Small Trucks and Plywood

The search for an economical rig that will haul a few full sheets occasionally. January 22, 2006

I am looking to get a new truck. I like my Explorer but you can't fit a 4 x 8 in it. Would anyone like to comment on which small economical pickups, SUVs or mini-vans can haul a 4 x 8 inside?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
Most minis won’t fit a 4 x 8 unless you keep pulling seats. I would suggest a regular van, Econoline, Dodge, or the new kid in town from Chrysler.

From contributor B:
The Dodge Grand Caravan takes an 8 x 4 with the back seats removed.

From contributor C:
I have a family Chrysler minivan that can fit 4 x 8 but it's a pain to take the seats out. I drive an Expedition - it can fit 4 x 8 but with the lift gate not quite closed. The middle seat folds down easily and the way back seat I took out the day I bought it. But it's not too easy on gas. How about a small trailer? You could get a closed 5 x 10 for $2500 or less and I think you could tow it with the Explorer. It would give you lots of room, and only affects mileage when you're towing it.

From the original questioner:
Thanks, I had a trailer but it was a pain in the butt. I only run for material once in a while - most is delivered and the product is usually picked up, so no install. I just need a small economical truck that once in a while can haul 4 x 8s.

From contributor D:
Something to keep in mind - if you ever need to carry 4 x 8s of melamine, they are 49" x 97". These will not fit in my Chrysler minivan. MDF may also be an inch bigger. Regular 4 x 8 plywood fits fine.

From contributor E:
I have a '96 Dodge Dakota which I bought new and still love it. It's between the size of a full size pick up and your ranger. Without being a full size truck, it sure feels a lot roomier and bigger than a mini. I believe it has 44" between the wheel wells so you can't lay down plywood, but it sits well going over the tail gate about 16-18" with the short bed. I have the four cylinder engine and get a little over 25 MPG highway.

From contributor F:
I have a small pickup. I got a lumber rack and it works for 4 x 8 and the inch over stuff too.

From contributor G:
A roof rack and the use of tarps for overnight storage is the only way to go for small trucks - I'm sorry I bought my Ranger.