The bed of your truck likely will be subject to more wear and tear than other parts of the vehicle. This is because truck beds are exposed to the elements, and this makes them vulnerable to damage from hail, snow and rain. Also, your truck bed is ground zero when you’re hauling cargo, and it easily can get bruised and scratched when you’re loading and unloading items. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep this part of your truck in a relatively unblemished state. Below are five key tips for maintaining your truck bed.
1. Diligently remove snow. If you live in a part of the country that gets snow during the winter, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the white stuff if you want to protect your truck bed. If snow gathers in your truck bed and is allowed to remain there, it eventually will cause the bed to rust. Please note that in addition to fresh snowfall, the bed will accumulate snow and slush that splash up from the road. This type of snow can be especially harmful to your truck bed since it often contains corrosive agents such as road salt. If there’s snow in your truck bed, use a shovel to promptly remove it.
2. Consider adding a bed liner. A bed liner can work wonders in protecting your truck bed. You have a couple of choices to consider in this area: drop-in liners and spray-on liners. Drop-in liners are relatively simple to install, and they’re easily removed. With a spray-on liner, the installation process is more complex, and some preparation is required. However, spray-on liners generally are more durable than drop-in liners, and they’re less likely to crack if the bed is jostled by bumps or ruts.
Both types of bed liners provide a surface for your truck bed that’s skid-proof and dent-resistant. A skid-proof surface means your cargo is less likely to slide around in the back while you’re driving and cause damage. And a dent-proof surface helps protect your truck bed from dings that occur while getting your gear into and out of the pickup.
3. Utilize a tonneau cover. Tonneau covers are placed over your truck bed to shield your cargo. These covers can protect both your truck bed and your cargo from the elements, and they hide your cargo from potential thieves. These covers come in many variants. Some are hinged, some are retractable, some are soft, and some are made of harder materials such as fiberglass. In addition to protecting your truck bed, a tonneau cover can give your truck a stylish look.
4. Install a truck cap. A truck cap also is known as a camper shell, and it’s similar to a tonneau cover in that it covers both your cargo and your truck bed. But while a tonneau cover lies flat, a truck cap rises high above the walls of the truck bed, and you can choose a model that matches the height of your truck’s cabin.
In addition to protecting your bed and cargo from rain and snow, a truck cap can help improve your pickup’s fuel efficiency because it reduces wind drag.
5. Protect your truck bed’s underside. It’s critical to give some thought to what happens on top of your truck bed. But it’s important to pay attention to what goes on just underneath the bed as well. Water causes your bed’s underside to rust. And if you live in wintry climes, road salt can compromise your bed’s underside and lead to serious corrosion. Keeping your bed’s underside clean can help prevent damage.
For even better protection, undercoating sprays are available that work to prevent your bed’s underside from rusting. In addition to warding off rust, some of these sprays produce a rubberized texture that has sound-deadening qualities. These sprays will help your truck provide a smoother, quieter ride quality.