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PRODUCT RELEASE - North American Built Aluminum Trays And Canopies - by SET

We've all seen them scrolling through countless nomadic YouTube videos of overlanding and the outdoors. Are Instagram feeds and META posts are inundated with picture, after video, after picture more. You're tired of friends forwarding pics and links to them so we can all say "enough already!" and have the consensus; Why are they oddly cool and why don't they have them here on this side of the pond?

Aluminum trays as they are commonly called as, and their often coupled canopy counterparts are a vehicle mod that we here at 12° North Industries refer to as a "buy once, cry once" type mod that definitely separates the men from the boys when it comes to the overlanding communities abroad let alone here on our North American Shores, but they're out here trust us.

There are a few and world-wide renown builders, mostly in the Southern hemisphere of this big blue planet, who make such trays and most often matched with aluminum canopies, even some intuitive accessories; Norweld has an interesting single foothold type step that easily attached and detached with ease from a simple lashing point along the side of the tray.. luv it!

Companies like Norweld, Sherptek, Patriot, MITS, and GCI, to name a few of the more popular brands. Sprinkling in some newcomers in markets from more than the Australian and South African markets and expanding them into new territories and markets.

Everyone of the aforementioned companies are great companies and have years of experience of providing multitudes of solutions for the securing of and storing cargo, gear, and providing an automotive architecture for productivity. Now whether you use or need a tray with or without a canopy for camping & overlanding purposes versus a tray with collapsible steak-bed sides and/or rack systems geared towards commercial opportunities will determine materials such as aluminum or steel, thereby offer brands that will work for your specific needs.

A typical USDM, basic CM flatbed seen above, will come in at an astonishing 740 pounds without the addition of any toolboxes, drawer systems, bed sides (stake bed), or anything extra. A similar popular 8ft aluminum tray for example from an Australian source can be between 400-700lbs here with said options. Most of the aluminum trays based upon the overlanding design conceptually are pretty stout, and durability isn't the issue or even a concern, its the weight penalties associated for many along with the above mentioned abilities to not impede on the expectations of multi-terrain capabilities.

Without mostly being imported from the land down under in Australia, out of South Africa, or even New Zealand, at least not without being made from steel materials and or that of commercial application use, which doesn't really suit the "overland" world. These applications also often have a more than horrible break-over and how their departure angles are employed, low hanging bits and storage boxes often squared off and not meant with the uneven terrain thoughts in mind whereas the overland aluminum based units are built differently to accommodate those concerns as well as the weight penalties.

So let's jump in, who is SET and what will it mean for 12° North Industries?

Summit Expedition Trucks, or SET, is a North American based Aluminum Tray and canopy manufacture with its Area Operations in Canada by, you guessed it, happy Canadians, for the North American based vehicle platforms in mind. Without having the difficulties of another continents differences of Transportation Regulations (DOT) to take away from things less restrictive or not allowed at all by offerings of aluminum trays not seen on our side of the pond.

Like any market place or industry for that matter, you can only be the best until someone finds out a more innovative way to do what you do, and do it better with more innovations and better yet, bring it closer to a level of affordability for a gravitating community. Yes, its more about the quality and services provided than the cost factors but at the same time having a vehicle mod of this scale closer within reach with the customer service plans and quality product makes a buy once, cry once product less of a dent in the wallet, and that affords a new level of customer base that we're looking to work and grow with here at 12° North Industries.

The SET aluminum trays are a modular ready system and are of a fully welded construction meant to give you years of service and the offerings not seen on this side of the pond at a price example not found before shipping and/or installation fees, possibly taking away that opportunity to satisfy a purchase.

The trays are designed for full-size and mid-sized trucks alike with a option for some custom options. Starting with full-sized truck tray options all trays are a full 79.875" in (2028.825 mm) wide, and will fit trucks from 5'5 ft with options such as 72" -78" inches, trucks with 6'5 ft beds 84" - 90" inches, and trucks with the larger 8 ft beds an option for 96" - 108" inches.

What we found impressive was the mid/mini-sized truck options. As you would expect for the differences in all of the late model trucks offering 5ft to 6ft beds with 60,72, and 84" tray lengths, what most other brands do not offer an option for is the multiple tray widths that SET does. So yes, those of you hardcore 20-25 year old Ford Ranger, Toyota P/U, and early on Nissan Hardbody trucks, we have a tray for you that is only 66.125" in wide so the tray is meant for you, and not concerned a Hughs aircraft, "Little Bird" helicopter may mistake you for a mobile heli-pad. Additional widths in the Mid-sized trucks are 72.125" inches and 76.125" inches respectively for late model platforms.

