We’re not scientists here at Wiley, but over the years we’ve picked up a fair bit of Physics knowhow. One of the most important Laws of Physics has to with momentum – that thing about a body in motion continuing in motion. Momentum is why we have seat belts, and it’s why work trucks should have headache racks.

Headache Racks Explained

headache rack is the name for that frame you’ll sometimes see behind the cab of a pickup or utility truck. Sometimes it’s called a rear window guard, (which doesn’t sound nearly so much fun.)

This rack is an inverted “U”-shaped metal fabrication fitted across the width of the bed and shaped to the profile of the cab. The inside of the “U” is usually filled with a mesh insert of some description, although sometimes it’s left open to allow access to the rear window.

Window guards are usually fabricated from aluminum extrusion. That saves weight as compared to using steel, and of course, aluminum won’t rust. Aluminum’s not so easy to weld though, and it’s important to use a structural grade.

Some people will tell you a this rack provides rollover protection. That may be true, particularly if it’s made from thick section quality material, although we’re not making that claim. What a headache rack will do though, or rather, what the mesh will do, is prevent your load from joining you in the cab if you have to stop suddenly.

Reasons Why Your Truck Needs One

Read up on rear window guards and you’ll find all kinds of claims. Some folk say they protect the truck from damage. Others note that the mesh cuts down on the sunlight reaching the interior, which is not a bad thing. However, we think the top four reasons for fitting a rear window guard rack, (in reverse order,) are:

4. Looks

It’s hard to argue that a good headache rack makes a statement. It says your your truck is a work tool and not something you bought just because it looks cool. Of course, it’s not reason enough on its own, but it doesn’t hurt.

3. Light mounting

If you spend a lot of time on job sites there will be occasions when you want more light. A  rack on your truck is a great place for mounting extra lights to help you see what you’re doing. They’re also good for high level brake lights or signs you might want to put out.

2. Increased storage/carrying capacity

A pair of headache racks – one at the cab and one at the tailgate – make great supports for ladders. Even just a single rack gives you a way of carrying things too long to lay down in the bed. Adding tie-downs to the rack makes it easy to secure said long things, which brings us to the top reason for buying a rear window rack.

1. Better safety

If you’re driving a pickup or utility truck and need to stop suddenly, everything in the bed wants to come through the rear window. Obviously, that’s not a good thing. A good quality aluminum rack prevents that and keeps you safe. It’s that simple.

An Essential Add-on

If you carry tools or materials in the bed of a pickup you need a rear window guard. If you need more storage space in your utility truck, get a headache rack. If your truck is a serious work tool, fit a headache rack. It will help keep you safe, and if you get it from us it will look good too.