If you are an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys and often engages in activities like canoeing or camping.
Or a farmer or construction professional, do you own a pickup truck to help you transport your equipment, tools, gear, or machinery?
If you own one, how do you ensure that your equipment doesn’t fall off your track during transport?
Or the equipment doesn’t scratch or damage your car? And how do you minimize the number of trips when transporting equipment from point A to point B?
If you already have a pickup truck and you have solutions to all of these problems, then this article is not for you. If you are looking for solutions to some if not all of these problems, here is a quick tip – get yourself a truck ladder rack.
It allows you to carry a lot more equipment in one trip reducing the number of trips you need to take if you have to transport a lot of equipment. It protects your car and equipment from damage and so on.
So these are some of the main benefits you can get with a truck ladder rack. And what’s more is that it can help do your work more easily, quickly, and efficiently.
Now, truck ladder racks come in varying sizes, styles, and have different weight capacities. So you can need to figure out which one meets your needs.
To give some ideas, we have created a list of the best truck ladders racks. This list is based on consumer feedback and ratings.
So read on to find out more about these racks and how to go about choosing a quality truck ladder rack that is suitable for you.
TracRack TracONE truck rack is a great product for those professionals whose work involves carrying ladders, and other gear or materials. This was a favorite truck rack because it has a large weight capacity allowing you to carry heavy-duty loads. It has other great features that make transporting your work equipment a whole lot easier and an attractive price tag.
- Aerodynamic Design with Wind Deflectors
- Drill-Free Design
- Aluminum Construction
- Maximum Weight Capacity of 800 pounds
- Wide Crossbars with Retractable Tie-Downs
This choice is our top pick for a reason and with its many great features, it is easy to see why we chose this product. With all the things that this truck ladder rack can do, the only thing that it can’t do is order itself for you.
Truck Ladder Racks Comparison Chart
of 5 ft min to 7 ft max
from 56" to 65"
from 35" to 57"
5 Best Truck Ladder Racks (as of September, 2023):
1. Thule 2700001 TracRac TracONE Universal – Best Ladder Rack For Trucks Review
The Thule 2700001 TracRac TracONE Universal truck rack is exactly what you need when you want to carry loads that have a total weight capacity not exceeding 800 pounds like ladders or lumber.
The rack comes with adjustable load stops that allow you to adjust to the maximum width of your pickup truck.
And this is to help protect loads of varying sizes. This rack has a drill-free construction, which makes it very easy to install.
And the aerodynamic design, which comes with wind deflectors minimizes wind noises during transport. These deflectors are literally designed to reduce wind resistance.
They are wide to enable you to carry whatever load you like as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum capacity of the rack.
If you need additional accessories to secure your load, get the TrackRack cargo buckle, which you can permanently secure to your ladder rack and use it whenever you deem necessary.
But you would need to purchase it separately as it does not come with the ladder rack.
As for durability and longevity, the TracRac TracONE rack is made out of aluminum. And it is coated with two special coatings, one that helps prevent corrosion and the other, scratching.
The rack fits almost any pickup truck. So it does matter how big or small your pickup is. You can be assured that you won’t have a problem installing this rack on your truck.
- Aerodynamic Design
- Integrated Wind Deflectors
- Single Axis C-Clamps Clamps
- Adjustable Composite Tie Down Loops
- Adjustable Aluminum Load Stops
- Rust Resistant Aluminum Construction
- Dual Stage Powder Coating
- Equipped with T-Track
- Damage Free Installation (No Drilling Into Truck Bed)
- Overall Installed Height- 26 inch
- Load Capacity 800 lbs
- Thule TracRac Cargo Buckle (Sold Separately)
- Aerodynamic design with wind deflectors to prevent wind noise
- Drill-free design for quick and easy installation
- One size fits all type of truck ladder rack
- Aluminum construction for durability and strength
- Maximum weight capacity of 800 pounds
- Coated to prevent rusting and scratching
- Wide crossbars with retractable tie-downs to allow you to carry loads of almost any size
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- It doesn’t come with a TracRac cargo buckle. You would need to buy it separately
2. TMS PICK-UP-RACK Ladder Rack – Best Budget Pick For Trucks Review
The TMS PICK-UP-RACK ladder truck comes with two steel adjustable bars that are 30 inches high. Both steel bars are not attached to each other.
You need to attach them to your track to fully assemble the rack using bolts and screws, which come with the package.
When you attach the rack to your truck bed, you can adjust the width up to 7 feet from the attachment point.
The rack has a weight capacity of 800 pounds. So you can carry a ladder and a few other heavy items as long as the total weight load doesn’t exceed the rack’s maximum load weight to prevent transport problems or accidents.
- Max Height: 30 inch plus the height of your truck’s bed
- Load Capacity 800 lbs
- Adjustable Width from 5 feet to 7 feet
- Steel Construction
- Easy to Assemble & Install
- Perfect for Ladders, Lumber, Pipes, Pool Equipment & Much More
- Weight capacity of 800 pounds
- Steel construction for durability and strength
- Adjustable width
- Ideal for long and heavy loads like ladders, pipes, and lumber
- Not easy to install and uninstall
- The design is free-drill
3. Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro Ladder Rack – Great Choice for Truck but Overpriced Review
The Thule 500XT Xsporter Pro truck ladder rack comes in a beautiful design sporting outstanding features that make carrying your ladder and other items super easy.
