2013 Buyer’s Guide
Pickup slide-out drawer-style cargo management systems bring the tools and supplies to you; save time and reduce the risk of injury
By Tim Walton
When I first started running my own construction crew, I borrowed my dad’s hard tonneau cover so all my tools in the bed of my F-250 were secure and out of the endless rain we are blessed with here in Oregon.
My dad’s setup included both tonneau on the pickup and a trailer behind, which worked great for his crew.
However, I didn’t really have a place to park a trailer, so I was on the search for storage solutions for my pickup.
The tonneau made me an expert at the cargo management version of “Tetris”: If one tool was out of place, good luck getting the tonneau to close and lock properly.
I knew when I was setting up a permanent solution for my pickup I wanted to have easy access to all my tools and not be restricted by the order they were loaded into the bed.
So I went with an A.R.E. canopy and a lumber rack, which helped expand my truck’s cargo storage. Then I stepped up to a Bedslide 2000 Pro HD, which allowed me to easily access to every tool in the in the bed.
Slide-out type storage systems can help reduce strain on your back and body by giving you easier access to all your tools and cargo without having to lean or strain to gain access to any of it. No more crawling, reaching and leaning to get at the tools in the puzzle that was my pickup bed.
That’s why these new sliding, gliding, riding and rolling cargo management systems for pickups are so great – easy tool access and easy on the body.
SLIDERS WEIGH IN
When considering a slide-out for your pickup, it’s important pay attention to the capacity of the unit at full extension – and to make sure your cargo falls below the rating of the unit.
I was using most of my Bedslide’s capacity and it worked great. But our electrician overloaded his slider, which was an inexpensive, light-weight off-brand, and destroyed the bearings after just a short period of use.
Another weight-limit issue to consider concerns sliders with enclosed drawer-style units and bed-width storage on top.
Keep in mind that the listed weight capacity is with the weight evenly distributed.
So don’t plan to drop and excavator bucket or a half-dozen track rollers on one unless you know it can handle it without an extra rack or support.
LOAD AND LOCK
Drawer-style slide-outs have options for locks in both style and function. Most use keys, but some offer keyless options such as Tuffy Security Products’ ten-button combination lock, which uses a clutch mechanism for the knob for added security.
Look for accessories to help you customize your setup to fit your needs, too. Optional dividers, tie downs and trays can help you stay organized while keeping everything in its place.
Also consider the types of floors, liners, and coatings that are used. Some manufacturers offer powder-coated units, while others use spray-on bed liner materials to reduce skidding and further protect from the elements.
Some use stainless steel or high-quality aluminum for the main components, which are excellent in conditions where rust is a big issue.
The bottom line is to do your research. Bed-mounted sliding cargo-storage systems are an excellent upgrade for any work pickup. But your investment is only as good as the product you choose.
Below are a few of the newest offerings in slider-type bed cargo management products.- Pro