Drawer-style storage brings the tools and supplies to you
By Tim Walton
When I first started running my own crew on the construction jobsite, I borrowed my dad’s tonneau cover for my work truck so I would have a location to store all my tools securely and to keep them out of the endless rain we are blessed with here in Oregon.
That tonneau made me an expert at “Tetris” – if one tool was out of place, good luck getting the tonneau to close and lock properly.
It also made me aware a permanent solution for cargo had to make it to easy access to all my tools and not be restricted by the order they were loaded into the bed.
So the tonneau was replaced by an A.R.E. canopy with a Bedslide 2000 Pro HD.
The sliding bed cargo tray allowed me to easily access any of my tools in the main bed section of my pickup.
No more crawling, reaching and leaning over the bedsides during work or at the end of a long work day.
That’s why these sliding, gliding, riding and rolling products are so great – ease of access and easy on the body.
If your pickup setup is an open bed (without tonneau or truck cap), you can still use many of these slide systems, which are designed to seal against the weather and to keep your tools and cargo protected.
When considering a slide-out, pay attention to the capacity of the unit at full extension.
I was using most of my Bedslide’s capacity and it worked great. But our electrician overloaded his off-brand slider and destroyed the bearings.
Another weight limit issue to consider concerns the enclosed drawer-style units designed for storage on top.
Keep in mind that the listed weight capacity is the weight evenly distributed, so don’t plan to drop an excavator bucket or track rollers on one unless you know it can handle such weight without an extra support.
Remember, too, that the added weight of the unit itself reduces the overall payload (GVWR) of the vehicle. It also reduces towing capacity.
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 push button combination lock, which uses a clutch mechanism for the knob for added security.
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.
Truck Bed Drawer Tool Box
Truck-Tool-Box.com manufactures truck bed drawer storage boxes for pickup trucks and utility bodies. The bed boxes are constructed of all-aluminum material. All bed boxes are built in the United States and come with a 10-year warranty. The bed boxes come in standard and heavy duty models that range from 48 inches to 96 inches long. Custom sizes are also available.
The Load’N’Go Powerbody is a transferable service body up-fitted with a generator, compressor, welder and battery booster/charger. It universally fits Ford, Dodge and GM 1-ton pickup trucks. Features include a control panel in the side compartment for easy access and a 1,000-pound capacity slide-out parts drawer. The Load’N’Go Powerbody also has built-in forklift tunnels for easy transfer from one pickup to another, as well as the AirNArc 150 All-In-One Power System with an 18hp Kohler engine.
Northern Tool + Equipment
This unique system stores tools securely in a truck’s wheel well or behind a van’s third passenger seat. It has a stainless steel door hinge at the bottom of the universal door that opens from the top down to a stop at 90 degrees. This 5-drawer truck box fits pickups with bed liners, tonneau covers and caps. The steel surface is coated with iron phosphate and is powder coated for a rust-resistant finish.
Highway Products of White City, Oregon now offers its Pickup Pack – a custom storage system that combines quick and easy access to stored cargo, lockup security and maximum storage for work trucks. When closed, the hatch locks the tailgate, making the bed area secure and weather resistant. An optional 2,000-pound capacity Roller Coaster cargo tray slides your cargo out of the truck bed fast and easy. This marine-grade aluminum unit is available to fit all truck brands, models and bed sizes and comes with a five-year warranty.
Tuffy Security Products
Tuffy Security Product’s Heavy Duty Gear Drawers are perfect for anyone wanting organization and heavy duty security. These drawers are specifically designed for outdoor use and are completely encased, producing an extremely weather-resistant design. Patented Pry-Guard II locking system with a 1/4-inch-thick steel latch, the drawer can be latched closed without locking for convenient access. The slide-out system also features heavy-duty reinforced 1/8-inch and 16-gauge-thick welded top cross supports, and the top is rated to 2000# evenly distributed.