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Pickup Trucks

Bedside Storage Buyer's Guide

Bruce Smith February 9, 2013

Bed Storage On The Side

Optimizing bed cargo space with side-mounted toolboxes


By Steve Campbell

Pickup bed space is at a premium for professionals.

Tools, material and other equipment all have to make it to the jobsite, and if they’re well organized and easily accessible, any task can be performed more efficiently.

Added lockable storage can also provide greater security for valuable gear.

While many pickup owners have equipped their trucks with lockable crossover boxes that fit between the bedrails just behind the cab, that design takes up valuable bed space and offers limited storage for longer objects.

Better alternatives for those who need full bed access are the variety of side boxes that sit beside or atop the bedrails or around and over the wheel wells. Some designs also allow storage of longer items.

High side boxes that are mounted atop the bedrails range from 48 to 96 inches in length and also provide additional depth and width – a full 24 inches high and 20 inches deep in some instances. (Photo courtesy of Weather Guard)

The rail-top side storage option allows users to maintain full access to a 4- by 8-foot bed while adding carrying capacity.

Boxes designed to fit below the rails allow toppers or caps to still be fitted.

And some wheel well boxes (also called pork chop boxes due to their shape) are equipped with pullout shelves with bins for smaller fasteners, fittings and tools.

Side boxes are constructed of steel, aluminum or plastic and may be painted or powdercoated for both weather protection and appearance.

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