I know I already answered your questions on the phone, but I figured I’d reply here for anyone who may be wondering the same:
I wouldn’t say that I “needed” to do the install myself. It would’ve been much easier, and probably cheaper, to have a shop do it.
My first motivation for tackling this myself was timeframe. The shop where I bought the bed was booked way out, and any snowstorms set their schedule back further since they do plowing, too.
After I started talking it over with my friend, I discovered a lot of other advantages to DIY:
- We could fabricate with steel, keeping the weight to a minimum
- we were able to design it in a way that would make future maintenance easier. I plan on removing the bed every couple years to change out the rubber padding and do rust prevention
- we could incorporate some out-of-the-box ideas, like the recessed tanks
- we used stainless hardware, whereas a shop would most likely just use regular steel bolts
I’m super happy things worked out the way they did going DIY. But this project is not for the faint of heart. It was probably a 9/10 for technical difficulty, and 10/10 for tediousness/patience required. I’d be happy to share some technical details on the design, including measurements, if anyone’s planning to build off a 2016-2019 Tacoma access cab. That should bring it down to an 8/10 and 9/10 respectively