Headache Racks and Safety Racks
When it comes to truck bed accessories, right behind the tonneau cover and tool boxes comes the Headache Rack. Sometimes known as a Safety Rack or Cab Protector, and even commonly referred to by the trademarked brand name BACKRACK, one of our top sellers, these grated and metal racks protect your cab window from various materials you might load into the back of your truck as well as allow you to load longer items more safely and securely.
These devices are designed to protect your cab from any items that might slide up and make contact with your window by creating a metal barrier to intercept any such item.
Furthermore, some great types of headache racks also are designed to have long items leaned up against them and strapped down securely. Many individuals use these features to make transporting longer ladders and even pieces of lumber more easy and secure.
Headache racks come in a number of designs and many are customizable so you can add on tool racks and various lighting equipment too to make the rack exactly what you need.
While there are two camps on these great products, those who don’t think they need one and those who already have one or are about to order one, the truth is if you’re doing any kind of physical labor or work in the back of your truck or utilizing your truck bed, you should definitely consider one, heavily.
The reasons should be fairly obvious. The cost to replace most rear windows is more than the cost of getting a headache rack. And that’s not even taking into consideration the whole issue of time and hassle trying to get your rear window replaced after you accidentally threw a 2 x 8 through it. Or worse yet, you let your wife borrow your truck.
Landscaping and Terror-Forming
True story my uncle tells me over Thanksgiving last year about why he has a headache rack, specifically the BACKRACK over the top of his tonneau cover.
My uncle works for as an engineer for a fairly large company, and he’s high enough up and has to do enough travel that they give him a company car to drive for work. So throughout the week, he’s like a lot of us who rock a commuter car to and from work, but use the truck at night and on the weekends to haul toys and tools, so to speak.
Anyway, he tells me that one Spring day, he gets home early from work for some reason--made good time driving home or something. And when he pulls into his garage he sees that his truck is gone. No biggie. He just figures the wife took it out for some reason, but here’s the thing about that.
The last time she took his truck out, she backed over the edge of a concrete parking lot pad and bent up his muffler tip. Not the end of the world, but it was annoying to him, and he ended up paying out of pocket to replace the tip with a sweet MBRP Hex Exhaust tip, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, point is he was a little nervous. It isn’t that his wife is wreckless or anything, but she’s just not always the most aware when she’s driving. So my uncle, he goes inside, gets a drink, pops down in front of the TV, and decides to give her a call anyway just to see what’s she’s up to with his truck.
She picks up on the third ring or so, and all sounds well. She’s explaining that she just went to get some mulch at the landscaping place across town, and she’s on her way back now. And guess what?
She picked up some posts and beams to build that pergola she’s always wanted. She’s explaining to her husband how the guy at the shop said this kit was on sale, and she’d just have to buy the posts, so they loaded it up in the back for her on top of the mulch, and she’s on her way home now. Can’t wait to get started on it.
Now of course this spur of the moment project isn’t something my uncle had any clue about. Typical, am I right? But whatever, he thinks. She has been talking about building something like this in the backyard for years, so it’s all good.
But he’s a little nervous about how carefully the guys over at the landscaping place loaded everything up. The biggest issue might be that she mentioned the boards and posts being loaded on top of the mulch.
So he asks as causally as possible, something like, “Hey, honey, how did they secure those boards? Did they use my tie downs and straps that were in the truck?”
And here was his first mistake. He thinks he’s asking a simple yes or no question, but what he’s really doing is prompting her to take her eyes off the road.
So what does she do?
She looks back over her shoulder at the way the load is secured behind her.
Now what happens next isn’t exactly her fault. It’s basic physics.
You see, they had used the tie down straps. But two of the posts are kinda propped up on the mulch pile, and while the straps go over the top of them to keep them from bouncing out… well, you probably already see where this is going. The tailgate is down but they are strapped so that they won’t fly out the back, but not in such a way that they won’t move forward if momentum comes into play, if you catch my drift.
