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Ideas on stablizing truck bed sand tubes?

2000 4WD Silverado 2500

Every winter I put ~7 sand tubes in the truck bed for rear wheel stability/traction. The problem is keeping the tubes between the wheel wells since they want to slide forward after a bit. I had built a 1x6 wood frame that sat between the tubes and cab end of the bed but just filled with all sorts of crap over a short time.

Any cheap and easy ideas?


Put the sand tubes in the bed, and then put the frame upside down on top of them.

When I had my pickup (I had pickups for 24 years) I built a frame out of 2X4s to the dimensions that had one fore of the wheel wells inside the bed, one aft of the wells and two longitudinally snug inside the insides of the wells and wedged between the front of the bed and the tailgate. I secured it and it could not (because of the fit) move forward, aft, or sideways. It had a board floor and was dimensioned to accept 2X8X16 concrete patio blocks. I then laid two layers of the patio blocks and put a “lid” on it with decking screws. It took some work to design and build, but it worked great for years on end.

That ensured that the “system” was well secured in the event of an accident (none of the blocks or the parts could move within the bed), and gave me a slightly higher floor so I could use the bed normally. In addition, I could put lots of weight in, adjust the weight, and at the end of the season I could simply unscrew the lid and remove the concrete blocks one-by-one then remove the framework.

I also carry Gatorade bottles full of dry sand. Sand that can become wet exacerbate rotting greatly. The Gatorade bottles prevent this, as well as being great for spreading the sand when needed.

Whatever you do, be sure the weight you put in is well secured. Things like concrete blocks can become deadly projectiles in an accident.

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I had a rabbit track cover on my 2wd pickup truck. when there was a snow I opened up the cover and filled the bed with snow from the snowblower, Plenty of traction and the snow would go away by itself after the storm.

Not for ‘my’ frame. The frame was a squared off ‘U’. The bottom of the U pressed against the tubes at the wheel well and the two legs of the U ran to the cab end of the bed. Remembering better, I had a third leg in the middle of the U as a stiffener.

They sell this tape at the home improvement stores. It’s sold in various widths. It’s primary purpose is to stop stair treads from being slippery when wet. By a roll, stick lengths of it to the bed and then place the sand tubes over them. They won’t slide anymore and it does not add structure that traps undesirable “stuff”…

That my man is an excellent idea. The only potential problem will be ‘wet’. The tape is likely just for indoor use. However, if it goes down on a dry bed, then the tubes and gets a few days to set it’ll likely stay put.



I used it for outside steps. I bought some for my mudroom entrance because the PVC tread boards were wicked slippery when wet. They stayed stuck there for a few years before I switched the PVC for a different composite lumber to better match the other decking around the house. Let me go look, think it was a 3M product…

Yep, indoor/outdoor:

3M Safety-Walk Slip-Resistant Tapes and Treads are designed to provide traction on slippery surfaces where potential slips and falls can occur or where safety may be a concern. 3M Safety-Walk Tread has proven durability for long life in heavy traffic areas, as well as ladders, steps and ramps. Quick and easy to use, 3M Safety-Walk Tread is a great choice in anti-slip protection.
Helps create a safer environment for walking, working, stepping and standing
Resistant to abrasion
Self-adhesive backing for quick and easy application
Adhere to clean, dry surfaces
Helps meet OSHA and ADA coefficient of friction requirements
Won’t wrinkle, curl, tear, shrink or lift
For indoor and outdoor use
Easy to cut for a custom fit

In prep for the 3M tape (got the wide one since the bed liner has ribs and must catch at least two ribs each strip for good bond), realized why the ‘water’ in part of the bed hadn’t evaporated–spilled motor oil. 409 left a lot of oil film. Searches recommend Dawn which I can’t believe.

Recommdations for a truly efficient Home Depot/Walmart ‘grease breaker’ assuming same exists?


Instead of going to buy a grease breaker why not try the Dawn and if it works you can use around the house for other cleaning.

Yes, get rid of the “all sort of crap” and use the 1x6 wood frame.

Dawn it is.

I asked a guy at the gym yesterday who is retired from Exxon. He said that Dawn is precisely what the spill mediation folks use to clean oil soaked birds.


I have used tube sand too for many years…great idea. The safest thing to use ! Just a couple of thoughts. I would never put anything in the bed other then the tube sand.If you have tie downs, I have wrapped line around the tubes and tied them in place. On years I get lazy, I stack them forward behind the cab. Though not ideal, I notice very little difference. It’s really not that far from the axle. Putting anything in the middle limits my ability to load other gear and I would not like wood pieces flying around in an accident. .

The tubes are in 2 layers between the wheel wells. The bottom row sits on the 3M tape and stays put. The top layer will move. Once further into winter the 2 layers will freeze together. However, I need a solution for the next month or two.

I see 2 options:

  1. Buy another roll of the 3M tape and apply to the top of the bottom layer–the top layer will then stay put for sure ($27)

  2. Position the top layer correctly then run Gorilla tape in an X across the top row thinking that that will lock the row as a unit. The downside–if the idea doesn’t work and the top row can rack and move I may tear the tube casing removing the super sticky Gorilla tape. The upside—I have the tape therefore no cost.



Go to the hardware store and buy nylon tie down straps. Put at least two around the sand bags and use four to truck tie down hooks and the straps around sand bags. It will make easy removal if necessary.

If you mean the ratchet type that’s a really good idea.

Frankly, I think 1 around both layers is all that’s needed to make the layers act as a unit. Also, attaching to the tie down hooks won’t be necessary given the excellent traction of the base layer to the 3M tread tape.

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They need to be secured to the tie down hooks so they don’t become lethal flying projectiles in case of accident.

Ah, right.

I didn’t realize you planned on two layers. Yes, just affixing them together as a unit should keep them put until they freeze together. Glad to hear the tape worked for you. Just curious, how much ballast do you have with all the sand tubes?

About 600 lbs. The truck is 3/4 ton so I figured I’d need at least that amount to give the springs a decent load. After several days of driving the load ‘feels’ right.