New Contractor Body Design From Carter Industries With Knapheide Flair

Carter Industries of Union City, CA was on hand in force at the recent Nor Cal Ford Truck Club Luau/Vendor Nite event on October 21st. One of the units they had on display immediately caught my eye and I just loved it. In my opinion, Carter Industries has been the leader in progressive changes to the typical Contractor Body.

For those in other areas, in California we call it a Contractor Body when it is a flatbed with tapered headboard, HD tapered leg rack, upper tool boxes typically with open top lids like a service body, but not necessarily, short contractor style gates around the rear with a load divider at the back of the upper boxes, underbed boxes on both sides, and finally a class IV receiver and trailer plug. That combination is a typical Contractor Body and made by many different manufacturers with the same basic components and basic design.

What has made Carter Industries the leader in my opinion is that they were the first that I saw to have fold-down gates around the back and they were alone in that for at least a year. They were the first to go to a different size and shape upper bed box with a drawer and shelf in each side. This was a useful change for many and it was very popular, but the lids were heavy as they were steel. Later, they had aluminum tall upper boxes which worked a lot better. They also lead by covering the top of the cross bars on the rack with stainless steel sleeves to keep the paint from scratching off and creating rust drips. They have always used Knapheide platforms, but they order them with the little door at the tail to carry long items, which to me is sort of like a conduit box except not mounted on the rack, but under the floor of the bed. They were among the first to use composite material floors. They have led the field and all the others have essentially copied what Carter has done.

Now, they are leading again. Their newest version of the Contractor Body utilizes Knapheide upper and lower boxes for the first time. In this they have special ordered all of their upper boxes with the Master Locking option as you can see by the handle in the photos. This allows double locking, or more convenience by only locking one lock during the day. In addition, they have gone to those beautiful and lightweight aluminum gates. What a tasty touch that is! They look marvelous!

Carter has a great product here and I have only one standing complaint (not really a complaint, just a preference issue), and that is they continue to weld their racks rather than go the extra step and bolt them on. There are a number of people who like the flexibility of a Contractor Body because the upper boxes and rack are often removable (Harbor Truck and Scelzi, at least) which allows one to very quickly turn this into a flatbed for special jobs. When the rack is welded, it will always be in the way when used that way. I know you can do it Carter!

All in all, this is a hit and I predict will be very popular. Look for the others to follow suit on the aluminum gates. See all of Carter's products at http://www.carterind.com/.

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