Best Ladder Racks for Trucks of 2019

Businesses that imply working with own equipment require proper transportation means, or else, it will not work. Contractors, small and large companies usually have trucks or vans that can be sent out on the field whenever required and, in those vehicles, there is every single piece of equipment that the workers might need. Giving the fact that some tools and accessories are bigger in length and width than the actual vehicle, additional racks are needed. Ladder racks for trucks are some of the most commonly used among contractors, as it represents the only safe way to transport a ladder.

If you are wondering whether a ladder rack is optional when doing field work, the answer is 100% no. Although it is not mandatory by law, it is crucial to own one in order to be able to perform your duties well. Otherwise, how would you be able to climb or to reach items at height? Borrowing a ladder or asking your clients to provide you with one is not really a professional approach.

There are a few benefits that come with the use of a ladder rack:

  • You save space and can use it to store other pieces of equipment
  • You save time by optimizing the unloading and reloading process
  • You get to protect your equipment
  • You get to transport the ladder safely

If you are currently doing your research in order to buy a new ladder rack for your truck, but you aren’t sure what is the difference between one product and the other, then you are in the right place. We have selected five of the best-selling models and reviewed them for you, based on personal observations and consumer feedback. Below, you will see the pros and cons of each and every product in particular, so that you can compare the advantages and the downsides and make the best choice for your needs.

Comparison

Product Size Weight Price
Oklead Truck Ladder Rack for Pickup Trucks Oklead Truck Ladder Rack for Pickup Trucks 32 x 17.5 x 8 inches 64 pounds price
AA-Racks X35 Truck Rack with (8) Non-Drilling C-Clamps AA-Racks X35 Truck Rack with (8) Non-Drilling C-Clamps 30.8 x 15.9 x 8.8 inches 50 pounds price
AA-Racks Model X3501 Short Bed Truck Ladder Rack AA-Racks Model X3501 Short Bed Truck Ladder Rack 30.5 x 26 x 8.4 inches 58 pounds price
AA-Racks Model DX36 Universal Two Bar Drilling AA-Racks Model DX36 Universal Two Bar Drilling 36.6 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches 17.6 pounds price
EAG Adjustable Truck Contractor Ladder Rack EAG Adjustable Truck Contractor Ladder Rack 63 x 6 x 15 inches 60 pounds price

Best Products of 2019

1

Oklead Truck Ladder Rack for Pickup Trucks

Ladders are sturdy pieces of equipment that allow you to reach a wide variety of spots, electrical systems and even the roof. To be that sturdy, that have to be made of heavy-duty materials, which is why transporting them has to be done carefully, as they can scratch or damage the interior of the car. Using a truck ladder rack is the wisest choice. This product from Oklead comes at a fair price. It is worth the price, giving its features and high-quality materials. It can be adjusted anywhere between 46 and 67 inches. It is made of steel and has sturdy steel racks with a capacity of 500 pounds. installing this rack on your truck is a breeze. It comes with all the installation hardware that you need: 12 bolts, 12 lock washers, 12 flat washers, 12 nuts, a set of 8 screws and a hexagonal wrench.

This model includes detailed instructions, so you will be able to set it up without any additional help. The only challenge could be the fact that some drilling is required in order to install it. If you have experience setting up racks, then it will be easy for you. This product is practical and safe to use. The fact that it is adjustable makes it easier for you even take it off your truck and install it on a different one.

What’s to like?

  • It is fairly priced
  • It has a sturdy design
  • It is made of steel
  • It is a heavy-duty rack
  • It is adjustable
  • It includes all installation hardware
  • It has matt black powder coating
  • It has a 500-pound capacity
  • It is covered by a one-year warranty

What’s not to like?

  • It requires drilling

2

AA-Racks X35 Truck Rack with (8) Non-Drilling C-Clamps

This standard bed rack model is known to be extremely efficient when it comes to ladder transportation, as well as the transportation of any other type of large sized equipment. Thanks to the extendable top bar, it fits different kinds of truck beds. Unlike other similar models, this product requires no drilling and includes a set of 8 C-clamps that help with the installation. However, just like any other non-drilling model, it isn’t compatible with utility track systems. Thanks to its easy-to-use set up system, it is easy to put on and take down whenever needed. It features a rope hook on the side of the uprights, so it provides the security you need.

Being powder coated in matte black, it is rust-resistant and has more durability over time. the C-clamps are made of aluminum, which also makes them durable, but more than that, lightweight. The top cross bar of this rack is extendable and can be adjusted for different size bed width, with a maximum of 71 inches. Thanks to its design, it offers 30.5 inches height to the clearance and 26 inches to the cross bar, so the roof of the vehicle will be protected at all times. Although this is a product that is compatible with most vehicles, it is important to check the on-drilling and compatibility list that the manufacturer offers.

