What Are the Best Types of Protection for Your Truck Bed?
You say you just spent $40,000 on a new truck and you want to keep it looking great? Wonderful! The problem is, that new truck has to work just as hard it will play. Loading tools and supplies for the job site in and out of the bed every day is going to take its toll. Even if the only work your truck will do is those weekly trips to the home improvement warehouse, it won’t be very long before your new truck’s bed looks like they reenacted the battle of Gettysburg back there.
Dents, scratches, and rust can really drag down the trade-in value when that time comes, even if the rest of your truck is pristine. Fortunately, there are lots of solutions out there. Unfortunately, there are advantages and disadvantages with each and some are expensive while others are not so expensive and you have to figure out which one will work best for you. But you’re in luck because you’ve come to the right place for some advice. We can’t do anything about your love life, but truck bed liners? We’re all over it!
The first type of bed protection that became popular is the good old molded plastic drop-in bed liner. The most popular brand is Rugged Liner. Usually one piece in design these are available to fit either over the bed rails or under the bed rails for those of you who sometimes use a shell. Rugged liners have reinforced corners and sides and they feature special slots for 2x4s to create two-tier loading. They will protect the bed from dents and scratches, but the plastic surface is usually slippery and your cargo may slide around some. Not good if you’re carrying home that expensive antique curio cabinet your wife just bought at auction.
And while a drop in liner will protect your bed from damage from the load, the points where it actually comes in contact with the bed can eventually rub bare spots in the paint over time. It’s also possible for moisture to become trapped in between the liner and the bed and that will promote rust.
Drop-in bed liners are, however, very cost effective, can be installed without drilling any new holes. And if you’ve already got a truck that you’re selling or trading in you can cover up that beat up bed quickly and easily with a drop-in liner and boost the overall appeal of your truck.
The next type of bed protection to consider is the spray in bed liner from companies like Rhino Linings and Line-X. Rhino Linings being the premium brand, they offer a lifetime warranty. The big advantage to a spray in lining is that, because it’s likea thick coat of paint, you don’t lose the couple of inches of cargo space that a drop-in liner takes up. A spray in lining also has a more textured surface that is much better at preventing the load from shifting around. Spray in bed liners will cover the entire bed, sides, and tailgate and they are very resistant to damage from chemicals, fluid spills, and heat. You should also consider a spray-in liner if you routinely carry very heavy loads.
Be aware that this is a permanent solution to the bed protection problem as once it’s been applied it will not come off. Most spray in bed liners do require professional installation but that can usually be accomplished in only half a day.
Okay, we’ve seen solutions for work trucks, but what about play time. You want to take your truck camping or tailgating at the game or you need something with a little more padding for those antiques your wife keeps buying! This is where a carpeted bed liner like those from BedRug or a rubber bed mat is the perfect answer. The BedRug will give your truck a show quality look but it has commercial durability. It resists damage from chemicals, oils, and even battery acid and yet you can just hose it out. The BedRug acts like a shock absorber for your load and prevents it from sliding or shifting. It features a carpet-like texture over a foam bottom. It’s great for camping if you sleep back there and it is easy on the knees if you have to crawl in and out of the bed. And it won’t flop around or blow out on the highway right in front of that state trooper that’s been following you for the last two miles.
ProMaxx is one of the tob brands of rubber bed mats that we sell at 4 Wheel Parts. This is a virgin rubber mat that is 5/16” thick and made from the same rubber compound used in heavy duty tires. It too will not move around in the bed or fly out on the highway. These are custom fit to your truck so there’s no cutting or trimming and they have a finished edge all the way around.
Another advantage to a BedRug or a ProMaxx rubber bed mat is portability. If you sell your current truck and replace it with the same make and model, just move your BedRug or bed mat over to your new truck and get on down the road. The only disadvantage to a rubber bed mat is that they do not cover the sides of your bed.
Okay, we’ve given you some ideas on the various ways you can protect your truck’s cargo bed from damage and protect your load from shifting or sliding and making your bed more suited for things like camping and tailgating. So now what? Where can you get some more information or better yet, where can you buy one once you decide which type you want? That’s easy Sparky, just go to 4wheelparts.com, send us an email, or pick up the phone and call any one of the 4 Wheel Parts stores. When you call you won’t get an answering machine or have to wade through twenty menu options, you will actually talk to a living, breathing human being. This person can not only help you decide what you need and set you up with the right bed liner for your particular application but can handle the expert installation too!
So now you’re all set. You’ve got your new truck, the bed looks great and is protected, the work week is over, your wife’s antiques are safe and sound, and now it’s time for that fishing trip or tailgate party. You’re welcome!