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Thoughts on Pickup Truck Beds

abasile

Conscientious investor
I think you're right about the high sides interfering with access to the bed. When I asked a friend who owns a construction business what he thinks of the Cybertruck, his biggest beef was exactly this. We previously owned a small pickup that got a lot of use when we were doing multiple, major construction and remodeling projects. It was great to have easy access to the bed from all angles, particularly when we had two or more guys loading/unloading rocks, dirt, and gravel.

On the other hand, I think the Cybertruck will be great for use as essentially a large SUV with the ability to carry a lot of cargo. The integrated bed cover looks much better than a typical camper shell, it's retractable, and it gives the Cybertruck a serious aerodynamic advantage over other trucks. It will be perfect for long camping trips and road trips.

I also appreciate the lack of wheel well intrusions into the bed. Carrying furniture will be much easier as a result.

Another question is, will the rear window on the cab open? Sometimes it's handy to be able to have long items, such as 12 foot trim boards, extend from the bed into the cab.

As someone who parks outdoors, I share the concerns about potential intrusion of rain, snow, dirt, leaves, and pine needles into the bed cover, its roll-up compartment, and the under-bed storage. It might not be wise to leave the Cybertruck parked outdoors with the bed cover retracted.

Finally, I wonder how well the bed cover will hold up under heavy snow loads. Each winter, it's not unusual in our mountain town to have at least one or two storms that dump more than three feet of snow, sometimes heavy, wet snow. To get the snow to slide off, perhaps it could help at times to run an electric space heater off the 120V outlet inside the bed. But I expect the bed cover to be designed to tolerate being buried for a while.
 

keeney

Member
Nov 25, 2019
175
133
Minnesota
I also appreciate the lack of wheel well intrusions into the bed. Carrying furniture will be much easier as a result.

Another question is, will the rear window on the cab open? Sometimes it's handy to be able to have long items, such as 12 foot trim boards, extend from the bed into the cab.

You are thinking of the wheel well intrusions the wrong way. In the Cybertruck, the entire bed appears to be as narrower than the wheels. So you are losing space. Probably around 50 to 55 inches wide. Easy enough to confirm with the math. If the entire truck is 79 inches wide, and each wheel/tire takes up about 12 inches, that leaves you with about 55 inches between the wheels.

In regards to carrying 12' lumber in a 6.5' bed, just toss it in hanging over the tailgate with the tailgate up. Throw a strap over it so it doesn't slide around side to side and add a red flag on the end if you want to be technically legal.
 
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keeney

Member
Nov 25, 2019
175
133
Minnesota
You are thinking of the wheel well intrusions the wrong way. In the Cybertruck, the entire bed appears to be as narrower than the wheels. So you are losing space. Probably around 50 to 55 inches wide. Easy enough to confirm with the math. If the entire truck is 79 inches wide, and each wheel/tire takes up about 12 inches, that leaves you with about 55 inches between the wheels.

Saw another article that talked about the bed being 57 inches wide on the inside. Thats better than 50 between the wheel wells on a traditional pickup.
 

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
863
374
florida
I don't think I would want to walk up that ramp while carrying something. That ramp looks sketchy I know they drove an ATV up it but what about repeated uses over time. There is no support under it.
 

Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,738
1,259
PA
You are thinking of the wheel well intrusions the wrong way. In the Cybertruck, the entire bed appears to be as narrower than the wheels. So you are losing space. Probably around 50 to 55 inches wide. Easy enough to confirm with the math. If the entire truck is 79 inches wide, and each wheel/tire takes up about 12 inches, that leaves you with about 55 inches between the wheels.

In regards to carrying 12' lumber in a 6.5' bed, just toss it in hanging over the tailgate with the tailgate up. Throw a strap over it so it doesn't slide around side to side and add a red flag on the end if you want to be technically legal.
12' even works in a 5.5 if you do it right ;)
 
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mkspeedr

Member
Jun 14, 2015
758
807
Santa Clara, CA
It is hard too please everyone in the truck market - they sell so many trucks to soooooo many different people/uses.

I am simple - it just needs to haul my motorcycles to the race track.
 
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dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,408
3,550
NE Tennessee
I'd definitely buy this truck:

View attachment 481489
Actually I had an Avalanche and loved it and it now lives on with my son. Very versatile, as I have carried mulch, stone, bikes, boy scouts, luggage, plywood, robots, patrol boxes, manure and about everything else you can imagine all without issue.

