Sunday, October 30, 2011

What More Can I Say About Truck Bed Boxes?

Truck bed boxes are our most popular item here at Auto Truck Depot so I always feel compelled to blog about them.  The questions we receive usually revolve around which manufacturer is “the best” and which box or boxes are right for a customer’s vehicle.  I’ll state it again for the record that we only pick the best in truck box manufacturers, so regardless of which company you choose you’re getting a high quality product.  As for which box…that’s a matter of personal preference.

These are the questions we generally ask our customers:

1.    What do you intend to haul in them? IE. Tools, purchases, outdoor sports equipment, etc.
2.    Do you have a problem with having holes drilled into your vehicle for installation?
3.    How much room do you need remaining in your truck bed?
4.    Is there a particular color you are looking for?
5.    Will you be hauling fuel?
6.    Is this a business vehicle or personal use?

Functional use questions are always first and foremost on our minds because there is a big difference between someone who wants a truck box to have a lockable storage unit should they happen to want to haul something securely for the day and someone is a construction contractor that needs to haul the same (expensive) tools and equipment around every day.
From an aesthetic perspective, some truck owners want a box that will match the color of their vehicle.  Others care about damaging their vehicle and want something that is non-invasive.  Some truck bed boxes do snap on, while others need to have holes drilled in order to keep them placed securely on the vehicle.  So we always want to ask if they have a problem with holes being drilled into their vehicle.

I try to cover a lot of questions in the blog, but really it is best to just come on down and check them out for yourself.  Our sales team can help you with any additional questions you may have about truck bed boxes.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rollup Tonneau Covers: Do you Really Need a Hard Top Cover?

Rollup Tonneau Covers are a practical and affordable purchase for your truck.  They give you the same amount of protection that a trifold or fiberglass Tonneau cover can give you, but at a cost that is much more affordable.  Much like shades in your home, you use a pull mechanism to roll back the cover.  This means you only have to use the cover when you need it.  This is highly practical for people who don’t want all the fuss of having to deal with full or partial coverage.

We offer basic rollup Tonneau covers and “roll and lock” covers so you can secure the contents of your truck bed should you need to run into a store.  These types of covers come in variable thicknesses and level of effort involved.  You can get a rollup Tonneau cover that is under $300 and ones that are over $1000.  When people are purchasing a rollup cover over a folded or other harder surface retractable cover they do tend to go with the lower end models and that makes sense.
Installation of these types of Tonneau covers is easy-peasy, as they say.  Most of them work on a clamp system making them one of the types of covers that we actually endorse people putting on by themselves at home.  This creates a greater level of affordability for our customers.  They are all pretty durable and the feedback from our customers (so far) has been great.  Naturally, they aren’t going to last as long as say an aluminum or fiberglass model would, but then again you aren’t paying as much so it probably evens out over the course of five years.  If you want an affordable protective solution for your truck bed check out our rollup Tonneau covers.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Who Makes the Best Pickup Box?

A pickup box is a highly useful piece of aftermarket equipment.  Probably our top selling item, in fact.  Customers ask us a lot which is the best pickup box or truck box that we sell.  My answer is: all of them.  I say this because I specifically only choose those vendors that create quality, top-of-the-line items.  Our two top sellers: Tradesman and Weather Guard are pretty much identical in construction.  They were made by master craftsmen and will last you forever, practically.  I don’t think when it comes to items we stock in our showroom that I could choose which is the best product line, I think I would just ask someone first what they want to use a truck box for and go from there.

You see, there are all types of truck boxes out there.  Boxes that will haul hu1954 Studebaker Pickup. An antique truck seen ...Image via Wikipedianting dogs, boxes that will haul tools, boxes that can safely haul liquids—I mean, really, if you can think of something that could be hauled in a box, trust us, Tradesman and Weather Guard thought of it first.  Do you want to haul power tools in your pickup box?  Weather Guard has tool boxes that can be fitted onto your truck.  Do you not like to share the driving experience with your hunting dog, Flash, and would prefer he have a comfortable bed in the back of the pickup?  Tradesman has a nice dog box that would do him nicely.  Are you afraid of keeping unlocked guns in the back of your truck?  Tradesman and Weather Guard both have L-Shaped boxes that can store hunting and fishing equipment.

Really, these products are expansive and customizable.  We love the added utility these truck boxes add to our trucks, vans, and SUVs.  You can put on a single gullwing, or add to the configuration with side boxes, underbed boxes, and L-shapes.  They can be hard resin or metal, steel colored or powered white and black.  They can fit under Tonneau covers or be stand alone.

