Ladder rack sway

For those of you who have a ladder rack on one side of your trailer or truck, does it sway while going down the road? I don’t want to run kickers to stop it, I know it won’t break because if it can hold 250 pound me it will hold a 60 lb ladder. I found it annoying.

I just got mine back from the welder. Mine has a 45 degree/angled ladder rack on one side of the trailer. 1.5" square tubing was used. It was going to rain again, so I quickly flap disk, sanded, and grinded it down and rattle can sprayed it in the wind before the next rain. SO yeah it has got runs on it and I don’t wanna post it up to show my crappy workmanship. I wanted it primed to stop the rust before the rain.

I’m not a welder, never tried it, and I don’t count plastic welding as welding… For your square tubing, how do you keep it from rusting internally other than drowning it in oil, grease, wax? I ordered caps, I brushed and sprayed what I could, but 5’ of tube isn’t getting completely cleaned/treated.

It was funny, when I first had the ladder rack installed and it was empty driving down the road, it was swaying some in the wind. Mainly the back two posts. But once I put equipment on it and ladders etc., it stopped.

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Thank you sir, maybe that will be my case too. Didn’t want to load it and see that ladder and rack flailing away.

I originally made the same type of ladder rack for my trailer. I used 2" x 1/8" sqaure tubing. You should’ve seen it swaying when I loaded it with more than 600 lbs of square tubing, angle, etc when picking up supplies for qons ladder rack and some other projects I had to do. A good weld should be able to hold a lot of weight.


Is that another word for gusset? Interesting.

I’m with these guys ^^^. A good weld can hold up to a lot. I’ve had hundreds of pounds of reclaimed lumber on my ladder rack. No issues. And it’s way flimsier looking than what a lot of you guys are running.

Is that a Tacoma with a service body? Don’t see many of those lol

Flatbed. How have you missed it? I only mention it in every other thread… :rofl:



I had concerns as soon as it was done. The guy welding it climbed on it and said this is going to hold your ladder easily. I climbed on it, it flexed in the middle a little but didn’t bend. It just sways side to side going down the road, which I found very annoying (catches my eye in the rearview). I asked him, he is busy still, he said I could bolt a piece in between my ladder rack and my reel rack and that would stop a lot of the sway. It took almost two weeks longer to get it done then they thought because they got swamped with paying customers. I got this done for free, I just bought the materials and brought them there and supplied some labor on a job of theirs.

I’m no welder, but my limited understanding of the subject leads me to believe the little flared out metal pieces on the verticals are gussets, and much longer pieces placed at angles are kickers. Once again, I could say they are called potato salad for all the more I know about welding. All I did was come up with a basic design on how I wanted it done, gave it to the the guy, he said go buy this and this, so I did. Then I asked for two more pieces to be welded on to stop the ladder from potentially shifting.

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Any pictures, I’m thinking your potato salads are what I call bracing struts but in any case I wouldn’t be happy if I’m looking in my rear view and seeing my racks flapping in the breeze.
Doesn’t have to be a close up of the paint runs lol just a general idea of what’s going on there

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Here you go, the 1.5" tubes running vertically were cut and bent, so they are continuous. I didn’t add the “kickers” which I believe should run down from the top to keep the sway from happening. Once again, I know nothing about welding. I was there holding and lifting and making sure nothing interfered with my access to reels or tanks etc.

How’s it attached to the trailer frame? And why’s it so tall?

It isn’t that high, from the ground it is about 5’ up. It is attached to the side of the trailer through an unused stake pocket. Guess I’ll get another pic. I have it stripped down right now and it looks like crap, I don’t like to post pics of it looking bad. Not that it ever looked like a show rig like some people’s trailers.

Don’t sweat it. I’ve posted plenty of in-progress pics, and have only gotten razzed once for an ill-conceived wooden ladder rack.

Pic makes it look a lot higher.

Ok, it is 5’4" from the ground to the bottom of the ladder rack. Pics are a bit of a PITA to post on here because I have to DL from iphone to windows PC, convert HEIC to jpeg then upload. Trailer is sitting in front of my pole building for now. Supposed to snow this week, so don’t know when I can paint then load everything. My stuff is mostly sitting in my pole building or in my basement.

Edit, this was my low profile 10K equipment trailer before this PW thing. Now I need a new one.

That style is different than my old one sided ladder rack. It was more like a “T” shape with some 45° supports. It would mainly sway or shake when hitting bumps.

It would help to do a support where the pic is marked in red. Blue would help even more. Although, I’m sure it will be just fine as is.


Your half way there to an enclosed trailer, build another identical rack on the other side and tie both ends in for rigidity. Your swaying problem is due to being too top heavy and too high up, you need to reinforce the bottom or shorten the uprights (witch you can’t do because of the tote) the 2 uprights aren’t enough the bottom where it’s welded to the trailer will fatigue over time. It’s one thing to load it up with 250 pounds once and call it a day but can it handle 70 pounds every single day without problems.


The rain funnels will rust it out before the welds break, but I wouldn’t carry a ladder on it until you get some supports


@marinegrunt drawings of bracing is what I would do as well, maybe one more triangle replicating the red one illustrated running from post back to mudguard at each end of trailer.

IBS has a valid point regarding open tube ends, cheap and easy way to fix is the plastic end caps sikaflexed in.

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I have caps on order, waiting for them to arrive. I already cleaned and sprayed them as best I could. THinking about putting oil in them (not filling it).