Americans are in love with pickup trucks, and for a good reason. These vehicles are not only practical, but they can also be used for hauling many different types of cargo. This is the main reason why pickup sales in the U.S. have always made up a large portion of all vehicle sales. In 2010, pickup truck sales made up 18% of total vehicle sales. But if the type of cargo you are attempting to transport is too long for the truck bed, you'll want to install a bedxtender to your truck. The bedxtender will increase the truck bed's load hauling area and is compatible with just about any and all trucks. To make sure that your cargo is loaded properly, here are 4 tips for securing the bedxtender.
Listen for the "Click"
When installing the bedxtender to your truck, you should always make sure that the bedxtender is installed securely in place by listening for a "click" sound. The clicking sound confirms that the buckles and brackets of the bedxtender are inserted into the latches. Even if the bedxtender looks like it is secure, vibrations from being on the road may cause the bedxtender to shift in place if you don't hear the clicking sound. This will cause the bedxtender to loosen out of its installed location. There is nothing worse than noticing that the bedxtender is jumping around at the back of your truck when you are on the road.
Secure the Bedxtender to the Tailgate Door with Straps
While some bedxtenders claim that they do not need to be secured with straps, it's better to be safe than sorry. Secure the bedxtender to the tailgate door using nylon straps. You should consider adding a couple extra straps just in case. The straps will keep the bedxtender attached to the tailgate door even if the bracket or the buckle comes loose from the latches. Although it may seem tedious, always tighten the straps before you start the engine, as the straps may loosen with time as well.
Avoid Securing Cargo to the Bedxtender
Another common mistake that many truck owners make is securing the cargo to the bedxtender directly. This is definitely something that you should avoid. The sheer weight of the cargo may knock the bedxtender out of place and may end up dragging the bedxtender out of the truck should it fall out. At the very least, securing the cargo to the bedxtender will end up damaging the bedxtender. Depending on the weight of the cargo, the bedxtender may become damaged beyond repair. Instead, secure the cargo directly onto the truck bed instead. The truck bed will be much more secure.
Inspect the Fasteners for Tightness
If you have the bedxtender installed to your truck for prolonged periods of time, you should still inspect the extender frequently. In particular, you want to make sure that all of the fasteners are tightened before each trip. You want to pay extra attention to the bolt-on brackets that are secured between the bed liner and the truck bed sheet metal. Make sure the fasteners are in good condition as well. If you notice any distortion or corrosion, replace the fasteners immediately.
When secured properly, bedxtenders are great accessories for any truck. They increase the load hauling area, which helps to increase the load capacity and the type of cargo that can be transported. But make sure you handle the bedxtenders with care when you are installing them to prevent damaging the surface. You should also consider keeping the installation instructions and the manuals in the glove compartment of the truck. This way, you can take the manuals out for future reference whenever it is needed.