“I’ve got a 1985 F-250 with a dump bed in it. What would be the best way to build a chip box onto it? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.”
“What kind of dump do you have on it?”
“It’s a dump insert.”
“I have an EZ-Dumper insert. Just put 2×4 uprights and 2x6s for the sides, .75-inch plywood on top with three cross members, one in front, center and back. Put 2x4s on the inside also to stiffen it up slightly. I use my tractor with the loader and forks to remove it when needed. Went up six 2x6s on each side. Used 3-inch decking screws to hold it all together, except the inside 2x4s; those got .25-inch lag bolts 3 inches long for additional support. It’s rugged, a little heavy, but works great.”
“I have built them with 2×6 with .75-inch plywood as well, but since I did not have forks to take it apart with, I used carriage bolts and did mine in four manageable sections. I also know a guy who traded work with a welder and had one built with 2-inch angle iron and sheet metal.”
“If you want to remove it, I would use .75-inch plywood and build sections so it will go together easily and [can] also be removed.”
“Was looking at rebuilding mine last month to make it lighter. Was thinking about using .75-inch plywood for the sides instead of 2x6s. Only problem with ply on the sides with the EZ-Dumper is the body is 8 feet 6 inches long. Plywood is cut 4×8, 6 inches short, and would miss the rear post. Haven’t figured out how to overcome that.”
“I had a similar dump insert before, and to overcome that extra 6 inches, just split the difference in the center 2×4 post and use two pieces of plywood for each side. The only problem is that you end up with a lot of waste, but we just used it to throw under the tires when driving over lawns. I eventually stopped with the plywood and used 1×6 pressure-treated decking carriage bolted to 2x4s-much stronger and cleaner looking. For the top I use that thick black mesh for the roof. It’s cheap, and it allows for airflow so you can leave it on when driving, unlike the PVC tarps that flap in the wind and rip.”
“I’ve made two for my trucks at the campus I manage. They were originally for leaf work, but are now used for chipping as well. They seem to be holding up well after their second season in use.
“For the dump truck, I made a rear tailgate from 1.5 inch, .120 wall steel tubing. This locates with welded-in pins right into the tailgate hardware for the dump and latches the same way as the dump gate would, only it is much taller to match the rest of the box. Onto this, I welded three heavy-duty truck gate hinges on each side and made a pair of doors out of .5-inch plywood with an overlap in the center. The doors are secured by a pair of gate latches (the type that slide in and turn to latch). I cut an access hole for the leaf blower into one of the doors and set up a swinging mount for the leaf blower equipment.
“The side walls are 2×4 uprights in three spots, with .5-inch plywood facing on the inside of the 2x4s. The front is a sheet of .5-inch plywood. The front half of the top is .5-inch plywood, and the rear of the top is a sheet of landscape mesh, which allows the unit to breath as stuff is blown in.
“At the very front, where the force of the blower is concentrated, I used an old 3×5 sign, bent it into roughly a C shape, and mounted it in place. This absorbs the main thrust of the blower and also redirects the chips and leaves to the rear so it fills rear first. I find that I get a fuller load that way.
“The entire unit is joined together with truck box hardware purchased from NAPA. This allows for easy teardown and setup when I need to use the boxes.”
“Build a forward-facing air scoop both inside and out; on top keep it short, this keeps your box dry so it lasts longer. Stack a few branches across the front inside the box; this keeps the chips from sticking. Do whatever you can to provide drainage, I have side drains that hang out past the body. Chip runoff rusts steel pretty badly. In your case, maybe taller front tires would help.”
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