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How to Measure a Truck Bed

Measuring your truck bed seems to be a simple task, and it is, provided you know the basic rules to follow. You see, trucks come in different shapes and styles, so understanding the type of truck you have is a good start. Then, you need to know where to measure and what those measurements mean when fitting out your pickup.

In this article, we provide helpful tips on measuring your truck bed. We also talk about some popular parts and accessories you can use in your truck to make your workdays easy and weekends a blast.

Types of Trucks

A big, beautiful blue Dodge Ram sporting a BedSlide and a DiamondBack HD belonging to Devin from Texas. by DiamondBack Covers is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

Before you measure your truck, it’s important to know what type of vehicle it is. Manufacturers typically offer four styles: the side-step pickup, regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab.

Of course, each brand may call these by a different name. A side-step pickup has flared fenders over the rear tires with side steps forward of the fenders. The bed can range from 6 to 8 feet in length, and usually, the cab has two doors. Inside, you’ll have a front bench or two front bucket seats, and most side-step cabs don’t have a back seat. If yours does, it won’t have any legroom to speak of, and you wouldn’t put anyone other than a small child in the rear.

A regular cab pickup is almost the same as a side-step pickup. Instead of flared fenders, you have a flat side body and no steps in front of the rear wheels. The bed will be 6 to 8 feet long, and you have a front bench seat or two bucket seats inside a regular cab. Regular cab pickups usually have a back seat without much legroom, meaning you’ll still be relegating children only to the back seat.

An extended cab truck usually has a smaller bed size due to its larger cab. This is because a chassis can only support a certain length. So, when you add to the cab size, you must subtract from the bed length. Therefore, beds typically run from 5.5 feet to 6.5 feet long.

The extended cab pickup has four doors. The front doors open normally, while the rear doors open in reverse. Inside, you have a front bench, two bucket seats, and a rear bench seat. Most extended cab trucks have more legroom in the back seat than a regular cab. You can have adults ride in the back, but we wouldn’t recommend you do so on long road trips.

Crew cab trucks have an even larger cab. Therefore, you can expect the smallest bed size if you go this route. Most bed lengths in this category are around 5.5 feet long, although a few manufacturers offer up to 6.5-foot-long beds.

Crew cabs have four doors that all open in the usual fashion. The front seat is a bench or two buckets, and the rear seat is a bench. Usually, you have plenty of legroom in a crew cab, and you’ll often find under-seat and under-floor storage compartments making use of the additional space. Full-grown adults will appreciate the rear seat legroom.

How To Measure Your Truck Bed

Now that you know your truck type, here’s how you measure it. First, measure from the bulkhead to the tailgate. The bulkhead is the edge of your bed closest to the cab. This number is your bed length. Remember that a manufacturer may list a truck with a 6-foot bed that measures 73 inches, which is 1 inch longer than 6 feet, or it might be shorter by an inch. Consider these figures as approximations, and round to the nearest 6 inches any time you measure differently.

Next, you want to measure from one sidewall to the other. This number is your overall width. You’ll also want to measure the distance between the wheel wells. Your truck’s wheel wells are the rounded, raised areas over the rear wheels inside your truck bed.

This is your maximum lay-flat width or the widest portion of your truck that’s available to lay objects flat. For example, if you have a 48-inch lay-flat width, you can stack 4 x 8 plywood between the wheel wells. However, if your width here is 46 inches, your plywood will lie at an angle, propped against one wheel well.

Finally, you’ll want to measure the depth of your truck bed. The depth is the distance from the truck bed to the top of the rear side body. Depth isn’t usually as important because the open-air design of a pickup allows for tall items. However, it does matter when you want to load your truck with taller items that might tilt over and fall out.

Ram Pickup Truck Accessories

Of course, knowing the size of your bed is essential for hauling, but it’s even more critical when it comes time to accessorize your pickup. Ram makes an incredible lineup of genuine Mopar parts and accessories to elevate your ownership experience.

For example, you can find bed covers that lock, giving you a secure place to store your tools and equipment, and you can upfit your Ram 1500 bed with several storage and lighting solutions to make hunting, camping, and working more enjoyable. You can also find ladder racks, toolboxes, rubberized bed mats, and more.

You can invest in a camera system too. These systems use multiple cameras to send live video to your infotainment screen. As a result, you can see if your load has shifted without pulling over, and you can monitor your trailer as you drive.

Explore Ram Truck Beds in Marion, North Carolina

We know what drivers want in a pickup at Marion Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. That’s why we stock an expansive inventory of new and used pickups in various cab styles and bed lengths at competitive prices. If you’re ready to explore your truck options, we invite you to browse our inventory online or stop by our Marion dealership. One of our friendly, knowledgeable truck experts will answer your questions and show you your options. And if you need help upfitting your truck, feel free to contact our service department for help.

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