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Remember when a tonneau cover was nothing more than a tarp snapped to the side ot your truck bed? They flapped in the wind and the snaps put rust streaks on your ride. Today's tonneaus have come a long way. A quality tonneau cover from a reputable manufacturer like Access, Extang and Truxedo will give your rig the look you want while protecting the contents of your bed from harsh elements and prying eyes...and modern tonneaus don't flap in the wind like a tin roof in a tornado.
How to Choose a Tonneau Cover
The term Tonneau Cover (sometimes called tonneau bed cover or spelled "tonno" cover) refers to a product designed to cover and secure the contents of a pick-up truck bed. Tonneau covers are manufactured using a variety of cover materials and employ various means of opening and/or removing the bed covers. Choosing the correct type and design is really dependent on two key factors; intended use and budget. We will explore these factors throughout this page to help make your decision easier. Of course, the StreetSideAuto.com team is always available to help you should you still be unsure of what is right for you.
Why Install a Tonneau Cover?
Keep out rain, snow, dirt, and mud
Tonneau Cover Selection: Basic Principles
Very simply the right tonneau cover for you is the one that most perfectly matches with the way you use your truck bed. Because nearly every tonneau cover mounts to the rails of the truck bed your cargo capacity will be limited in both dimension and ease of access. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. How often do I access my truck bed and what do I put in it? (think hard about even things that you take for granted, like tossing a bag quickly into the bed for a short drive to the softball park)
How and where you put things and the size of those items should be the deepest considerations when determining what is right for you. If you only need to access the space below the rail and in small areas at a time, then you can select from nearly every style and use security and/or appearance to sway your decision. If you often use the entire bed, including items that are taller than the rails of the bed, then soft tonneau covers for pickup trucks will most likely appeal to your lifestyle as they allow the quickest access to all of the space that you need. If you hope to have both easy full bed access and the highest possible security then retractable tonneau covers are the most appropriate choice.
2. How important is tonneau cover security to you?
Any soft tonneau cover, no matter how advanced the mounting system or how clever the locking mechanism (if there is one), can be nearly instantly penetrated with just about anything sharp. Soft tonneau tarps can be quite durable and support surprising amounts of weight but there isn't a material used in tonneau cover design today that can stop even the most rudimentary blade. If security is at the top of your list then you should be looking at the various types of hard tonneau covers.
3. Tonneau Cover Form or Function?
Some truck owners are concerned first about appearance. If you fall into this category then your personal style is really the only guide you need. Consider, however, that if you plan on painting the bed cover don't forget to factor in the cost of the paint work when assessing your budget (many companies do offer pre-painted pickup truck bed covers).
Tonneau Cover Budget Considerations
There are some exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking soft pickup truck bed covers are the most economical, traditional hard tonneau covers stand in the middle, and retractable truck bed covers will dig deepest into your wallet. However, considering a purchase on price point alone will leave you very unsatisfied if your practical needs are not first carefully considered.
Whether you need a soft or hard tonneau cover, a tonneau lighting system, or any other truck bed accessories, you've arrived at the right place. Tonneau covers take a lot of abuse. At work, at play, and over all the miles in between, your tonneau deals with the rain, snow, and wind so the contents of your bed can stay dry and secure. That's why you need a tonneau tested to take all the punishment it's dealt. When it comes to caring for your tonneau cover and outfitting it with the high-tech, durable accessories you need to get the job done, we've got everything from bed-lighting systems to integrated toolboxes to tailgate seals. Our brands are battle- and road-tested for maximum quality and durability, and all of them offer affordable, stylish tonneau solutions.
Most Common Tonneau Cover Question
Hard Tonneau or Soft Tonneau Cover?... Don't forget Retractable Tonneau Covers!
This question isn't as easily answered as in years past. Manufacturers today have blurred the lines between traditional hard tonneau covers and soft tonneau covers by integrating unique designs, advanced materials and clever engineering. The question also excludes a third type of tonneau; the retractable tonneau cover. To provide a basic overview, and a bit of history, here are the advantages and benefits of the different types of truck bed covers available today:
HARD FOLDING TONNEAU COVERS
Hard tonneau covers that fold in multiple locations are becoming more popular and many different models are now available. Folding tonneau coversoffer easier access to all areas of the truck bed than solid hard tonneau covers and even make it possible to fill a portion of the bed above the rail without removing the tonneau cover. Hard folding covers generally fold into 3 or four sections, and many are built strong enough to bear significant loads.
