Types of Truck Bed Covers – Their Advantages and Disadvantages
Truck Bed Covers have been a very important pickup truck accessory since around 1982. This is not a product that will come to an end anytime soon. There may be different types and models but they have rid the pickup truck problem of not having anywhere to store your gear and to keep it dry. Sure there are truck caps, but the problem some people have with truck caps is they are no good for carrying taller type cargo and you have to crawl into the cargo area to get at anything up front towards the cab, not to mention they contribute to fuel consumption due to poor wind resistance.
The manufactures of these truck bed covers keep coming up with great designs that solve different problems amongst pickup truck owners. One of the latest designs is the Extang Encore which is a hard tri-fold cover. What is unique about this tonneau cover is that you are able to open it from the front near the cab as well as from the rear near the tailgate. It also comes completely off in seconds which can really come in handy.
These days there are so many different manufacturers of pickup bed covers, but they do not all make the same type of tonneau covers. By the way, if you haven’t figured it out already, truck bed covers and tonneau covers are the exact same thing. The word tonneau basically refers to a cover used to conceal a compartment and protect it from the sun and weather.
Many of the hard bed covers come equipped with locks which add even more security. Retractable type truck tonneau covers usually come with locks installed on them. These retractable covers are quite unique as they roll up into a canister situated behind the cab across the bed of the truck. They remind me of a roll top desk. There are even some electric models that open and close with a remote. So you are not stuck in a loss of power situation you can also open them manually if need be.
Many of the soft truck bed covers as well as the hard folding covers require the tailgate to be opened in order to get at the latches to open the cover. If you add an aftermarket tailgate lock you upgrade the security factor by a great amount. Since they have been installed, they have been known to reduce theft by a great deal. You do not even have to have a lock on the cover. Just by having one installed keeps your cargo out of sight out of mind. Some of the hard covers have locks installed on them creating a very secure area to store your gear just like a trunk on a car.
Some of the main advantages and disadvantages of different types of truck bed covers are as follows. The hard fiberglass have the advantage of being one of the best for keeping your cargo area dry and they look great painted to match your truck color. The main disadvantage of the fiberglass cover is they are expensive and the fact that it only lifts up from the rear and you cannot use your truck for tall cargo. The soft roll up covers can be obtained at a lower cost and you will be able to use your truck for any type of cargo. A disadvantage of the roll up cover is the fact they are not as secure as a hard cover and a little more time consuming to fully open and close. Retractable covers allow quick easy access to your cargo area and they do allow use of most of your truck bed but they are expensive. Soft folding covers are cheaper and provide quick easy access to your cargo area but they are not as secure as the hard type and most only fold as far as two sections not giving you complete access to your bed for taller type cargo. Hard folding covers provide pretty good security, if you add an aftermarket tailgate lock they are great for security and some fold all the way to the cab which allows most of your truck bed available for taller cargo.
You can probably find many more advantages and probably disadvantages of these pickup truck bed covers but I listed some to get you thinking before you rush out and make a purchase. When you are going to buy one you should take into consideration how and what type of cargo you haul. I hope this article has helped you in your quest to purchase one of the many models of truck bed covers that are manufactured.