Managing the cargo in the bed of your truck can be a real pain in the rear (pun intended). Cargo can slide and become difficult to reach, it hurts your knees to crawl across the bed to retrieve items and cargo in an open truck bed is an invitation for both theft and weather damage. We have good news–each of these issues is easily resolved by a number of readily available accessories for your truck.
The first step is to protect the contents of your truck bed with a quality tonneau cover. Tonneaus come in a variety of styles (hard, soft and retractable) to meet your individual needs. Tonneau covers offer the benefits of security (many are lockable), protection from harsh weather, improved fuel economy through the reduction of wind drag and improved visual styling for your truck. Quality tonneau covers are available from manufacturers like Access, Extang and Bestop.
The hard, ribbed floor in the bed of a truck can wreak havoc on your knees and is susceptible to scratches and dents when loaded with cargo. You can protect your knees, your cargo and the bed of your truck with a quality bed mat from companies like Bed Rug, Dee Zee and Protecta. A bed mat is constructed of rubber, carpet, or some other blend of materials and is designed to cushion the bed of the truck while providing slip resistance to keep cargo from sliding around.
There are a number of options available to keep the cargo in the bed of your truck compartmentalized for better organization and ease of retrieval. Keeper and Lund both manufacture ratcheting cargo bars that allow you to segment the bed of your truck. Loading Zone makes a cargo gate that works much like a bar, but with greater retention ability for smaller cargo items. There are also a number of tie-down straps available to securely fasten items to the bed of your truck to prevent unwanted movement or shifting.
The ultimate in compartmentalization is a cargo box…and there are many styles and designs from which to choose. If you need something small and convenient, Undercover makes a line of plastic cases (called Swing Case) that mount in front of the tailgate and swing out for easy access. If you need something a bit beefier, you can mount larger steel and aluminum boxes behind your cab or along your side rails. Delta, UWS and Dee Zee all produce quality boxes in a variety of styles and finishes.
Whatever truck you drive and whatever your cargo management needs may be, there is likely a solution out there for you. Do your research and get that bed organized.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.