Truck back racks or also known as headache racks are a truck accessory that mounts to the cab of your truck. In doing so, they provide protection to the passengers from the cargo in the box. Also, provides a place to mount gear and carry ladders in your truck box.

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The addition of a headache rack to your pickup truck provides many benefits. These protective and utility benefits include:

Headache back racks have a design for safety. They cover the rear window and cab of the truck with metal bars and/or a wire mesh. This stops materials and tools from breaking through the back window.

Back racks are a great way for mounting extra lights without the need to drill into your truck. Off-road lights, lightbar, utility lighting, sports lighting, antennas and more can get mounted to a headache rack.

The addition of a headache rack to your pickup truck secures the rear window with bars. This is great for stopping any people passing by who are up to no good from smashing your window.

Back Racks are the perfect truck accessory for carrying ladders and long loads. They provide extra length for carrying over sized loads, some up to 20 feet long.

With a headache rack, you can secure and haul tools without worrying about them sliding around. The addition of a headache rack to a truck gives you support beams. Beams you can hook a bungee cord or ratchet strap around.

Scared to drill into your truck bed to mount a toolbox? Truck back racks allow you to install a truck bed toolbox without any drilling necessary.

Super duty headache racks can make a truck look powerful and improve the appearance.

Louvered headache racks redirect the sunlight away from the cab of your truck. This keeps the truck cab cooler, more comfortable and the suns rays out of your eyes while driving.

You may have heard truck back racks called many different names from back racks, cab guards and headache racks. Now you’re thinking why are they called headache racks?

There are two different theories on how truck back racks became headache racks.

The first theory for how truck back racks got their name is they prevent headaches from an accident. Headache racks protect the window preventing tools and equipment from breaking through. Also, they secure the shifting cargo in your box using bungee cords and ratchet straps.

The second theory for the name headache racks is truck owners being unaware while in the bed of their truck. In turn, smacking their head off the bottom beam causing a headache.

Headache racks get manufactured in four different materials. They are powder-coated steel, stainless steel, aluminum and composite (steel & aluminum). The main materials being powder-coated steel and aluminum.

Headache back racks made from steel are the most common that’s bought. Steel is a stronger metal that doesn’t break as easily as aluminum. Also, it’s lower cost and you can weld extra attachments to it easier.

Steel headache racks can get coated with a product like rust-oleum. This is to prevent rusting and add corrosion resistance.

Headache racks made from aluminum have their own benefits over steel. It’s a lighter metal that is more corrosion resistant.

Back rack truck racks can be roof-mounted or bed-mounted. They are available in many different styles. Four of the main headache racks available today are:

  • Low profile, minimalist design that offers the basic level of protection to your cab.
  • Constructed out of 12 gauge steel and finished with a black powder coat.
  • No drilling required for installation and easy to install.
  • Separate brackets available to install if you have a tonneau cover or toolbox in your truck bed
  • Unique design giving extra added protection to your truck while hauling cargo
  • High-quality durable 12 gauge steel.
  • Coated using a multi-stage dipping process.
  • No drill installation.
  • Manufactured out of 12 gauge steel

  • Finished with a black powder coating for rust protection.

  • Features a wire mesh for full window protection preventing damage to the cab of your truck.

  • Easy to bolt-on.

  • Separate brackets are available to install with a toolbox or tonneau cover.

  • It gives you the ability to carry long ladders and longer loads.

  • Durable larger frame design.

  • Made from a heavy-duty 12 gauge steel and finished with a black powder coat for rust protection.

  • Brackets are available if you want to install your back rack and have a tonneau cover or toolbox already.

Extra lighting equipment can get mounted to headache back racks with no drilling. Buy a back rack light adapter mount to secure your new lighting without the worry about water damage.

Headache back racks and tonneau covers can get used together. But, you will need to buy a tonneau cover adapter to mount them.

Have a toolbox in the bed of your truck and want to add a headache rack? Headache back racks and truck toolboxes can both get used in your truck with a special toolbox adapter.

Headache racks are very easy to install into the stake pockets of your truck bed. It’s advised to make use of extra risers and spacers for a more secure and rigid fit.

Interested in building your own custom headache back rack? Check out this guide!

Back racks are used mainly for protecting passengers in the cab and utility for securing things to the box.

Most back rack models are rated to carry between 20 – 50 lbs. However, there are heavy duty models available that support up to 80 lbs.

The price for a back rack depends on which model you want to purchase. However, the prices for headache racks range between $150 – $350.

In order to install your back rack to your truck with a tonneau cover you’ll need to purchase an adapter. The tonneau cover back rack adapter can be found here.

Back racks have specific mounting hardware that works for that vehicle model. To find a back rack that is compatible with your pickup truck check out this back rack sizing guide.

It is possible to install a tool box and a back rack together. However, it requires a mounting kit for the toolbox to fit properly. You can find the toolbox mounting kits here.