Friday, August 30, 2013

Review of the TracRac system

TracRac truck rack system

When I bought my new truck last year I had a new track system installed on it. In construction we go through trucks about every 5 years and every time I buy a new truck I sell the old truck with the rack system on it.

For the last couple of trucks we have been putting the TracRac system on it and have been extremely satisfied with the results. They were made out of a heavy duty aluminum that had a high quality and seemed to stand up well to the abuse that we as a custom home building company put them through. Everything from ladders to lumber gets strapped on top of our TracRac system.

So with that in mind I bought and had installed a new TracRac system from my local dealer who I have bought several other TracRac systems in the past. The system was completely different than any TracRac system I had before. The rails that attached to the top of the sidewalls of the truck where the same, other then that the entire system looked different. It looked lighter and slimmer.

I always buy the heavy duty rack system, the system that is rated to carry the most weight, this is so that I know that I’m not overloading it. For years track rack has had optional side rails that run from the back posts to the front posts and create an overhang over the cab of the truck. This creates a hanging canopy over the front cab of the truck allowing you to carry longer lengths of lumber and ladders without the fear of them bouncing on the roof of the truck every time you hit a bump. These side rails I found out are no longer available on this new system. In its place there is a hanging canopy that looks heavily built and hangs off the front supports only to give you the coverage over the cab.

The system when originally installed worked well with me being able to slide the back rack forward to the front of the box near the cab. This allowed me to put larger things that were to tall to fit under the back bar into the bed of the truck.

After a couple of months I started to notice that the rack seems to have a lot of movement in it. I took it back to the dealer and he tightened up some screws on it. This helped for a couple of months.

I ended up having to start taking the whole rack system apart and tighten all the bolts every 6 months. This process took me about 1.5 hours every time I did it.

At the one year mark the back feet on the system broke and I was able to get dealer to replace them under warranty.

The cantilever system that hangs over the cab became so loose that it started bouncing off the roof of the cab taking the paint off. My tightening of the entire system every 6 months became the tightening of the roof canopy every 3 months.  There was so much damage to the top of my cab that rust was starting to show because of the amount of paint that had been scraped off. I had to tighten it so often that I stopped putting things on the racks that were long for fear of the damage it was causing to the roof of the cab. After tightening it three times in 9 months I simply removed it completely and threw it away. This left me with a simplified TracRac system with no canopy, limiting what I could carry.

After 1.5 years of owning the TracRac system I have now come to the conclusion that it has to come off the truck. The bolts that hold the racks together have sheered and the system isn’t safe to have on the truck anymore. I was forced to take it off and throw it away. The interior bolts that hold the top rails to the vertical posts are cheap aluminum and do not tighten well, because they are cheap aluminum and they come loose the bolts end up shearing off just from normal bumping around while your driving without any kind of load on top of them.

As the Operations Manager I don't put a lot on top of my truck anymore, the rack maybe gets used twice a week, the previous TracRac systems I had used to get used everyday all day and after 5 years they where as strong as the day they where installed.

I am now looking around for a new rack system to install on my truck as I will never go back to TracRac.
Basically TracRac took a good product, cheapened it to the point where it no longer works for construction.

I would recommend that if you are in the market for a rack system for your trucks stay away from TracRac, the product is cheap and poorly designed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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