Architect designs stylish racks for pickup trucks
Racks mounted above the bed of a pickup truck are a great way to carry a kayak to the river or pipes for a plumbing project on the construction site. Great, that is, if unsightly. Nothing says "work truck" quite like a traditional, scaffold-style rack.
But a retired architect from Atlanta, Georgia, launched the Kramer Rack Plus, the "sport utility rack with style."
"I was getting to retirement time and thought I was going to retire and enjoy life," said Jerry Kramer. "Then I got the idea for this rack and it kind of swallowed me up. I'm working now more than I was before."
Kramer invested four years in design, development and patent procurement, but finally has his rack in production.
"I wanted something that looked like it was part of the truck, like it belonged on the truck, and I wanted it so the truck would still fit into a standard 7-foot garage," said Kramer, whose son was one of his first customers. Kramer's son has a home remodeling business. "He was always hauling long things, but didn't want the frame-look rack on his truck," Kramer said. "He also wanted his truck to fit into the garage."
Kramer has designed his rack so it not only is stylish, but adjustable in length and width and thus can fit virtually any mid- or full-size pickup truck, from Ford Rangers to Chevy Silverados and everything in between, and both domestic and foreign nameplates.
He's now working on a series of attachments designed for specific applications, from carrying surfboards to the sort of loads typical in the construction trades.
The Kramer Rack Plus is made from reaction-injection molding, a process in which steel is molded into shape, then polyurethane is injected into the mold to encase the steel core. Kramer says he uses the same durable polyurethane as is used for truck bumpers. His racks are produced in Indiana and are rated to carry 1200 pounds. The racks are available in gloss black or a ready-to-paint finish.
A Kramer Rack Plus retails for $1,295 and is available from www.kramerrackplus.com.
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