Selecting the best tonneau covers for trucks depends on a variety of factors. Tonneau — a French word meaning to cover — has actually been serving its original purpose since before trucks were on the road.
Drivers used them — in the form of tarps — during the time of horse-drawn carriages to prevent dust from getting into wagons. Today, tonneau covers offer a variety of benefits. Whether you use your truck to transport cargo for your work or primarily for leisure, a hard truck bed cover is a vital truck accessory to consider.
Here are some things to consider as you select the best tonneau truck cover for your needs:
1. Security - Tonneau truck covers come with various ways to secure them. For example, some soft tonneau truck covers come with locking mechanisms. On the other hand, some hard truck bed covers can be locked with a key, while others are snapped into place.
2. Weatherproofing - Certain tonneau truck covers offer more protection from the elements than others. Soft or vinyl tonneau truck covers are typically not fully waterproof. They offer some weather protection, while hard truck covers will offer more security in this category.
3. Additional Storage Options - Some tonneau truck covers allow you to add additional storage capabilities. For example, tonneau truck covers you can roll up are typically installed inside the truck bed. This leaves the truck bed rail available for add-ons that can offer more storage. Additionally, specific truck covers may be compatible with truck rack installations.
4. Material - Tonneau truck covers come in a wide range of material types. Vinyl is a widely used option. It is typically affordable and offers a decent amount of protection for cargo. For hard truck bed covers, aluminum is a standard option. This type of cover is more durable than vinyl and is rust-resistant. However, they likely cost more than a vinyl truck cover.
5. Look & Style - The aesthetic of your tonneau truck cover also matters. You might want to consider a specific color that complements your truck’s look. There are also textures to consider: like a matte finish or a cover that comes with gloss. The goal is to ensure you find a tonneau cover that is practical, but also looks like it fits with your truck.
These are just some of the elements to think about when you’re looking to select a tonneau truck cover for your vehicle. However, one of the most important things to consider as you’re making your choice is the type of tonneau truck cover. Each type comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The best tonneau truck cover type for you will depend heavily on your needs and preferences.
Common Types to Consider
Here are some standard types of tonneau truck covers out there:
Tri-fold tonneau cover
Tri-fold tonneau covers can come in hard or soft styles. These covers can fold at multiple points and are typically installed in a way where it sits atop the truck bed. They may also be sturdier than a rolling cover. However, while these covers add some security, they come with a few drawbacks. First, they can obstruct your rear view when opened. Additionally, tri-fold tonneau covers can be a bit bulkier and more expensive than rolling options.
Retractable tonneau cover
These covers offer exceptional protection and can be viable and user-friendly for drivers because of how they work. Retractable tonneau covers allow individuals to roll up their covers into a canister that is installed near the truck cabin. They can lock into place, and individuals can quickly access cargo with a button, triggering the cover to move from the canister and over the truck bed.
Because of their operation and the installation process, retractable tonneau truck covers can come with a high cost. While they require a bit of upfront work, a retractable tonneau cover can offer that added layer of security. Nevertheless, if the canister is not working properly, a retractable tonneau cover can pose some issues.
Locking truck bed covers
Depending on how much security you’re looking for, a tonneau truck bed that you can lock might be a great buy. Various types of tonneau truck covers can lock into place. For example, you can lock both retractable and one-piece hard lids into place.
There are many options for locking a compatible truck bed cover. Some, like the latch clamp or spring-loaded clamp, require you to access the truck bed to open the tonneau cover. This situation can even be the case for soft tonneau truck covers.
However, tonneau truck covers that come with a lock and key allow you to access the truck bed without needing to open the back. The level of security, flexibility, and accessibility you seek will determine which truck bed and locking method you prefer.
Tonneau and tool box combos
Did you know that you can maximize your truck bed space by combining a toolbox with a tonneau truck cover? Some tonneau covers were built to complement toolboxes. They are shorter to allow the toolbox to sit against the truck cabin and cover the remaining portion of the truck bed. A tonneau and toolbox combo may be the right move if you want to organize your tools better or maximize your space.
Find the Right Tonneau Truck Cover
Tonneau truck covers offer a significant amount of security. You can protect your cargo from the elements and prevent theft attempts. Tonneau covers can even decrease the drag cargo can have on your car — increasing gas efficiency.
You want to find the right one that fits your lifestyle. Therefore, consider factors like your budget, preferred materials, and the type of tonneau cover you may need — like tri-fold or retractable.
Explore JEGS online to find a tonneau truck cover that fits your needs.