One of the most difficult items to transport in a pickup truck are windows, since they are large and heavy while being easy to break. Because of this it can be difficult to know how to transport windows with a pickup truck.
To transport windows in a pickup truck, follow these steps:
- Make sure your truck is safe and secure
- Cover the truck bed in something that won’t slide
- Put the windows in at an angle
- Pad the windows with something soft
- Secure the windows thoroughly
- Once everything is secure, drive carefully
Following these steps closely can protect any windows you are transporting as well as your vehicle.
In addition to following these steps, be sure to plan carefully when you want to bring windows home to avoid hazards like construction or bad weather.
- 1 Steps to Safely Transport Glass Windows with a Pickup Truck
- 2 How Much can a Pickup Truck Safely Carry?
- 3 Accessories that Make Transporting Safer
- 4 Wrap Up
Steps to Safely Transport Glass Windows with a Pickup Truck
At every step of the way, the key to safely transporting windows is to double check your work to make sure your cargo is safe and secure.
Step 1: Take Safety Precautions
The first step to safely transporting windows in any vehicle is to take precautions to avoid breaking the windows.
- Clear all over cargo out of you truck bed, including debris
- Bring lots of soft materials like blankets, towels, even sponges
- Ratchet straps, bungee cords, and other soft fasteners are also helpful
- Have someone along to help you load and keep an eye on the windows
The more of these steps you can meet, the safer your windows will be on the road and the easier it will be to transport them.
Step 2: Cover the Truck Bed with a Non-Slip Material
Since most window structures have smooth sides, they tend to slide around in truck beds so laying down a non-slip surface will help protect the window.
- Non-slip car mats and linings are readily available at vehicle stores.
- Interior truck mats, as long as they are soft and clean on one side and grip on the other side, can also work.
- Truck nets and bags, while not necessarily non-slip, have the same effect where they prevent objects from sliding around as much in the trunk.
You can technically transport windows without a non-slip bed covering, but the threat of breaking the windows will increase, especially for smaller, lighter windows.
Step 3: Lay the Windows in at 45 Degrees
Laying windows flat in a truck bed is a terrible idea, since the vibrations of even a relatively smooth ride can shatter the windows.
- Step 1: Either have a rack, mat, or soft surface on one side of the truck for the windows to lay against.
- Step 2: Slide the windows in on their side, letting them lean against the padded support structure you set up.
- Step 3: Put soft materials between the windows to protect them as you stack them up.
Step 3 will be given more detail in the next section, as well as some viable options for padding material.
Step 4: Pad the Windows With a Soft Material
To protect the windows from damage while in transit, you’ll need to pad the areas around and between them with something soft. Some examples of good packing materials include:
- Thick blankets or sheets
- Sheets of bubble wrap or foam rubber
- Flattened cardboard boxes
- Old towels or thick wash cloths
- Any thick clothes without buttons or zippers
- Fresh kitchen sponges
These items should be placed both around and between the windows so that they are padded against impacts with the truck bed and each other. Also, consider using larger items like towels or blankets to cover the top window on the stack to prevent it from being scratched while driving around.
Step 5: Make Sure the Windows are Secured
Once the windows are placed and padded you will need to make sure they are secured in some way so they won’t slide around or crash into each other on the road, since even padding and leaning the windows won’t fully stop this.
- Use bungee cords or ratchet straps to fasten the windows to anchor points in your trunk
- A wooden stillage structure can help hold up and secure the windows
- A tight cargo net can help hold the windows in place
Make sure to limit the windows movement as much as possible without crushing them with a grip that is too tight.
Step 6: Drive Carefully
After securing the windows there are some final steps you can take before and during driving to help keep the windows safe.
- Plan the smoothest route with the least traffic or construction to slow you down
- Brake and accelerate slowly to keep the windows from sliding around in the bed
- Have someone keep an eye on the windows to make sure they aren’t loose or sliding around
- Watch out for pot holes, speed bumps, and other hazards in the road, but don’t swerve suddenly to avoid them.
If you follow these tips and drive carefully, it will help your windows arrive at their destination intact.
The most important part of all of these steps is double checking your work and making sure that you treat your windows carefully at all times.
How Much can a Pickup Truck Safely Carry?
All trucks have a limited carrying capacity, both in terms of how much weight they can carry and how much physical space they have to store items, not to mention a truck’s towing capacity. Going over any of these limits can cause problems ranging from slow road performance to severe vehicle damage.
Weight Capacity. All trucks have a limited weight capacity which should be listed when they are purchased, or it can be found by looking up the vehicle online. For most trucks this is around 1,000 lbs, or half a ton of cargo, and includes both the truck bed and the cab but does not include passengers in their seats.
Towing Capacity. Generally speaking, a truck’s towing capacity will be the same as its weight capacity and the two factors and closely connected. A truck that is carrying almost 1,000 lbs of weight might not be able to tow 1,000 lbs of cargo, even with a powered trailer, so be careful how you load your vehicle.
Physical Space. A truck can be loaded with enough cargo to stay under its weight limit, but this cargo might be more than the physical space of the truck can hold. While items can safely stick up over the tops and sides of the truck bed, make sure they won’t fall out or endanger other nearby vehicles before you set out.
Accessories that Make Transporting Safer
There are a number of special modifications that can make transporting any type of cargo safer and easier, so they should be kept in mind if you get a lot of use out of your truck bed. These range from new methods to secure cargo to organizational tools, all of which help keep items in your truck bed secure.
Bed Mats and Slides. While some bed mats only secure cargo by preventing it from sliding around, other mats provide cushioning and even slick, grated surfaces. This allows you to slide large objects into and out of the truck bed easily while still being sturdy enough to keep the cargo from flying in every direction.
Racks and Nets. A truck bed can also be fitted with an expanded rack or net system to help secure cargo by giving you more structures to lean or attach items to. Nets are better for smaller, looser items like bags or bricks, but racks help with large cargo like windows and wooden slats.
Organizers. Bed organizers are small containers or racks designed to help organize tools, belts, cords, and other minor items you might need to carry in the back of your trunk. They are not designed for large cargo like windows, but can help free up space for tools and keep them in an orderly space.
Bed Extenders. There are special extenders which allow you to lower your tailgate then lock a new set of walls and gates around it. These only extend your bed as far as your tailgate sticks out, and the extender is less secure than your real tailgate and bed walls, but it can be useful for hauling massive items.
Windows are extremely delicate items, so knowing how to transport them safely in a pickup truck is important for both your safety and the safety of others. Windows need to be specially stacked and padded in a truck bed prepared to prevent them from sliding around. If you have any questions about transporting breakable items in pickup trucks, comment with them below.
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