There are many advantages to owning a pickup truck, but there are also disadvantages. The bed of your truck is exposed road dirt and weather conditions, as is any cargo that you haul back there. Your cargo is also plainly visible, which could attract potential thieves. A tonneau cover addresses all these issues and more. It is one of the most useful truck accessories online you can find.
What Is a Tonneau Cover?
Tonneau covers date back to the early days of the automobile. Back then, cars were still very primitive, often manufactured and sold without roofs. Tonneau covers were developed to protect early cars from the elements. They are used most often on pickup trucks but sometimes also on convertibles or roadsters.
It’s not entirely clear how tonneau covers got their name. The word comes from French and may refer to the tunnel-like appearance of the cover of a BAK Industries tonneau cover.
What Are the Different Types?
Tonneau covers come in many different varieties. They can be either hard or soft. Soft covers are made of vinyl or canvas and are easy to install. Hard covers are typically made of aluminum or similar material.
Tonneau covers are designed to be easy to deploy and remove as needed. Some of the most popular covers fold up or roll up, while others open and close on hinges. Some covers slide open by retraction. For example, this is where Retrax tonneau covers got their name.
What Advantages Do They Offer?
To start with the obvious and most superficial advantage, tonneau covers make your truck look really cool. They give the cargo bed a sleek, attractive look.
Tonneau covers also keep your cargo itself safe and secure. A tonneau cover keeps your cargo safe in the truck bed and prevents it from falling out. It can also help to deter thieves by keeping your possessions out of sight so that they do not attract attention. With that said, a determined thief can still get past a soft cover by cutting it open. To keep your possessions fully secure, you need a hard cover.
Exposure to dirt and pollution can cause corrosion of your truck body. The cargo bed can be difficult to keep clean when it is always open. A tonneau cover can protect it from dirt and mud as well as leaves and other debris. One of the most significant advantages of a tonneau cover is and always has been protection from weather conditions such as snow and rain.
Tonneau covers not only make your truck look sleek, they also make it more aerodynamic, which can improve your fuel efficiency. However, not all covers are equally helpful in this regard. Soft folding tonneau covers are specifically designed for fuel efficiency. Otherwise, you are better off with a hard cover.
What Else Should You Know Before Purchasing?
Tonneau covers are not one-size-fits-all. Most are only compatible with certain vehicles. Before you purchase a cover, make sure it will fit your vehicle.
A online car parts vendor can advise you which tonneau covers are compatible with your truck. Knowledgeable staff can help you find one that suits your needs.