The SET trays offer extruded flooring or decks flanked by full length and gusseted tie-down rails for added strength integrated along the trays sides for adding into a sleek low profile look. All accessories (aside from interior tie downs), are easily bolted on, and do not require upfront purchase. For those of you with the later model trucks with the likes of backup sensors, rear view camera's, and modern trailer connections, relocation of both 7 and/or 4-pin plug types are already in places, and for those famously like our Toyota with an external but bed mounted power-inverters, are thoughtfully accessible and fully functional.

Speaking of options, SET has implemented the use of thought out and electrical Plug & Play setups that makes the transition to the SET aluminum tray setup far simpler. SET has plug and play supplement harness that allow you to connect to your OEM wiring harness saving time and eliminating the need to "hack" into your original harness. The last thing we want you to be concerned with is the issue of a loss of brake lights or other options at an inopportune time on the trail or worse yet, in traffic. It's likely no California bears or majestically agile mountain goats in Nevada are going to complain they didn't see your blinker or brake lights active. Additionally to remain DOT compliant reflectors and as an option are available side marker lights if SARS should ever have to look for you in a ditch or gully.

If the occasion should arise that you for any reason need to ever return your vehicle back to stock. It couldn't get any simpler with the ability to just uninstall the waterproof OE connector from your harness wiring for taillights/turn signals, brake, reverse, and license plate lighting too.

As you would expect, each tray comes with the appropriated fuel filler relocation kit for a clean look and from the base packaging upwards throughout the system has a near infinite ability to be upgraded and or even customized to a degree. All decks come with the included and 33” inch tire compatible fender kit, and we have upgrade options available up to 40” tires. All of the headboards come pre-cut to install spare tire(s), the mounting hardware kit(s) are a separate option but made available for single or dual spare tire options. Offering two size heights, measure from deck floor to head board top depending on full/mid-sized trays.

To complete the tray functionality, tray sides are a great feature and give you a quick release system to maintain a box like function in a matter of seconds! At 10” tall these are excellent for retaining loose materials and keeping them confined. In regards to storage? We can never have enough of it or organization in our book! The tool boxes are an easy bolt on storage solution to any of our decks at the time of build or later down the road. We have multiple size options available to give you the flexibility of maximizing your build or keeping it practical.

Depending on use, the biggest nuisance when transporting your ATV vehicles can be your ramps. Where and how to safely store them becomes the question? The under body storage cubby is designed with just that in mind. Spanning at least 6ft in length, these are an excellent way to keep your ramps secured. In the event it starts to build up with mud, simply park on an incline and spray out with a hose.

Those looking for alternative storage solutions and capabilities. A fully sealed, lockable compartment, ideal for storing long or obscure items, while keeping them clean and dry extends 4ft outwards, and features easy license plate attachment. Adding to that additional space forward of that is an option for a water tank meant to keep the weight centered and down low for better center of gravity. Sometimes water isn’t as easily accessible as one might hope so be prepared with the optional water tank!. Giving you the ability to carry up to 12.5 gallons (47 litres) of potable water. Easily bolted on again even if years or months down the road take place.

A few more mention able items add even further convenience by adding in a side table that can be used as a work bench, or a place to prep food. This little table easily stows away in the rear drawer or canopy. The side step is a great little feature for when wanting to climb up onto the canopy should you opt for one, and is much safer than standing on the tire! If not a canopy, there is always the option for a rear ladder rack. Easily bolts on with 6 bolts and makes transporting ladders, lumber, kayaks or canoes a breeze. Taking it even further, i know, as if it couldn't get better, Flip-up Brackets - flip-up brackets that can be installed on the ladder rack and head board to keep material from sliding over the sides. Can be installed from initial order, or later. Both options available for both mid-size and full-size trucks. If adding to your existing deck/tray, please note some drilling is required.

All tray systems can always be upgraded or re-modded. This provides the flexibility so you can purchase the base package, and then add any additional accessories to your configuration as they are needed. As for canopies, we're going to ask that you stay tuned, as SET finishes up their designs but we're telling you now, the options for canopies is just another game changer.

Canopies - Full Size

Canopies - Mid Size

In the meantime, have a look at the 3D renders of what SET is proposing above! More details on additional features, options, and interiors to come! Once the launch of the canopies is announced, again here you will see all the interior and exterior accessories that will be available to tailor your canopy to your specific needs! Let us and SET know your thoughts in the comments below.

Contact us below for availability and pricing, and subscribe to keep updated.

All Photos::

  • Summit Expedition Trucks

  • 12° North Industries

  • CM Flatbed


Sales: 702.781.0302


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