Basically, it’s the same old story. She takes her eyes off the road, glances at the truck bed behind her to verify that yes indeed there are straps. And as she takes her eyes back to the road, she sees that someone has pulled out in front of her--she claims some teenager on her cell phone not paying attention. Of course that prompts my uncle to point out the obvious: that she too was on her cell phone and not paying attention.
And as his wife reacts, quite normally, of course, by slamming on the brakes of the truck, very suddenly and deliberately, the posts, well, they react in their own way.
Classic physics lesson here: objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
So two, not one, of those posts goes flying forward at…. oh, let’s say roughly 40 mph, cause my aunt has a bit of a lead foot, and this was a residential neighborhood probably with a speed limit of 25 or 30 tops.
That means that two, count ‘em, two 25 pound posts came rushing towards the rear window of my uncle’s truck doing about 40 miles per hour, when the truck suddenly came to a stop. And shockingly, 50 pounds moving at that speed, well, they both didn’t make it through the window. So there’s that at least.
My uncle says all he heard was a sound like a screeching banshee, as a 4x4 post flew up next to my aunt’s head before finally the friction of the window and straps and the second post which was stopped on the rear window and rubbing against the other one finally brought it to a stop.
Can’t blame her, about the screaming that is. I probably would have let one fly too if not soiled my britches.
Where we can fault her though is for improperly secured load. And sure you might be saying, I would never do that. And we hear you. But let me tell you, that was my uncle’s take on it. He didn’t think he needed a headache rack because that kind of stuff won’t ever happen to him cause he would never load up his truck like that.
And guess what he forgot to add into that equation? His wife.
So luckily nobody got hurt. That possibly fictitious “teenager” drove on ahead without even noticing. And my aunt about had a heart attack, but she made it home without further incident.
My uncle tells me he was mad at the time, but now looking back on it he can’t help but laugh. What a ridiculous story, he says. And it’s hard for him not to admit that had he not called her because he was feeling anxious about his truck, probably the whole damn thing could have been avoided. But such is life.
He went out and got a BACKRACK Louvered version with the horizontal bars. And let me tell you, it looks pretty sweet too. But it certainly will protect his cab rear window in the future.
And again, keep in mind that my uncle fell into that category of those who don’t know they needed a headache rack until it was too late.
So you might consider his story. While this one was kinda a freak accident kind of thing, many times it is the odd incident that leaves you with a bill for brand spanking new glass.
I mean, every time I’ve had to replace my windshield it was always random and crazy.
So whether you just think these BACKRACKS look sweet or you know you are always hauling large loads or you just want to be able to carry a longer ladder with you to a job site, we hope this article will help you understand how useful having a headache rack can be. Whether it’s just for peace of mind or style, transporting longer loads or ladders, or just because you know someone who often uses your work truck likes to toss heavy items up into your truck bed, we highly recommend you install a Headache Rack pronto!
Our Promise of Exceptional Service and the Lowest Prices on the Interwebs
When you’re ready to order your Headache Rack, we hope you’ll get yours from us here at Midwest Aftermarket. We only promote products we believe in and sell them at the lowest prices, shipping quickly to you for free if you’re in the lower 48 states. We have an excellent return policy and strive to get you the right product in perfect condition the first time.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call or place an order directly through our website. We’ll get your product out to you ASAP so you can enjoy your vehicle and make it your own. If you have a vision of what your truck or Jeep could be, let us help you achieve that image, that goal. We put aftermarket right at the tip of your fingers on your smartphone, web browser, and even via various apps, making ordering the parts you need super easy.
Let us help make your aftermarket dream possible. Let us help you build your dream machine. We want you to drive the truck or Jeep of your dreams right now. So when you get it installed and love it, make sure you share us some pics on social media so we can live vicariously through you. Because we too are aftermarket enthusiasts, truck and Jeep owners, who love and own many of the products we sell. In other words, we don’t just work aftermarket--we are aftermarket.
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