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Old 11-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Concerns over weak tailgate for Dirtbike Hauling - Need Advice/Direction

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Anyway, I just bought a 2012 Tundra Crewmax, and plan on hauling 2 dirt bikes around next year.

I am really concerned over how thin the metal is on the tailgate. Since I own the crewman model, the bikes rear tires will be supported by the tailgate.

Here is what I am planning on doing:

Bikes will supported up front via wheel chock systems that I will fabricate into a design that bolt directly into front bolts holding the bed on the truck - EASY (as I don't trust the integrated rail tie down .. looks flimsy ..)

Its the BACK that I worried about.

I plan on having a spray on bed liner put in next week, but was thinking of a couple ways to re-enforce the tailgate to handle 2 dirt bikes, loading ramps, etc.

Can anybody comment on:

a) Would the high density polyethylene tailgate protector (OEM toyota) provides any structural support or at least distribution of force ?? I am getting a spray in liner but could easily just add the plastic piece ON TOP.

b) Anybody fabricated a decent sheet of steel or aluminum checker plate and applied it to the tailgate for structural support ? I have seen a couple of these on some Tacomas

c) What is the likelihood of bending/damage. Is it even a big concern from Tundra owners ...?? In other words is the thin metal deceiving and stronger than it looks ??

Any other ideas would be welcome. I have some time to do this right, and want the tailgate to be structurally strong, yet at the same time decent looking.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have hauled my dirt bike in my CM plenty of times. Nomally its sideways so I can close the tail gate though. I have Line-X in my bed. I have never really noticed an issue with my tailgate when the rear tire is resting on it. If you really think its not going to hold up, get a 3/4 inch piece of plywood to distribute the weight back there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have the oem bedliner (plastic) and it seems to support both my quad tires without an issue, however it is likely distributing the weight more evenly...

It is not just our tailgates, I have found in the last 5-7 years that tailgates bend and dent easier, as do beds... I can stand on new f350 tailgates and watch them flex whereas my 1981 f150 I could do jumping jacks on and it was solid, as was my 1993 sonoma... Everything is thinner on every manufacture of vehicles now including paint...

I would try it once, see how it seems, and then get the plastic piece if it seems too flexy...
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am thinking I'll go with BOTH the spray on liner in the bed (which by default will also cover the tailgate), and also put the plastic cover on for better force distribution.

I know an excellent fabricator quite well, and will get a steel frame also made that goes along the perimeter of the tailgate. This should serve 2 purposes:

1. Structural support around the edge where the ramp sits
2. Integrated slots that the ramp can sit in (not slide off during loading)

I thought about plywood, but was looking for a more permanent solution.

As long as it looks good, and functions good, then it works for me.

Never done a spray on liner before ...

Does anybody think the poly tailgate protector may have some fitment issues if there is a spray liner underneath ?? I am guessing it won't, but would be interested in hearing on how close the tolerances for fit are.

Thanks for the input thus far
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a line-x bed and my quad tires rest on the tailgate. Been doing it for 5 years without a problem.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I load dirt bikes and hang the rear over my dropped gate during transport all the time, even bouncing over dirt roads to the trailhead. Not an issue.
I also have a slide-in truck camper that hangs over the dropped gate when loaded and we take it on some very rough roads. Ive had my truck in the air (minimal at that) and the TC loaded purdy heavy on the gate, i thought it wound have deflected it enough to scrape it on my bumper but it did not.
We transported a UTV in my buddies with the rear sitting on the gate, no issues.
I think they are quite durable, no frame required for basic dirtbike transport.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the Line-X spray on my 07 DC including the tailgate. I reinstalled the OEM lastic tailgate liner over the top of the Line-X. This way oil from chain saws, are easier to wipe up versus the Line-X surface.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Or it could look like this - This happened from a large rock sliding back into the tailgate.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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or it could look like this - this happened from a large rock sliding back into the tailgate.
ouch!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I haul 2 Husqvarna TE's with my crewmax and dont have any problems. Plus my fatass loading the bikes standing on the tailgate. I have the Toyota drop in bed liner.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dude, you're hualin' two dirtbikes, not two bulldozers. I had 2000 lbs of pre fab shed teetering on my tailgate when I had my truck, and It did not bend. I don't thing two dirtbike tires, that are unloaded because the front of each is cranked down, will ruin your gate. if you can stand on the gate without it completely falling off, then I think the bikes will be fine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I loaded a 400 lb buell into my bed and there were no problems, although a bit nerve racking. I didn't haul it on the tailgate but I'm sure it would have been fine. Do a google search for tailgate supports for short beds. There are some out there that go from the hitch receiver to the tailgate. That would probably be the safest bet IMO.

Or get your crewmax converted to a long bed...
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey all .. thanks for the input thus far.

I am not worried about the tailgate falling off, or a one time dent, what I am more concerned with is the long term effect of rear tires bouncing in the SAME spot on the tailgate (cumulative effect over time .. on paper thin metal at that.

I have a trailer that I have hauled bikes on all of last year, and you can clearly see the indent on the raised aluminum grating (mesh) where the rear tire sits. There is a very noticeable sag developing (over the course of the year ... not all at once).

I think I will end up using the plastic tailgate liner for extra support and see how it does.

I would rather err on the side of caution by over reinforcing it, rather than teeter on the line of what should work

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have the Line-X spray on my 07 DC including the tailgate. I reinstalled the OEM lastic tailgate liner over the top of the Line-X. This way oil from chain saws, are easier to wipe up versus the Line-X surface.
Good to know this can be done
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Or it could look like this - This happened from a large rock sliding back into the tailgate.

Dude, I have seen gates like this @ work on 1tons when removing them to install salters and have been told it happened from 2 bags of softner salt to from a boulder than mario and rico loaded in the back and was forgotten about...

It would not ever look like that due to a rear tire from a dirtbike bouncing unless you were doing dakar or baja racing...

That is called a sliding load, even with a spray-in and a drop in gate piece you would still have a bent tailgate....


Sorry.
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