Story and photos by G.R. Whale
Pickup truck beds are perfect for carrying things that are the same size as the bed, but anything smaller or larger requires some sort of retention. Heres' a quick idea from Amp Research to make your truck bed, better.
If your truck didn’t come with a factory option Amp Research, the people who did the first 14 years ago have a new design BedXTenderHD that will fit and contain longer, larger loads with the tailgate down (they usually have a weight limit) and smaller objects ahead or contained within the extender and raised tailgate.
The BedXTenderHD starts at $212 but prices vary depending on size, and the install uses a T25 bit and hand tools (though not on tool list, have a tape measure or ruler handy), and it takes less than an hour even with two friends helping (one is ideal).
The first direction is to cut the side-pillar template, which bisects another template printed on the back, and mount the brackets. Because of variables in bedliner heights, we’d suggest assembling the BedXTender first. Mark the tube ends at 7 inches, then slide them into the ends and center all the tubes.
Composite verticals, with varying inside thickness to match the disparate-diameter tube joint inside, are squeezed together with six T25 fasteners. A bit at a time for each walks them on easier.
With the BedXTender roughly assembled you can get a better idea of bracket height. Ideally, the end of the extender is parallel to and within a quarter-inch of the tailgate (closer doesn’t allow for body flex). Then you use the template to punch/drill the three mounting holes. You can put this over your bedliner or cut it for flush steel mounting.
Slide the BedXTender into the brackets and adjust any tube length as needed. Then adjust strap length for a snug fit with the tailgate latches flush (just lift the tailgate handle to release) and your done; that load board in front of the bed is no longer needed.