Owning a pickup truck is about more than just driving into the lot and pointing to the one you want. It's a rarefied club of enthusiasts and specialists who know that it's all about the accessories that you kit the truck out with after you bring it home. The pickup market has become a versatile industry that attracts rural farmers, city slickers, and everyone in between: because of the vast number of uses that these vehicles serve, there is a wide range of add-ons that pickup owners can choose from to make their truck work for them. For an expert, it may seem easy, but for novices, the choices may seem overwhelming. Here's a list of some of the best pickup accessories on the market.
It should almost come standard (and sometimes does), but if you don't have a trailer hitch for your pickup than you run the risk of missing the very point for which the car was made. Also known as a tow hitch or a tow bar, it attaches to the chassis of your vehicle and allows it to transport considerable weight behind you using the power generated by your truck. Hitches have five different classes and can tow anywhere from 2,000 to 17,000 pounds (as long as your truck has the juice for it) so be sure you know which one is right for you.
If you're a respectable truck owner, then you'll be taking your truck off road, and if you do that, you'll need to protect it from becoming an absolute mess. Most importantly, splash guards (or mud flaps) will protect your truck from rocks hitting it, which will help to keep it looking good as new once you've taken it to the car wash. Get guards for both your front and rear tires, or attach guards to your trailer if you're pulling some cargo along. And of course, don't forget to get some witty sayings or cartoon characters on them. It isn't a pickup unless it's making your neighbors chuckle, is it?
If you're using your truck bed to haul any kind of materials, or if you risk getting it dinged at all, you'll want to install tailgate protectors that wrap around the truck bed and the rear. Trucks are meant to last but paint jobs are expensive, and if you're loading and unloading often you'll find it's almost impossible to avoid scrapes and scratches. Plus, there are a ton of styles and materials to choose from, so you can personalize your vehicle and make tailgate protectors a cool accessory, rather than an unsightly add-on.
After the hitch, a bedliner is probably one of the key bits of kit you'll want for your pickup truck. They shield the inside of the truck bed from damage and also help to stop any cargo from skidding, which is more helpful than you realize if you're hauling cargo down the highway. Bedliners normally come in two types: 'drop-in' liners are inserts that can be easily installed and removed for cleaning, and 'spray on/in' is a coating that you apply to the truck bed which, once dry, provides the same kind of protection for your truck bed. Which one is right for you will depend on your preferences and use, and you'll likely find converts to either one who will tell you all you need to know about the benefits (and drawbacks) of either. Welcome to truckworld!
Nothing looks quite as awkward as pulling up in your fancy new pickup and not being able to get down from the seat because it's a five-foot drop to the ground. Running boards install easily onto your car and give you a step to get in or out of the vehicle. When they were first introduced to the market, they were simple pieces of hardware that you'd install and forget about. Now, they come in all levels of intelligent and tech-friendly, and can also be retractable to protect them while you're driving.
Sometimes you want to use your pickup for more than lugging 2x4's to and from the worksite, and you need to have another layer of security for your belongings. Tonneau covers can be either hard or soft: the hard cover uses a hinging or folding mechanism while soft covers roll back and forth to conceal items. These covers can keep objects stable while the truck is in motion, protect them from sun, rain or snow, or just lock things in place when you need to run into the store for a moment. Hey, just because you're a pickup owner doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your security.
Sometimes, a massive cargo bed just isn't enough to store all of your bulky items, and you need to double down on space. Installing a truck rack allows you to double the amount of space you have to transport items by creating a cage in the cargo bed, upon which you can fasten, tie or hang whatever you're carrying. There is a wide range of materials available, and many truck racks are easily installed and removed. Whether it's a tree trunk or a kayak, there's nothing your pickup won't be able to haul.