A Legge Up – Leo’s Flat Deck Fab
We managed to track down this busy young man and squeeze some content for a piece on his awesome Flat Deck Build…here’s how it went:
SW: Tell us more about Leo Legge…where did you grow up? Who influenced you as a younger sledder (introduced you to sledding)? Tell us where you are located now?
LL: I’m 28 years old and I grew up in Winterland (Newfoundland), which is a little town South of Marystown. I was at a very young age when I started snowmobiling as my father would use snowmobiles as a means to get firewood from the backcountry to home, so just from being around them from the age of being able to fit into a snowsuit it was always a big interest of mine and its something my family would do together. Using them to haul wood and trail ride quickly turned into mischief of jumping and getting into situations where getting stuck and spending hours shovelling would be the verdict.
After working turnarounds for several years, I made the move to Grande Prairie, Alberta which is where I live now. There are many opportunities to explore some beautiful and challenging terrain which I have come to love. My go to place to ride on the weekends is Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia which is only two hours from my town and every time I go its a changing experience with changing terrain and just finding new areas and new people to ride with.
SW: The deck built…why did you want to do this?
LL: For quite a few years I’ve always ran sled decks on my trucks but as many of you know that using sled decks with lifted trucks can sometimes be a challenge either for ramps being too steep, slipping and falling off of the side of the truck when tying down sleds, and also for just the top heavy aspect and holding the wind on those highway drives. So after being here in Alberta for a while and seeing the versatility of flat decks for either welding rigs, picker trucks, or just for hot shooting materials around it kind of opened my eyes to a possible setup for carrying snowmobiles and strange enough it eliminates any issue I’ve had in the past.
SW: How did you start into this build?
LL: My flat deck build first started out by a friend of mine getting an amazing deal of $1050 on a closeout sale for his welding truck, once he had it installed on his truck I really began to size things up and take some measurements to see if it matched up anywhere close to my 7′ Denali sled deck i had last year. Pleasantly, it worked out perfectly the same in length and is just wide enough to fit two mountain sleds with the new standard 36″ front ends which seem to be on most all snowmobiles these days. So with that I went and picked up one of these closeout decks on sale and used this as my baseline to start something.
SW: Walk us through the steps?
LL: So to start things off this deck came to fit a Ford Super Duty chassis so I had to build my own cross members underneath the deck running from one frame rail to the next sitting on my factory box mounts on my truck frame (RAM 2500). Next was to come up with a design of what I wanted the lower sides/fenders to look like on the deck, so I got myself a few big pieces of cardboard and just took some measurements, cut out the different shapes onto the cardboard and taped them into place on the truck. With a little bit of trial and error and sitting back just staring at the thing I finally found the look and shape I wanted. I then took those cardboard cut out pieces and used them as templates to cut out of some 1/8″ steel plate, tacking it all into place, and then finally blazing it all out. Next was the headache rack/window protection, I cut the old one off that came on
the deck because it just gave me that old beat up work truck vibe and well just didn’t have that custom look. So much the same as the rest it was just to come up with something in my head and turn it into steel. After some time after I had everything done and decided there was no more modification needed, I sprayed the deck, front bumper, rockers, and bottoms of the doors on the truck with Upol Raptor Liner, by far the easiest to use and best product like this I’ve used ever, Im very pleased.
SW: What was the biggest challenge along the way?
LL: To try and narrow things down to what was my biggest challenge would be a difficult task in itself, as the entire project has been a challenge to myself in seeing if my abilities are as strong as i had hoped they would be. Its been a great experience and its made me a lot more confident in myself and my abilities in engineering a design, fabrication work and painting.
SW: What questions/comments do you get from folks?
LL: I often get the thumbs up on the highway by other drivers who like the look of my truck setup. What I get the most of is just random people at gas stations or store parking lots coming up to me and asking me about my truck, or asking where did I get a flat deck like this which I reply, “I built it”. That in return opens up a whole other conversation of people wanting to know all the details which is what I really enjoy because it makes those long nights working on it worth the conversation.
SW: Would you recommend this type of project for a DIY type person?
LL: If your a DIY (Do It Yourself) type of person and you like a challenge, and you like seeing your own hard work pay off I say go for it. Because in all its just a positive thing where you can strengthen your abilities, find out your limitations if you have any, break those limitations, and just feel more confident in your own work and be proud to show it off and share it with others.
Do you have a Project that you’d like to share with the readers of Sledworthy? Contact us, [email protected] to see where it might go.