So when asking which truck box is the best, it is really a question we should ask of you?  What pickup box suits you best?
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Receiver Hitches: What are They and Why Do I Need One?

Receiver hitches are but one of the many types of hitches we sell here at Auto Truck Depot.  A hitch is just a piece of equipment that enables you to attach a trailer or object to your truck or vehicle.  There are ball hitches, gooseneck hitches, weight distribution hitches, fifth wheel hitches, ball hitches, and receiver hitches.  A receiver hitch is a type of hitch that contains a “receptacle” that can accommodate an insert, such as a ball mount or bike rack.
Receiver for a hitch. Factory installed on a 2...Image via Wikipedia
We don’t sell a phenomenal amount of receiver hitches at Auto Truck Depot because the types of customers we see daily usually have large trailer needs for which receiver hitches just aren’t suitable.  We do get, however, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts who come in to purchase a receiver hitch for their larger bike racks or smaller trailers.  A receiver hitch would be well suited for someone who wishes to attach a smaller trailer to their vehicle to haul their four-wheeler or jet-ski.  It would not be suited for someone who want to hook up a horse trailer and so that they can drive their 18 hands high Shire horse to a show.  It would also not be suitable for someone who wants to haul a camper behind their vehicle.  However, it would be suitable to put on an RV for the purpose of hauling your Honda Civic behind it.

Receiver hitches –even the industrial duty ones, top out at about 15,000 pounds loaded weight—that’s the trailer weight, fuel weight, and cargo weight.  Usually, people will purchase a receiver hitch when they are looking to haul something that is less than 10,000 pounds.  Beyond that most folks upgrade to a fifth wheel, gooseneck, or other type of weight distribution hitch.  It’s just safer that way.  But if you aren’t intending to haul a herd of steer or a yacht behind your truck then you can absolutely get away with purchasing receiver hitches.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Trifold Tonneau Covers: Who Doesn’t Love Them?

Our trifold Tonneau covers and other retractable lines are always popular with customers.  People simply want that option if they are going to buy something that covers their truck beds.  I mean, you bought a truck over an SUV because you wanted that open bed experience.  The covers are just an accessory that can help you protect what you are hauling, but they shouldn’t prevent you from full functional use of the truck design. 

Having a trifold Tonneau cover makes it that much easier when you are putting smaller items into the back of your truck.  Do you really want to life the entire cover to throw some groceries in the back?  Heck no.  You just want to pop back one of the folds, shove the bags in and be on your way.  Don’t get me wrong, those fiberglass Tonneau covers are beauties to be sure.  They just aren’t as “easy in, easy out” as a retractable cover like a trifold or soft top can be.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: it all comes down to personal preference.  There are people who like the simplicity of fiberglass covers and don’t mind that the entire cover needs to be lifted to put stuff in and out.  They like the way it looks and operates.  And there are people who want the option of pulling back just a little bit of the cover to put something in.  I’m certainly not going to tell anyone which aftermarket product they should buy.  I’m just here to explain the benefits of each one.  And from my vantage point, I can see that the retractable covers are highly versatile.  So when I hear people explain that they want a cover so they can haul groceries or shopping bags in the back of their truck, of course, I’m going to recommend a trifold Tonneau cover.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Popular Truck Bed Boxes

Truck Bed boxes for trucks literally come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  There are L-shapes, gullwing, dog boxes, side boxes, drop down boxes, tool boxes—if you can think it up there is probably a truck box already made for it.  Metal, hard plastic, fiberglass…powder coat, stainless steel, sports team themed—I’m telling you there are a lot of bed boxes out there to choose from.

Here at Auto Truck Depot we keep a huge selection in stock because they are probably our best selling item.  In fact, I’d almost hazard a guess that the gullwing truck box is probably the top seller at our store.  They are highly functional, useful pieces of aftermarkRed Pickup TruckImage by jp1958 via Flickret equipment.  People can safely store tools in their bed boxes or even purchases that they just made at the store.  A truck box can keep the items safe from the destructive nature of the elements, as well as, preventing lightweight “loose” items from flying out the back of your vehicle.  And when you purchase something like a gullwing truck box you are buying a storage unit that won’t take up too much space in the back of your vehicle (most of them allow you to store items under them) thus enabling you to still use the full range of your truck bed.

Other popular types of Truck bed boxes include tool storage boxes.  Weather Guard makes a really popular line of tool storage boxes for trucks that our contracting customers just love.  Not only do they come in the gullwing, L-shape, underbed, and rail top shapes, but also they have compartments for all of your tools.

