The 10 Best F150 Bed Covers
10. TruXedo TruXport
9. Tonno Pro 42-305
8. Rugged Liner E3-F5509
7. Roll-N-Lock M-Series
6. Bestop EZ-Roll
4. Lund Genesis
3. Smittybilt Smart Cover
2. Tyger Auto Tri-Fold
1. Bak BakFlip G2
History Of The Ford F-Series Truck
The Ford F-Series of trucks has been the best selling line of trucks in the United States for nearly 40 consecutive years. It has also been the top-selling vehicle of any kind for over 30 years. The F-Series line was first released in 1948 and has been continually modified and improved year after year since its inception.
When Ford released the 1948 F-Series truck, it was their first post-war line of new vehicles. They came with three engine options and a range of cab and chassis configurations. The smallest of these being the F-1, and the largest being a 3-ton beast of a vehicle, the F-8.
In 1953, Ford celebrated its 50th anniversary and completely redesigned the F-Series truck line. The F-1 was replaced by the F-100, and the F-2 and F-3 models were both replaced by the F-250. It was also the first year that an automatic transmission was offered in Ford's truck line and the last year for the Ford flathead V-8 engine, which is still popular with retro hot-rodders today.
1959 marked the first year that a factory installed 4-wheel drive option was available on both the F-100 and the F-250. Before this time, only aftermarket conversions were available. Ford's decision to offer their F-Series truck line with factory 4-wheel drive was influenced by the increasing public interest in off-roading recreational vehicles. This was also a time when the pickup truck began to enjoy some popularity as a personal vehicle, instead of just a work truck.
In 1975, the first Ford F-150s were released. It was intended to be a heavy-duty version of the popular F-100 with a higher payload and stronger springs, but eventually its popularity far surpassed that of its smaller counterpart and, in 1984, the F-150 replaced the F-100 as Ford's base model full-size pickup truck.
Benefits Of Truck Bed Covers
Truck bed covers offer a vehicle owner a number of benefits that cannot be realized with an open bed. One of the most obvious being protection from the elements. Harsh weather of all types can be damaging to not just a truck bed, but its contents as well. Long-term exposure to the sun can cause cracking in plastic and leather items, as well as bleaching and color loss. Rain can cause metal items to rust and damage sensitive electronics. If one does not have a truck bed cover, they will only be able to transport items in fair weather. Truck bed covers also protect cargo from road debris and dust, ensuring your items arrive clean and free of damage.
Truck bed covers offer your cargo more security, from both falling out and theft. Just keeping valuables out of sight is often enough to reduce the chances of anything being stolen from a truck bed, but a locking truck bed cover can offer even more protection. In fact, a locking truck bed cover is the best way to reduce the chances of equipment theft.
Anytime cargo is loaded into an open pickup truck bed and transported at high speeds, there is also a chance of it falling out on the road, especially lighter items that can be tossed around by the wind. Truck bed covers can prevent you from losing items and also keep the roads safer.
It's not just people who often transport cargo that can benefit from a truck bed cover. Everybody feels the pinch of steadily increasing gas prices. This is doubly so for vehicles like trucks, which are known to get lower miles per gallon. In addition to an efficient engine, one of the best ways to improve a cars MPG is to make it more aerodynamic. Installing a truck bed cover can increase a vehicle's MPG by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.
Picking The Right Truck Bed Cover
Soft tonneau covers are ideal for those who don't want to spend a lot and are interested in improving MPG and protecting equipment from the elements. Most have a frame of some type that supports the soft vinyl material and they snap closed along the edges of the truck. Unfortunately, they cannot be locked so they are not great for anyone who wants to store equipment overnight.
Roll-up soft tonneau covers are slightly more expensive than standard soft tonneau covers, but they are more convenient. They have similar security drawbacks, but are easier to remove when access to the bed is needed. Many also feature a rear tension system to make attaching the cover in cold weather easier.
For those who often need to access just a small section of their truck bed, folding covers are often the perfect choice. They are available in soft and hard versions, and many can be locked in place when the tailgate is locked. They will also allow you to carry tall cargo, while still leaving a portion of the truck bed covered.
Another option for those who like convenience is the retractable cover. These slide into a canister located at the front of the bed. They offer a sleek appearance as they are generally flush with the truck and are available in a range of materials. Retractable covers offer a high level of security as nearly every model can be locked, and many can be secured even when partially opened.