Custom Tonneau Install
How to create your own “Shorty” tonneau cover to work with that toolbox
By Bruce W. Smith
Improving fuel economy, protecting items in the bed from flying out, and keeping the wandering eyes of those with sticky fingers from lusting after things that aren’t theirs are just three of the many reason’s pickup owners love tonneau covers.
Tonneau covers are available for just about every pickup made, longbed or short, regular cab, extended cab or crew cab – just as long as the truck isn’t outfitted with a crossbed tool box or refuel tank.
If you own a shortbed, like our Project Bedrock GMC Sierra, finding a tonneau to cover the open bed behind the toolbox is nearly impossible.
Customizing an existing cover to fit a short shortbed pickup, however, is another story.
Truck Supply & Outfitters (TSO) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been addressing customer’s wishes for a short shortbed tonneau for a couple years now. The short take: Customize an Access roll-up tonneau cover to fit the open area behind the toolbox.
TSO measures the “open” bed from the toolbox to the tailgate and shortens both the Access roll-up cover and the mounting rails accordingly.
Such customizing requires a little cutting of the aluminum side rails in the shop and having a local automotive/marine upholstery outlet shorten and re-stitch the soft cover.
The result is a shorty tonneau cover that looks and functions perfectly fine on a shortbed pickup outfitted with a Brute Gull-Wing crossbed toolbox. – Pro