Still undecided to upgrade you truck by installing a tonneau cover? Here are tonneau cover advantages that might help you decide.
In the automotive world, a tonneau cover mostly refers to the cover that is used on the back of pickup trucks.
Although the cover can be used on other vehicles such as roadsters or convertibles, it is most commonly used to cover the truck bed of pickups.
Tonneau covers derive their name from the early years of automobiles. At that time, passenger vehicles had a round compartment called a tonneau, which was a French word for a cask or barrel.
This compartment had to be covered, and the cover was called a tonneau cover.
Advantages of Using a Bed Cover on a Truck
Pickup bed covers or tonneau covers, as they are popularly called, can be visually attractive. They often make a truck to look stylish and modern. However, aesthetic appeal is not the only reason to use a pickup back cover. There are other benefits to it. Let us look at each one of them in detail.
When transporting valuable items, a tonneau cover can help to protect them from theft.
The cover keeps the goods out of sight, and potential thieves will not know what is in the truck bed.
Apart from warding off attention, a truck bed cover makes accessing the goods by unauthorized persons less probable.
Most covers are hard and difficult to break into. They are made from hard materials and feature secure locking mechanisms.
2. Protection from Damage
A tonneau cover protects items from not only theft but also damage by the elements.
During bad weather, such rainy or snowy days, a tonneau cover can help shield the goods being hauled. The cover also offers protection from other elements such as wind, dust, and others.
This safe transportation is one of the main reasons why truck owners install bed covers.
3. Better Gas Mileage
Many truck owners, even those who have installed a cover, may not be aware of this benefit.
An empty truck bed, due to aerodynamics, causes air drag.
The vehicle then works hard to overcome the resistance, consuming more fuel.
A tonneau cover helps to reduce the drag. That, in, turn mean less power to move the vehicle, and reduced fuel consumption.
The savings may not be much per trip, but the amount builds up over time to make a considerable difference.
4. It Holds Things in Place
It is not uncommon for items to shift in a truck bed, sometimes even fly off when the vehicle is speeding on a highway.
A bed cover can easily prevent that. By keeping everything in its place, it saves the truck owner the loss that may result from things knocking against others, or spilling on the road and getting damaged or lost.
5. It Provides More Value
As we have seen, truck bed covers help you save on gas.
Over the time you own the truck, you will have accumulated a lot in these savings to offset the cost of the tonneau cover.
Installing a pickup back cover also means the back of the truck will remain in good condition for years.
Should you decide to sell it, that can mean a higher price than if the bed was exposed to the elements and damaged.
The 4 Best Material Used in Tonneau Cover
Tonneau covers can be made from different materials. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. The materials are:
Vinyl covers usually look less sophisticated when compared to other covers. However, it is the most common material for a tonneau.
The material makes stylish covers but which are soft and easy to cut into.
The original vinyl cover was a simple design stretching the length and width of pickup trucks.
The modern one comes in different designs ranging from those with aluminum frames to velcroed snaps.
A rigid material, fiberglass produces the popular single-panel tonneau covers, although foldable ones are becoming increasingly popular.
The material is both sturdy and durable. As a result, fiberglass covers are suitable for use in rugged terrains and harsh climates. The material can be painted to suit different tastes.
The only drawback of this material is perhaps its bulky nature.
Molded ABS Plastic
This material is popular for being lightweight yet sturdy.
Truck bed covers made from molded plastic are light enough to allow easy lifting, and truck owners find them easy to remove or replace.
A hard material, plastic absorbs impacts well without denting.
To improve the aesthetic appeal, covers made from this material are sometimes topped with a layer of vinyl.
Aluminum is both lightweight and strong.
It is one of the reasons the material found its way into the tonneau cover industry.
Aluminum covers offer excellent security and come in a variety of designs such as roll-up and folding.
The main disadvantage of this material is that it dents easily. It cannot withstand impacts like other materials such as fiberglass or plastic.
5 Common Questions About Tonneau Covers
Tonneau covers are little known about, and many people usually ask questions about them. We sampled the most asked and provided short but clear answers.
The simple answer is yes, the do. Tests have confirmed that. However, some people dispute this and argue that a tonneau cover brings no improvement in terms of gas mileage.
Proponents and vehicle experts use aerodynamics to explain the change.
Basically, covering the bed reduces air drag, and the engine consumes less fuel per kilometer. You should not expect to see a large difference, though.
Yes, they do. The savings are usually not huge but can accumulate over time to significant amounts.
We would say no if that meant across all trucks. Tonneau covers are usually made to specific trucks.
If we were talking about that particular truck and its kind of bed covers, we would say yes, the tonneau cover is universal. That cannot be said when talking about different trucks with different bed sizes and construction. The covers would be different.
Still, differences can occur when these covers are used in different vehicles. A tonneau cover for jeep, for example, would be different from a tonneau cover for truck.
The same case with let us say, a a tonneau cover for boat. And while they may be used for the same purpose, you would find the covers dissimilar in the way they are made.
It depends on the material and the locking mechanism if any.
Vinyl covers are soft and not suitable when the truck bed requires protection from damage or theft. Fiberglass and aluminum are hard and high-strength materials.
When provided with a locking mechanism, they can be secure enough to prevent theft or protect goods from damage.
Tonneau covers are mean to protect the truck bed, which means they are usually designed to be leak-free.
However, that often depends on the type of cover and the manufacturer.
A quality tonneau or truck bed cover should not leak.