Garage Door Guys - Truck Question

Just finalized the deal on a 2001 Dakota Sport Club Cab - Short Box - only 30,000KM put on it.
I'm in the Overhead Door business & I'm going to need to put a set of racks on the truck. Have been considering building them myself, however the weight of the steel I'm going to be using to make them, and taking into consideration the unfinished - finished look, I don't think I want to build them myself.
Do any of you have any recommendations on what type of rails would fit my needs with this truck, and mabye a place I can purchase them online? I need something heavy duty, that will be able to handle upwards of 1000 lbs to be safe, and a possibility of carrying up to 16' garage doors. (4 sections, 16 feet long). I'm really hoping I won't have to build all the way across and then down the to the front bumper. It looks awful :(
If anyone has any recommendations, links, or advice I'd really appreciate it! I'm getting the truck on Wednesday!
Also, if anyone is actually in the Overhead Door business, have you had any problems with sections bending with whatever rails you use, due to the overhang? Thank you very much!
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You are going to want the rack at least 16' long so you can tie the sections down near the front & back. Otherwise yes you will have the sections bend upwards from where they are tied as they get got in the wind as you drive down the road.
We have always had our racks custom made w/ steel but the last one we had it made of heavy wall aluminum to cut down on the weight & then we had it powder coated. We used the same local company that builds our gates.
We carry up to (4) 16' doors at a time including all the steel struts (8-10 per door) that are required to make doors meet 130 mph or higher windload (they held up quite well during Hurricane Charley & Hurricane Francesis testing them again as I type). However we use Ford 150's w/ very heavy duty springs.
Greg Smith (Doordoc) www.DoorsAndOpeners.com (server in Orlando currently down from Hurricane Frances) www.ActionDoor.com (server in Ft Myers currently up but may go down anytime as the power is not real stable in this area currently)
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Thank you very much for your input!
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Just search for "ladder racks" there's plenty of sites that have 'em.
Try to get a rack made of square tubing and not round. The round stuff would indent the steel sections easier then the square. Your best bet is to get a rack that at least covers the truck's bed and cab.
I'm sure you're familiar with Knaack products. Take a look at some of Knaack's ladder racks http://www.weatherguard.com/content.cfm?page_id &subcategory_id. A 1000 pound capacity ladder rack is the minimum you need. Anything lighter is a danger to yourself, your truck and the people you drive around when you're hauling multiple 16'+ size doors. I've hauled many larger doors with no damage to any of them using a simple 12' 2" square tubing rack with three cross-sections. Also, if you're planning on doing plenty of new construction installations, consider getting a 4-wheel drive. There's nothing worse then getting stuck in mud hole waiting for the job site's backhoe operator to stop laughing long enough to get your rig out. I'm running a diesel 4x4 F350 and it's served me well for the last five years. I'm shopping around for a couple of new trucks for my crew but anythng less just won't do.
Are you new do the business? If so good luck in your overhead door endeavors.
Rich http://www.garage-door-hardware.com

racks
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Just to clarify, the rack I use is not 12' 2" long, but rather a 2" square tubing rack that is 12' long. :) Rich http://www.garage-door-hardware.com

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Thank you very much Rich! I've been in the business now for 6 years, however I just started doing it on my own. I appreciate your input, I'll look into the knack products.
Thanks1
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any
American Van
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IMO you made a very poor choice of a vehicle. I would have been looking for a long box heavy 1/2 or 3/4 ton at least. The rack you will need will make your truck look like a tinkertoy under it.
Harry K
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Well at the moment it was a GREAT deal. I'm sure it will last me for the amount of time I need it until I have to upgrade.
Only 30000 on it.
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Thank you! Any recommendations on where to buy them online that ships to Canada?
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racks
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and
any
Uh, a quick Google search shows 2001 Dakota extended cabs have rated payload capacity in the 1250-1450 lbs (US) range. That includes tools, rack, whatever you throw in there. Not sure if it includes driver- in the old days that number did. So, you are getting pretty close to the limits of the truck putting 1000 lbs. up there. Side note, since you will be putting the center of gravity up in the sky when hauling doors- the Dakota/Durango front suspension from this vintage has a rep for sudden ball joint failure- you'll want to keep a close eye on the condition of those.
aem sends....
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Thank you for the input!
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