Some of the great features the rack has are the aerodynamic load bars, which you can adjust to 32 different heights.
And the maximum height you can reach is 29 inches.
This allows you to carry loads of almost any size which is very convenient particularly when you need to carry long loads like a straight ladder or a kayak.
There are knobs on the bars for adjusting the height and on each bar. And each bar has molded numbers on it to help you see the bar height as you make the adjustments and to help you keep the bars on both sides.
So not only are you able to adjust the height of this rack, but you also don’t have to struggle to try to get the bars to be in an even position.
Another great feature is the TMS ladder rack has a drill-free design which makes installation easy and fast.
And on each channel, there is a removable rubber strip that also helps to diffuse wind noise.
One main issue with this rack is the finish. For such a highly-priced rack, the coating scratches very easily.
But other than that, it is a great truck ladder rack for those who are willing and able to fork out a couple of hundred bucks for a rack.
- Custom Adjust Bar Height
- Airstrip Technology
- Wind Diffuser Technology raised textured strip
- Versatile Aerodynamic Load Bars
- Easy to Install with No Drilling Required
- Rust-Resistant, High-Strength Aluminum Construction
- Stainless-Steel Hardware
- SecureLock Locks the rack to the truck
- 4 One-Key Lock Cylinders
- Included Tool-Free Load Stops
- Load Capacity 450 lbs
- Powder coating to protect the rack from scratching and rusting
- Aluminum build for strength, sturdiness, and durability
- Adjustable height of up to 29 inches and can adjust to 32 different heights for easy loading and carrying
- Aerodynamic bars that have wind diffusing features to minimize wind noises while on the road
- Locking system to keep the rack firmly secured to your pickup track
- Weight capacity of 450 pounds
- Beautiful design
- Quite expensive
- The finish is not scratch resistant
4. AA Products Inc. AX27-T AA-Racks – Best for Vans Review
A roof rack can create more storage space for your equipment.
And some come fitted with LED lamps, which you may find useful when you need extra lighting.
So if you need to install one on your van, consider the AA Products Inc. AX27-T AA-Racks roof rack.
This 3-bar aluminum roof rack is durable, lightweight, strong, and weatherproof. Each of its 3 crossbars has three heavy-duty bolts to keep the rack firmly in place.
The rack comes with a mounting base made of steel that can support loads of up to 300 pounds. So you can carry your ladders or other heavy loads easily.
The construction of the rack is strong, sturdy, and weather-resistant. So unless somehow the rack gets damaged, it can give you years of service.
- Unique Three-bolt Lock Design
- Easy to Install & Uninstall
- Weather-Resistant Aluminum
- Completed Set of Mounting Clamps & Hardware
- Extendable Top Bar to fit in different width of van roof
- Cross Bar Adjustable from Min 56″ ~ Max 65″
- Rope Hook on the side of all four uprights
- Rubber Cap prevents water leakage and wind noise
- Height Adjustable Middle Bar
- 2 Aluminum Adjustable Ladder Stoppers
- Load Capacity 300 lbs
- Universal to Most Cargo Vans
- Weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Heavy-duty bolt system on the bars to keep the rack held firmly in place
- Lightweight, strong, and durable construction
- Corrosion-resistant build
- Rope hooks to secure loads
- Adjustable middle bar to fit a van with an uneven roof
- Fairly affordable
- Installation takes time and you may need a second person to help you with it
AA Products Inc. DX36-BLK AA-Racks Universal is a 2-bar roof rack that is easy to install because it has a drill-free design.
It is made of steel which makes it durable and super strong.
This rack can support a load capacity of 350 pounds, which is pretty decent.
The crossbars are 1.2 inches wide and you can adjust the height of the bars. This gives you the flexibility to attach the rack on a van roof of almost any size.
Plus the base is sturdy and strong so as your driving you are worry-free about anything happening to your load.
It is coated to protect it from scratching and corrosion. And for the price tag, it offers more than you would expect.
- Telescoping Design
- Drilling Required for Installation
- Easy to Put On or Take Off
- 17 Gauge (1.35mm actual) Steel Construction
- 11 Gauge (3.2mm actual) High Strength Steel Mounting Base
- Total Height Clearance 4″
- 1.2″ Diameter Cross Bars
- Length Adjustable from 35″ to 57″
- Powder-Coated with Weather Resistant Paint
- Fits Vans with Rain Gutters
- Load Capacity 350 lbs
- Weight capacity of 350 pounds
- Steel mounting base that can support heavy loads
- Wide crossbars with adjustable heights to fit varying van roof sizes
- Steel construction for strength and longevity
- Drill-free design for quick and easy installation
- Reasonably priced
- The weight capacity could be larger
There are many varying truck racks with different features to accommodate different needs. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or construction worker, there is a truck rack out there that is suitable for you.
