Your pickup truck has a spacious bed that seems like it can hold anything until you realize you’re running out of space for tools and materials. You can buy a new truck with a bigger bed, but you can put your money into more practical measures, such as improving the storage space of your pickup truck.
You can use the following ideas to add more storage to your vehicle.
A ute (pronounced as yoot; an abbreviation for utility) tray is a popular accessory for pickup trucks. It can be totally flat or have sideboards, enabling you to transport bulky items securely.
Ute trays benefit tradespeople and construction workers because they require more space to pack their tools and equipment. But regular vehicle owners can still get these add-ons for the enhanced storage capacity they provide.
Typically made of steel or aluminum, ute trays add an extra layer of protection for your tools and supplies against the elements. Furthermore, you can opt for lockable units to protect your gear against theft. However, note that steel ute trays are considerably heavier than aluminum and can negatively affect payload capacity and fuel economy.
Depending on your needs, you can customize a ute tray for your truck bed to make the most of the storage space. For instance, consider adding extra compartments like a built-in toolbox, equipment holders, mudguards, and more. You may check out various design options at Ozi4X4 Accessories or other reputable sellers.
Pickup Truck Bed Extender
Another add-on for your truck bed is an extender allowing you to use your bed panel to extend the available space. Also called tailgate extenders, they resemble a cage or rack in construction. You can attach them to the back of your truck to expand your loading area when you have large and long items to place on your truck bed.
There are two types of bed extenders:
- U-Shaped Extender: Made of plastic or metal, these extenders are characterized by their curved shape. They’re easy to assemble and attach to the tailgate, allowing you to securely and safely transport oversized items.
- Hitch-Mount Extender: These extenders are adjustable, and you can use them vertically or horizontally. They’re designed to fit various vehicles; some can carry as much as 750-pound loads.
These extension types require some degree of installation expertise. You can request a professional service if you’re new to bed extenders. But it can also be easy to figure out for those with experience in vehicle add-ons.
Truck Bed Toolbox
Toolboxes on truck beds have been around for quite a while, such as the crossover-style toolbox. They’re installed behind the cab horizontally.
You can also have a built-in toolbox underneath the truck bed cover. Another option is to install toolboxes on the side to keep the bed free and ready for other items. These side toolboxes are easier to access.
Other toolboxes, such as the tall and narrow wheel well toolboxes, are placed on the truck bed floor at the back of the rear wheel wells. On the other hand, toolboxes designed for maximum durability are contractor-grade and can withstand a bomb blast.
Regardless of your preferred type of toolbox, a crucial element is its locking mechanism. Go for one with sturdy locks to prevent theft and keep your car tools safe and secure.
There’s no need to spend so much on storage solutions when you can repurpose old drawers by attaching them to your truck bed. If you’re handy with tools, you can make a pair of drawer slides for your truck bed. The drawers can also have compartments to separate your tools from the cans of spray paint.
You can build them from scratch or find old furniture from online marketplaces, buy them cheaply, and modify them to fit your truck’s needs. Since the drawers can be closed, your items are safe from view and tucked away while the vehicle moves.
Your truck bed can welcome a ladder if you have a ladder rack, a vital organization find for contractors. It carries your ladder on your pickup truck, so you don’t have to lay it down on the truck bed.
You can load bulkier and heavier cargo with the ladder out of the way. The ladder rack also helps minimize the risks of injuries when unloading and loading it back onto the truck.
There are three different types of ladder racks.
- Drop-Down Ladder Rack: The drop-down rack is designed to pivot the ladder to the side quickly. It can fit most pickup trucks and vans, making it safe and efficient.
- Utility Rack: While it can be a challenge to access because of the height of the bed, a utility rack is a versatile alternative that can handle a ladder and other types of cargo. It’s designed to fit high-roof vehicles.
- Lock-Down Ladder Rack: Like utility racks, lock-down ladder racks can be hard to access. Although they’re flexible with the type of items they can carry, they can accommodate less cargo than the utility rack.
When choosing a ladder rack, consider the type of material used, its safety features, and the type of your work truck.
Another functional storage solution is a swing box that you can install onto the side of the truck bed with a hinge screw. You can have a pair of these boxes and don’t have to climb aboard to access them. Before getting these storage boxes, ensure they’re compatible with your vehicle.
These boxes may look like swinging gates, but they’re also lockable. They’re best for storing various tools and equipment. Some types feature a tray at the top where you can place smaller items. They make an excellent alternative to toolboxes.
These are some of the best storage ideas for your pickup truck. You can maximize your truck bed space with various add-ons to help you store and transport items safely and securely.
Some clever ways to increase storage space in your pickup truck include adding ute trays, bed extenders, ladder racks, recycled or do-it-yourself (DIY) drawers, toolboxes, or swing storage. You can choose one or more that work with your pickup truck.
Furthermore, you can opt for customized accessories that help maximize your truck bed’s loading area. These extra features in your preferred design can accommodate your tools, equipment, supplies, and other items.