Subscribe to a magazine

1999 Dodge Ram Cummins - Project Baja Bomber

Finished Bed
Robin Stover | Writer
Posted July 1, 2006
Photographers: Tim Sanchez, Brian Christie

Part 6: Building the Perfect Chase Bed

Project Baja Bomber - Part 1
Project Baja Bomber - Part 2
Project Baja Bomber - Part 3
Project Baja Bomber - Part 4
Project Baja Bomber - Part 5
Project Baja Bomber - Part 6

Finding the balance between utility and aesthetics can be quite difficult. Here at Four Wheeler, we follow the belief that function always comes before form. For this particular project, however, we wanted something that looked as well as it performed. Our concept stems from numerous trips south of the border, where we've noticed several variations of a somewhat uncommon vehicle modification: Baja chase beds.

This is a fine example of a scenario we see all the time in Baja. Fully loaded and ready to storm the Baja peninsula, this is the job of a Baja chase truck.

Chase beds blur the lines between a utility body and flatbed because they combine key features of each in type. Born from years of abuse in the deserts of Baja, these unique beds are multitalented, serving as mobile communications posts, portable mechanics' shops, mobile refueling stations, and often the place where chase crews turn for recovery equipment after a racing mishap. During the course of a race, countless crew members depend on their chase trucks for pit essentials such as spare parts, tools, and fuel. The job typically requires a plethora of anchor points and containers to secure tools and equipment. Despite task variations, a chase bed must facilitate instant access to desired gear should a need arise; remember, these beds are supporting a race effort.

Unfortunately there isn't a regular retailer that stocks chase beds, so if you want one, it'll require some custom fabrication. To make matters worse, our chase bed would have to handle two very different tasks. Remember, our approach to this project is dual-purposed: We want a Baja chase truck to aid in all forms of off-road racing, but at the same time we want our Ram to run competitively in the ever-popular exhibition of diesel drag racing. This meant our new bed had to be as lightweight as possible, and still handle the roughest terrain on the planet. Sound impossible?

Here you can see one of S.N.A.F.'s manufacturing technicians beginning work on the Baja Bomber. S.N.A.F.'s Vice President Brian Christie said, "This project offered us a rare opportunity to show off what we do to an otherwise untapped side of the industry."

We thought so, until we found Sierra Nevada Aluminum Flatbeds (S.N.A.F.) of Fresno, California. S.N.A.F. specializes in heavy-duty aluminum flatbeds for just about any truck built today. The company offers a variety of designs for any imaginable application or budget. From a simple flat deck to a hay hauler to the much more elaborate custom-made contractor-style service beds, S.N.A.F. has something for everyone. We toured the S.N.A.F. manufacturing facility when we dropped off the Baja Bomber, and while we were there we got an in-depth look at what makes these beds the cream of the crop. We also discussed our project's requirements and what it would take to build a chase bed for the Bomber. The following is just a small sampling of what S.N.A.F. builds everyday.

9

View Photo Gallery

Project Baja Bomber - Part 1
Project Baja Bomber - Part 2
Project Baja Bomber - Part 3
Project Baja Bomber - Part 4
Project Baja Bomber - Part 5
Project Baja Bomber - Part 6

Sources

Sierra Nevada Aluminum Flatbeds
www.aluminumflatbeds.net

Comments

Advertisement