Truck Ladder racks are an essential rack that can do more than just haul ladders. You may think that there’s not much to choose between them. However, you’ll find major differences in quality of construction, adjustability, ease of installation and compatibility with various models of truck.
You’ll find five pickup truck ladder racks below that offer you a lot of choice and great value. While you can get them pretty cheaply, you often get what you pay for. They tend to have a shorter life-span, be more prone to corrosion and not able to carry their advertised weight.
Some ladder racks are more difficult to install than others. Some require no drilling at all. Every ladder rack that we review is capable of the basics, carrying extension ladders and things like PVC pipes. But the ones towards the top of the price range will have truly outstanding performance, and you can expect them to last you for years to come.
So try to mentally define your needs and your budget while you read through the descriptions. We’re confident you’ll find a truck ladder rack that meets both.
Truck Ladder Rack Reviews for 2017
Knaack 1450 Weekender Truck Ladder Rack
The Knaack 1450 Weather Guard is the gold standard for ladder racks. The rack will fit virtually any newer pickup truck. For older models, it is compatible with Dodges built after 1994, Chevy’s built after 1988 and Fords built after 1992.
It’s a bolt-in rack. That gives it maximum stability, strength and durability. But it’s also amazingly easy to uninstall. Many longtime users have reported the rack long outlasting their trucks. They keep reinstalling it on the new trucks they buy. Installation is just as easy as uninstalling the rack.
The Knaack has a listed 250-pound maximum load. Although the company doesn’t officially endorse it, that load can be routinely exceeded when needed. This is a very strong rack. It also has adjustable width arms.
The Knaack can easily carry just about any ladder on the market. It’s made out of heavy duty steel. It has an attractive black powder coating that sharply reduces the risk of corrosion.
One of the few drawbacks is that the Knaack often will not work while tool boxes are installed. This is especially true in short bed trucks. But it’s not guaranteed that it won’t.
The Knaack 1450 Weather Guard Weekender Truck Ladder Rack is, quite simply, the best ladder rack you’ll find on the market today. The extra money you’ll shell out is more than compensated for by a product that will, in many cases, literally last a lifetime.
- Fits all newer pickup trucks
- Compatible with 1994+ Dodge, 1988+ Chevy and 1992+ Ford trucks
- Easy removal and installation
- 250-pound max load
- Adjustable width
- Heavy duty steel
- May not fit while tool box installed
MaxxHaul Heavy Duty Ladder Rack
This model is also a highly adjustable ladder rack. The arms can be adjusted for anything from 19” to 34” wide ladders. And of course, the best benefit of a ladder rack is the tons of bed space it frees up.
There’s no need to worry about leaving it out in the rain. The steel is powder coated so it will resist corrosion for a very long time.
The rack is fastened to both the bed and the bed rail for maximum stability. And extension feet are available for those with full-size trucks that have bed heights over 17.25”.
The drawback with this bed liner is the difficulty in installing it. It’s recommended to have a riveting tool and have a few free hours to complete the installation.
Once installed, it’s a great rack that will last the life of the truck. The installation’s a bit of a pain but the price is right. Overall, this is a solid, adjustable ladder rack and a good buy.
You can find the latest price online here.
- All steel, heavy duty
- Extension available for full-size trucks
- Adjustable width from 19” to 34”
- Frees up tons of bed space
- Powder coated, corrosion-resistant
- Highly stable, bolted on
Ultra-Tow Y Side-Mount Utility Rack
If you find yourself frequently running out of bed space, the amount of room this rack can free up is impressive. It works as a great truck kayak rack, and for PVC pipes, and extension ladders.
But this utility rack can be used for just about anything. And Ultra-Tow has a wide range of rack accessories to ensure that, whatever the job at hand, their racks can help you get it done.
One of the nicest things about this rack is the ease of installation. Unlike a lot of other truck bed accessories, the Ultra-Tow requires no drilling. Its patented clamp system allows it to be installed in a matter of minutes.
Once installed, it’s rock-solid. This thing will pretty easily withstand direct hits with heavy equipment without a problem. Another nice thing is that it will fit most trucks.
The Ultra-Tow Utility Rack provides great capability at a low price. If you’re in need of a truck ladder rack, you won’t regret buying the Ultra-Tow.
- Y-Style side-mount truck rack
- Frees up bed
- Great for ladders, kayaks and PVC pipes
- 250 lb capacity
- No-drill installation, patented clamp system
- Fits most trucks
- Doesn’t fit every truck
TracRac Contractor Steel Ladder Rack
With a 250 pound capacity, this steel contractor rack can carry anything from the largest extension ladders to pipes and even work as a kayak rack.
It is also highly adjustable. The load arms adjust from 22” all the way up to 37”. The 14 gauge square welded steel provides enormous structural rigidity and allows the rack to bear tremendous loads.
The TracRac is extremely easy to install. It only requires that a few holes be drilled. It also relies on a side rail mount. This provides ample stability, allowing the rack to carry far more weight than some of the competition.
The TracRac will fit most trucks. But be sure to check the dimensions to verify that it will fit your bed should you buy one.
The only real drawback with this rack is that it does require some limited drilling. However, installation will be much easier with a cordless or air drill. Doing it with hand tools may take considerably longer.
The TracRac is a heavy duty ladder rack, ideal for professional contractors. It’ll also suit you if need the reliability and utility to get the job done, every time. If you can afford to shell out a little extra, this is a case where you definitely get what you pay for.
- 14 gauge square welded steel2
- 250 pound capacity
- Load arms adjust from 22” to 37”
- Very easy to install
- Side rail mount
- Will fit most trucks
- Requires some drilling, check to make sure fits vehicle
Apex No-Drill Steel Ladder Rack
Despite its cheap price, this is a highly adjustable ladder rack. The arm can be set to widths ranging from 19”-34” to better support and carry your load.
It is also one of the few ladder racks with an adjustable height. The Apex can be set anywhere from 50”-54” in height. This means it will at least clear the cab of nearly every model of pickup on the road.
This Apex model is also one of the easiest ladder racks to install on the market. Requiring no drilling at all, it is supported by a unique clamping system and one of the most stable bases in the industry.
Don’t let the no-drill design fool you either. This is one of the most stable, rigid and durable ladder racks available. It can hold up to 250 pounds easily, and it can realistically go much higher.
The ultra secure clamping system makes it nearly as secure as a bolt-fastened rack. And it even comes with polyester straps included for free.
The only downside is that, like many similar products, it may not fit every pickup truck. Be sure to double check the dimensions prior to buying to make sure it is compatible with your vehicle.
For the price, the Apex No-Drill Steel Ladder Rack is a fantastic bargain. It’s also a great buy for those looking for a removable ladder rack for their pickup truck .
- Arm adjusts 19”-34” wide
- No-drill, easy installation
- 250-pound capacity
- Adjusts from 50”-54” in height
- Ultra secure
- Straps included
- May not fit all trucks