I bought a Reese ratcheting cargo bar to help keep things from sliding around in the bed of the truck. I went to tighten the bar so it would stay in place and it sounded like the sides of the bed were going to crack. The bar wasn't very tight either, probably not even tight enough to keep it from vibrating loose. Does anyone else use one of these? Is it putting to much pressure on the sides of the bed? What is everyone else using to keep things in place in the back of the truck?
I use a ratcheting cargo bar in my 06. You are correct that the sides are pushing outward when you tighten the bar. They are using much thinner metal than 20 years ago. Even my old 95 seemed like the metal was thicker. I have a rubber bed mat on the floor. It helps keep things from sliding around so I don't need a lot of tension on the bar. If I feel I might need more than that to keep cargo in place, I'll use the rope and tie downs in the bed.
I have two racheting cargo bars. They are handy as sliced bread. I got mine from Pep Boys but I've found out since then that Harbor Freight has one that's pretty much the same for much less. When not in use, I collapse them and store them in one of the tool boxes on the sides of my shell.