Avalanche_Mulch_1.JPG 05_05_Expo_0001.JPG
 

keeney

Member
Nov 25, 2019
175
133
Minnesota
Actually I had an Avalanche and loved it and it now lives on with my son. Very versatile, as I have carried mulch, stone, bikes, boy scouts, luggage, plywood, robots, patrol boxes, manure and about everything else you can imagine all without issue.

A buddy of mine had the 3/4 ton Avalanche and it served him well. It definitely had a stiffer body and thus a much better ride than a traditional truck flopping around on frame rails.

He had a large travel trailer that he towed with a Hensly anti-sway hitch. Not sure if that is because a 5th wheel wouldn't work with the Avalanche or he just wanted more cargo space. He put bike racks up on top of the cover on rails across and lots of gear under the cover. He said he never really used the folding seat pass-through functionality, though.
 

keeney

Member
Nov 25, 2019
175
133
Minnesota
Looking at some more pictures, and reading another article claiming the bed is 61" wide. That's just an inch shy of a full size Chevy bed at the inside edge of the top rails regardless of the wheel wells. I had assumed that because they were keeping the inside of the bed straight the tesla bed was more like 50" wide. They must be pushing the wheel tracks out wider.

I am hoping it really is 61" wide which would take away my objections about the width of the bed.
 

sd_tom

Member
Aug 26, 2019
48
22
San Diego
concur about the high sides sucking. we have 3 cars now.. me-model S, wife-Rav4 and my 2004 tacoma solely for yard / house projects. tree trimmings and dirt for garden, dump runs.. was hoping to maybe move model S over to my wife and me a tesla truck and get rid of rav4 and tacoma but on top of looking ridiculous, the high sides suck. Rivian bed is small but least normal.

oh, and i have a roll up tonneau cover on my Tacoma.. that part im down with
 

Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,738
1,259
PA
tesla-cyber-truck-stage1.jpg
Looking at some more pictures, and reading another article claiming the bed is 61" wide. That's just an inch shy of a full size Chevy bed at the inside edge of the top rails regardless of the wheel wells. I had assumed that because they were keeping the inside of the bed straight the tesla bed was more like 50" wide. They must be pushing the wheel tracks out wider.

I am hoping it really is 61" wide which would take away my objections about the width of the bed.
View attachment 481842
 

aronth5

Long Time Follower
May 8, 2010
2,678
1,411
Boston Suburb
Several posters claim Tesla will have to move the Cybertruck tires with no factual information to support that claim. Can someone provide state/government sources that confirm the wheels will have to be moved in to be street legal? After looking around it appears as long as the fenders cover the wheels it should be ok. I'm wondering if this varies from state to state? I see cars but mostly trucks with protruding wheels from time to time and never considered they might not be street legal. Does the tire fender for the Cybertruck mitigate this? Seems so at least in Washington State:

"Tires cannot project beyond the vehicle at all without some sort of protection. The Revised Code of Washington states, “No person may operate any motor vehicle that is not equipped with fenders, covers, flaps, or splash aprons adequate for minimizing the spray or splash of water or mud from the roadway to the rear of the vehicle.”

And same question for Canada.
 
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Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,738
1,259
PA
Several posters claim Tesla will have to move the Cybertruck tires with no factual information to support that claim. Can someone provide state/government sources that confirm the wheels will have to be moved in to be street legal? After looking around it appears as long as the fenders cover the wheels it should be ok. I'm wondering if this varies from state to state? I see cars but mostly trucks with protruding wheels from time to time and never considered they might not be street legal. Does the tire fender for the Cybertruck mitigate this? Seems so at least in Washington State:

"Tires cannot project beyond the vehicle at all without some sort of protection. The Revised Code of Washington states, “No person may operate any motor vehicle that is not equipped with fenders, covers, flaps, or splash aprons adequate for minimizing the spray or splash of water or mud from the roadway to the rear of the vehicle.”

And same question for Canada.
Additional for washington state: (7) Fenders: All wheels of a motor vehicle must be equipped with fenders designed to cover the entire tire tread width that comes in contact with the road surface.

