Here is how to make a bed that your son will love. I made this bed for my son’s third Birthday. The goal in making the coolest dump truck bed was so my son would give up his crib to his 6 month old sister without a fight. My daughter was quickly out growing her bassinet and I didn’t want to buy another crib that would only be used a couple months. My wife and I searched for store bought beds but they were all over priced laminated particle board without character. So I decided that my son was going to have to deal with a homemade bed, well the coolest dump truck bed he has ever seen.
This was my first project working with MDF and I was pleasantly surprised. It has a few draw backs compared to solid wood or plywood. It is very heavy compared to its strength and the dust is very fine. All the dust has taken residence on absolutely every square inch in my garage.

Step 1: Specs/Features of this Fully Loaded Truck

The dimensions are 101 L X 49 W X 60 H inches. It hauls a twin sized mattress with plenty of capacity for your precious son. It has a F. River Tilt Steering Column with working steering wheel, horn, blinkers and flashers. Headlights, turn signals, parking lights, dome light, cargo light and caution lights are all LEDs for a total of 242 LEDs. Roughly 203 feet of wire is routed throughout the truck and power is turned on by a keyed power switch in the dash. The storage area is roughly 45 cubic feet under mattress. Both doors open and close on industrial looking stainless hinges. I think the weight is about 650 lbs because I broke my harbor freight furniture dolly :(
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suncraft4 years ago
The dumptruck bed is really cool !! I just finished this bobcat bed for my son. Now our kids can start their own construction company!!
Thanks for posting .
Do you have plans for the bobcat bed?
andrewzach4 years ago
WOW, awesome. Kids will remember these when they are older! I made a Jeep Willy for my son and making a castle for my daughter.

This is so awesome, now I want a boy so my husband can make this for him.

nhupe7 months ago

looks amazing! i love the electrical part with the light, it really ties it together and makes it look complete! great work!

abeimers8 months ago
Nice job on the loader I thought it was a sticker in the first picture
1970blazer8 months ago

Great Job!! This one I will do for Grandson number 2. Here is a train bed I made this Christmas for my 2 1/2 year old grandson.

cbjerkman10 months ago

hey... from Norway, so some terms are not known... for example.. what dhould i be searching for, in order to fint the lights/lamps for the truck on ebay? :)

btw... awsome work! :D

Deltic11 months ago

This is awesome! how about a matching forklift & pallet table? Have you considered using the house insulation hard-foam boards to model the details such as the wheels? They should be rugged enough (providing that they are not load-bearing) and it would prove a lot quicker & easier than mdf. They can be a problem to paint but I'm sure fellow instructablers (is that a real word?) would be able to provide solutions.

1710hammer1 year ago
With regards to sticky paint, I wonder if a flatter pant with an over coat of gloss spray acrylic would help.
djmccray (author)  1710hammer1 year ago

Yes the flatter paint would help but takes away from the look of a vehicle. I found that door and cabinet paint works good. I did this on my daughters castle bed. It only took 1 week to dry.

Tinworm1 year ago

Utterly superb!

Moose Dr1 year ago
If only the good Lord had given me boys.
bmyers191 year ago
First and foremost, my compliments! I have to agree with you in going overboard for your kids. I have a DIY tree house that I pitched to my wife as being less than a store bought piece of junk. Well full power, bead board soffit, 30 year shingles, and vinyl windows later, I'm in about 2500. This is by far and away the best bed/toy/room paint I have ever seen. Great job!
mwarren101 year ago
You should have a step to step instruction guide, people would pay money for it, nice work.
ttice01663 years ago
First of all - Thank you! This is amazing! I have been searching for sometime and this is perfect for my truck and frontloader crazy son. Secondly - thank you for posting such a detailed description, it is very inspiring! Lastly - I don't have the time, tools or space to do such project. Are you up for round two? I'd like to discuss this with you.
wow. You've got some MAD woodworking skills!
Sweet! I want one!
agpilotphil3 years ago
Dude, that thing is off the Chain! Awesome job! I so want to build one now! (my son is 4) I built my daughter a pedal airplane years ago... Anyhow, nice job!
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davids124 years ago
i want one where do i order or buy stuff to get it?
davids124 years ago
I want this for my son! how do i get it?
kevconard4 years ago
Can you tell me how you beveled the edges of the front fender over the wheels and the wheels themselved (to give them a more rounded look)?
djmccray (author)  kevconard4 years ago
You’re probably not going to like the answer, I sanded them. I couldn’t figure out an easier way to do it with my tool collection. I used a 4 inch belt sander with 80 grit sand paper. It goes relatively fast but it makes a lot of dust. The fenders I just went slow and sculpted them into the shape. For the tire it was a little more dangerous. I bolted the wheel to a fence post though the center with a lag bolt. Holding the belt sander tangent to the wheel while sanding spins the wheel. Then by angling the sander towards the axis I slowed the wheel to a manageable speed. It took about 10 to 15 minutes per tire. You could use a lazy susan instead. And again it makes a ton of dust. Good luck.
Thanks for your help. And nice work on your truck bed. I decided to make a train bed, here it is: http://www.instructables.com/id/Train-Bed/
Here is pic:
Picture 7994.jpg
far2happy4 years ago
Wow! That is the most amazing children's bed that I have ever seen.

Well Done.

You have inspired me to do something for my kids too.

Great Job.

Mr.Miz4 years ago
How much do you think this ran you in materials? It's amazing I really want to build one for my boy.
djmccray (author)  Mr.Miz4 years ago
The bed cost was about $430 dollars without the electronics and steering column /wheel. This is a little pricey but worth every penny when you see your son's smile.

Good luck!
Mr.Miz djmccray4 years ago
absolutely it was worth every penny. The craftsmanship is probably almost impossible to duplicate and the painting.... fugetaboutit! It really doesn't seem that much when you look at the price of most kids stuff.
hackadoodle4 years ago
That is seriously one of the coolest things I have ever seen... I have to do this for my son!!!
Okay... that's the coolest thing. I am impressed.
tocsik4 years ago
Awesome. My son wouldn't go to sleep until he passed out form exhaustion.
PCfreak4 years ago
so what did you use for a 12V power source?
djmccray (author)  PCfreak4 years ago
I'm using a WPS-12VDC-60W water proof power supply I got from superbrightleds.com. It is a little over kill but my thought is that I could power future accessories.
Can't sleep... dump truck will eat me.
bajom214 years ago
wow very very impressive, i hope you build more
slice_rulz4 years ago
you are an artist, my friend. nice work.
Topcat20214 years ago
That is a simply awesome job that you did I also thought that the loader was a vinyl poster. A very good job well done (I think that Norm Abrams would be impressed) on both aspects of the project. I hope your son gets many many good years of use out of this one
All the Best to you
TRANSLTR4 years ago
I WISH I had seen this before giving IKEA another £200. It's totally great and your son's a lucky lad.
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