, apart from what these can do, these racks are extremely affordable, offering better quality at a price that is better than the rest.

AA-Rack’s model 3501 and 3502 are pretty much the same when it comes down to quality and performance. Although, both the models share common characteristics, the only difference in their functionality is the position of the crossbar. The crossbar on X3501 slides to the side of the load, giving the rackless space to hold the cargo safely in place. On the other, the crossbar on X3502 sits directly on top of the sidebar, providing the frame more stability and more space for the load to be positioned inside.

The heavy-duty steel frame is double-barred which promises not to break under its maximum capacity of hauling. Also, this rack is easy to install and comes with adjustable bars, which can easily slide from 51 inches to 71 inches, fitting vans of different types and sizes.

Carrying it high up won’t be a problem as the frame is lightweight. The package includes bolts and nuts that are used in fixing it in place. All you need to do is drill holes in the truck, lift the rack and use the bolts and nuts to screw it in place. Work was done and dusted in just a few minutes!

  1. Apex ATR-Rack Heavy Duty Universal Rack

An 800 pounds of haul capacity, the Apex ATR-Rack is made of aluminum and offers functions that might just fit your needs perfectly. The rack itself weighs only 38 pounds and is super easy to install.

What you’ll love about this rack is the ease of installation. No drilling is required for fixing it in place, which means no extra efforts and no damages. The rack comes with no-drill clamps that can be quickly fixed in place and is ready to use! But, if you wish to haul load the weighs more than 600 pounds, you might need to drill holes and use bolts to add stability to the rack and ensure the safe transportation of the cargo.

Apex ATR-Rack Universal rack is designed with adjustable bars. No matter which truck or van you own, the rack will adjust accordingly. The equipment’s compatibility with most vehicles is what makes it everyone’s favorite, and of course the price too!

Another punch added to this beauty is the adjustable ladders stops. There are four in total, two on each side that can be moved to position the cargo in place and promising secure hauling of the load.

The only downside to such an amazing product is finishing. The makers haven’t paid much attention to the finishing of the product, which is why there is a risk of getting scratched against the sharp aluminum edges every time!

  1. MaxxHaul 70423 Universal truck Rack

If durability is what you are looking for then move no further than this! The MaxxHaul 70423 Universal truck rack may not be the one that can hold more pounds in terms of cargo weight but is surely one of the most durable ones on the list.

This one is easy to install and may not even need to drill holes to fix it in place. The mounting brackets are adjustable and easy to fix. You can either drill holes or fix them as it is, it completely depends on what kind of items you wish to carry.

This aluminum made rack will last for many years, without either rusting or wasting away. The only thing that you need to consider when installing it is that it won’t easily fit over your bed cover. As the manual suggests, you either need to cut holes in the cover to make slots or remove railings to make space for the rack to fit in.

The crossbars are reinforced with double lining to ensure strength and durability, this is so that the weight of the cargo you are carrying is distributed evenly throughout the rack and doesn’t break. On the other hand, the base brackets have been manufactured from heavy-duty steel and finished with a coat of black powder, thus the use of different metals in the making causes the rack to weigh heavier than other equipment that is around 55 pounds. Hence, when planning to buy it, know it you’ll need an extra pair of hands for installing it.

Additionally, the adjustable ensure your stuff remain well fixed in place so no matter how fast you drive, the cargo won’t slide away. To make sure your things are secured well in place, you might need a few ropes to tie them down.

The MaxxHaul 70423 universal truck rack is a fancy piece of equipment that is loved by everyone!

  1. AA-Racks Model APX25,

A rack without nuts and bolts? Sound weird right? This is exactly how AA-Rack’s APX25 has been designed!

This rack is made to serve the purpose of carrying lighter items like surfboards, canoe, smaller kayaks, and other outdoor adventure items that do not weigh much! On the contrary, if you’re looking to haul heavier objects like furniture or lumber items, you might need to move to another best option because this one isn’t made to accommodate bigger things.

The APX25 ladder rack can hold up to 800 pounds of weight, which is A LOT! But because it comes with clamps and no nuts/bolts, hauling heavier items on it is a BIG risk! Then what makes this rack a good choice if it isn’t designed to haul heavy cargo?

Also, it comes with a headache rack option that makes it compatible with most vans, including Toyota Tacoma. What the headache rack does is that it protects your rear window from damaging while loading or unloading cargo, something you would want to avoid.

What most people love about the rack is the easy installation. You save time on drilling because making holes in the truck isn’t required at all. Use the clamps to hold it in place, and voila! Your rack is fixed permanently in place, strong enough to be used for carrying your daily cargo! However, to ensure the safety of the rack and things on it when driving, make sure your clamps are attached directly to the bed of the truck and have been tightened rightly.

The aluminum made frame coated with black powder comes with four stops that can be used as tie-downs for the cargo. The heavy-duty metal and black powder coating increase the equipment’s stability, durability and performance, so you get to invest once in the product and enjoy it as long as you don’t switch to a better version of it!