You really have to come down to the show room and have a look because I cannot describe them all.  Suffice it to day we carry a lot of truck boxes because they are utilitarian and attractive.  Our customers simply cannot get enough of our line of bed boxes.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Buying a Fuel Transfer Tank

Fuel transfer tanks are mostly purchased by either contractors or farmers, in my experience.  The average truck owner who doesn’t need to fuel a large tractor or another truck in their fleet isn’t going to go to the trouble to purchase a fuel transfer system.  He or she is just going to go out and get a plastic or metal gas can and shove it in the back of their truck for emergencies.  Therefore, when we decided to stock fuel transfer pumps and fuel transfer tanks we went to those companies who provide high quality, durable units.

There are a lot of companies who sell liquid transfer tanks that they know will be used for fuel transfer, but they won’t go the extra mile to have their units certified for fuel.  I even know a lot of folks who have these systems and use them as fuel transfer tanks with no problems or issues to speak of.  However, I don’t feel right about selling a product that a company won’t stand by.  That’s why all of our sales staff know to explain to customers that if the product doesn’t say specifically that it is a fuel transfer tank then it should not be used to haul fuel of any kind—only water.

Yes, it is cheaper to purchase a liquid transfer tank, but ask yourself why?  Why is it cheaper?  If you are going to all the trouble to buy a 75 gallon transfer unit then you are serious about hauling fuel.  Don’t skimp on quality and safety just to save a few bucks in the short term.

When you have to make an important purchase like this, go with the best.  Pick a company like Weather Guard who will stand by their product.  If you have any questions about fuel transfer, storage, or pumping systems please ask anyone here at Auto Truck Depot.  All of us are glad to answer questions and point you in the right direction for making your purchase of a fuel transfer tank.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Retractable Tonneau Covers: So Many to Choose From, So Little Time…

Retractable Tonneau covers are very popular with our truck crowd.  Tonneau covers, in general, are popular but more and more we’re getting inquiries for the retractable Tonneau covers (as opposed to the hinge-lift) types.    These bad boys come in manual and electronic models for ease of use.  So whether you want to fold up your Tonneau cover by hand or push a button via remote control, we have a retractable cover that will suit your hauling needs.

People love retractable Tonneau covers because it allows you to only “partially” open your vehicle cover should you only need to put in a smaller item.  This comes in handy when it’s raining or snowing and you don’t want to have to expose the full bed of your vehicle to the weather.  It’s also nice for when you’re just feeling lazy and don’t feel like opening up the entire cover just to throw in a bag of groceries.  A lot of people like having the partial option when their cover is remote controlled because it enables you to start opening the cover before you even get to the vehicle, so you can make a quick exit from a crowded parking lot. 

Most of our Tonneau covers are no-drill, clamp-in designs.  We don’t believe that a product needs to be invasive to be secure.  So don’t worry about having to drill holes in your truck just because you have a fancy, remote-controlled retractable Tonneau cover.   Products should be functional, attractive, and non-invasive because you never know come resale time what the next owner will want from their vehicle.

Because of the popularity of these products with our customers, I can assure you that you will find in our showroom a Tonneau cover to fit whatever requirements you may have.  We have roll back soft tops, hinged fiberglass, fold back aluminum, and (of course) retractable Tonneau covers.
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Versatility of Checkerplate on your Truck or SUV

Checkerplate, or “Diamond plate” is a type of stamped or hammered metal used for running boards, step boards, and truck boxes.   This type of metal stock is also used for stairways and industrial catwalks because of its “no slip” qualities.  Here at Auto Truck Depot we carry a lot of diamond plate products.  Most of our truck boxes are made from powdered checkerplate, and we also carry a line of running boards that are made from this material, as well. 

Our lines of checkerplate products were stocked because they are functional, durable, and—let’s face it— they look great.  Tell me with all seriousness that diamond plate metal doesn’t have a tough look to it.  It has a much more industrial look than say molded plastic.  When you have diamond plate anything on your vehicle that says subconsciously to others that you own that vehicle because you need it for hauling, working, and doing other rough and tough stuff with it.  Heck, diamond plate can even make an SUV look tough!

Not only does diamond plate look good, but the no-slip quality makes it perfect for running boards and other functions that require that extra bit of “grip” to it.  When you have a checkerplate running board you don’t need to worry about putting on rubber step covers.

We think that diamond plate products are useful, versatile, and look great on your truck which is why we carry so many of these products in stock.  If you are looking for a truck box or running board in diamond plate metal then come on down to our showroom and ask one of our sales representatives to show you our line of checkerplate products.
Project 50/50 - Week 9 Image by InspiredinDesMoines via Flickr
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