What’s to like?

  • It is medium-priced
  • It is made of heavy-duty materials
  • It is adjustable
  • It is a non-drilling model
  • It includes 8 C-clamps made of aluminum
  • It is easy to install and take down
  • It has a side rope hook on all 4 sides
  • It is powder coated in matte black
  • It weighs 50 pounds
  • It is ideal for ladder transportation

What’s not to like?

  • It isn’t compatible with utility track systems

3

AA-Racks Model X3501 Short Bed Truck Ladder Rack

This is another ladder rack model manufactured by AA Products Inc. that is known for its high-quality. By comparison to the previous products presented in this list, it is pricier. However, it is worth every cent, as it has a unique design and it is made of heavy-duty materials that last in time. It comes with a bracket bar that is capable of strengthening the basic truck rack. There are two bracket bars included, each with 6/4 grade 8 carriage bolts. It includes two one-piece handrails that facilitate setting up the rack. Thanks to this system, you can enjoy the benefits of the grab and hop method.

This X35 rack is ideal for ladder transportation, but it can also be used for kayaks or canoes. It can be installed on almost all kinds of trucks, having an extendable top cross-bar. It has an inner bed width that can be adjusted between 51 and 71 inches and a height that can be set to 30.5 inches to the clearance and 26 inches to the cross bar. Its wide compatibility is also due to the adjustability of the over-cab extension bar and side bars. Most users of this product don’t only transport ladders on it, but also find it convenient for large tool box transportation.

What’s to like?

  • It has a great design
  • It is ideal for ladder, toolbox or kayak transportation
  • It is adjustable
  • It has two bracket bars
  • It is easy to install
  • It has 30.5 inches distance to the cross bar
  • It has adjustable over cab extension and side bars
  • It has nicely designed support bars
  • It has a grab and hop system for the truck bed
  • It includes all required installation hardware

What’s not to like?

  • It is pricier than most ladder rack models
  • It required drilling

4

AA-Racks Model DX36 Universal Two Bar Drilling

If the previous products that we analyzed in this list so far were mostly designed to truck use, this model is suitable for van use. Its advantage is that it is smaller in size and more inexpensive. The same model is also available in 3-bar, so you might want to check that out, too. This product from AA Products Inc. has a 13-gauge steel construction, a maximum capacity of 350 pounds and a 4-inch total height clearance. Its cross bars are 1.2 inches in diameter. One of the nice features of this model is the fact that the length of the bars is adjustable and can be set anywhere between 35 to 63 inches. Another important detail is the fact that it has an 11-gauge high-strength steel mounting base.

Although this is a great product that can be easily installed, it requires drilling, so you might want to think twice whether you can do that or not. A downside is the fact that it doesn’t include accessories for the height clearance, so you need to buy them separately. The total size of this model is 36.6 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches and it weighs 17.6 pounds. It is painted in sandy black and it is fixed, not folding.

What’s to like?

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is practical
  • It is easy to install
  • It mounts on the roof of the van
  • It has a steel construction
  • It has adjustable cross bar
  • It has high-strength steel mounting base
  • It has 4-inch total height clearance
  • It has 2 bars
  • It comes in sandy black

What’s not to like?

  • It doesn’t include accessories
  • It requires drilling for installation

5

EAG Adjustable Truck Contractor Ladder Rack

If you are looking for a seriously advanced ladder rack that can be used to transport all kinds of equipment that a contractor might need with ease, then this is the option that you should consider most. Its price is higher than most products in this list, but let’s not forget that it is designed for professional use and that it is made of the highest quality materials. This product has some great features that should be taken into consideration before deciding on other model. First of all, it is fully adjustable, which means that it can be customized in any way the user wants. Second, it has the highest capacity seen in this list so far. It supports a total weight of 1000 pounds. Its third advantage is that it is made of 2-inch tubing.

This product isn’t only practical and strong, but it also has a gorgeous design. It has a glossy black finish that screams care and professionalism. Another advantage worth mentioning is the fact that it comes with a removable rear bar. Also, it has a gusseted corner that offers extra strength. Last, but not least, it includes a built-in air deflector that helps eliminate cab noise. If you want to buy a product that is highly convenient and versatile in the context of any contractor type of work, you just found your match.

What’s to like?

  • It is made of the highest quality materials
  • It is fully adjustable
  • It supports up to 1000 pounds
  • It is made of .120 wall 2-inch tubing
  • It has glossy black finish
  • Its rear bar is removable
  • It includes gold zinc plated hardware
  • It is easy to install
  • It has built-in air deflector
  • It has built-in tie down in every leg

What’s not to like?

  • It only fits compact trucks

Questions and Answers

How can you save space using a ladder rack?

