I love the upgrades I made to my Ford F-150 work truck, but the TracRac SR Sliding truck rack is possibly the one that’s the most productive for what I do on a daily basis. With a short 5-1/2 foot truck bed, about the only way you’re going to carry anything over 8 feet in length out of the local lumber yard is through the use of a good ladder rack. TracRac is owned by the Thule Group, and the TracRac is a second generation product, adding some flexibility to the original TracRac aluminum truck rack system. The TracRac SR sliding truck rack is perfect for carrying anything from ladders and lumber to kayaks and canoes.
We went with the TracRac SR sliding truck rack because we had a great experience with the TracRac TracONE universal truck rack and wanted to see what the updated SR model had improved upon. In addition to its new sliding capabilities, the TracRac SR is also compatibility with the Peragon aluminum tonneau cover—a nice bonus. That allowed us to have a way to transport equipment beneath the cover while also allowing us to carry longer materials to and from jobsites.
TracRac SR Sliding Truck Rack Features
What makes the TracRac SR so innovative is its lightweight powder coated aluminum construction and track system that lets you move the twin racks forward and back as needed. On a 5 foot 6 inch short bed, this is a handy feature to adapt from a smaller load to a longer stance that turned out to be long enough to transport a 12-foot long Werner podium ladder.
The TracRac SR can carry up to 1,250 pounds across its two cross bars, giving you more than enough capacity to haul lumber or other materials. If you need to move something heavier, you really want to hook something up to your trailer hitch. There are also aluminum load stops that can slide in and out of the top slots of the cross bars, letting you brace the transported material so it’s tied down safely. It also prevents your load from sliding horizontally while you drive. For every load I recommend at least one ratchet strap to ensure you don’t have forward or reverse movement during braking or acceleration.
Most of the adjustments for the TracRac SR sliding truck rack are made via handheld knobs. These not only facilitate sliding the tracks forward and back along the side rails, they also let you hand adjust (and even remove) the load stops in the same manner. Small Allen stop screws affix to the front and rear ends of the side rails, ensuring your TracRac system doesn’t push too far forward or even slide off the back.
Installing the TracRac SR
The TracRac SR comes in two boxes—one for the rack rails and one for the aluminum sliding racks that glide on top of them. Assembly will vary from truck to truck, and the main difference is what length of rail your truck needs (its bed size) and whether or not you have visible stake pockets. The rack rails include brass pocket nuts, square rubber expansion blocks, and bolts that you tighten to secure everything in place. In our system we had front and rear stake pockets, but the cab-side pockets were covered by the plastic bed rail cover. To reveal the pockets, we used a Hidden Pocket Router from BullRing (You can buy one here). They even give you guide for where to place the drill bit to start your pilot hole. After drilling the pilot hole, the Hidden Pocket Router bit can be inserted and moved around the stake pocket until you have the entire hole cleared and ready for your rubber expansion block and brass pocket nuts which hold the side rails in place.
After the rails, you assemble the front and rear racks by placing the top cross bars across the side pieces before fastening them in place with corner braces. You also need to fasten the included aluminum cleats to the sides of each sliding rack. Other than the cleats, we left most of the bolts loose to allow us to position the racks on the side rails before locking them down.
The sliding rack rails use nylon inserts to help them glide along the aluminum. Once everything was in place on the side rails we tightened the corner braces and other bolts to lock it all in place. At that point, testing the rack by sliding it forward and back confirmed that everything was properly aligned.
TracRac SR Sliding Truck Rack Quick Specs
- Load capacity: 1,250 lbs
- Material: Aluminum with dual stage powder coating
- Aluminum HD load stops
- Aluminum ARC side cleats
- Aluminum crossbar endcaps
- Dimensions: 80 x 14 x 5 in.
- Weight: 80 lbs.
- Price: $1,129.98
Testing the TracRac SR Sliding Truck Rack
Almost as soon as the TracRac SR sliding truck rack was installed we made use of it. Our first task was transporting some plywood for our 18V cordless drill shootout. We were able to easily load the 4 x 8 sheets of 3/4-inch plywood atop our truck. Trying to get this into a short bed is doable, but with a tonneau cover, having the freedom of a ladder rack is much more convenient. The next thing we transported was a Werner 10 ft. podium ladder that we received for review. This ladder is the size of a 12 foot step ladder, so being able to get it atop our TracRac rack system was the only way we were going to get it to our workshop. I also loved how easy it was to secure the crossbar tie downs independently so as to brace both the front and rear of the ladder (which, obviously, differed in width.)
The TracRac SR sliding truck rack is a great product for taking your work truck and making it much more flexible and capable. While it’s almost a necessary accessory for short beds, it’s absolutely handy for long and medium beds as well. The TracRac SR is like a tool that helps you transport other tools more easily. Ladders, lumber, electrical conduit—you name it—the TracRac SR takes your work truck and gives you capabilities that would otherwise take a trailer to achieve.
The TracRac SR costs around $1000, and you can get it from any TracRac authorized dealers, including Amazon.com. Everywhere we go people ask us about theTracRac, and I’m pretty sure we’ve “sold” at least a half dozen just by demonstrating its features first-hand. Once you get it…you’ll likely want to get it. Get it?