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Carry sheet goods on car roof

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chris.gid

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I have that set up on my roof when i need to pick up sheet goods (well back when i could afford birch ply......).

I think the max load i had was 3 birch ply sheets which probably weigh the best bit of 150kg.

Agree with all the previous comments about not overloading and using ratchet straps, but the verticals at the front (and i screwed some on at the back) of the wooden frame help keep the sheets from shifting too much on the way home and make loading it in the first place much easier.

I never had the confidence to drive over 50mph and the way i set it up meant i could just see the front of the sheet at the top of the windscreen so if something looked like it was coming loose i could pull over and tighten things down.
 

stuart little

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I once purchased some assorted items from B&Q including some drawer fronts from the bargain bin I was going to use for a project. I think there were eight in total.

Loaded my assorted items into my Fiesta van that I had at the time and began to head home.

I drove the small roads for maybe three or four miles, negotiating corners and roundabouts but as I reached 50ish on the slip road of a large A road I hear a weird scraping noise and saw eight pieces of wood flying about in my rear view mirror.

Luckily enough there were no cars behind me (thank god) and I managed to pull up on the hard shoulder and collect the drawer fronts.

Lesson learned.... Never EVER put anything on the roof of the car before opening the doors...
Especially your thermos flask!
 

stuart little

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I once came back from plymouth with a couple of 18mm ply on the van roof racks. By the rime i got near home i had forgotten they were there and at about 70, the front of the van lifted up and there was a loud bang...... then the van dropped back down and i stopped, to find the ply plus roof racks on the road behind me 🤫🤨
It literally ripped the racks out of the metal gutter and bent it up..... so dont be a kev!
I remember once having to manoever around a roof rack & canoes which were sitting in the middle of the M4 !
 

DigitalM

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I was driving around 100m or so behind some sort of flatbed that had a frame just behind the cab. Someone had stacked, upright, about 30 plastic downpipes, the 150mm diameter or so one. They were just roped up and the rope must have worked its way over the frame. One by one in rapid succession they lifted into the wind and landed with eery precision, equidistant, like a set of rollers in front of me. My car, a simple 1990s VW Polo, smashed them all to smithereens one by one while I screamed like a banshee. There was absolutely no detectable damage to the car or tyres, and I was able to drive home without any issue whatsoever after a short break on the hard shoulder (I was doing 70 or so on a wide triple carriageway with a hard shoulder that was to all intents and purposes a motorway).

Van driver didn't even stop.
 

slavedata

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A friend of mine was travelling up the M6 following a lorry loaded with steel rods. One of them slipped out of its bundle bounced on the road and came up under his car. It emerged sticking out about 6 inches from the drivers seat just to the left of his left leg. A very lucky escape!
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I was very happy to discover that the local builder's merchant is (a) an extraordinarily friendly place and (b) delivers for free.

I was less happy to discover how heavy a full sheet of 18mm ply is.
 

dickm

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Have never lost roofrack loads, but have had some near misses from others. Driving down the M6 not long after it was opened, and was probably not speed limited, had to swerve round the entire holiday luggage of a family in the car in front when it detached from the roof rack. Don't envy them attempting to recover it. Then more recently, following a very sporty Audi with two bikes on rack on the back, the whole lot detached from the car, fortunately on a right hand bend, so they went towards the ditch and there was enough room for me to swerve round them. Always give Audis a wide berth anyway!!
Daren't think what weight of oak beams sat on the roof of my old Golf Estate on the way back from Pugh's sale one year. Got some way home before realising that while packing the rest of the purchases into the Golf, I'd left the luggage cover in the car park. Fortunately it hadn't been sold before it was retrieved. The oak stayed in place over the sinuous Cotswold roads without a problem, but at least one of the beams didn't get used and was sold when we moved house. Probably not for a profit'
 

Dabop

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If you set up your carrier so that the rear of the sheet was a little higher than the front, you could generate aerodynamic downforce, enabling higher cornering speeds and getting your sheet goods home sooner...

Not a serious suggestion.
LOL- I wondered what these guys were doing, now I know...
Taking home some ply from the hardware store...
Screenshot from 2021-10-22 17-06-32.png
 

Dabop

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I regularly take sheets on the roof of the ute (Hilux with fiberglass canopy) and you never EVER just chuck one or two from side to side...

I strap two (or for roofing sheets ie 5m long) I put three from one side to the other- but I also put a couple of timbers underneath and another couple on top, running from front to back- these are tied front and rear to the front and rear bumpers tiedown points plus a couple of long rachet-straps going from front to back... (plus I got a 'plumbers rack' on the front when I need to carry loads like that)

Mostly because I have a 100km plus drive from the hardware store to my place, all at 110kmh basically...

Proper tiedowns means I have never lost a load in 50 years of driving trucks, and I apply that to my personal loads too
(here in Oz, losing a sheet like that can land you a couple of hundred dollar fine, and thats if it doesn't hit someone...)

