If you own a truck, you know how important it can be to keep your belongings that you store in the bed protected from the weather or theft. This is why so many people opt for installing a truck bed cover on their pickups. Unlike camper shells, bed covers do not create additional vertical cargo space but do offer a nice low-profile solution to keep items safe. They are also easy to install and remove. An added benefit is that truck bed covers can reduce drag on your vehicle meaning you can get an increase in miles per gallon of 5 to 10 percent.
Today’s truck bed covers come in a variety of designs and with a variety of materials. Design selection includes soft rollup, folding, retractable, hard, hinged, and toolbox.
Historically, the most basic type of truck bed covers are made from cloth or vinyl and use a rib-like system to support the fabric and keep it taut. The next most common type of truck bed cover is the roll-up truck bed cover which is a unit mounted at the front of the bed just behind the cab. There is usually a small rectangular box attached at each side of the bed and inside the box is a retractable fabric or plastic cover that can be rolled out and secured to the end of the bed. This type is more convenient to use as it doesn’t involve any difficult or time-consuming assembly or disassembly unlike other styles.
Hard plastic or fiberglass truck bed covers are quite popular because they have the best appearance. These covers tend to be painted to match the truck (unlike the other styles which are generally black), fiberglass is solid in construction, and can be locked making it more secure than the other types. Fiberglass tops are usually heavy and requires gas struts to assist in opening and closing them. They operate much like a vehicles hood, opening from the tailgate end of the bed (back to front). Some of these truck bed covers are available with multiple compartments that will open front to back, back to front, side to side, or even rise vertically. Fiberglass or hard plastic truck bed covers are sometimes installed as a factory option with some new vehicles.
Folding truck bed covers are favored for their fast bed access, simple installation and value. The hinged truck bed covers transform your truck’s bed into a full-blown trunk. Fast, pivoting access is the hallmark of the hinged tonneau. Retractable tonneau covers offer the best security for your truck bed. Once you add a retractable tonneau cover, it’s like having an industrial strength garage door protecting your cargo. Plus, retractable tonneau covers deliver a stylish, low profile that not only looks great, but helps to improve fuel economy.
And last, the toolbox truck bed covers bring together the best of the bed world – tool storage and bed coverage. Toolbox bed covers are for truck owners who want a tonneau cover but don’t really want to give up the advantage of owning a truck toolbox.
Truck bed covers also help protect your vehicle’s bed from rusting or filling full of leaves and debris while parked.
So whether you want to save gas, protect your belongings or keep your truck bed free from debris, a truck bed cover is the way to go – it’s just a matter of deciding which one.