One of the best automotive inventions since the wheel has been the truck bed. Unlike any other vehicle, trucks have the unique ability to carry people and cargo at the same time separately. Larger vehicles like SUVs may have the same cargo capacity, but you have to make a sacrifice: people or cargo, you cannot have it all. This is where the beauty of the truck bed is. By creating distinct areas between the bed and cabin, a truck can have all of the passengers and cargo it can fit without the owner needing to choose between the two. More importantly, a good truck bed is adaptable for a variety of needs. If you have never owned a truck before, you will be surprised at the number of different configurations and possibilities a truck bed will offer you. Even the different size choices are varied enough to find something that will serve you well without taking up too much room or altering the handling characteristics of the vehicle itself. In short, a bed is what makes a truck uniquely versatile. To take advantage of the space, however, you need to know how to turn a truck bed into a space tailored for your particular set of needs and general uses. Large trucks like the 2018 GMC Sierra 3500 HD will even give you more options for creating the perfect cargo hauler.
Working With A Standard Truck Bed
A standard, factory built truck bed has a lot of room right off the bat to work with when you are using your truck for the first time. Depending on the size of the truck, you can fit a large assortment of object sizes without taking up any interior room. Best of all, a truck bed can accept a number of different racks and attachments so you can increase the amount of space you have without needing any pricey upgrades or modifications.
The real key to a truck bed is security. Anything large that you place inside the bed should be secured in a few different ways. First, make sure you have a few tie-downs to keep everything secured to prevent unwanted movement inside the bed. This will protect the lining of the bed and prevent anything from spilling out in the event of a large bump or collision with something.
Second, invest in a tonneau cover or cap to keep your interior contents protected and secure at all times. When you are away from the truck, this type of security acts as an interior shell, keeping whatever you have stored in the vehicle from the larger world. A locking tailgate is also necessary to get the most amount of protection in conjunction with the cover itself. If you do not have the ability to lock the gate or cannot afford a cover, keep valuables out of the bed when you are not around.
Accessories For The Truck Bed
To expand the usefulness of the truck bed, there are several different accessories you can buy at an affordable price. These accessories will help you secure and carry more items in the truck without taking up precious cargo space in the bed itself. Best of all, these accessories will increase the size and types of items you can carry as well.
The most basic form of truck bed enhancement is organization. Consider purchasing a toolbox to add some extra storage to the floor or sides of the truck bed. Many of these toolboxes are locking so you can keep your items secure even if you cannot afford a cover or have a locking tailgate. Even a single toolbox will offer a lot of storage options for small tools and other items that would just float around the bed otherwise.
Racks are a great way to transport extra large items and toys that would take up precious truck bed space. Most racks are either level of the sides of the truck bed or extend higher to the point of the truck’s roof. These higher racks are better for carrying large or long items like kayaks and ladders. If you have a few bikes to haul around, the smaller variety will be enough and more affordable in the long run.
Once again, a good truck shell goes a long way toward adding more storage and organization in addition to the protection it offers. Most truck shells or caps are tailor-made to the specific make and model of the truck, so you can be sure you will have the best fit possible. If you want some built-in storage, check out professional work shells that include attached toolboxes to store smaller tools or supplies. Some shells also come with roof racks for larger things.
Being Creative With Your Truck Bed
The important thing to understand with a typical truck bed is that the creative possibilities are limitless. This simple rectangular storage compartment offers a lot in terms of excellent carrying capacity and organization. The trick is knowing which tools or additions you need to turn the truck bed into the ultimate cargo space for your needs.
Gauge the typical size of items you want to carry around in the truck in the first place. If you’re going to carry around a lot of small things like tools, simple storage solutions like dividers and toolboxes will be enough to keep the truck bed organized and optimized. Larger items, mainly equipment and items that are longer than the bed itself, will require additional enhancements such as racks and tailgate extenders.
However you use your truck, make sure to keep it as safe as possible. As always, make sure anything you carry or store in the bed of the truck is secure. Keep large items tied down. Invest in a good cover to secure and protect the smaller things in your truck bed from the outside elements and potential burglars. If you take the time to keep your items protected, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a good truck bed for years.