Tipping Bed

I decided that I would try and make the truck a little different by making the bed a tipper.  I am making a rigid frame up to mount the bed to, then I will pivot the frame from the rear of the Chassis.  I haven't yet fully made my mind up on how to power the bed, but the favourite option at the moment is to have a small hydraulic pump driving a hydraulic ram.  My only concern is where to mount it as I intend to fit a petrol tank under the bed so the centre area will possibly be a little crowded.  There is a possibility I could use two rams, one either side of the chassis, but that would mean a larger pump, or possibly very slow operation.

The first thing to do was to make the frame up to mount to the bottom on the bed.  I made a quick drawing by hand to get a better idea of what it would look like then made a proper drawing on the PC.


The reason I didn't just make the rails straight on the outside edges is that I might tub the bed slightly to allow for some large rubber.  I will make the hinge arrangement up as I go.

These pictures show the start of the construction of the frame.  It is made out of 2"x2" box section.  it is quite heavy, but I wanted to make sure that the bed was rigid enough not to flex or bend when it is tipped.



I spent all day fully welding the frame today.  As the floor is not level over at the workshop, I decided that the best way to make sure that it was straight and true was to use the chassis itself as a jig.


I finished off the hinge end of the bed today.  I made it myself from the box section and used two M16 stainless steel bolts to provide the pivot.  You can see the hinge section here and the bed frame tipped up at a slight angel.

The first picture shows a close up of the rear hinge section.  The frame still has a couple of cross-members to be welded on (that will support the wood) but these will be added later.



Here you can see the bed upturned with the frame positioned on the underside of the return edge that would normally cover the wood.  You can see from the first picture that the front panel is in a bad shape and really needs to be replaced.  I have temporarily cut the bottom edge away to allow the frame to sit in position.  You will also notice the rear cross-member has been removed.  It was pretty beaten up and would have had to be replaced anyway.  But now as I am making the tipper I will make it a different way to make it fit and look better than the original. The bits of blue masking tape show all of the returned edges that I had to cut out of the way of the frame.

I am still deliberating how to mount the bed to the frame, I am thinking the two options will be to rivet the bed to the frame so that if needed, it can be removed again or just weld it all together.  I cant think why it would need to be removed again, but I just like the idea of being able to.  I will think on it a bit more and decide once I have worked out what I will do with the ends.  If I weld in the ends over the frame, it really doesn't make much sense to make the frame removable.


The following Pictures show the latest progress on the truck bed.  You can see the new rear cross-member welded into place and the frame welded to the bed on the inside and outside edges.


I picked the two pieces of steel up from the sheet metal shop during the week that make up the new front panel.  They put one of the return edges on the separate top section on the outside rather than inside as I had asked, but as it happens it probably made it easier and neater that way anyway. 

Here are the two pieces ready to be welded together to make the new front panel.  I decided to make the panel differently to the standard panel.  It will hopefully look neater than the original as it will not have all of the spot welds across it and will also not have a visible joint line across the outside face.


Here you can see the returned edge that will be used to puddle (plug) weld to the other piece, by drilling holes in the returned edge then whilst clamping the two pieces together weld into the hole.  I found that the holes I had drilled the first time were just too small.  I ended up making the holes 7mm.  They are only about 4mm in this picture.  The technique I use is to strike the arc in the centre of the hole onto the rear section then work outwards in a circular motion to fuse to the hole in the front section.

Because of the way that the pieces were folded, I decided to tack the top edge together with the roar edge tight against the edge to be welded to make sure that I got a decent edge.  This then meant that the flange did not actually sit flat on the panel as it was sprung, so I had to clamp the pieces together whilst welding them.  Because of the length of the section I used a couple of pieces of steel box section to keep it all flat along the length without twisting.  You can see the puddle welds along the return.  They actually came out pretty neat.  I haven't decided yet whether to bother grinding them down, or just leave them as is.  Once painted they will probably not look much worse than standard spot welds.  The other edge then needed to be fully welded.  this had to be done a little at a time to prevent warping.  I did this a little at a time using small tacks then after cooling, filling in between them.  Until all the gaps were filled.



The tack welds being built up along the edge.  Then it was a matter of grinding down the edge to try and make it look as neat as possible.  It came out reasonably well and after a bit of filler and high build primer it should be perfect. 


A few pictures of the newly made panel in place, but not yet permanently fixed in place.  I will have to sort the top edges of the bed sides first.  You can see the cleaner outside look from the last picture.



Here you can see the hydraulic ram mountings.  There is a slight problem that I still need to resolve that being the bolt head fowling the side of the chassis rail.  The simple solution will be to turn down the head of the bolt making it about half the original height.