The Accessory Dream Guide Issue 5


Article By: Mike Van Soest

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a tonneau cover for your truck. It seems like anyone who has a truck nowadays has a bed cover. In addition to cutting drag from the bed to improve gas mileage by as much as 10%, tonneau covers add a nice finishing touch to any truck. Walk into any truck accessory shop or search online for an option and you can easily become overwhelmed by the vast array of options and manufactures who are look- ing to cover your truck bed. So what is the right choice for you? What should you look for? What is the difference between hard and soft covers? Are all manufacturers the same? Will one style or type require more or less maintenance? Finally, there is the issue of price, which can vary surprisingly from product to product. This short article gives you a few key questions to consider when narrowing your search to find the right box cover for you.

Often times when you begin your search, the make, model, year, and box size of your truck play a role in the selection process. This is because whether you decide to go with a soft or a hard cover option, most covers are made specifically for your truck. You can imagine just how many different covers there are in the market today.

Many industry insiders suggest, however, that you should really begin by considering what your cover will be used for and matching your choices to that. Specifically, is the cover for recreational use or work? Is it for function or appearance? This is not to say it can’t be all of these things, but the answers do narrow the search and selection process to the best choices for you. Will security be a concern for the contents in your truck bed? Do you want to be able to remove the cover and reinstall it yourself as needs dictate? Do you need to maintain the width of your truck bed for utility? Some covers will shave an inch or so off each side of the rails with their tracks. Is colour-matching your cover to your truck a consideration which may require a fiberglass option? You should also determine your preference for a self-install or one done professionally. Local weather conditions and how they will affect the box cover should also be included in your decision-making process. Finally, how much do you want to invest?

Technology has helped advance the bed cover market over the past few years and there are a few big players with strong brand recognition including Leer, Lund, Retrax, Truxedo and Extang. The products with these brand names are of similar build quality and value and most carry a 3-5 year warranty. You can do a lot of research online about features and benefits and you can read many customer reviews before you ever set foot inside a reputable accessory shop. Nothing really beats hands-on experience though. Being able to see the various products, and experience how they function will make the process a lot more manageable and informative. Regardless of what you decide, care and maintenance are an obvious consideration. In fact, many of the tonneau covers require an annual inspection to ensure that the

casings, rails, rollers, enclosures and straps are in proper working condition. This should not be disregarded.

Once you’ve gone through the entire selection process, you will become an expert who your friends and family can consult when they are getting ready to choose a box cover best suited to their needs in this ever-evolving market.


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