One of the best things about a ute is that it can carry heavy loads, but there are a couple of potential problems: those loads aren’t secure, and they’re exposed to the elements. A cover is a good solution, but there are so many available that it can be hard to choose the right one. Here, you’ll learn how to keep your loads protected.
Soft Tonneau Covers
Although other alternatives are available, the tonneau cover is still a viable choice because of its versatility and convenience. It works just as well on a cab chassis or a pick-up. Soft tonneau covers are typically made from canvas or rubberized nylon. They can be removed quickly, unlike a conventionalroller cover, and can be folded compactly enough to fit inside the vehicle for storage.
Despite their benefits, there are a few drawbacks to the classic tonneau cover. They tend to deteriorate quickly, especially when exposed to the sun, and friction may damage your vehicle’s paint. Tonneau covers offer little protection from theft, as accessing the load is as easy as unhooking the cover or cutting it with a knife.
A ute roller cover offers the versatility of a tonneau with improved security. They work much like a roll-up garage door or the security shutters you’d find at a loading dock. These are well-suited to use on pick-up trucks such as the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
Roll tops consist of segmented aluminum screens, slides, and spring-loaded canisters. When the lock is undone, the cover retracts into the canister, using up a portion of your cargo area. It’s possible to drive a ute with the roller cover open, which makes it easier to carry a taller load. Roller covers can be fitted around other 4WD accessories such as sports bars.
Solid covers are front-hinged, and they open from the back, much like a boot lid. They’re typically made from composite materials such as fiberglass, and they’re secure and stylish, but load-carrying may be a challenge. These covers are best suited to use on pick-up trucks.
Load height will be restricted to the lid’s internal height, as you won’t be able to shut the cover if there’s something blocking it. Solid lids are easy to remove, but their weight may be a challenge for one person to carry.
Popular among ute drivers who want to carry work tools during the week and fun stuff on the weekends, canopies offer the security that hard lids and tonneaus can’t match. Canopies work with cab chassis and pick-ups, and they’re available in materials from pressed steel to canvas and vinyl. When calculating the vehicle’s GVM, be sure to consider the weight of the canopy.
Get Your Accessories Here
Covers help ute drivers carry and secure their loads, and each type has unique benefits and drawbacks. Find out more about our selection of ute and 4WD accessories, such as Hamer bull bars, by visiting our website or calling to consult with one of our experts.