Don't let anyone tell you that a hard tonneau cover is not as good as soft versions when it comes to hauling large cargo; they are as good and are, in fact, better. Here are my tips on the four main types available and the companies that make the best of these.
There's a hard tonneau to suit everyone's needs; from stylish fiberglass that look superb on even Classic trucks through to covers specially designed for trucks that work for a living. Let's take a look at the various types and who makes the best in each category.
This material is great for those who use their trucks for work or who need a cover that is robust enough to withstand heavy use or knocks. Apart from toughness, the other main advantage of aluminum is that it's about half the weight of fiberglass.
Of the many good quality ones to choose from I'd recommend Lazer Lite. As the company rightly states, the cover is made from metal; the same material that's used in the manufacturing of your truck's body and doors. In fact, the Lazer Lite tonneau is 50% thicker than the hood of the Ford F150. The company supplies its covers in bare aluminum (you paint it) or it can paint-match it to your truck.
Anyone who tells you a hard tonneau cover means you can't haul large items hasn't heard of retractable hard tonneau covers. Pace Edwards is the industry's leading manufacturer of this type of cover. They are made of extruded aluminum panels that are connected with a patented silicone hinge seal. The cover can be operated by the touch of a button. When opened it's contained in a canister at the front of the bed. It's also very low-profile, incredibly strong and the electromagnetic brake system locks the cover in any position.
These can be manufactured to fit any truck, even Classic models. They are perhaps the most stylish and most versatile of hard tonneau covers. You can buy the traditional hinged model like the Gaylord TL-Series tonneau cover, or double folding models like the Gaylord Butterfly that is hinged along the centre of the truck bed, or even one that lifts vertically up off the rail like the A. R. E. TopUp Series.
An increasing popular choice; stronger than fiberglass but at a fraction of the weight or cost. While they can be painted manufacturers don't recommend it; instead the slight matte black finish complements most trucks’ components. The leading brand is Undercover Tonneau Covers. The patented X-effect design and advanced polymers were awarded the Ron Webster Memorial Award at the 2001 SEMA/TCAA show. It's presented “In Recognition of Outstanding Engineering Achievement". When you buy the cover you also get a garage wall mounting system.
Don't be put off by detractors of hard tonneau covers. There is a model and type to fit your requirements perfectly; if you buy one with these in mind you won't ever regret your decision.
For a selection of hard tonneau covers from leading makes like the Gaylord TL-Series tonneau cover , the Undercover tonneau cover and more just follow the links.