Truck Bed Wood - A Beginner's Guide

You've probably heard the line that "car-guy speak is like another language" and there may be some truth to that statement. After all, we tend to use a lot of complex terms that can be confusing to those with less experience. However, here at Classic Industries, we want to clear up the confusion, and make it easy for anyone to tackle their first restoration project.

With this in mind, we'd like to talk about truck bed wood. After all, if you're new to restoring trucks, you might not know the difference between bed strips, angle strips, reinforcement strips, and cross sills. Fortunately, it's pretty simple—just take a look at the diagram below:

Classic Industries Bed Wood Diagram

Cross Sills - Metal bars which sit below the truck bed wood planks, between the wood and the frame of the truck. The bed strips are bolted to the cross sills, giving the bed wood strength and rigidity and providing the surface to mount the bed to the frame.

Reinforcement Strips - Additional metal bars which are shorter in height than the cross sills, and attach to the wood and bed strips only. These provide extra reinforcement for the wood and strips, but don't attach to the truck frame like cross sills.

Bed Wood - Wood planks which sit on top of the cross sills and reinforcement strips to form the truck's bed floor. These planks are held in place by the bed strips and angle strips, and can be purchased in a variety of colors, grains, and finishes.

Bed Strips - Metal strips which bolt to the cross sills and/or reinforcement strips, and secure the bed wood planks in place. These are available in paintable raw steel, stainless steel, chrome, and other finishes.

Angle Strips (Stepside models) -  Angle strips are bed strips, but with one key difference: they are formed in a 90-degree "L" shape, instead of being flat. These strips fill the gap between the inner bed side and bed wood on the far left and right sides of the bed floor. These special strips are typically found on Chevrolet and GMC stepside models, and are often spot-welded to the bed side sheetmetal.

65 Truck 4

If you're in the middle of a truck restoration project, or plan to start one soon, click the button below to download a free parts catalog and check out our bed wood selection. If you have any questions on which parts to choose, give us a call at 1-800-854-1280—our tech department will be happy to help you find what you need.


8 thoughts on “Truck Bed Wood - A Beginner's Guide

    • Bill, unfortunately we don't have wood or strips available for the 1941 Chevrolet 1-1/2 ton truck models. Due to the rarity and size of your truck, you will likely have to have wood and metal strips custom-cut to fit your bed. A local fabricator, hot rod shop, or custom shop should be able to assist you with sourcing the raw materials and installing them. Thank you, and good luck with your project.

  1. I would be interested in knowing more about installing new upholstery onto the seat and whether the reinforcing wire needs to be reused or replaced. Thank you.

    • Hi Rex, thank you for your suggestion! We will look into creating a guide to assist restorers with interior upholstery installation. In the mean time, if you have specific technical questions, please give us a call at 1-800-854-1280 and ask to speak to the technical department. Thanks!

  2. Hello,
    I was up at the showroom last month and purchased for a 1971 chevy short bed the fleetside bed panels and the tailgate. Also the head panel for wood bed. I was unable to get the cross sills and reinforcement strips if any are required for a short bed. Can yo give me the part numbers of all the cross sills I will need and quantity. Also if reinforcement strips are needed.
    Thank You

  3. Pingback: 1969 Chevy C10 - Home-Built Project Truck - Classic Industries News

  4. i have 1971 gmc long box with the factory tool box on passenger side any detail of where i can get this door ??

  5. Estoy restaurando una Chevy Fleetside 59, Short bed, y en Argentina no hay información técnica sobre la caja de Fleetside porque casi no existe este modelo en este país.
    Por esta razón le pido si es posible que me envíen algunos datos como para que pueda reconstruir esta Fleetside.
    Por razones aduaneras no se nos permite importar algunas cosa como, maderas por ejemplo. por eso les pregunto
    Podrían ustedes decirme las medidas de las Maderas de la Cama, pa cantidad de tornillos de fijación que llevan?
    También la distancia entre los soportes de las maderas
    Y las dimensiones de los guardabarros traseros
    Y toda aquella informacion que consideren conveniente para restaurarla lo mas fiel posible.
    Yo le he comprado algunas partes menores que gentilmente me ha traído algún amigo que ha viajado a USA.

    Muchas Gracias

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