The beds for the years '54 to '60 are kind of complex and confusing, and this is an attempt to clear this up. Pre '54 and post '60 I'm not sure about so this whole article is for years relevent to the website. Dave Fenner, Eric Bannerman, Jared Weeks contributed to this page. Thanks fellas!
The short bed was 6 1/2' long and approxiamately 54-55" wide. Dodge called this a Utiline, however it is better know as a stepside. It has a outside step on the bottom of the bed in front of the fender, hence the generic and common name. This same basic bed was used up to '85.
The long bed was 7 1/2' long and the same 54-55" wide. Also called a Utiline, but again, better known as stepside. They also made a 9' bed for 1 tons as the picture on the right shows. Pretty rare compared to the 6 1/2' and 7 1/2' bed. I'm not sure when these two beds were stopped being produced, but I know for sure they were made til the mid 70s.
Flare top, flat top
The flared or angled top bed rails were made in the '54 and '55 years, with some '56s, and on all 3 length beds. In late '56 the bed rails were switched to a flat top. The flat top bed was standard up to end of production in mid 80s.
Low side, high side
Another thing to throw into the mix is the low sided box (left) and high sided box (right). Notice the difference in gaps between the bottom of the bed rails and top of fenders in each photo. The low sides also ended in early '56, and were rare for that year.
All the step side beds (Utiline) had wood floors with metal strips to keep the boards aligned and warp free. No metal floors on the stepsides.
The 1st ones are for the short beds on '59 and '60 trucks. The long ones in the next picture are for the long beds and are for the '54 to '58 trucks. The short box '54 to '58 had the same runningboards but were about 8 inches shorter. The 3rd picture shows the 3rd kind of runningboard that was used on the Town Wagons and Panels from '54 to '58. They were also used on the 1 tons up to '58, plus the '57 and '58 Sweptsides. The last picture shows the in cab runningboards (commonly called insteps) that all the '59 and '60 pickups had, eliminating the outside runningboards. The 1 1/2 ton on up trucks may have used an outside runningboard with the in cab boards.
Fenders on stepsides
As you can see here, they did use the pre '54 fenders on some pre '58 beds. Mostly for the duallies but they did plant some pre '53 fenders on a few stepside beds. This is a tough one as it didn't follow any particular pattern. My best guess is that they used pre '53 fenders on some trucks to get rid of an excessive inventory.
Look close, the 1st (left) is a '57 and the 2nd (right) is a '60. I've seen some trucks with 3 or 4 stake pockets, usually 3 pockets, on 9' 1 ton models. Most 1/2 and 3/4 tons had the 2 pockets.
The wide bed was 6 1/2' long and approxiamately 6' wide. Dodge called this a Sweptline (not to be confused with Sweptside). Some people call it fleetside. It has a no outside step but does have wheelwells inside the bed for extra space, and the way it was designed. Also, the cab had a step inside the cab, on the floor, thus no runningboards. This bed was used for 2 years only, '59 and '60. The mold setup was then sold to Studebaker. They shortened up the longer version of this bed about 6 or 9 inches (not sure which) in front of the wheel opening and used it for about 10-12 years. In '61, Dodge had a Sweptline but it was a different bed design.
The long bed was 8'3"' long. Also called a Sweptline, but again, better known as fleetside. They also made a 9' bed for 1 tons as the picture on the right shows. Very rare today. These two beds were only produced 2 years also. No runningboards here, the step inside the cab on these too. There was no flare top, or flat top, also no low side or high side on these beds. But, there was one thing different.......
All the fleetside beds (Sweptline) had all metal floors. No wood anywhere. This picture isn't too good as there is a fuel cell and spring towers from a Camero rear clip in this bed. But it does give you an idea of what they looked like.
The factory name is Stake side but they are known by the generic and common name as flatbeds. The stake sides were removable. They had 2 sizes, 7 1/2' on the left, and 9' on the right. As far as I know they were not for anything under 1 ton.
A utility box made for hauling tools etc. for contractors. The brochure says they made two models. I think I've only seen 4 of these in pictures. I don't know if they had a wood floor or metal floor. Very rare.
This one was on ebay recently (2006) out of Arizona.
All the Sweptside models had wood floors. They were built by using the 7 1/2' stepside bed, taking the outside fenders off and mounting 2 door station wagon quarter panels on the outside of the box. More on this in the "To Build a Sweptside" page.
The 4 tailgates from the different beds. The 1st one is the narrow bed with a low bed. The next one is the regular tailgate that fit the high side flare and the regular flat top. The next one is the Sweptline tailgate that fit all metal floor beds called Sweptline. The last picture is a Sweptside which used the same tailgate as the second picture but they mounted a latching system on the top of the tailgate and covered the system with metal, then mounted an outside handle to open it. I don't think the stepside tailgates were embossed with the DODGE letters after '60, but I could be wrong.