Pickup truck bed covers provide protection from the elements and theft while creating a cool and impressive appearance. Traditional use of tonneau covers for sports cars now extends to pickup trucks, conveying sleekness and sophistication. Choosing a model from a variety of Houston bed covers requires consideration of cost, ease of operation and style. Numerous types of bed covers feature either hard or soft construction and are available through a Houston truck accessories company.
Soft tonneaus usually have a frame that supports a vinyl cover and attaches it to the truck bed. The most popular tonneaus among Houston truck parts include these styles:
Folding - Easy to adjust over a large cargo, folding tonneau covers offer flexibility that requires a minimum amount of time to establish protection. Featuring sections that fold on top of each other, the tri-fold cover is a style that is growing in popularity. Soft folding tonneau covers offer convenient installation.
Roll-up - With frames that require no drilling to attach to truck beds, roll-up covers offer more protection and ease of use than a standard tonneau cover. Roll-up covers incorporate bows that lie flat to prevent the appearance of a covered wagon. Some types have latching mechanisms that are accessible from underneath as a guard against theft.
Snap-down - Convenient snap models have built-in connectors that usually work better in the summer than in cold weather. Snow and ice can make the snaps difficult to engage, but they are easy to use in warm weather. Some types include movable snaps on the supporting frame rail to compensate for stiffness of the vinyl tarp in the winter.
Hard covers offer protection with rigid surfaces of aluminum, fiberglass or high impact plastic. Stylistic advantages include the option of painting them in a color that matches the truck. Popular types include:
Retractable - A canister at the front of the truck bed receives the tonneau when not in use. Usually constructed of rigid strips that provide a secure shield, the covers may have a surface of aluminum or vinyl. Cold weather can affect the operation of the retracting mechanism, and the frame rails need perfect alignment to ensure smooth operation. Some types feature a motor and a remote control that move the cover, but manual force is effective and minimal.
Hinged - Shocks assist in raising and lowering a hinged tonneau cover. As easy to operate as the trunk of a car, hinged covers have space restrictions that limit the height of a load. They provide security latches for cargo, and they have better aerodynamic effect on gas mileage. Opening or closing the cover is simple with the ease that a hinge offers.
Folding - Offering more security and a stronger cover than is available in soft folding tonneau covers, the hard folding model uses multi-panels or a tri-fold design that features easy removal. Folding hard tonneau covers offer the option of leaving the entire truck bed open as well as allowing only one open panel.
Fiberglass, standard duty aluminum and commercial duty aluminum are typical materials that make truck caps a popular choice for bed covers. Locks ensure a high level of security and theft protection. Fiberglass offers the option of molding the material to allow caps to form a shape that complements truck models. Choosing a paint in matching colors can make them look factory perfect. Standard duty aluminum caps are available in favorite shades, and they have a variety of shapes and styles for side windows. Professional contractors can benefit from the use of a reinforced frame and commercial duty aluminum that is heavier than standard material.