Screenshot from 2021-10-22 17-23-43.png
s
 

DIYTinkerer

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Personally I always get delivered - prices are so high now one sheet of 18mm 8x4 is over the free delivery minimum :) One other consideration is what will happen in a crash - I doubt the brackets on the top video will do anything to stop a sheet of ply...
 

TheTiddles

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There’s very clear rules on overhanging loads, note the disparity between front/back and side, because on the side is how you catch a pedestrian.

Someone at school got hit in the head by a 150mm length of plastic soil pipe that came off a van, she had three operations to mostly put her face back where it was.

There’s much talked here about table-saw safety, most people are far more dangerous in a car. Remember to multiply the load of the material on the roof by 10-15 times for the crash force, so if you put 100kg up there, make sure you can dangle the car by your tie-down mechanism, or it’s not safe.

Once you’ve done any work on vehicle safety, you never load your car the same way ever again, a loose mobile phone will make a mess of you, that ID lanyard around your neck will get pushed between your ribs by the airbag, it’s frightening stuff.

If you’re not absolutely certain it’s safe (which means you are certain, not that you don’t know any better) just don’t do it.
 

Ozi

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There’s very clear rules on overhanging loads, note the disparity between front/back and side, because on the side is how you catch a pedestrian.

Someone at school got hit in the head by a 150mm length of plastic soil pipe that came off a van, she had three operations to mostly put her face back where it was.

There’s much talked here about table-saw safety, most people are far more dangerous in a car. Remember to multiply the load of the material on the roof by 10-15 times for the crash force, so if you put 100kg up there, make sure you can dangle the car by your tie-down mechanism, or it’s not safe.

Once you’ve done any work on vehicle safety, you never load your car the same way ever again, a loose mobile phone will make a mess of you, that ID lanyard around your neck will get pushed between your ribs by the airbag, it’s frightening stuff.

If you’re not absolutely certain it’s safe (which means you are certain, not that you don’t know any better) just don’t do it.
For crash force multiply by at least 30g
 

MikeK

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Neither of my cars had a luggage rack, but this is what I used to haul construction materials. I built a removable shelf for the bed to give a flat area above the rear wheel arches and can easily carry full sheets of plywood or drywall. There is room under the shelf for lumber

There are nine sheets of 19mm (3/4-inch) plywood in this 2003 Ford Ranger, and I could have added a few more sheets before I was near the maximum payload. My new Ranger can carry double this amount at Autobahn speeds with no problem. :)


Plywood_Delivery-1-small.jpg
 

TheTiddles

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With a new Ranger you’d also be placing the centre of mass of the load outside the recommended window (it’s surprising tight).

If you go looking for crash safety on Fords you can find a forum where people discuss where to add steel to remove the crumple zones so their truck isn’t so damaged in a crash, the same people often have pro-trump and anti-vax signatures to their posts, I wonder if that’s a coincidence.
 

MikeK

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With a new Ranger you’d also be placing the centre of mass of the load outside the recommended window (it’s surprising tight).

If you go looking for crash safety on Fords you can find a forum where people discuss where to add steel to remove the crumple zones so their truck isn’t so damaged in a crash, the same people often have pro-trump and anti-vax signatures to their posts, I wonder if that’s a coincidence.
As I a pilot, I am aware of the load placement and the affect on the center of mass (gravity) and handling. Ford publishes a separate body and chassis guide for the Ranger that shows the relevant information so vehicle converters can properly design and attach conversions. The information in this manual is similar to the aircraft manuals I used to calculate weight and balance. Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief when I see how some drivers load their vehicles and trailers...or aircraft.

I have the Super Cab, not the ubiquitous four door Crew Cab, and the Ford recommended range for the center of mass is a zone that starts at the rear of the cab and extends into the bed for over one meter. I wanted the standard cab, which provides a larger CG zone in the bed area, but the only models available without ordering were the 2WD version with the 2.2L manual transmission in white. On the Crew Cab version, the recommended CG zone starts inside the cab at about the middle of the rear seat cushions and extends rearward for about one meter, so the recommended CG zone ends about 800mm behind the cab. I bought the 4WD Wildtrak with the 3.2L 6-speed automatic transmission. It is more comfortable than the 2006 Mondeo I owned and has now become my daily driver.

I know some owners in the States modify their vehicles as you described, but this is not allowed in Germany. Unless the modifications include a TÜV certification, they cannot be installed and the penalties when caught start with loss of the vehicle and go up from there.
 

Jameshow

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I used to fly gliders. It’s astonishing how slowly you can fly. A two seater with two people in it can weigh about a metric ton and not stall at 40 something knots. The wings are each longer than 8 feet but narrower than 4 feet. Perhaps one sheet for each wing to lift about the same weight as my car At 50 mph. just A thought!
So how many sheets of ply do I need mounted end to end each side of the 3 series Estate (longitudinal engine obviously!) And where can I get a decent sized radiator fan? Perhaps airbus?!!!

Only joking!

Cheers James
 
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