The only disadvantage of the design offered by the AA-Rack’s APX25 model is the fixed crossbar, which cannot be adjusted according to the vehicle’s size and type. So when buying one, you need to make sure it makes the right fit for your truck/van.

Ladder Rack: A Complete Buying Guide

Are you looking forward to gaining maximum potential out of your truck? Trying to find a quick way to make transportation of heavier good easy and convenient? You certainly need a ladder rack for truck to achieve these goals. But of course, buying one amongst such a huge variety available in the market can be time-consuming and frustrating. If you have no idea what makes a rack “great”, here is a guide to help you through the decision making phase:

  • Type of Cargo

One of the most important factors that may influence your decision of buying a ladder rack is the type of cargo that needs to be carried. For items that are small or longer in shape like kayaks, pipes, and ladder, a rack half the length would work great for you. Otherwise, for heavier objects like furniture and ATVs, a full-length rack is what you should be looking for.

  • Type of Vehicle You Own

Not every rack is made for every van! Although you do find universal ladder racks that are compatible with most vans, there are also models available in the market that is designed specifically for one type of van model or is simply, adjustable!

Before randomly buying one for yourself, surf Amazon for racks that come with complete vehicle details. This way you’ll be sure of which rack is the best fit for your truck.

  • Material and Design

Most ladder racks are a bit on the expensive side, thus, you wouldn’t want to end up buying a new one every few months just because the old one got damaged only after a few trips down the road. This is why it is necessary to check for the material and design of the ladder rack you wish to buy.

Go for a simpler one, because fancier ones look only pretty do the eyes rather than offering durability and stability. If the frame is made out of heavy-duty steel or any other tensile strength material plus coated with black powder, buy it right away!

  • Price

Affordability matters! And a bigger price tag does not surely means higher quality products! Look for a rack with decent characteristics that fall well within your price range. There are pretty good racks out there for your trucks that are pocket friendly to buy!

  • Ease of installation

Spending hours on installing simple equipment as a rack is frustrating. Also, you wouldn’t want to buy expensive tools just because you have to install a rack once on your truck! Rather than going for a rack that is pretty hard to fit in, choose one that comes with quick installation systems which include lesser bolts and nuts or clamps for one-time use.

  • Safety Comes First

Even if the tagline of the ladder rack boasts about carrying a 1000 pound cargo without bending a bar, do not believe it. Most racks are designed to carry heavier stuff but still, you need to be careful about what you are hauling and how!

If you plan on hauling heavier objects, buy a rack that can manage a larger load and comes with a promising installation system, or else you’ll be risking everyone’s life within your diameter. Also, before you start your way, re-check each bolt and nut on the rack, ensure everything is fixed well in place and there is no rattling noise, for safety measures of course!

  • Additional Features

Few ladder rack models take things a notch up. Some have either adjustable/removable crossbars or integrated headache rack, extra characteristics that might help you in achieving better outcomes.

Types of Ladder Rack for Truck

To fit different modeled vans, manufacturers usually come up with different designs of racks so that you do not find it hard to find one that makes the best fit for you. before you make the purchase, understand the type of racks available to ensure what you buy is right for you.

  • Over-Bed Racks

This one is the most common type of rack used. The over-bed rack lays straight over the bed of your trunk and can hold cargo weighing up to 1000 pounds with breaking under it. you might only need to drill a few holes in the truck to fit and Voila! You’re done with the installation.

  • Over-Cab Racks

When carrying bigger items in your truck, there is always a risk of damaging your truck when loading or unloading kayaks, pipes, or furniture. To ensure your van remains scratch and damage-free, using over-cab racks is the next feasible option. Although there are a few models that come with removable bars, most of the time, the rack makes a permanent fix. And yes, it does take more than any other rack to install before it can be used for hauling.

  • Side-Mount Racks

The lightweight side-mount racks come with perches that can be either fixed on one side or both, hauling longer items with ease. It can easily help you in transporting lighter items like carpets, ladders and at times pipes too but not heavier ones or else, it might become unstable under their weight.

This kind of rack is ideal for smaller, lightweight, and longer items that can easily fit!

  • Van Racks

Most vans do not have sufficient space inside to transport things like pipes, furniture, etc, hence, using a van rack does help a lot! The rack easily fits atop of your rain gutter and manages to haul load by dividing the weight equally around the roof. Additionally, most of these racks come with adjustable bars so that it can easily fit your van and assist you in carrying the load from one place to another.

Conclusion

Transporting heavy cargo can be cumbersome when doing it with your bare hands! Most vehicles including vans and trucks are not designed to carry heavy items like kayaks, furniture, or lumber stuff. This is why; the addition of a ladder rack on the bed of your truck will make things easier. Remember, before you end up purchasing the wrong item, do your research and know what you are looking for, or else, you’ll regret your purchase at the end of the day!

 

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