This product has proven to be priceless. It is very strong and convertible. I am using it to haul two kayaks. It does well for this purpose. Im sure it could carry a ladder with ease, but who wants to do that when a kayak is more fun?
I purchased the heavy duty truck rack specifically for carrying my surf board and kayaks. I bought this product as a cost effective alternative to other racks designed to carry sporting equipment which costs over 3 times the amount. With that being said, the rack works well for carrying one board or one kayak at a time . It is not as wide as other sporting racks which allow you too carry two boards or two kayaks or one of each. I can not speak to it's ability to haul a lot of weight, but, it does seem very sturdy. Regarding the installation, I was able to install the rack on my own in about an hour. Installation was fairly simple, but it will vary by truck. The design of the rack does lend itself to easy installation and it comes with easy to follow instructions.
I actually purchased this to attach kayak carriers. However, it will do well for its intended purpose of carrying ladders, or lumber, etc. If I had a work truck I may want a heavier duty rack but otherwise, for the home handyman or weekender, it will work well. I clamped mine on as I do not intend to leave it on year round. The other option is drilling the bed rail. It did rattle somewhat. The instructions state to be careful to NOT tighten the hardware too tight. I ended up tightening it pretty good a second time and the rattling stopped. Overall well made.
I was looking for a basic rack, primarily for carrying my canoe rather than ladders. I didn't want to pay for a Thule or Yakima. I wish the hardware had been in a separate bag -- the set screws were screwed loosely into the cross pieces, and one of them was missing. And I am glad I took one of the remaining set screws with me to the hardware store, because it turns out they are metric, as opposed to the SAE size listed in the manual. No allen wrench for the set screws included (5mm). Also, the bolts to attach the brackets to the truck rails are now metric, and button-head socket to boot. You need a metric allen wrench to install -- not included -- and these are 6mm. I ended up buying all different connectors, as I wanted to go with stainless steel, and the ones that came with the rack are not.
Other than that, I got what I expected.
A Great Buy in all respects with one exception... It DOES NOT fit all trucks... I have a 2003 Chevy Stepside LT...
This truck has way too narrow of a bed for the rack to fit width-wise. If your bed is 5 foot wide or wider...it will fit your truck...My bed is 4 ft wide (very narrow) and the rack didn't
come close to fitting... I had to do major modifications to make this rack fit...
Went together in 2 hours... Well made... Very sturdy. Took my canoe to Maine and back from D.C.
Just watch out for some sharp weld splatter on cross tubes. Grind it off with Dremel or it will gouge anything you slide up onto rack.
We needed a way to free up the truck bed space & still carry our two large kayaks...these racks are perfect. We wish we did not have to have them on the truck all the time, but they were the best choice for the money.
It does the job but it still rattles a little as the nuts and bolts don't completely hold the upper crossbars in place. Other than that it was easy to assemble. I bought clamps with mine as to no drill through the truck liner and bed. Will eventually upgrade but for starting out it's great.
To newer Ford F150 (2001 and newer) owners I would not recommend this product unless you want to ...
October 09, 2018
To newer Ford F150 (2001 and newer) owners I would not recommend this product unless you want to drill all new holes in the base. The rack is good and sturdy, but the location of the 1/2 inch holes pre-drilled in the base will not allow you to put the nut on the bolt because the Ford F150 bed rail only has about 1.5" to drill into. Theses hole in the base would make the bolts go thru into the bed box where you cannot access the end of the bolts. So, all new holes in the rack base and new holes in your truck bed rail. I spent days emailing the manufacturer tech people, Buffalo Tools, and they said my 2006 F150 long bed had a bed liner. Not so. I looked at many other 2000+ era F150 trucks and that is the way the bed is built. I finally made it work by fabricating "L" brackets and using the "stake" holes in the four corners of the bed, then used "C" clamps for the rack base ends. Works good now, after about 6 hours of installing. So, F150 owners be warned.