Some car owners love their pickup truck to the point of spending thousands of dollars in sprucing up their vehicles with car accessories, and such worthwhile investment can be on a tonneau cover. More popularly known as a pick-up truck bed cover, the word ‘tonneau’ is derived from the French word, which means ‘barrel’ or ‘cask,’ referring to the shape of the cover when it was first released.
These days, a tonneau truck cover provides a streamlined and posh look to your pickup truck’s backside.
Types of Tonneau Covers
The benefits of having a tonneau cover on your pickup truck aren’t limited to its visual appeal as it also has advantages, making it an essential car accessory for easier storage.
There are four basic types of tonneau covers made from different materials:
- Foldable tonneau covers – can be folded three or four times to either cover the whole pick-up bed or just a portion of it.
- Retractable tonneau covers – typically hard and can be opened or closed, but not folded.
- Hinged tonneau covers – also hard and provides the best security among the pickup truck tonneau covers.
- Roll-up tonneau cover – soft covers and work like roll-up doors; the most popular type because they offer the best flexibility in terms of storage.
Advantages of Tonneau Covers
Choosing the best tonneau cover will depend on the type of cargo your vehicle needs to carry and transport regularly. But here are its benefits:
1. Offers Safe Cargo Transport
If your car is a workhorse capable of doing more than just transporting from Point A to Point B, you need to keep everything intact and without any damage. With pickup tonneau covers, your precious cargo will be protected from harsh weather such as strong rains and winds blowing your valuable hauls out of place and onto the road.
2. Provides Increased Security
Apart from keeping your valuables low-key, a tonneau cover is an essential add-on to your pickup truck as it offers the best security. A pickup bed cover often comes with locks that aren’t easily broken into.
Whether you’re carrying costly personal items or state-of-the-art equipment, you want to guard it with your life. However, you may need to make a few stops here and there. In these cases, you need to keep your haul out of plain sight, making it less attractive to thieves or highway robbers.
3. Keeps Your Cargo In Place
Are you taking your family on a camping trip? There are too many things to think about like the camping equipment, tent, fishing gear, food and drinks storage boxes, and so on. By packing your essentials systematically, you’ll be able to check whether you’re good to go or need more time and space.
Apart from ensuring you have all you need, a tonneau cover can help you arrange your cargo efficiently. With everything in their proper places, you won’t have spilled food and beverages ruining your trip.
4. May Reduce Gas Consumption
It hasn’t been proven across the board yet, but some users claim using a tonneau cover may stretch a truck’s mileage. Some suggest the aerodynamic design of the tonneau cover produces less air drag.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association in 2007 conducted a wind tunnel study which showed a tonneau cover reduced more than 5% drag, translating to a 1.8% rise in fuel efficiency.
5. Retains Your Vehicle’s Value
Security, organization, and cargo safety, as well as fuel savings, are only a few of the benefits of having a tonneau cover. Apart from making your pickup truck visually appealing, a tonneau cover, like your car insurance, can protect the vehicle bed from damages. This means you’ll get a better resale value price for your truck that’s in better shape as compared to truck beds left exposed.
Types of Materials Used in Tonneau Cover
Covers are typically made from these materials for better protection:
- Vinyl – most common material used in making tonneau covers
- Fiberglass – used for hard tonneaus and best for protection from harsh weather and rough terrain
- Molded Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic – lightweight and sturdy, this material is often mixed with vinyl
- Aluminum – mainly used in folding and roll-up tonneau covers; this malleable metal is durable yet light.
Tonneau covers are best for protecting and securing your pickup bed and cargo. They may come in soft or hard versions and are made from various materials. Despite these variations, one thing is for sure: they can make your journey smoother.