HP Construction
keep on truckin

 I needed a shiny new work truck with utility bed locking boxes, a high-security shop to park it in, and a 6-digit checking account to bankroll the whole shebang.

What I had was a middle-aged 1/2 ton pickup, an unfenced driveway to park it in, and a budget with about as much fat as a figure skater.  I took what I had, and went to work.

I wasn’t asking for much, really. Just a tool-storage system to keep my most frequently used tools locked up (but readily available), and their presence concealed from passersby – with a minimum of disruption to my truck’s hauling capacity. The answer I arrived at was a pullout drawer system - chosen for its reach & grab accessibility.

This unit would have to be tough enough to withstand the elements.  More than just a pragmatic solution, however, it was my determination that my toolbox make a statement about my work, and my commitment to craftsmanship.

I built a truckbed box in three separate sections. The two side boxes slide in the truck bed between the wheel wells, and then push over to their respective sides, to fit around them.

Once they’re pushed over, the center section slides into place, interlocking with the sides (by means of cleats) as it goes in, so that the three sections function as an integral unit. The top was covered with diamond plate sheet aluminum, screwed to the ¾” plywood platform.


The big question everyone seems to ask is, Do they slide easily? These toolboxes are heavy when full, no doubt about it. I installed some plastic furniture glides on the bottom front of the openings where the sides of the big drawers slide, and on the bottom of the big box drawers at the very back. Everyone who's tried them out has expressed surprise at the ease of operation.

The open tailgate supports the extended drawers, eliminating the need for any supporting drawer hardware.  To prevent sticking, I rub the drawer bottom edges with bees’ wax. I added an aftermarket tailgate lock by Pop & Lock for security.

I have to admit, the whole time I was working on this project a nagging voice within kept asking, is this really gonna be worth the time and trouble it’s costing me? Now that it's finally finished and in daily use, the nagging question that haunts me is - Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?

Next on the agenda was the cab - I needed an organizer console, to keep my pens, pencils, tape measures, etc. handy.  But those fancy ones cost over a hundred dollars.  What to do?

Hmmm, I had some scrap wood laying around...

But wait, I wasn't finished yet!  Click here to see what I did next.
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