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Panel Truck Wood Floor Changes

The very practical panel truck produced from the early 1920’s through 1970 was an excellent cargo vehicle. Merchandise was protected from the weather and equally important from easy theft. Being a freight hauler, its cargo floor is like the pickup truck. Hard yellow pine and cross sills support the weight and merchandise slides on the metal strips.

Though not obvious, a major floor design occurred in the 1/2 ton panel truck in 1950 of the Advance Design years. Prior to this, the floor consisted of about six wood panels, each separated by 1/4″. Covering this gap was the necessary 1 1/2″ wide metal bed strips. To prevent dust from coming through the wood plank separations, GM changed the bed to a single piece of 3/4″ marine plywood in 1950. It appears this was the same size that was used with the flat floor board Suburban. However, with the panel truck the plywood was grooved for the bed strips. Once installed in the truck it looked like strips between the earlier individual planks.

The reason for the new plywood design was to lessen dust entering the storage area (at least in cool weather).  Most back roads were dirt and gravel.  Thus, owners complained that small amounts of dust would come in between the bed strips and settle on merchandise.

With the change in the bed floor, the length of the strips were reduced from 82′ to 79 1/2″ at least three of the punched holes in the early and late strips are in a different position.

panel truck wood floor changes1

1947-1950 1/2 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

panel truck wood floor changes 2

1947-1950 1 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

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