Using ladder racks is all about efficiency. If you have a lot of equipment that you have to take with you every time you are contracted for a job, then you surely prefer to save space in your truck or van. Installing a ladder rack helps you save a lot of space, as you will place it outside the vehicle. A lot of space can be used the for toolboxes or other larger pieces of equipment. The advantage of having a ladder rack installed is mainly represented by space saving, but at the same time, it also becomes more comfortable to do your job. These racks allow you to access the ladder faster and with more ease.

How easy it is to install it?

All ladder racks or kayak racks come with clear instructions on how to install them. However, sometimes it is good to know how it’s done before ordering one. The installation takes place differently depending on the model of rack and the vehicle on top of which you will install it. In order to see how easy it is to set it up, it is recommended to download the installation instructions of the model that you want to buy. These are available on the manufacturer’s website. They usually include a list of the parts that are included in the box and sometimes, accessories or parts that you have to buy separately. It is recommended to decide on a product that includes all the installation hardware.

After checking the box includes all the parts listed in the instruction card, you should look at the specifications list in order to ensure that that particular model is compatible with your vehicle. Next, you will find an assembly drawing that described exactly where each piece goes. If you choose a non-drilling model, then the installation will be easier and you will probably manage to do it on your own, without any help. If, on the other side, it is a drilling model that you want to go for, you should check if all steps can be done independently, or if you need help.

What are the challenges that setting up a ladder rack implies?

One of the main challenges that truck or van owners encounter while installing a ladder rack is adjusting it to the exact size of the vehicle’s bed. If the bars are very wide, then it is highly probable that help will be needed in order to be able to fix it correctly. Another challenge that this process implies is doing the drilling, as additional requisite is needed. In most cases, two people are needed for the positioning of the rack and the adjustment. Other than that, a ladder rack’s installation doesn’t really represent a challenging activity thanks to the clear instructions that these products include.

What are the most important benefits of ladder racks?

Ladder racks come with a lot of benefits that have to do with space saving and efficiency. Most ladder rack users state that one of the most important things that determine them to recommend the use of these accessories is the fact that it becomes much more comfortable to transport any ladder. If you work as a contractor or you have a maintenance services business, then you know how important it is to be able to move fast, but to be able to feel comfortable, too, in order to do a good job. Besides the comfort factor, ladder racks offer more cargo space, help you save a lot of time and allow you to protect the equipment.

Imagine that you have to transport your ladder in the back of your truck or van, together with a lot of other tools. Taking it out of the car would always be a burden. Also, there is always a risk of scratching or hitting the car, as well as other piece of equipment. When you own a business or you work for someone else, the last thing that you want to do is to pay for damage repair. A ladder rack helps you work easily and efficiently, with minimal risks.

What are the most durable ladder rack materials?

Some of the most popular ladder racks are made of aluminium, as it is lightweight, durable and doesn’t rust. However, you shouldn’t think that it is the same type of aluminium that small objects are made of. This is rugged, reliable, rust-proof aluminium that has been treated in order to be as durable as possible and tested. Most ladder racks are strong and can support between 500 and 800 Ibs. They include stainless steel and galvanized steel fasteners, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. Other accessories that might be included should also be made of heavy-duty materials. In case you are just looking to buy a ladder rack for your business, make sure that it has all the information about the materials that it is made of, as this will help you establish the approximate amount of time that you will be able to use it.

Which is the best ladder rack type for your needs?

The market offers a variety of ladder rack models that you can use depending on your needs. If you are looking to upgrade your truck, you can choose over-bed racks, over-cab racks, side-mount racks, as well as van & shell racks. Over bed racks are ideal for toolbox, cooler and gas can transportation. It can take on very large loads, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice for ladder transportation. Over cab racks are great for ladders, kayaks or any other objects that you might want to transport on top of your car. Side-mount racks are also great for full-size ladders, as well as lumber, pipes, carpets rolls and what not. Van & Shell racks are quite restrictive, but they are also suitable for ladder transportation.

Final Words

Working as a contractor often comes with a variety of challenges, from finding clients to recovering money from them. Having to deal with difficult situations can be stressful, which is why it is important to solve the primary needs that you have while preparing for each task in particular. Owning a truck or a van and having all the accessories that can make your life easier installed on it contributes to a smoother routine and decreases daily discomfort. Having a ladder rack installed it is one of the things that you can do to make your job more pleasant. Such a rack can help you save a lot of space and take the ladder down whenever needed, without any effort. Putting it back up is also easy, so you won’t have to confront with the space problem.

The best ladder rack for your needs is the one that is compatible with your vehicle, that is durable and practical. Depending on how comfortable you want the installation to be, but also how much security you need, you should choose between models that require drilling and non-drilling models. Next, look at the quality of the materials, at the coating, the padding and the sturdiness of the straps.

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