How To Haul 16 ft Lumber In Pickup [Beginner’s Guide]

Carrying a few 16 ft planks across the city doesn’t sound all that difficult. But doing it safely without damaging the goods and hurting anybody can be a real challenge sometimes. This is why we’re here to show you how to how to haul 16 ft lumber in pickup in the most efficient way.

When transporting masses of small goods, a simple netting and fastening can get the job done. But the picture is quite different when we’re talking about 16 ft lumbers. Even if it seems intimidating, with the right guidance and knowledge you will be able to do it with dexterity as well.

Why Is Safe Hauling So Important?

Before we jump into explaining how it’s done, we must first understand the goal. Simply put, the goal is not just to haul the lumber from one place to another, but to do it most safely and efficiently.

A pickup with 16 ft of lumber on it means that the vehicle now has some extra length to it. In other words, a person driving that loaded pickup is actually driving a vehicle that’s significantly longer. Any driver without prior experience is bound to mess up in turns as their driving skills aren’t properly calibrated to the situation.

Another common risk involved with hauling long items is an improper settlement. Imagine carrying a load to your destination only to realize parts of it had fallen off midway because you didn’t secure it properly. Underestimating the importance of a steady fix can eventually result in dispossession of items, if not fatal accidents.

Things To Know Before Hauling Lumber

Hauling longer lengths of lumber requires a little technique and the right set of knowledge. So, here are some essential things that you should be aware of, before hitting the roads –

  • You must know how much lumber is hanging out of your vehicle. As per DOT regulations, no more than three feet, four inches, and four feet of lumber can hang out of the front, side, and back of your vehicle respectively.
  • If the legal limit is exceeded then you must mark it using a red flag, clamped to the end of the lumber.
  • It’s better to contact the local police to familiarize yourself with additional rules, than getting charged with a fine later on.

How To Haul 16 ft Lumber In Pickup

In the following section, we will be walking you through the steps of securing and hauling 16 ft lumber on a pickup truck. Each step has been further elaborated for your ease of understanding. Keep reading till the end to have a clear concept on how to pull off the job smoothly.

Required Essentials

To start off smoothly you must have the following list of things –

  1. A short-bed pickup truck or larger.
  2. 20 ft heavy duty ratchet straps that are at least 2 inches or wider.
  3. Red flag (clamped)
  4. And of course the 16 ft lumber(s).

Examine Your Load

The very first thing you need to do is examine your load. Normally, if your load weighs below 250 lbs you may leave the tailgate up. But since you’re planning to haul 16 ft lumbers, it’s highly likely that it’ll weigh more than 250 lbs. Under such circumstances, you must lower the tailgate to accommodate the length.

Next check whether the DOT regulations are being met or not. This is crucial because none of us would like to go through the hard work of hauling only to get fined by highway troopers midway.

Get Rid Of Debris From Your Bed

Make sure there are no debris remaining on your truck bed that can potentially damage your lumber. Remember that the lumber you are carrying is more than 16ft in length so a lot of pressure will be dissipated on the truck bed. Just by simply getting rid of the debris you can ensure a dent-free haul.

To further make a hospitable truck bed for your lumbers, consider carpeting it with old cardboards. That way rough and sharp edges won’t harm your lumber nor your truck.

Lower Your Tailgate

Lowering your tailgate gives your vehicle enough length to accommodate more of the 16 ft lumbers. We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of lowering your tailgate to avoid vehicle damage and ensure uniform weight distribution. You may also consider attaching a lumber rack for easy stacking.

An extended and lowered tailgate is considered the ideal bed for 16 ft hauls. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the community who take pride in transferring 16 ft lumbers without lowering the tailgate. We highly discourage that as it can be detrimental to your safety.

Fasten And Secure Your Lumber

You must make sure that the lumbers do not shift or wobble on the pickup bed every time your car hits a bump, to avoid risking an accident. Here are the instructions for a safe settlement –

  • Lay out three strong ratchet straps across the bed from one side to another. Preferably one strap on the cab end, middle and tail end each
  • Place you 16 ft lumbers carefully on the bed.
  • Position them together so that the heaviest and largest pieces are on the bottom and lightest ones are on the top.
  • Anchor the entire lot to your bed.
  • Crisscross the ratchets, wrap it around the load, and finally secure the seal by tightening it.
  • After securing your load, red flag the tailgate end of the lumber by using a flag clamp and you’re good to go.

Drive Slow And Careful

According to a study from AAA, more than 200,000 crashes were caused by debris on the US roads. Wondering why? Because countless vehicle owners found it unimportant to secure their loads properly. This resulted in more than 500 deaths and 38,000 injuries.

So if you want to make a difference then drive carefully with those 16 ft lumbers. Slow down on bumps and carefully calculate your turns because your vehicle now has significantly added-length.

Hauling lumbers may sound intimidating but all it needs is the right technique and steps. The purpose of this post was to let you know how to haul 16 ft lumbers in pickup most easily. Our journey together ends here but yours doesn’t. Haul your 16 ft lumbers with ease! Haul safe.