The OVERHAULER

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Overhead racks are a common sight on pickup trucks. They provide more cargo carrying capacity without impacting box space, allow safe transport of long or other oversized items such as boats and ladders, and provide a custom look.

But as with any roof rack, they have one major limitation: the load has to somehow get both onto and off of the rack. This requires a physically capable individual to carefully lift the load onto the rack, avoiding injury or damage to the truck. In many cases, loading such racks becomes a two-person task.

What if the rack came down towards the load, rather than the load up towards the rack? That’s why we designed and developed the OVERHAULER: the hydraulic truck rack that does the heavy lifting for you. The OVERHAULER offers:
- Reduced potential for injury while loading heavy or awkward objects
- Portable item handling via the optional winch accessory, which eliminates the need for a forklift, overhead crane, or multiple people for lifting objects under 400 pounds
- Single-person operation, allowing greater independence during day-to-day transportation tasks

The OVERHAULER design is simple and robust:
- Front and rear pivoting arms control the motion of the overhead rack
- Hydraulic cylinders connected to a 12V hydraulic pump provide the lifting and lowering force
- Sturdy, self-supporting box rails clamp directly to the box of the truck, minimizing its installation footprint and maximizing strength

Operation is smooth, simple, and controlled:
- Orifice-regulated hydraulics controlled via a wired remote control provide smooth, steady action throughout the entire range of motion
- Rack geometry is designed to limit the range of motion, preventing accidental contact with the tailgate or cab
- The overhead position is parallel to the box floor, while the upright position is approximately 60 degrees to the ground, facilitating easy “lean-against” loading

Applications include:
- Recreational: boating, fishing, hunting
- Commercial: ladders, lumber, electrical conduit, rigid pipe
- Industrial: material handling, deliveries

Compared with existing truck racks, the OVERHAULER offers the primary advantage of easier loading with the rack tilted towards the back of the truck. The design and construction of the OVERHAULER complements today’s well-built and versatile pickup trucks of all makes and models.

The current model is constructed from all-steel components, with a durable powder coat finish and all stainless steel hardware to maximize corrosion resistance and product life. All-aluminum models are planned for even greater corrosion resistance and lighter weight.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Michael Rudnicki
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Machinist
  • Software used for this entry:
    SolidWorks
  • Patent status:
    pending