Saturday, July 4, 2015

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Off-Road : This Just In!

( ) The 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is the most off-road worthy Tundra that you can buy. But just how well does it do on the rocky, snowy and muddy trails of the Colorado Rocky Mountains? Watch this video to find out

( ) Please visit to support TFLcar & TFLtruck.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What is the Capacity of my Rack-it Rack?

(This is not a Rack-it Truck Rack - and in any event don't try this with any rack!)

One of the most common questions we're asked at Rack-it, from dealers and end users alike is "What is the Load Rating on a rack?" or "How much weight can I put up on the rack?" It would be nice if we had a simple answer to that question, but load rating is a bit tricky ... here's why:

Rack-it "rates" our pickup racks to carry up to 1700 pounds. However, this does not mean that the user should carry this type of weight on top of their rack. The rack itself can hold up to 1700 pounds in a static environment.

However the truck and / or truck body's bedrails it is attached to may not have this same "load rating."

You may have noticed when you purchased your truck a published payload capacity. Payload capacity for pick up trucks means how much weight it can carry, and takes into consideration both passengers and cargo in both the cab and the bed. The truck manufacturers do not publish any data on what their bedrails can support; therefore we have a pretty big gray area when it comes to "load rating."

At the end of the day, the rack can bear much more weight than the truck's bedrails it is attached to so we recommend the following:

1. Use Common Sense when loading your rack. If it looks or feels like too much weight, then it probably is.

2. Load the rack in a way that evenly distributes weight. Anytime a user places a load on top of a Rack-it Truck Rack, it will notably change the handling characteristics of the vehicle. We cannot control the way in which the end user loads material on the rack; therefore it is the sole responsibility of the user to secure these materials safely (distributing weight evenly) to the rack before transporting.

3. Never exceed the manufacturer's GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) as overloading can cause serious damage to the bodywork of the vehicle.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Will Pickup Options Become More Diverse

Truckmakers have a lot to be encouraged about when looking at current sales data. Even Ford is quite positive about its truck sales, even though it just experienced its first monthly drop near the 10 percent range in several years. Even though Ford recently brought all three of its full-size pickup truck production plants (for the F-150 and Super Duty) fully online it's still lagging in monthly sales. All three plants are running at maximum capacity to meet demand. There's no doubt that as Ford fills the pipeline and fixes a few minor supplier issues, those monthly anomalies will cease.

The sales strength of the pickup segment has several other automakers looking at offering a new pickup to help increase market share and sales. Electric carmaker Tesla is among them; it plans to enter the SUV market later this year with the Tesla Model X and it has expressed interest in offering a pickup.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted in 2013 that he wanted to build an all-electric F-150-like vehicle in Texas to fill out his product portfolio. At the time, he said he wanted it built in about five years, which means as early as 2018, just two model years away. Unfortunately, the state of Texas is not making it easy for him to sell his vehicles directly to consumers — something that most states don't allow in order to protect the rights of franchise dealerships. Musk is pushing back, hinting that he might not locate his Tesla pickup truck plant in Texas. Really? At this point, if Musk has not yet decided where to build his production plant it's unlikely that the electric pickup, which we guess will cost between $50,000 and $75,000, will be ready in 2018.

Regardless what year we get it, the Tesla electric pickup would bring high-tech diversity to the segment and offer the potential to improve weight and range issues (especially in cold weather or when towing a trailer). We love the idea of having a huge, lockable storage trunk under the hood (no engine would be required) and still having a full-size bed for cargo. But would enough people spend that kind of money for an electric pickup when fuel prices are still so reasonable, especially when a diesel engine in a half-ton with a moderately size tank will get you a range of 600+ miles between fill-ups?

Two other obvious players ready to offer more options in the pickup marketplace are Ram and Jeep. Both are owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and both have strong leaders. But if Ram wants to get back into the midsize game — something Ram CEO Bob Hegbloom has repeatedly resisted — it's more likely to be done with a global partner that already has a vehicle, production plants and a good understanding of what a truck like this should be. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne (Hegbloom's boss) is reportedly shopping for a partner to help build global efficiencies to ensure cost savings. So if Ram Truck wanted to beef up its truck portfolio it would make sense to do what the Ram Commercial did with van offerings like the Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City. Both products were based off existing global Fiat Commercial platforms. But don't expect Ram to make something like that happen quickly. At a minimum, it sounds like a three- to five-year process.

The Jeep pickup issue is a little more complicated. Big automakers traditionally have thought that the best way to increase a brand's profits is to expand into markets where their product do not exist rather than making incremental improvements on existing products. That's quite expensive unless you can find a way to share a platform and squeeze more vehicles per hour from a given plant, which is more cost effective. Jeep recently used a global Fiat platform to create the Renegade, specifically designed to target the Chinese market. Anonymous sources have suggested it's possible the Renegade could sell in the hundreds of thousands of units per year. At the other end of the spectrum, Jeep also recently decided to create a Grand Cherokee-based luxury high-end competitor to go up against Land Rover Range Rover and cash in on the growing number of people who are willing to spend $100,000 for an SUV. So where does that leave a Jeep pickup truck? The answer is simple — pretty low on the priority list. The segment just doesn't support the idea of more midsize players, even if they have a clear-cut personality like a Jeep pickup could offer, and especially when FCA already offers Ram pickups.

