Do you work out of your truck for a living? If so, you probably don’t think of massive lift kits, fender flares, or custom stereos when you think of “truck accessories.” Odds are, you’re looking for truck add-ons that will improve performance or function. If they improve your truck’s looks? That’s just a nice bonus.
Here’s a list of affordable accessories that make sense for work truck owners.
Storage Accessories That Make Sense
If you work from your truck, you can never have too much storage. A dry and secure area to store tools, extra supplies, or even keep some sodas cold is never a bad thing. Some of the most popular (and logical) storage accessories include:
- Toolboxes, either directly behind the cab (like this) or the wheel wells (like these storage boxes), are affordable, rugged, and weatherproof.
- Under seat and behind the seat storage solutions are great for valuable tools, paperwork, and personal gear like your fishing tackle or your kid’s toys. They help you keep your truck’s interior ready for work.
- Tonneau covers. Because they’re lockable, they can be used to protect your gear when you’re not at your truck. Because they’re folding, you can flip them out of your way completely when you’re working out of your truck.
- Toppers, aka Camper Shells make sense for work truck owners who need secure, dry storage. The only trouble is, you have to completely unload the bed to get to the gear in the front, which is why a folding, locking tonneau might make more sense.
Also known as nerf bars or side steps, step bars have some genuine benefits for work truck owners:
- They make roof and bed access a little easier, especially if you go with a wheel to wheel step bar from a company like N-Fab, Lund, or Westin. When you just have to grab something quick, it’s nice to be able to stand on the side of the truck rather than climbing in the bed.
- Step bars protect your truck’s body from damage. They’re not rock rails, of course, but they give you a little cushion if you tangle with an obstacle.
- They’re great for access when your passengers aren’t very tall, when your truck is parked at an odd angle. Like on the side of a mountain, something I’ve done personally at construction sites in Colorado on more than one occasion. And when you’re trying to communicate from one truck to another. Stand up on the bar and yell as loud as you can for maximum effect.
Bedliners are the most obvious work truck accessory there is. The trouble is, most bedliners aren’t warrantied for commercial use. According to PickupTrucks.com, neither LINE-X, Rhino, or Duraliner warranty their products for work truck use. Therefore, before you go and buy a spray-in liner, be sure to do your research.
Protecting Your Interior Is Protecting Resale
Seat covers and floor mats might seem like ridiculous add-ons for work trucks, but they make a lot of sense when you consider resale value. Granted, “old work trucks” don’t exactly break the bank when it’s time to sell, but it’s often because old work trucks look like old work trucks.
The solution? Protect your truck’s appearance. If you protect your seats with a rugged covering like these, your old truck won’t look quite as old when it’s time to sell. The same goes for protecting the carpet with a good set of floor mats.
The few hundred dollars you spend protecting your truck’s interior will save you at least that much when it’s time to sell your old truck, as consumers are far more likely to buy an old work truck that looks well cared for.
Most people don’t seem to think about tires when they think about truck accessories, but the simple fact is, most brand new trucks come with mediocre tires. With a few exceptions, the average new pickup has “highway” tires that are primarily designed to boost fuel economy. They’re rarely load rated E (which is what most work truck owners want), and their tread is mostly designed to maximize fuel economy.
Upgrading to a set of serious work truck tires isn’t exactly cheap. A good set of work-rated all terrain tires can run upwards of $800. But it’s a logical investment if you’re worried about your factory tires leaving you stuck or stranded.
What do you think – any work truck accessories we missed?
A self-described “car nerd,” Jason is a automotive columnist who has written for the eBay Motors blog, Motor Car Digest, as well as his own sites TundraHeadquarters.com and AccurateAutoAdvice. With an engineering degree, a full-time job in the automotive parts industry, and a decade of experience working in auto dealerships, Jason brings an interesting perspective on all things automotive.