But choosing a truck ladder rack for your pickup or van, may not be that straightforward. And this is because racks differ in style, size, and load capacity. Some are designed for heavy-duty loads, others are not.
So you need to be careful not to buy the wrong rack to avoid wasting your hard-earned cash. So to avoid buying the wrong rack, here is a guide to help you out.
What to Consider When Buying a Truck Ladder Rack
Ladder racks have varying load capacities. Some can support heavy loads and other light loads. So it all depends on how much weight the rack can support.
If you need to transport heavy loads but their weight capacity exceeds the total truck weight of your vehicle, you need to use a different car.
Type of Cargo
The advantage of truck racks is that they are designed to help you transport equipment, materials or gear. But many of them are designed for certain types of items.
If you use ladders often for your work, you would need a ladder rack to transport your ladders. You can get a universal rack that can handle any type of cargo, but they are expensive.
So when deciding what rack to buy, consider the type of cargo you intend to carry. A standard rack is ideal for carrying items that have a weight capacity of less than 350 pounds.
You can get racks that can support weights of up to 800 pounds, which are ideal when you need to carry heavy loads.
Type of Material
Truck racks are either made of steel or aluminum. Steel is heavier and not as resistant to weathering as aluminum. But it is sturdier and tougher than aluminum.
And it can support heavy loads without compromising its durability.
So for heavy loads that have a weight capacity of more than 500 pounds, a steel rack would be a more ideal choice than an aluminum. But if you want a rack that is resistant to rusting, then you need an aluminum rack.
Some racks are designed for certain trucks. There are racks for vans and others for pickup trucks.
You can either choose to go with the ones that are specifically designed for certain vehicles. Keep in mind that they also have varying weight capacities.
Alternatively, you can choose to go with a universal rack, which is compatible with many van and truck types and sizes. Although it is expensive, it gives you the flexibility to carry different types of loads.
Plus it has a load capacity of 800 pounds, which means you can carry heavy loads as well.
When it comes to buying ladder accessories, this is a personal choice, as many racks come with all the features that you need to secure your load well.
You can also consider buying tie-downs and anchors to keep your load steady when on the road particularly if the road you often use is bumpy.
Most truck ladder racks are affordable. But when the safety of your load is a priority, the price of the rack becomes a non-issue.
Nevertheless, if you are on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that many of the ladder tracks are decently priced. So you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a single one.
Why You Need a Ladder Truck Rack
Let’s be real, if you own a pickup or van that you use for your work or outdoor adventures, you need a truck rack to carry your equipment or gear.
But there are also specific reasons why a truck rack can help you greatly. And these reasons include:
Increase Your Cargo
If you have a small pickup truck or van, you can create additional space for your gear or equipment by adding a rack. A truck rack helps reduce the number of trips when you need to transport many items.
So if you are going camping, a rack can hold extra gear particularly if you are many.
If you are in the construction business and you need to carry tools and other equipment with you whenever you go for a job, a rack can help you do that easily.
So when you have to carry many items all at once or you want to avoid making too many trips transporting items, the best solution is getting a truck rack.
Truck Bed Protection
Items that are made of metal can dent or scratch your truck bed. And this can happen when the untied cargo shifts and hits the sides of your pickup truck. This damage to your truck bed can become extremely costly to fix.
But you can protect your truck bed from damage by adding truck racks to help you carry loads. With a truck rack, you can carry multiple items or heavy loads and not worry about your truck bed getting damaged.
And since track racks are affordable they are a better option than having to fix a damaged truck bed.
Types of Racks
There are different types of truck racks designed for specific types of trucks or vans. So let’s look at some types of racks to get an idea of which one would be best for your situation.
Truck Bed Racks
Truck bed racks are ideal for pickup trucks. And they are a great choice for contractors and other professionals who need to carry ladders and other equipment.
Notably, there are racks that are specifically designed to carry ladders. And you can go for those ones if that’s all you need to carry. But if you need a rack that can help you carry different items, you can get a universal truck bed rack.
What you need to know about truck bed racks is that they can help you carry multiple items and heavy loads with ease. The weight capacity of truck beds ranges from 300 pounds to 800 pounds.
Roof racks are ideal for people who use vans for work or outdoor activities. You can choose to install a steel or aluminum roof rack on your vehicle depending on what it is that you intend to carry.
Truck Cap Racks
These types of racks are mounted on the sides of a vehicle and they are ideal for transporting ladders. They are available in aluminum, steel, and fiberglass. And some can be installed permanently while others are removable.
Truck ladder racks are essential because not only do they protect your truck bed from damage, they allow you to carry multiple loads.
And since they have varying load capacities, you have the option of getting one that meets your needs.
It is also important to point out that truck racks vary in size and style. Roof racks are designed for vans while universal trucks racks are compatible with almost any type and size of truck.
So when you decide you want to get a truck rack, consider the type of cargo you want to carry, vehicle type, and the load capacity of the rack as well as that of your car.