The On-Board Truck Storage Guide

Being a contractor on the road is no small feat. Not only do you have to travel across the country constantly, but you also have to carry your whole workshop with you at all times. With most contractors owning a 4×4 or truck for exactly those reasons, it’s not enough to go for the factory option, most of these people need more space. Aftermarket options are a great solution in this case as they can significantly expand your storage space. Ranging from toolboxes and aluminium storage boxes to canopies, trays, and drawers, your options are almost limitless. The only factor at play is what exactly do you want, what do you need and how much money you have to invest in it.

Toolbox

picture of truck with aluminum storage toolbox installed parked on a farm

source: toolsduty.com

Most contractors will tell you that it’s hard to live without their truck-bed toolbox. That being said, contractors aren’t the only ones that can benefit from having a toolbox on board. Anyone can benefit from these units to organize and haul small items, protect valuables and free up their pickup truck bed form all the clutter and pack it in a convenient truck toolbox. They’re light, durable and incredibly useful.

Truck toolboxes come in several different types.

Saddle Box

The most traditional form of a truck toolbox without a doubt, the saddle box spans from one side of the bed to the other. This design straddles the bed so it floats above the truck floor. Many of these boxes offer more flexible mounting options and preserve the space underneath for storage of longer items.

Chest

A low-profile chest is in some way just a garage toolbox placed on the bed of a truck. Chest boxes sit on the floor of the bed and can offer more space for your tools at the expense of space in the bed itself via an accessible single lid.

Side Mount

picture of a man beside his truck with a side mount aluminum toolbox storage

source: uwsta.com

Side-mounted boxes often run the length of the whole truck bed, while preserving the centre. This design plays well with camper shells and tonneau covers, especially if the side mount sits below the bed rail line. Most side-mounted setups use two boxes, one placed on each side of the bed. You can find a diverse range of aluminium storage boxes on the market made from durable and sturdy materials. The most valuable assets a tradie possesses apart from their personal skill set is undoubtedly their tools and these boxes are specially designed to keep them safe and well-protected.

Most models combine the perfect balance of versatility and practicality. A mix of drawers, open cavity space and shelves allow for a highly organised toolbox and provide easy access to the items you need. You can find ute toolboxes in a variety of lengths and sizes to suit your needs and preferences.

Canopies

picture of aluminum canopies with side opening doors on a green truck

source: njaluminiumlinings.com

Canopies are such additions that once you install them, you’ll regret that you didn’t do it sooner. Most models are made from 2.5mm marine grade aluminium and are standard with folding whale tail locks, quality gas struts and stainless steel hinges. Most types, such as the UTE canopies include a 50x50x3mm box section base frame with an aluminium sheet overlay, with the ‘standard’ range including 2.5mm U-section strengthening bars in the ceiling and end walls. The ‘Premium’ range is reinforced with a 50x50x3mm box section in the ceiling and end walls.

All ute canopies are fully seam welded, thus providing a high-quality finish that will give you confidence in your new aluminium canopy. They can be found in several models such as Dual Cab Canopies, Extra Cab Canopies or our Single Cab Canopies. The canopies have 2, 3 or 4 door access, weather-resistant rubber seals, whale-tail folding compression locks which are key lockable and a full-length piano hinge. They also have a built-in floor and reinforced roof.

Cross deck boxes are also constructed with 2.5mm marine grade aluminium and are strengthened internally with c-section or hat section aluminium supports and are fully seam welded and lockable. These are available in a number of sizes to allow the user to get the right amount of internal storage space while utilising the remaining tray space. They also offer a solution to those seeking some lock-up storage space on the back of their truck while still being able to use their tray for general storage. They are the perfect choice for storing tools, fridges, drawers, batteries etc., leaving plenty of room for bulky tools like compressors and wheelbarrows or your camping essentials.

Trays

picture of a red truck with aluminum tray storage on the back

source: huffpost.com

Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned tray to store your materials in. These units are commonly made from a premium blend of aluminium extrusion resulting in a robust heavy-duty tray that can withstand all conditions and stand the test of time. The welded aluminium construction reduces unnecessary weight often associated with steel trays, without sacrificing any strength or durability, adding to the Payload and GVM equations: the less your tray weighs the more payload your vehicle can carry.

Like with canopies, trays come in single cab, dual cab or extra cab models, differing in their size and design. Trays also give you the option to attach extra accessories to your 4×4, such as additional LED lights, shock guards, drawers and toolboxes.

Drawers

picture of a red truck with storage aluminum drawers in the back

source: truck-tool-box.com

Drawers are a much-needed accessory to any of the aforementioned storage add-ons. They provide a versatile storage option for a multitude of items from trade tools to camping gear. Slide-out drawers offer easy access to the essentials without the fuss of digging through piles of gear. By simply placing a drawer unit on your tray or fitting a trundle drawer underneath, you will create valuable extra storage space. Place a single drawer unit on your tray or put multiple units on board to cover the entire tray.

For instance, canopy drawers can be placed side by side, stacked or positioned end to end providing access from both sides of the canopy. They can also be placed in tubs or wagons to generate more usable storage space, while also being suitable for workshop, garage and general household storage.

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