2017-ford-raptor-landing.jpg
Cybertrucka.jpg


Tesla would have to put a ridiculously wide flare over an already wide truck. and does a flare count as a fender?? I dunno. I think those wheels are moving in
 

Ilikecyber

New Member
Apr 8, 2021
2
0
Orlando
The fastback design with the high sided bed is a fundamental blunder for a pickup truck. I know that the bracing from the back of the vehicle to the cab is part of the structure for stiffness, but having the high sides interferes significantly with the use of the cargo bed. Previous trucks such as the Honda Ridgleline and the Chevrolet Avalanche (now discontinued) have also been designed with this configuration. I would argue that they have not been as popular due to the limitations I outline below.

Maybe take a look at the stats on how many pickup owners put toppers on their trucks.

Imagine a pallet of boxes of stone tiles for a renovation project loaded in your truck by a home improvement supplier. Easy enough for them to slide the load in from the rear using a forklift. But have you ever unloaded such a load when you get home? You likely don’t have a forklift. You are going to have to get in the truck and break down the pallet and unload the boxes of tiles one by one by hand. Each box is going to need to be moved to the back tailgate and then moved to the ground. Its going to require numerous cycles climbing in and out of the truck from the back. In a classic pickup truck, this task is not nearly as constrained by the sides of the truck so moving around is easier. In fact, many of the boxes can likely be lifted out from the side without climbing in the truck.

The act of loading and unloading cargo from the side is quite common for smaller objects on a daily basis. Imagine loading kids sports team equipment. A bucket of baseballs and a bag full of catcher’s gear is easily tossed over the side of a regular truck and easy enough to lift back out over the side. The same load is much less convenient if I have slide it in using the tailgate. Not only do I have to open the tailgate, but then I likely have to climb up in the truck just to reach it.

Every truck owner knows that cargo always slides to the front of the bed due to the deceleration of braking. The ability to reach cargo items and either lift them out over the side of the truck or at least slide them to the back where they can be unloaded from the tailgate without climbing up in the truck is a huge convenience factor.

The height of the sides of the bed, especially up near the front need to be no higher than can be reached over by a typical adult standing on the ground. Armpit height, essentially. The newer Fords have made the sides so high that they are losing this functionality. Its one of the reasons I keep my older Chevy and don’t really care for many of the newer trucks I see.

It is difficult to get a sense of scale in the photos, but the narrowness of the cargo area looks disappointing. Hopefully its not just the minimum 48” wide between the wheel wells. Many loads are wider than that. Things like bikes laid over on their sides, side-by-side ATVs, furniture, etc. Also, for lighter stuff, total volume may be the limit before the weight capacity. Having a wider bed with more square footage and more volume is always handy.

More than disappointing, the narrowness can actually be a problem. Climbing up in the truck alongside the load is often needed during loading and unloading, and a lack of space can make this very inconvenient and even a bit dangerous (in terms of falling out of the truck bed). In some cases, it could preclude even being able to access the tie-downs, or un-band a large crate, etc.

For example, in the demo, there was not a lot of room for the ATV rider to get off the ATV.

The tailgate ramp is really cool. As is the lowering of the suspension to reduce the loading height.

But the lack of the traditional straps at the corners to hold up the tailgate when open could be an issue. The tailgate needs to be able to withstand heavy cargo being hefted or dumped out on its end plus a couple of large guys standing on the tailgate doing the loading (and the dynamic loads of all that activity). Imagine the case of the crate full of stone tile being unloaded. First thing you are going to do is climb in the truck and stack half the boxes on the edge of the tailgate. Then climb down and finish unloading them. Holding up several thousand pounds of load from just the hinge end seems like an unnecessarily tough engineering challenge that will eventually fail. Just add the straps.

Sharp stainless edges around the cargo area are just a bad idea. Especially the pointy corners when the tailgate is open. Cargo is going to get dinged, and so are the people loading it. Imagine taking that edge of the open tailgate in the shin - ouch! Stainless with rounded edges might be OK. Softer plastic tailgate and side caps would be preferred.

The space around the wheel wells appears to be filled with storage compartments in your design. That storage would be tremendously more useful if the compartments opened to the outside of the vehicle.

The back bumper needs to be designed to be able to easily climb in and out of the truck.

Stake pocket holes on the sides are actually handy things to have. Even if you never extend the vertical sides of the truck with plywood, it’s a useful place to hook tie-down straps and bungee cords.

