TracRac TracONE Universal Truck Rack System Review
The TracRac TracONE pickup truck rack system brings professional quality and features to a level that almost any sportsman, contractor or do-it-yourself type can afford and really use. With the ability to fit virtually any pickup truck on the road today, there is no excuse to have long material dangerously dangling off the back of your tailgate, or even worse, with the material balanced though the sliding rear window of your truck in the the cab! With the TracONE system, you can haul 800 pounds overhead on a super strong aircraft grade aluminum utility rack.
TracRac TracONE Universal Rack Features
After seeing the TracRac TracONE universal truck rack system at a local home improvement center, we knew we had to get our hands on one to test and review. While our focus normally is on hand and power tools, it was a fitting departure to expand our coverage to a product that looked like it would appeal to many of our readers. To us, the TracOne is a no-brainer. What makes this rack so appealing is its versatility. It will fit just about any pickup truck on the road today, that is unless you drive a new Toyota Tundra. For that model you will need a separate adapter kit to install it. also, if you have a newer Ford Super Duty, you are just out of luck on this rack, but the T-Rac G2 will work for you and we will discuss that later. Aside from these two types of pickup trucks, it does not matter if you drive a crew cab, extended cab, short box, long box or anything in between; this rack will fit your truck. For this review we were going to install the TracONE on a 2003 F150 super crew with a 5 ft bed.
The TracRac TracONE universal truck rack arrived in a large, heavy cardboard box. Inside the box, all the parts and pieces were either cradled in bubble wrap or were in individual cardboard dividers. The folks at TracRac did an amazing job to making sure that the product arrived with no blemishes. As we read over the directions (yes, we actually read them!) we located each type of part and fastener from the pile in the box just to make sure all the pieces where there. Keep in mind that if you buy this rack, you have to put it together. Don’t be put off by this though, as the assembly was very straightforward and easy to do with a minimal amount of tools required. The assembly instructions were very clear and easy to follow. We would suggest that you browse over the instructions before you start just to make sure you do everything in the right order.
Before you start on the project, make sure you have a 7/32” Allen wench handy. We actually had some adapters which allowed us to use a ratchet and socket; this really helped to speed up the installation of the screws that hold this baby together. Just a note on the screws, they come with thread lock compound preinstalled so that once you torque the bolts in places, they will not vibrate loose. We found this out first hand since we accidentally assembled the top bracket backwards compared to the lower bracket. We had a tough time undoing the bolts thanks to the thread lock compound. If you do decide to install one of these on your truck, make sure you pay close attention to how you assemble it so you don’t have this issue. The whole idea of the thread lock is so that after you assemble the rack, it will not come loose, wobble or shake after you put it though its paces.
As far as the assembly goes, we were able to put the TracRac TracONE together and fit it on the truck in about 45 minutes. We found that the bed rail design of our Ford truck made it easy to utilize the included single axis clamps. If you have a tool box to install along with the TracONE, they offer a tool box clamp separately that spaces the box at the right height to match the height of the bottom rail of the TracONE.
One of the nicest features of the TracONE universal truck rack is the complete lack of visible fasteners, the design of the bottom and top brackets is such that all the assembly screws are completely hidden which really helps to give the rack a sleek and custom appearance. Even more importantly, there was no drilling or permanent modifications required to the truck to install the TracONE. This means that when you sell your truck you can take your rack off and fit it on your next ride.
Testing and Use
Testing is easy with the TracRac TracONE utility rack. Once it was installed it was always at the ready. The first thing that we loaded up was a one person Hobie ocean kayak just to see how it would fit. Needless to say, it looked like the kayak belonged on the rack. We drove around with it for a few days and it never once came loose or moved.
Now is a good time to discuss the included tie downs that came with the TracONE. They are simply heavy-duty plastic eyelets that you can adjust along the groove on the top of the cross bars. To hold the kayak in place we used two ratchet straps simply hooked into the plastic loops. While this seemed to do the trick, we never felt like we could really ratchet down on the straps for fear of breaking the plastic loops. Since the overall concept of the TracOne is to be for the budget minded individual there are no included accessories for the TracONE such as tool box mounding clamps, tie downs and other top bar sliding attachment points. Just to show off some of the other cool things that they have, TracRac send us some of the components that come standard with the slightly more expensive yet more versatile T-Rac G2 utility rack system. They sent us a pair of aluminum cross bar tie downs and a pair of heavy-duty arc cleats. These items are available as separate items if you need them and while they are extremely nice they do add to the cost of the rack. If you are planning on doing a lot of upgrading, you might want to spring for the slightly better equipped T-Rac G2 Rack system. Even though it might cost a little more initially, you will find that purchasing upgrades or accessories for the TracONE will bring you into the price range of the T-Rac G2 pretty quickly. Also the T-Rac G2 comes as separate SKUs that will fit both Ford Super Duty trucks and Toyota Tundras directly.
To further test out the rack, we loaded up all kinds of construction related items that have ranged from extension ladders, aluminum walk boards, and lumber. Without fail we have always been able to load up just about whatever we needed to and take it wherever the job required. The great thing is that all along the way, we have got many compliments about how nice the rack looks on the truck. The power-coated aluminum design of the rack makes it more appealing to a broader audience since it does not looks so much like something you would see on a work truck. Once folks saw us with the kayak loaded on top, it started to make sense that the application of this rack is not just for the folks that shop at a home improvement center but also anyone into outdoor living as well. The applications of this rack system are almost endless.
The TracRac TracONE is a fantastic starting point for someone that is on the market for a handsome utility rack for their pickup truck. Given that the rack will fit almost anything that is on the road today, this rack makes sense for the adventurer, professional contractor or the do-it-yourself types. With the easy single person installation that will not damage your truck yet will provide up to 800 lbs of load capacity, we gave the TracONE a professional rating of 10. For our value rating we gave the rack an 8 since it does well to offer great functionality at a fair price but if you are looking for a little bit more you might want to upgrade to the T-Rac G2 series of truck racks.