SOFT ROLL UP TONNEAU COVERS
Soft tonneau covers are typically comprised of an aluminum frame, a tarp, made of heavy duty vinyl, and aluminum bows to provide structure. The frame mounts to the bed rails with some variety of clamp system and the tarp is then securedto the frame with either snaps, "peal and seal" systems (a sort of plastic tongue and groove system), or hook and loop (Velcro). The tarp is typically rolled up and secured close to the cab to allow for quick and complete bed access. In some models the bows roll with the tarp and in others the bows must be removed and stored separately. The quick bed access provided by soft tonneau covers make them popular among those that regularly use all of their bed and/or transport items that are taller than the rail of the truck bed. Temperature plays a critical role, however. The tarps all tend to expand and contract with temperature swings which can make securing them, especially with snaps, difficult. Of the three most common varieties of securing mechanisms the snaps tend to be the most fickle, the peal and seal is less so and the hook and loop the most forgiving.
PAINTED TONNEAU COVERS
Hard tonneau covers for pickup trucks are often considered the best looking of all bed covers and,because they are usually made of fiberglass or hard plastic composites, can usually be painted tomatch the color scheme of your truck. They typically mount at the front of the bed, closest to the cab, with heavy duty hinges. Gas shocks provide lift assistance as the bed cover is opened like a car's trunk lid. Well designed hard bed covers enhance the body lines of the truck can appear factory installed. Keyed locks and durable materials make them a popular choice for security conscious truck owners.
SOFT FOLDING TONNEAU COVERS
Manufacturers took the versatility of the soft cover a step further. A hybridbetween soft roll-up covers and hard folding covers, soft folding covers use a frame like the snap rail system, but the frame itself folds into 3 or for sections. They're great for a quick expansion of the cargo area. And most systems allow the soft tonneau to be detached independently, so if you only need a corner opened up, you can have it. Soft folding tonneaus are lightweight, and probably the most versatile tonneau covers on the market.
RETRACTABLE HARD TONNEAU COVERS
Retractable hard tonneau covers strike a balance between the terrific bed access provided by soft tonneau covers and the security of hard tonneau covers.All of this function, however, often is at the expense of appearance. While retractable bed covers are always "flush mount" (flush with the rails and with a flat surface) they lack the sleek lines of traditional hard covers. The solid, sculpted top of a traditional hard truck bed cover is replaced by "slats" and some kind of box at or near the cab. The box is the storage container in which the slats roll up when ordered to do so, either by spring assisted human power, or full electric power (something that provides a certain amount of elegance in and of itself. There is something wonderful about pressing a button and watching your truck bed cover disappear, especially when your hands are full).
HARD TONNEAU COVERS
The trouble with soft tonneau covers is that men have, in recent years, devised ways to get through a thin sheet of fabric and take your stuff. It's much tougher to hack through a sheet of fiberglass or composite plastic, especially if it locks. Hard tonneau covers are the most secure bed covers you can get. They generally unlatch at the tailgate and lift up via gas struts near the cab. Hard tonneaus are often preferred by customizers, as well, for the sleek lines they offer. Many are built strong enough to bear weight if needed.
Companies have had many years to find creative ways of improving designs to accommodate the variety of uses that owners put their soft bed covers through. Soft tonneau covers are typically comprised of an aluminum frame, a tarp, made of heavy duty vinyl, and aluminum bows to provide structure. The frame typically mounts to the bed rails with some variety of clamp system and the tarp is then secured to the frame with either snaps, "peal and seal" systems (a sort of plastic tongue and groove system), or hook and loop (Velcro).
The tarp is typically rolled up and secured close to the cab to allow for quick and complete bed access. In some models the bows roll with the tarp and in others the bows must be removed and stored separately. The quick bed access provided by soft tonneau covers make them popular among those that regularly use all of their bed and/or transport items that are taller than the rail of the truck bed. Temperature plays a critical role, however. The tarps all tend to expand and contract with temperature swings which can make securing them, especially with snaps, difficult. Of the three most common varieties of securing mechanisms the snaps tend to be the most fickle, the peal and seal is less so and the hook and loop the most forgiving.
Some companies also offer soft tilt open and folding truck tonneau covers. These provide quick bed access as the tarp does not have to be removed and reinstalled each time the bed is used. They borrow hinge systems and gas strut lift assistance from their hard tonneau cousins but can usually be more quickly removed and stored in a much smaller space (after being broken down) than a solid or folding hard tonneau cover. Again, security and appearance are the two primary differences between these truck tonneau covers.
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$9.95 Per Wheel/$25 Per Tire
Each wheel will incur a $9.95 per wheel fee and each tire will incur a $25 per tire fee up to $99. You will be charged a maximum of $99 regardless of how many wheels and/or tires you purchase.
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Oversized parts will incur a $99 truck freight charge that FedEx cannot provide standard ground shipping on.