From my experience with other trucks, the tie-down anchor loops inside the bed need to be larger than they are typically designed. Often you have to reach down between the load and the side and get the hook engaged with limited ability to reach it and angle it. Put 4 sheets of plywood in the bed hanging over the tailgate in the up position. Now try and hook the strap onto the anchor point down inside the bed.

For cargo like dirt, the bed needs to be reasonably uniform surface that can be unloaded with a shovel without damage and without annoyingly snagging the shovel edge on things. There should be no holes or crevices for the dirt to get lodged in or leak out of the truck,

There definitely should be no hatches on the bed surface. Not even for the spare tire. The design appears to repeat this same rookie mistake that Honda made. Imagine a load of sand, or black dirt, or rotting wet leaves/compost. Homeowners do haul this stuff in their light trucks. Getting it all cleaned out of the truck again is not going to be possible if there are nooks and crannies and hatches with edges and lips on the surface of the bed. That storage compartment under the hatch is going to be filled with dirt and water and crud even from just the weather.

Also, the gap between the bed and the tailgate needs to tolerate the unloading of dirt, construction or demolition debris, rocks, gravel, etc. Shovels need to be able to slide over the gap and the gap needs to be easily cleared such that the tailgate can be closed again. The inner surface of the tailgate should be uniform as well (please no cup holders or other latches or features on the inner surface)

The bed interior also needs to be somewhat anti-slip. Think about climbing up in the truck in the rain or in the winter with snow on your boots. In the photos, it appears there are rubber strips intended to address that issue, but they are likely not sufficient. A mild diamond plate texture in the steel itself would be preferred. Or maybe the coin-bump pattern used on some industrial flooring. Other truck beds are ribbed longitudinally.

I personally like using a poly bed-liner in my truck with a longitudinal rib pattern. The ribs allow small amounts of water, snow, and sand not to be a slip hazard and keep cargo from sitting directly in the puddles. Most poly bed-liners also have a crinkly texture that provides good foot traction. Meanwhile, the poly allows sliding of heavy cargo in and out.

Also annoying about the sloped back design is impairment of visibility. When parking a larger vehicle like a pickup truck, the ability to see out the back is critical since it will likely always be a tight fit. Its also important to be able to keep an eye on the cargo to make sure its not shifting around, falling out, and the tarp is not blowing off. That need for cargo visibility would also extend to towed trailers. It looks like the vehicle could be driven with the roll-top open and perhaps cameras can take the place of a rear window and side mirrors, but the cameras would need wide mount points to see around a maximum-width trailer or boat when backing or changing lanes.

If one truly wants to take advantage of 14,000 lb towing capacity, you are going to want to think about using a gooseneck or 5th wheel trailer configuration. The high sloping sides could interfere with 5th wheel trailers like campers. The hatch in the middle of the load bed will interfere with where the gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch would need to be mounted.

Don’t forget to include an electric brake controller standard.

Other critiques:

Again, the scale is difficult to appreciate in the photos, but headroom in the rear seats looks to be limited. If the seating in the back is not suitable for full sized adults, then I would prefer it to just be jump seats and use the saved wheelbase length for 6 more inches of cargo space.

The wheels on the concept truck are not my favorite.
i owned an Isuzu pickup truck with a topper for 23 years. When I would get a bed full of compost, I would throw a large tarp in the bed. As I emptied the bed, I pulled in the tarp to reach the load in the front of the bed. Removed tarp and was left with a clean bed.
 

qdeathstar

Active Member
May 17, 2019
2,187
1,795
VB
Additional for washington state: (7) Fenders: All wheels of a motor vehicle must be equipped with fenders designed to cover the entire tire tread width that comes in contact with the road surface.

View attachment 481870 View attachment 481871

Tesla would have to put a ridiculously wide flare over an already wide truck. and does a flare count as a fender?? I dunno. I think those wheels are moving in

i think the angle is playing tricks on you.
 

themorey

Member
Feb 15, 2020
76
80
USA
i owned an Isuzu pickup truck with a topper for 23 years. When I would get a bed full of compost, I would throw a large tarp in the bed. As I emptied the bed, I pulled in the tarp to reach the load in the front of the bed. Removed tarp and was left with a clean bed.
I do the same with my F150 even though it has a spray in liner. It's just so much cleaner to use a tarp underneath it and to tie over it when driving.
 

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