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PeakOfPerfection

New Flatbed Rig Build Thread

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Okay....time for a second flatbed build thread. Our F350 flatbed is showing its age and the 12' flatbed....while good for just roof cleaning...just isn't adequate for a big roof rig AND a big hot water pressure cleaning setup. Plus,mI need room for demo reels since we sell the worlds on roof cleaning specific hose reels.

The basis for the build is as follows: 2001 GMC 3500HD Diesel with a 14' flatbed and a 15,000 lb GVWR weight rating. The past week, the truck has been in shops getting everything serviced and repaired. Better to do it before it has thousands of dollars in equipment on it.

Raw truck...

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Truck is in very good mechanical condition and was fleet owned and serviced.

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Step one....The Bed.

Yes, this truck has a steel bed. This has good and bad points.

Good: strength isn't an issue when dealing with mounting big tanks and equipment. To be honest, the wood always made me a little nervous with five hundred Lb. Compressors and the like.

Good: it is a surface which is inherently slip resistant in that it is diamond plate, plus being a single solid surface, it has no seams.

Bad: Mounting things on the bed requires the use of a Mag-Base drill. All wires and soft lines can be cut by the steel.

Bad...every hole needs to be treated as a potential entry of high sodium solution onto the mechanicey/twirley bits below.

Bad: Steel Rusts. Steel in the presence of SH rusts a LOT.

How we are going to deal with the bad issues?

We will be renting a Mag Base drill for the weekend with bits to drill the holes for equipment mounts and air lines. Fluid lines....still deciding whether to route them above or below. All electrical will be routed from below.

Holes: all holes are to be grommeted then sealed with Silicone sealant to stop water penetration. We intend to use synthetic rubber washers and pads to stop galvanic corrosion issues. The base of the air compressor, reels, pumps, and pressure washer will be coated with POR-15 so when water DOES get underneath, rust will not occur.

Rust Prevention: the bed and upright has now been cleaned, etched, the yellow perimeter paint visible in the pictures above has been stripped off, and the first coat of POR-15 Rust coating was painted on today. A second coating will go onto both surfaces tomorrow. If you have rusted metal on your rig, I cannot recommend this stuff enough. Once treated, the rust is utterly converted to the most durable finish I have ever seen. It is not cheap....a gallon of the POR-15 and the bed-liner was about $300...but once on there, it is literally impossible for it to rust. Http://www.por15.com

Top coating on the bed will be POR-15 bed liner and the upright is to receive a coating of Rustoleum Industrial Enamel paint. I could have gone with Rhino or Herculiner, but the way I figure it, the POR15 bed liner coating is engineered to work with the rust coating.

The bottom of the truck will be steam pressure washed and under coated this winter.

While we are at it...the under bed box seen in the picture above is a very handy piece of kit. But....inevitably it will have salt encrusted things put into it by the crew. So the interior of the box was cleaned, etched and also has received an initial coating of POR15. That won't need a top coat as POR15 when not exposed to UV light is perfectly fine. While we were at it, we drilled some drain holes as it was chock full of water when we first opened it up. New weather seals should stop that and the drain holes will help any stray water escape.

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Progress today: Much of the day was spent dismounting equipment from the other truck and coating the new truck with bed liner. Hint...use anti seize. Even after 5 months, some of the stainless bolts on the old truck were rusted solid and will need to be sliced off. We are going to extraordinary lengths to make sure the new truck is as free from corrosion as humanly possible. 

 

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POR-15 bedliner..two coats. The side rails will be industrial enamel in a light grey finish. 

 

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Jessie, one of my crew guys...applying the second coat of POR-15 bed liner. 

 

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Under bed box is fully coated with two layers of POR-15. No UV will get into the box so no top coating is necessary. 

 

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Laying out the equipment. Measure 20 times...drill once. 

 

 

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1" AODD pump will slot in nicely next to the reel. 

 

Not shown here...but we have coated the bottoms of the reels and pump with either POR-15 if rusty...or Bed-Liner if intact, to prevent rust on the bottom of the frames. We will do a touch up after everything is mounted on the bed in case there are any scrapes or scratches. We've decided to use black jack roof sealant for the holes and plan to route as few things thru the bed as possible while keeping all walking paths on the flatbed clear of fluid and air lines. 

