Whether you use your truck for work or pleasure (or a combination of the two), you could probably use some more storage area (especially in the bed). One of the very best ways to maximize your truck’s current storage setup (without going off the proverbial customization deep end) is by installing a custom storage system.
Innovative truck bed storage solutions aren’t just for busy blue-collar professionals who need quick access to their tools on a job site. These storage systems can be used by anyone who needs more storage in their truck.
If you’re wondering how to go about installing a custom storage system (or even how to design one for that matter), look no further. Below we cover everything you need to know about installing the perfect storage setup for your truck, along with some excellent tips for managing your truck’s storage areas.
1. Proper Measurements Are Vital
If you don’t properly measure the areas that you want to install a storage system into, you’re going to run into some serious problems during the actual installation process. Some of the most important design aspects of the vehicle you plan on installing the system into are as follows:
- Anywhere that has permanent fixtures (i.e. toolboxes, shelving, etc.).
- Jot down exactly where the wheel wells are, spare tire locations, etc. These notes can end up saving you a lot of time down the road.
- Don’t neglect your tools either. It’s important to take note of how much space all of your tools/equipment actually needs (which is very easy to overlook during the planning phase).
After all of your measurements have been properly taken, noted, and finalized, it’s time to actually build the system. Alternatively, you can also purchase a custom-made storage system online, or from a local supplier (after providing your sizing details).
2. Don’t Forget About Shelves & Containers
During the process of measuring and planning out your storage system, it’s fairly easy to forget about all of the different configurations that are possible. A lot of people forget that some of the most basic storage systems still work quite well (e.g. shelves, containers, drawers, etc.).
Using premade containers can save a lot of time during the building process. Rather than build custom metal containers (which would add a significant level of weight to your vehicle), why not consider using plastic containers instead? They’re relatively durable, extremely lightweight, and very cost-effective.
Drawers can easily be made from plywood. There are also numerous companies that offer custom made drawer systems made out of everything from plastic to lightweight aluminum. Remember your budget though, and also consider any weight limitations your vehicle has. You don’t want to add any unnecessary weight to your truck (which will just end up costing more in fuel than anything).
3. Painting Techniques and Considerations
After you’ve built and/or assembled your custom storage system, it’s time to paint it. Most people opt for the same color as their truck; however, you can also be unique and choose to go with a contrasting color as well.
However, you also need to take into account the color of your tools. Don’t make the common mistake of painting your storage system the same color as your tools (which can cause some massive headaches when you’re trying to find your tools on a Jobsite/at home). Remember to paint both the exterior and interior of the system as well.
4. Installation and Finalizing the Storage System
Before actually installing the system and finalizing everything, be sure to remove any drawers, removable shelves, etc. Remember that the storage system needs to be firmly set in place (which most people do by using screws and special bracket systems).
After you’ve permanently attached the storage system to your truck bed, it’s time to finalize everything. One of the tips that most people overlook (but professionals always do), is to rub some wax/lubricant along the bottom of all the shelves/drawer systems. This makes it much easier for them to open/close, and also prevents them from getting stuck.
One of the main reasons why people choose to buy a truck is because of the utility they offer. They’re great at hauling, loading, towing, and many other hard-duty tasks. Having a custom-made storage system makes doing everything a truck is designed to do easier. Using the tips, we covered above should set you on the right path to designing and/or installing an effective storage solution for your utility vehicle.