No, it wasn't made in Mexico. I'm trying to get my dept. to fund this project as we have REALLY deep hose beds. This particular device was originally only designed as a prototype, with aluminum sides on the actual working model. It's basically a treated 2x8 ripped to fit between the hose bed dividers. A treated 2x4 is attached to the bottom to raise it so it clears the divider brackets on the bottom. I also planed the boards as well so they were smooth, this helps to slide the tray and hose in and out. I used good quality 2 1/2" deck screws to attach the boards. I also attached a handle on the end and a slide latch to lock it in place using the deck screws as well. This particular tray was designed to go on a Sutphen which has a chanel running across the back of the hose bed, so the latch is made to line up with it. Some brands may not have that so you would have to carefully drill a hole to accomodate the latch. The sides are 3/16" masonite. Masonite was used just to mock up the tray, as hopefully permanent trays would have 1/8" aluminum sides. Aluminum adds about $150 to the cost, depending on current prices. As built it was around $60. Using masonite will probably work on an engine that isn't real busy, and it would have to be treated with Thompson's Water seal or paste wax to repel water. It wouldn't take a lot of abuse, but the trade off is that it's real cheap, $13-15 a sheet and you can get 3 sides out of one 4x8 sheet (16" high). I attached the sides with stainless steel screws and counter sunk the holes so they were flush. The whole tray was made so there would be 1/16" clearance on both sides. Some dividers may need stiffening above the hose tray. I've seen some that have 5" on the other side, and there is some bowing in the center. A piece of C-channel may help that. You also have to MAKE SURE your dividers are parallel front to back otherwise the tray could bind.
This tray will accomodate any kind of hose load, and up to 300' of hose. Three people can easily lift it into the hose bed. Two can do it if needed, but it tends to be hard to keep it from tipping with just two. If you use a short leader section of hose to your preconnect, you'll never have to climb up into the hose bed, you can attach it on the ground. You just load it as you were loading a normal hose bed, only on the ground. Leave 2-3 feet sticking out the front end to attach your leader hose, and then just lift it up and slide it in. We've tried it out and there's no problem deploying the hose. We've even used it to slide the hose into the hose bed and then slide the tray out leaving the hose in the bed. (although that takes a little practice.) Hose loading is a lot safer and quicker with a hose tray. This is just a cheaper solution for those that can't afford a fancy one. You will probably need a table saw, but a good carpenter can rig up a straight edge and use a circular saw. Planing is really nice, but a belt sander will work good too. Hope this idea helps make things easier and safer for some of you that can use it.Attachment 21806Attachment 21807Attachment 21808Attachment 21809