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Thanks for posting things step by step by step so others can learn Kevin. This is gonna be one bad ass roof cleaning truck when u finish! 

I took me some time to realize even the FUMES of the SH are corrosive! 

Wonder if u should paint the air tank with the POR 15 maybe ?

We always like our hose reels on the passenger side, pointing to the house we are cleaning vs on the back.

We usually pull up on the street, but you can alweays back up.

'

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Okay....after a huge 3 day marathon session we have achieved a working rig. The metal flatbed has huge advantages in terms of strength...,but man o man is it a PAIN to set up! You never realize just how many holes there are for equipment until you have to set up a Mag Base drill on each and every single one and drill it out one at a time...switching between a stepped pilot bit and a final hole size bit.

Since everything was moved, all new fluid lines had to be made up, all new electrical cable runs needed to be made and all new air line runs are necessary. The layout is far more efficient in the use is space. All air lines are run temporarily for now so my crew can get back out cleaning...so next weekend will be finishing time.

The only thing left is to get the ladder rack fabricated and get the specialty hardware bolts that nobody had in stock so we can use the metal straps for the mix tank....it is temp mounted with 2700 lb straps for now.

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Thanks for posting things step by step by step so others can learn Kevin. This is gonna be one bad ass roof cleaning truck when u finish! 

I took me some time to realize even the FUMES of the SH are corrosive! 

Wonder if u should paint the air tank with the POR 15 maybe ?

We always like our hose reels on the passenger side, pointing to the house we are cleaning vs on the back.

We usually pull up on the street, but you can alweays back up.

'

It IS pretty impressive when I think back to the small bed mounted rig I had early on. SOOO easy to maneuver around on and getting to the valves and air controls is a snap.

My guys tend to back into the driveways, so the rear mounted reel works best for our needs.

The tank has already been spot treated in the rusty areas with POR-15 and PlastiDip. But I do plan a full paint and maintenance at the end of the season.

The good news is that we had the last rig pretty well,sorted. So besides the fact the new 3/4" spray hose we up got from Laurie at PWP had a bad ferrule crimp and blew off the super swivel at the end of the day just as the guys finished spraying the last roof with SH. Other than that one snafu, everything worked exactly as it should and the guys cleaned two houses today. Fortunately, we have a Parker Hose outlet here in town and they put Oil Rig quality connectors on the hose so it is NOT going to come off again.

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It IS pretty impressive when I think back to the small bed mounted rig I had early on. SOOO easy to maneuver around on and getting to the valves and air controls is a snap.

My guys tend to back into the driveways, so the rear mounted reel works best for our needs.

The tank has already been spot treated in the rusty areas with POR-15 and PlastiDip. But I do plan a full paint and maintenance at the end of the season.

The good news is that we had the last rig pretty well,sorted. So besides the fact the new 3/4" spray hose we up got from Laurie at PWP had a bad ferrule crimp and blew off the super swivel at the end of the day just as the guys finished spraying the last roof with SH. Other than that one snafu, everything worked exactly as it should and the guys cleaned two houses today. Fortunately, we have a Parker Hose outlet here in town and they put Oil Rig quality connectors on the hose so it is NOT going to come off again.

The agriculture spray equipment place we used to buy from installed our suction hoses with an industrial hair dryer. They used this suction hose that you could never suck shut, and actually melted it on to the connectors. Screw that! We went back to good old regular hoses for suction, at least we can service them ourselves.

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The agriculture spray equipment place we used to buy from installed our suction hoses with an industrial hair dryer. They used this suction hose that you could never suck shut, and actually melted it on to the connectors. Screw that! We went back to good old regular hoses for suction, at least we can service them ourselves.

It wasn't the suction hose that failed. It was the swivel end of the spray hose which failed.

Seems it is the time for things to fail. BOTH of our pressure regulators failed today...one on the air reel, the other to the air pump. They had been getting a bit stiff and then both literally gave it up one after the other. Fortunately., the guys at Industrial,Supply, the Parker Hose distributor, came thru again and stayed late while I jetted down there to grab two new regulators which were installed in the parking lot. Always carry basic tools on your truck...including a pipe wrench which is invaluable for getting corroded air lines off.

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