What Is a Headache Rack for a Pickup Truck?

A headache rack is a metal guard that sits atop the bed of a pickup truck, protecting the cab from shifting cargo. It’s designed to prevent any items from falling out of the bed and onto the back window or roof of the truck.

It also serves as an extra layer of protection for anything that may be stored in the bed of the truck.

Headache racks are typically constructed from steel, aluminum or stainless steel, depending on the manufacturer and model. They can be purchased in several different sizes and styles to fit any size pickup truck.

The most popular styles include full-width headache racks, half-width headache racks, louvered racks and lighted racks.

Full-width headache racks are the largest option available, covering the entire width of the bed of your pickup truck. This type offers maximum protection against shifting cargo, and is often used by those who use their trucks for commercial purposes or who transport heavy loads on a regular basis. Half-width headache racks are smaller than full-width racks, but still provide adequate protection against shifting cargo.

Louvered headache racks are similar to full-width models but feature louvers along each side instead of solid panels. These louvers help to improve airflow through the bed of your truck while still providing adequate protection from shifting cargo. Lighted headache racks feature LED lights on each side that can be used for additional visibility when driving at night.


A headache rack is an invaluable accessory for pickup trucks that helps protect both passengers in its cab as well as items stored in its bed from shifting cargo. It’s available in several different sizes and styles that fit any size pickup truck – including full-width, half-width, louvered and lighted models – all designed to provide an extra layer of protection against falling objects.

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Susan Delgado