With light truck purchases on the rise from 2009 through 2014, it's no surprise that people are looking for accessories to go with those pickup trucks. When you buy your first pickup truck, the options for customization can be dizzying. Before you spend money on aftermarket parts and accessories that aren't going to do anything more than look pretty, you should take some time to prioritize your purchases. In fact, here are a few accessories that can prove to be worthwhile investments for new truck owners.
Truck Bed Protection
If you do nothing else with your pickup truck, protecting the bed should be the first place you start. Since pickup truck beds take a lot of abuse from cargo and furniture and other items, this can save you a lot of damage. There are many different options for truck bed liners, but they typically fall under two main categories.
Hard plastic liners are molded to the basic shape of your truck bed and snap into place on top of the bed. They usually bolt in place to keep them from sliding. Although these liners are durable, affordable and easy to install, they leave space between the liner and the truck bed. Any moisture that seeps underneath will encourage rust and corrosion.
Spray-on liners, on the other hand, apply directly to the metal of the existing bed. They are liquid when applied and go on much like an auto paint. These products build a thick coating over the existing truck bed. Although they can be more expensive and may take a bit longer to install, they offer greater protection because there's no space for moisture to accumulate.
For pickup trucks that will double as a work vehicle, organization is key. You'll want to be sure that you've optimized your space. A built-in toolbox is a great start if you're carrying a lot of tools. It keeps them from sliding around and usually bolts directly to the bed to keep it in place. Just make sure you choose one with a key lock or other form of security. The toolbox will be out in the open a lot, so you don't want to risk theft.
Bed extenders are another great investment for people who will haul a lot of stuff. A bed extender attaches to the inside of the truck bed near the tailgate then folds out beyond the tailgate when you need a little more space to carry something. That extra foot or two of space can be just enough to save you from having to make two trips with something. If you're going to line the bed, though, think about using a spray-on liner if you're installing an extender. It's harder to get the mounting brackets drilled in the right place with a hard plastic liner.
Installing a cargo cover on your truck bed can help reduce the effects of drag and improve the aerodynamics of your truck when you're not hauling things. These covers come in many styles, from hard plastic to thin, velcro-secured fabric. In some cases, you may even want to invest in a cap, which will run from the top of the cab all the way to the back of the truck bed. No matter which one you choose, look for an option that's easy to take off when you're in need of extra room.
Pickup trucks are a great investment and are gaining popularity again. With these added features, they become even more versatile. If you're buying your first one, talk with a local sales and service professional at a dealer like Woody Sander Ford about any other possible upgrades you can make to get more from your ride.