How To Remove A Truck Bed By Yourself

There are several reasons someone would change their truck bed. Perhaps it has become damaged, or you may want to resell the truck, and switching the bed would increase its value. It could be that you just want to do some repairs that will only work if you remove the bed. Whatever the reason, you should also follow a step-by-step plan.

It is not always easy to find instructions for removing a truck bed by yourself on the internet. Hopefully, we can remedy that here. Yes, you can go look at online forums and see several people giving advice. But since every situation is different, there are a ton of different opinions and ideas out there. We have tried to compile the best information available and list it all here.

In this article, the first thing we will do is cover the equipment you will need. Then we will cover the specific steps you will follow to remove the truck bed. Along the way, we will also make suggestions that will make the job easier. So, let’s get started on how to remove a truck bed by yourself.


Some of the equipment you might need are an impact wrench, screwdrivers, ratchet straps, and jack stands. You will need something to do the lifting. We recommend a hoist that is rated for heavy lifting like an engine hoist. You could also use a crane if you have one available. You may need to have other equipment on hand like sawhorses, a few pieces of strong lumber, and perhaps some chains.

But what if you do not have access to a hoist or crane? There are other options. Well, you could use the scaffold method. That is a popular way to get the job done, and it works. We will spend a lot of time in this article talking about that method. So, let’s get into it, shall we?

Preparing The Bed

The first thing you want to do is slide under the truck’s rear end and disconnect the bumper’s electrical components. That’s because the bumper will be one of the first major parts you will detach from the bed itself. Every truck is different, and you might have to fool around under there a bit to get everything disconnected properly.

Once you know how everything connects to the truck, you want to remove all the necessary bolts and pull the bumper. When you have the bumper removed, you want to disconnect other components that will directly interfere with removing the bed. This may include tail lights, fuel tank fill-neck, hitches, auxiliary trans cooler, and more depending on the make and model of your truck.

Assemble The Scaffold

Now you want to assemble your scaffolding. Make sure to build it on level ground and assemble it safely and securely. You will construct a four-pillar scaffold. It will be 8 feet by 8 feet. You must make sure it is secure, solid, and on firm, level footing. When constructing the scaffold, make sure all the cross members are in place but leave one side open to back the truck into.

Removing The Truck Bed

Back the tuck under your scaffolding and turn off the engine. Next, you will attach your ratchet strap hooks to the bed at each corner. Most newer-model trucks have tie-down hasps for securing cargo. These are perfect for connecting your ratchet straps.

Now utilize the ratchet straps at each corner to elevate the truck bed. You will have to do this in stages, taking one corner at a time. That way, you can keep the bed reasonably level as you lift it. Once you have the bed completely disconnected, it will be hanging in the air supported by the ratchet straps. Simply get into the vehicle and drive away.

Now you will get your sawhorses or jack stands and position them to support the truck bed. Once they are positioned correctly, level, and securely in place, lower each corner of the bed by releasing the ratchets on your straps. Once more, this will take place in stages so the bed can remain reasonably level on the way down. Keeping the bed level during this process ensures that you maintain control of the separated truck bed. If one corner gets too far out of alignment, it could hit the ground and cause damage. That is why it is best to keep the bed as level as possible.

Recognize that as you go through this process, you may encounter things that need adjustments along the way. Maneuvering the fuel fill neck, for instance, or removing a bolt or electrical component you missed in the beginning. The point is, take your time and remain observant while you do this work. That is why we say take this in stages. You are going to be “walking” the tuck bed up as you roll the truck forward. Do not make the mistake of thinking it will rise smoothly into the air, like magic.

One more bit of advice. If you can use four come-alongs instead of ratchet straps, you will have a more secure setup. Both tools will do the job, but a come along is a more robust piece of equipment and will provide a more secure lift. Just something to consider as you plan things out.

Use An Engine Hoist If You Have One

An engine hoist will eliminate a lot of extra work. Or if you have access to a crane, you will have a much easier job. The hooks up will be slightly different, and it will still be a gradual process that should be performed in stages. You will just do a lot less running around, and you will not have to build the scaffolding. That saves time, energy, and maybe a little money.

Safety First

Above all else, make sure you are safe. If you are removing a truck bed by yourself, you do not benefit from a team around you to keep an eye on safety protocols. That means it is up to you. Don’t work beyond your means, and you should be fine. Good luck!