Skip to Content

Can You Put 16 Ft Lumber in Pickup?

Can You Put 16 Ft Lumber in Pickup?

It is challenging to place lumber in the back of your truck. Moreover, a truck bed cannot support long wooden pieces and needs external aid.

Can You Put 16 Ft Lumber in Pickup? You can put a 16ft lumber in a pickup truck by attaching support on the truck’s rear end, and the lumber can hang out 3 to 4 feet on the back. You can secure a 16 ft lumber by fastening extenders, wrapping them in ratchet straps, and adding a roof rack on the bed. Put some cardboard sheets on the bed, lower the tailgate, and attach an extender on the rear end. Place wooden pieces by stacking one over another and fix them by wrapping straps around them. Place a wooden bracket over the stack and attach indicators to the over-hanging end. 

Hanging a long piece that cannot fit into the truck bed always creates a security alert for the drivers and the vehicles sharing the same road. Therefore, you need to add some extra feet length to the bed to place long pieces of lumber on it.

How to put 16 ft lumber on a pickup truck?

You can put a 2 x 10 x 16 ft lumber in many different ways that help in hauling lumber on a short bed truck.

For example, you can use extenders, ratchet straps, and racks on the truck cab to secure the wooden piece on a bed.


Extenders are long metal pieces of varying lengths that can add extra space to the pickup beds. You can get foldable extenders that are easy to store in a small space.

It supports the loaded cargo and avoids falling from the truck. It is better to use extenders when you want to transport products of maximum length.

You can attach the hitch mount extenders to the tailgate or rear end of the truck.


In addition, some straps can also fix your lumber in its place. The straps have hooks or clips at the edges that help properly adjust these blocks and restrict their movement.

Moreover, the straps are durable with maximum breakage strength. It is one of the old and quick methods to secure the cargo on the truck bed.

You can wrap the strap in a twisting manner around the lumber and then fix the hooks on opposite ends of the vehicle.

These straps can tolerate a load of more than 900 Pounds. You can use ropes and twines as an alternative to ratchet straps, but nothing can meet the strength of straps.

Roof racks

Moreover, you can add a roof rack and a rack over the bed to put a long piece of wood of maximum length and width over it.

The racks provide an adjustable height to the pickup bed to provide you with ease for loading.

It allows you to get support from the truck cab to place the long wood. You do not have to worry about the carrying capacity of the pickup bed for placing lumbers of varying lengths.

How to secure 16 ft lumber in a truck bed? 

It is challenging for many people who do not know the tricks and measures they need to take before placing long lumber. However, you can do the job quickly by going through these steps in a sequence.

Measure bed length

Before adding an extension to the pickup bed, you need to measure the bed length. The bed length varies with every truck type, and the extender length also varies.

It is essential to measure the inches to get an extender accordingly. Its length is usually about 7 to 9 feet, but you have to note its size correctly.

Clean the bed surface

Then, clean the surface of the truck bed and remove all the dirt and debris from it.

The presence of dirt can damage the lumber. So, you need to wipe out the dirt with a rag or brush.

Put cardboard sheets

It is better to place some small pieces of cardboard sheets on the truck bed after cleaning it.

This practice protects the vehicle from damage caused by when wooden blocks rub on the surface.

It can result in scratches and dents on the bed, so place small pieces of cardboard on the bed to avoid damage.

Open the tailgate

It is not essential to lower the tailgate every time; it depends on the weight of the wood.

You need to lower the tailgate if the weight of wood exceeds 220 Pounds; otherwise, fix the lightweight and small length wood with strips on the bed.

Attach an extender

After that, attack an extender on the rear end of the pickup. According to the laws and regulations, the length of the extender should be 3 to 4 feet.

Attach the extenders with the lower end of the truck and clamp it there.

Then, open the foldable horizontal part of the extender, which is a few feet higher and provides support to lumber.

Finally, fix the extender by tightening the screws to remain in an unfolded form.

Adjust lumber and wrap it

After fixing an extender, it is time to place a 16ft lumber over it. It needs careful adjustments as you need to place the long wood pieces in the truck’s center to avoid imbalance.

The placement of lumbers over one another is crucial, and you have to put them straight over one another. Then, wrap these blocks using straps with hooks on either end.

Put multiple straps below the wood at a distance of 2 feet, twist it around and make a knot.

Next, adjust the hooks of straps on vehicle sides and fasten the equipment.

Place a wooden bracket

A wooden bracket is suitable to add over a stack of lumber in a crosswise direction. When these are present vertically, put the wooden bracket over horizontally.

This bracket is not in direct contact with the lumber stack, but a vertical piece of wood is present in between.

These ensure that it does not move in the vehicle and remain fixed at only one position.

Fix the indicators 

Once you have set up everything in its place, the last thing to do is attach an indicator. It helps drivers identify the oversized loading, like 16ft lumber in the vehicle.

You can attach a flag of red and orange color on the part of the lumber stack that is hanging towards the exterior.

In addition, you can attack some reflectors or lights on the rear end of the truck as indicators. These indicators are safety signs, and the other drivers remain aware of the risk.

In this way, you can avoid the issuance of tickets and pay a fine for not following the rules of marking the overload.

Why would you secure a 16ft lumber in your truck bed?

It is essential to secure a 16ft lumber on the truck bed to avoid inconveniences like accidents and fall off from the vehicle.

Protection of the truck bed

You can protect the bed surface of your pickup by securing its pieces in a single position.

However, it is better to keep in mind that the maximum length of lumber can affect the bed badly.

The heavyweight of items dissipates the pressure on its surface and can damage it.

So, you can avoid scratches and dents formation on the bed by fixing them in the center.

Minimize risk of accidents

In addition, there will be minimum chances of accidents on the road if you haul the wood correctly.

When you add indicators on the over-hanging end of the lumber stack, it alerts all the nearby drivers on the road to pass carefully.

Furthermore, the large log can fall on the road and block vehicles’ way. Moreover, it can damage other vehicles on the road.

Efficient transportation

You can transport multiple 16ft lumber pieces by arranging them together in a stack and wrapping them using straps.

Similarly, extenders allow shipping the products efficiently on a long route without fear of safety.

Avoid slippage and falling off the truck

A correct fixing of long wood blocks can avoid the slipping of wooden pieces off the ground from beds. Slipping affects the wood and damages the road and vehicles.

How far can lumber hang out of the truck?

A hanging wood log can be risky for road users and yourself. Swinging the truck’s tail can be dangerous for a short-bed pickup truck.

It interrupts taking turns towards right or left, so it is better to follow the rules about loading the heavyweight and products of maximum length.

According to the (DOT) Department of Transportation (US), you can hang the lumber to a limited extent behind the vehicle.

They have set a limit of 4 feet overhangs behind the pickup and 3 feet on the front side when placing the lumber over the truck cab.

Moreover, there is a limit of 4 inches to hang out the load on the pickup sides.

It is essential to put an indicator like flags or attach a camera on the rear side of the truck cab to keep an eye on the lumber stack to avoid falling off.

Related Articles:

Why Do You Need a Truck Bed Extender For a Kayak?

Can You Sleep in the Bed of a Toyota Tundra?