Eugene, Oregon-based SherpTek, manufacturer of high-end, modular flatbeds for all size trucks, just released a new and improved truck bed offering several new features along with a 7,000-pound payload capacity. SherpTek unveiled the 9.5-foot truck bed to the public last week on a new build consisting of a Ram 4500 heavy-duty chassis paired with a Host Mammoth triple-slide truck camper. Improvements to the new and innovative truck bed include under-bed storage compartments, truck camper alignment loading brackets, a built-in air compressor, spare tire mounts located amidships, a flip-up fuel fill port, redesigned flanks, and a fully functional rear bumper.
“We’re really excited about the new truck bed,” said Ryan Goodwin, SherpTek founder and designer. “It demonstrates a lot of new features that we were able to implement and helps demonstrate the overall usability and functionality of the modular system and how far it can be taken. It’s really just scratching the surface of what’s possible and shows what our system can do beyond what people have seen so far.”
One of the most important improvements to the design is the release of a series of over-road storage boxes. These under-bed compartments maximize storage space as a trade-off for ground and side clearance and create wheel wells for the flatbed that have a clean, sharp look. According to the press release, each box is lockable, fully sealed, foam-pad lined and illuminated. A notable feature that we really like is SherpTek’s infinite tie-down channel system built into the top panel, allowing effective use of the box’s entire volume. The channels can be used to add upper shelves and to secure cargo with nets, straps or bungee cords. In addition to these over-road boxes, SherpTek also offers standard under-body boxes and overlanding boxes that prioritize clearance over volume.
The new and improved flatbed also includes accessories to help with truck camper loading. Camper alignment brackets, or “CABs” for short, center the camper laterally as you lower the camper, which means you only have to be within a couple of inches of center to end up with perfect camper placement. SherpTek’s bump chocks mount the spare tires and align the camper fore and aft. These accessories, along with SherpTek’s custom lighting, take the headache out of loading the camper, even in the dark.
One of the best improvements to the SherpTek modular design is the addition of a first-rate air compressor. SherpTek designed a no-compromise compressor system that sits amidships under the flatbed in a powder coated, full enclosure. The compressor system has a three-stage air filter, a two-stage auto-draining water filter, an ARB twin compressor, a 3-gallon aluminum tank, an air solenoid valve block for controlling air suspension, a six-port manifold for additional system expansion and universal air chucks on both sides of the bed for a quick and easy connection to the 150-psi system. A tank gauge is embedded within an under-body box with full controls cleanly embedded in the dashboard of the truck.
The improved truck bed also features a fully integrated fuel fill that meets the manufacturer-recommended position for filling up. “We don’t want our customers to have a frustrating experience at the gas pump, as is the case with many flatbeds, or to lose flatbed space and storage space from a permanent hump in the fuel fill area,” Goodwin said. The solution is a flip-up fuel fill that brings the fuel fill to the manufacturer-recommended height and angle for filling but is not intrusive to storage and flatbed use when you’re not at the pump.
SherpTek designed a custom aluminum rear bumper as well that houses the truck’s OEM backup camera and supports two Burley tow hooks. The bumper continues the system’s stealthy look, where it seamlessly integrates with the Torklift SuperHitch. SherpTek worked closely with Torklift engineers to develop the hitch for this generation of Ram chassis cabs. “Very few bumpers are available for chassis cabs, and none of them integrate well with a flatbed,” Goodwin said. This is another accessory that will be available for purchase with a SherpTek system and as a stand-alone product, according to Goodwin.
The flanks of the new truck bed were also redesigned to align with larger campers. The flanks, consisting of three separate sections—a shoulder at the front, the flank, which covers the main storage space, and the hip where the camper tapers down at the back—simplifies changes if someone wants to swap camper brands at some point in the future. The flanks retain the ability to be used in the “table mode,” can fold all the way down to making loading easier, and can be removed quickly with improved slide-off hinges. Front seal plates separate the flank storage from the forward storage compartment and seal off the gap at the front since the camper is shifted toward the back of the truck. In a feature that we really like, the Torklift Fastguns are hidden inside the flank storage and tie-in to the bed’s infinite structural tie-down channels.
The foundation of the design is SherpTek’s proprietary lightweight, modular tray that can be built to fit any size truck. SherpTek built a 94-inch-wide, 9.5-foot-long flatbed for this 60-inch cab-to-axle chassis cab and added marine decking, which adds grip and padding underneath the camper. Standard decking is diamond plate or smooth aluminum, and beds can also be ordered with a steel diamond plate top deck for heavier duty applications. This 74-square-foot tray weighs only 450-pounds, while retaining a 7,000-pound payload capacity. The complete SherpTek system with over-road boxes, flank sides, and all accessories weighs only 800 pounds.
The versatile truck bed can be configured and customized in many different ways by the owner through the use of infinite structural attachment points on the top and underside of the unit. The truck bed features 22 top-deck fixtures, all of which can be easily removed for use as a standard flatbed truck. This means this modular truck bed is versatile enough to be used with either a traditional slide-in truck camper with “wings” like the Host Mammoth shown here or with a conventional flatbed truck camper like the brand new Alaskan 8.5 Flatbed. In addition, the flatbed space in front of the camper has mounts for two spare tires along with the seven-pin camper plugin and space for an optional 50-amp or 150-amp charging circuit plug for fast charging of over-size house batteries from high output alternators. Moreover, the shoulder panels can be removed to gain access to the spare tires without having to unload the camper. This area also contains an access panel for compressor system maintenance.
To learn more about this revolutionary modular flatbed or to order your own flatbed visit SherpTek.com or call Ryan Goodwin at 541-402-1266.