Hey Folks, (do not read unless you are a dog lover)
I've discovered a safe way to transport large breed dogs using the Utili-track system. Using this method will keep your dog from jumping out of the bed while you are transporting him and allow you to travel down the highway without fear of your four footed friend getting hurt, or worse, killed.
Here's how to do it: Position a tie-down cleat on the Utili-trac channel behind the cab. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy about 31/2 feet of nylon rope and a spring clasp. They are next to each other on the shelf. The total cost will be only about $2.00. Tie one end of the rope on the tie-down cleat and the other end on the spring clasp. After you do this, clip the clasp to your dog's collar and test it out. Be sure to make it short enough so that your dog can't attempt to jump out and "hang" himself on the side of the truck. This is why you need to center the tie-down cleat in the middle of the cab. After this is done cut off the excess rope. Leave just a few inches so that you can tweak the length if you need to. If you are concerned that your dog will get hit in the eyes with bugs, cut the rope short enough so that he can't put his head around the cab. I don't worry too much about this because the side view mirrors will deflect almost all of the bugs. This set up has really worked for me and I hope that it works for you.
A word concerning safety: I realize that it is safer inside the cab for your dog than the bed. I don't even want to think about collisions, rollovers, etc. However it is not always practical to put your dog inside the cab. My dog loves to go to the lake and play in the mud so the bed is the perfect place for him on the way back. For me to not transport him in the bed would deny him of what he really likes to do. DO NOT put your dog in the bed on a hot summer day without putting down a large piece of scrap carpet for him to stand on. In the summer the bed can get as hot as a skillet. Be sure to touch the bed with your fingers first to test the temperature. Also, do not leave your dog unattended for any length of time in the bed. I wouldn't transport your dog for more than about an hour to avoid too much sun and dehydration. Lastly, do not drive like an idiot with your dog in the bed and sling him around. It might be a good idea to use a piece of scrap carpet each time you transport yor dog so that he will have something for his claws to grip onto.