After multiple blowouts on my 2000 CCLB dually 4x4 7.3 (4.5 inch lift, 245/70R19.5 tires) the bed has taken enough of a beating where I am now ready to replace it with something made of steel so any subsequent blowouts with these heavy A 19.5s dont do any damage. I look way too goofy riding around missing a fender on 1 side and a few missing pieces on the other side.
So, I have gathered so far I need a bed that is 56' Cab to Axle for this truck. I havent found the frame width yet.
What I am looking for is a diamond plate top, as low as it will go because the truck is lifted but without wheel wells, hideaway gooseneck, stout headache rack (not one that is open for vision, really sucks at stopping 2x4s, I use my mirrors anyways), stake holes if I want to stake it, and ability to throw on tie downs like the semi flatbeds have. Having a step like the reading utility beds is real nice, as well as having the bumper stout enough where if some honda hits me at 50 the only thing Ill have to do is pull out the black spraypaint. Having a longer bed with the cut angled sides would be a plus. Being able to throw another fuel tank under this bed is a plus, id rather not eat up precious room on top with a transfer tank - I deliver a lot of fuel and would rather increase capacity instead of be limited by whats in the bed.
Im all about utility and strength. Its starting to look a lot more like I should either make one or buy a medium duty. Both of those arent really options though. Im looking to find out what the good brands are and what the lemons are so I can hit the aftermarket and see if I could get a used one before spending $$$ on a new one. Im abusive on my truck, but at the same time I take care of it. If I am already on the forklift and I needed to get to the dumpster I would just hog the truck around by the receiver with the forklift instead of getting out and starting the truck and adding that much wear to the engine.
Tire changes are also done like that.
So what brands are the good ones? Aluminum is out of the question. Anything I should be paying attention to when shopping other than frame width and CA measurement? I think it might be a challenge finding a 9' or 10' bed for a non-chassis cab unit, even though I use every bit of the tailgate when its down sometimes.
So far what Ive found is the Hillsboro G1 or G2 series that looks good, the CM SS doesnt look as good but will probably fit my budget better, but im open to all kinds of other ideas.
TLDR: need indestructible steel flatbed body brand recommendations and which cheap ones that will rust out or bend from dropping crap onto the bed to stay away from.