It is great to have all your tools at hand if you are a happy owner of a truck. Most likely you use such a car for work or other special personal needs. If you need to take a repair kit with you, or for example, you are going away for the weekend, you need a container for carrying different things. There can be a need to bring plumbing or carpentry tools. For sure, a truck tool kit can’t interfere with other tools and repair accessories at all.
But where to keep all your tools and other equipment safe and comfy? The installation of a truck toolbox can solve the problem. Besides, it can be of huge importance when you are on the move or in a remote location. Some practical recommendations and useful tips on how to install a truck toolbox on a car with a bed liner can be found in this article.
Table of Contents
Prepare for the installation
To get ready for the installation process find some screws and screwdrivers as well as bolts and nuts, a spanner, padding material, and some measuring tape. Don’t forget about protection. Prepare some protective clothes and gloves. After you have checked all the tools and materials, you are ready to start.
How to choose the truck toolbox
Remember that generally there are only two types of truck toolboxes.
The detachable one is very comfortable in use, as you can install or take it back just in 10 minutes. This way you can free extra space at your truck’s bed liner if needed. The only tricky thing here is to get the right size for your truck.
The fitting toolbox is permanent and needs proper installation. Let’s go through some simple steps and cover all the peculiarities of the installation process.
There is the third option – a handmade toolbox. You can make the truck toolbox yourself, according to the dimensions and the best location, which your truck allows. Think carefully about the materials, the lid of the box, and how it opens and closes as well as the locks.
The metal toolbox is not so easy to make. Welding can be required. A self-made steel box will be heavy. You can use thin sheet metal and make a box following the templates of factory designs.
Toolboxes are also classified according to their designs.
It is the most common type, which is mounted against the back of your car on the bed rails. The design of a crossover toolbox usually features a single lid that opens back. Some boxes can have two doors that open at the center. This construction splits the weight of the lead and facilitates opening and closing the box.
If you use your truck bed heavily and load it with plenty of gear an ordinary crossover box is not the best idea. It will be uncomfortable and hard to reach. In such cases, side-mount boxes are recommended to install. They provide easy access to your tools and are mounted at the sides of the bed of your truck. They can be shorter or longer to fit any lengths of your equipment.
The best upside you achieve with this type is extra storage. They have produced in different designs and can be fixed in different places.
Truck tool boxes differ according to the purposes as well. They come in different shapes and sizes and are manufactured for many objectives. To choose the best fitting box think about your expectations and possible future usage.
For average users
If you are a typical representative of a group of average users a 70-inch toolbox will be enough. The main advantage is that it doesn’t occupy much space in the bed of your car so you can use it more effectively. There is a wide variety of such boxes available on the market, and in most cases, they are effortless in installation and operation.
For heavy users
Usually, such people search for the best unit combining two qualities: affordability and reliable storage of tools. Search boxes usually come with water-resistant covers that ensure protection against damage or rain.
For all-purpose use
The last group includes two boxes which can be used for many different purposes. Such items usually can boast a huge volume for many different tools. You can transfer this toolbox from the truck to the parking lot, your garage, or trailer easily. Many models have very comfortable carrying handles.
To choose the best box always check these three factors:
The size of the truck bed
Measure the bed, the height of the walls, the distance between inside and outside of bed rails.
Note if you want easy access to your tools, choose a narrow side-mount toolbox. If you require a lot of space for big cargo and large equipment, booked for a crossover toolbox.
Ease of access
Choose the preferable type over the two books according to the regular occupation of the bed in your truck.
The installation guide
Step 1. Choose the place and perform the measurement
Scan the cargo section of the truck for the best place for your toolbox. Once you’ve made a decision on the most suitable place for your toolbox take the measuring tape and find out all the parameters. Think carefully about where and how you will fix the box and don’t forget about the lid, which must open easily. It must be comfortable for you to use. Of course, location number one is the front part of the cargo section just behind the driver’s chamber.
Step 2. Fix the padding
If your truck has a bed liner you can miss this step. If not place the padding before you fix your toolbox. Padding is essential in this case as it protects your tools from the vibrations and other shocks when the car is on the move. Also, it helps you save the paint on the truck and the box.
Fit the padding carefully between the sides and the bottom of the cargo section and the item you are going to install. With the measuring tape take all the necessary measurements and cut out the needed piece of padding. Locate the padding on the bed rail of your car.
Step 3. Target the box
Most trucks are manufactured with the idea that you might want to install a toolbox. That’s why there are special holes in your truck and all you need to do is just to align the box with the holes and fix it properly. In some cases you can see some rubber plugs instead, take them out and find the holes. For convenience, you can open the cover of the box.
Step 4. Insert the bolts
When you are ready with targeting and aligning insert the bolts into the holes. Match the bolt with the most compatible size to have a reliable joint. Check if the bed liner rails and your box feet tightly. Now drive in the bolts smoothly without special pressure or friction. To fix the whole construction typically you will use from four to eight bolts depending on the design of your toolbox. J-hooks are sometimes required for certain models. Some craftsmen even use ratcheting straps to fix the toolbox in the bed of the truck.
Step 5. Tighten the joints
To finish the installation you have to tighten the bolts and nuts properly. Do your best if you want your toolbox to fit firmly on the bed rails in your truck. Use a screwdriver or a spanner to tighten the bolts but don’t over-perform as you can spoil bed liner rails. In the future, you can use them for other equipment. So if you don’t want to damage your truck don’t tighten too much.
Too little force applied in the process of tightening will also lead to negative results. Due to vibrations produced by the car, the joints can loosen and the toolbox will wobble so don’t leave any gaps between bolts and nuts. For the same reason choose the bolts carefully to have a perfect fit.
Step 6. Carry out the final inspection
Look at the results of your work and check all the joints one more time to avoid any accidents. Open and close the lid of the box several times to see if it goes as needed. To understand if the box is fixed well shake it a little. From time to time repeat the procedure to check for loose ends.
Don’t be in a hurry when choosing a truck toolbox, spend a couple of minutes to be satisfied with the item for a long time.
There are some basic features that all quality truck tool boxes possess:
- They open and close easily
- They have an adequate cargo capacity
- The box and the lid are rigid and strong
- The box has to be low enough not to make any view obstructions for a driver
- High quality two boxes made with the idea of protection against water and dirt damage
Following these simple guidelines carefully, you can quickly install your truck toolbox with a bed liner even if you don’t have any experience and do it for the first time. Luckily no drilling is needed. Select the most suitable toolbox for your needs, preferences, and parameters. To perform the installation prepare all the required tools and materials in advance and be attentive at each step to be a successful owner of a cool truck toolbox.