There's no question that pickup sales are strong — and they are likely to stay strong barring any unforeseen global issues — but don't expect to see many automakers jumping into the midsize or full-size pickup segments. Sure, we'll get the occasional "lifestyle" pickup like the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept. Hyundai has nothing to lose from creating such a pickup. But experiments like that have not done well in the past and aren't likely to in the future unless they can do something big and daring with extra capability, unique powertrains or exceptional problem-solving features.

In a nutshell, if an automaker wants to be popular in this mature and relatively jaded segment, it must be able to offer something nobody else — meaning customers and competitors — has seen before. Whether that's Tesla, Hyundai or Google, we'll just have to wait and see. images by Mark Williams


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota Pickups Are Segment Leaders in 2015 J.D. Powers IQS

The 2015 J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey was released today revealing a different brand winner in each of the three pickup truck segments. The IQS study examines problems experienced by new vehicle owners in the first 90 days of ownership, measuring problems in eight different categories: exterior, seats, driving experience, engine/transmission, features/controls, interior, heating/air conditioning and audio/navigation.

The industry as a whole improved by 3 percent, according to the report, with Porsche and Kia dominating the results. The winner and second-place finishers in the three dedicated pickup categories are:
Midsize Pickup

Winner: Toyota Tacoma
Runner-up: Nissan Frontier
Large Light-Duty Pickup

Winner: Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Runner-up: Ram 1500
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup

Winner: Ford Super Duty
Runner-up: Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500

For the full story and chart listing scores by brand as well as the winners of each of the 26 segment categories, click here to read coverage at News.

Manufacturer images


Friday, June 26, 2015

Isuzu D-Max - Pick-up of the Year 2015

A sturdy Shire Horse or a fancy show pony, Isuzu's big-hearted D-Max pick-up is available as a no-nonsense working tool or with all the bells and whistles; the choice is yours. That is one reason why it has lifted our Pick-up of the Year award once again.

Buyers can opt for either a 4x2 or a 4x4 and select from a four-door double cab, a two-door single cab or a stretched single cab with rear-opening side access half-doors. Open the bonnet whichever model you choose and you will find a very torquey and responsive 163hp 2.5-litre diesel married to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed auto ’box. The only real gripe we have is that the gearchange could do with being slightly more short-throw.

Gross payload is listed at approximately 1.0 to 1.1 tonnes depending on the variant chosen and the 4x4s are available with a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes. Four different specification levels are marketed with even entry-level models delivered with air-conditioning.

Isuzu D-Max Pick-up of the Year 2015

As if to hammer home D-Max's workhorse credentials Isuzu (UK) has been highlighting its ability to act as a platform for a variety of special conversions. They include the Brigade Response Vehicle from Pickup Systems, a compact fire appliance with a single-stage 3.5-bar pump, a 310-litre water tank and a 55m hose on an electric reel, and Cumberland Platforms UK's MEWP; Mobile Elevating Working Platform. Its telescopic boom can reach a working height of 13.2m, rotate through 360 degrees and is available with a basket capacity of 225kg; approximately equivalent to two workers and their equipment.

None of this should be taken to imply that a D-Max cannot be fun to own. Still being promoted on the Isuzu web site at the time of writing was the special edition Blade double cab 4x4, complete with a stack of extras including 18in alloys and black leather seats. Worth noting too is the new-found availability of the extended cab in premium Yukon trim.

So far as the practicalities are concerned, D-Max comes with a five-year/125,000-mile warranty. That tells you all you need to know about its dependability and durability.

When Isuzu replaced the Rodeo with D-Max it resisted the temptation to pump it up in size; it’s dwarfed by the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok. This makes it nimble — if a one-tonne pick-up can ever be called that — it doesn’t feel ‘big’ to drive and yet can handle just about anything thrown at it.

Click here for the full Award winner results.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Now Carry Your Weed Wackers Safely on a Rack-it Pickup Rack

This Rack-it rack holds weed whackers and other tools. It fastens easily to the pickup bed using our Mega Clamp system and is removable just as easy as to install, yet it is secure while it is there.

In addition to our standard production racks with all the matching fit options, we build a lot of custom racks for specific uses.

Whatever your need is, just give us a call at 800-445-7666 and let us know what you want and how you want to use it and we can make the perfect rack for your customized needs. Visit

Monday, June 22, 2015

Brute BedSafe Slide-Out Bed Box

Westin Brute Slide-Out box

Westin aluminum heavy-duty roller drawer boxes are 53-percent lighter than steel boxes

Expanding bed cargo storage and security is easy with the new Westin Automotive Brute BedSafe Boxes. This box design offers a secure cargo solution that mounts in the truck bed and is available in six configurations

Westin Brute BedSafe aluminum heavy-duty roller drawer boxes are 53-percent lighter than steel boxes, and the drawers are made of .125 inch thick smooth mill and have a 350 lb. capacity.

The top and side have a 500-pound capacity for evenly distributed weight with .100″ thick reinforced diamond tread casing.

BedSafe Boxes have a rain gutter feature for water resistance and are base reinforced for strength and durability. Inside, each features movable dividers for item organization as needed.

Made in the U.S.A. and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Westin Products; 800-345-8476

Bruce Smith June 15, 2015