A tonneau cover is of great help in keeping your cargo secured and truck bed protected. But sometimes, you also need a toolbox in your pick-up truck if you are an expert mechanic. Now, there are custom-sized tonneau covers available to ease the process. But if you have to do the modification yourself, then you have landed in just the right spot. Because today, I will help you modify the tonneau cover for toolbox fitting. So, let’s dive right in!
Although you can find toolbox edition tonneau covers or tonneau covers with integrated tools boxes as well in the market, if you want to do the modifications, then it’s not a big deal. It will take around 2 to 3 hours of yours to complete the job.
Types of Tonneau Covers
First things first, it is better to have an idea about your type of tonneau cover. For that purpose, I will briefly take you through the types of tonneau covers. Here you go!
When you see the word ‘soft’ in terms of tonneau covers, remember that it is about flexible and lightweight tonneau covers. The framework is based on Aluminum. There is a vinyl that covers the sections, which can be three or four. At the same time, the layering is pretty soft.
These tonneau covers make life easier because they are not only user-friendly but also quite functional.
Then comes another type of folding tonneau cover. Remember that folding tonneau covers provide great environmental protection. But the exciting part is that you can modify this tonneau cover for the toolbox. The reason behind this is the solid Aluminum top of this tonneau cover.
These tonneau covers are pretty strong to endure the load of the toolbox. Moreover, they are resistant to scratches and dents (sometimes). Although they can cost you more, they are very durable.
Then comes a very common type of tonneau covers – Rollup. They are very user-friendly because it is very easy to open or close them. There is a Velcro system used to close them. They do not provide very good protection against the weather. Although, they are pretty cheap. But you have to keep in mind all the aspects.
If you are looking for an optimal view of the rear-view window while the cover is folded, then this is the right product. It is the most versatile tonneau cover and provides a great defense against strong winds.
These are basically hard-folding covers but are capable of bearing heavy loads. They provide next-level dent and scratch resistance. These tonneau covers are a great choice when you are planning to modify the toolbox. Although the price is pretty high, the features ensure value for the money.
Then comes the last and very different type of covers that you can find in a lot of colors. They complement all the toolboxes and truck beds.
Moving forward, it is time to get into the procedure!
First of all, make sure that you have all the following equipment available if you are planning on doing this project. Moreover, if you have the know-how of using tools and stuff, then it will be a great experience for you. So, make sure about this equipment first!
- Measuring Tape
- Blade Cutter
- Sewing Machine
- Two Bungie Cords
- A Drill
- Drill Bits as Required
- Sharping Tool
If you have the above tools with you, then you are ready to get into the procedure.
Following are the steps that you have to follow in order to modify your tonneau cover for toolbox fitting in a perfect way.
- First of all, take measurements of your tonneau cover. Also, measure the size of the toolbox as well and take measurements of the tonneau cover based on the size of the toolbox.
- Taking the measurements, make sure the cover is rolled up. Then, mark around half a foot on the front of the second bar. Moreover, measure the middle bar towards the cab.
- Secondly, when you are done with the measurements, it is time to perform the cuttings using a hacksaw.
- The size and brand of the toolbox matter a lot. You have to connect the two halves to achieve the desired length. Remember that based on the toolbox, some halves will extend around half a foot behind the first bar. So, it totally is up to the toolbox.
- Once done, it is time to cut short the overlapping area. Remember that this cut size will be the size of your new tonneau cover. After that, check the fitting of the tonneau cover onto your toolbox.
- Now, remove the tonneau cover, unroll it (upside down), mark it a foot away from the cut-edge. It should be both on the passenger as well as driver’s side. You have to mark each of them irrespective of the order.
- There is a tool named Straight Edge that you have to use to link those two marks through the tonneau covering. After that, cut out the section from that. The tolerance provided in the form of an added inch covers the errors during the sewing process.
- After that, it is time to do the sewing. You can either do it yourself or get it done from some local shop.
- To ensure that the cover opens like a book, place the two halves of the cover top in line with the cut ends.
- To hook the Bungie cord through the frame, drill out the tonneau frame. Make sure that you don’t drill through the cover. You can also use a bracket to link the other end. This will help in holding the flap at high speeds and keep you relaxed as well.
So, this was one way of carrying out the procedure. There can be many other ideas to do the process. You should follow the one with which you are comfortable.
Note: Read if you want to know about the details of How To Install Truck Tool Box With Bed Liner
Well, if you cannot go through that process, there are alternatives as well. one of them is using a pre-modified tonneau cover. It should be designed in such a way that it accommodates the toolbox. You can find them online as well as locally. But keep in mind that you will have to pay extra for such a luxury. It is suggested that you also measure the truck bed properly before going for such a cover. For your information, most of the modified tonneau covers come in roll-up type. If you do not want a roll-up, then it may be difficult for you to find the desired one with this facility. But yes, you can do the modifications yourself as well.
I would suggest you look for a retractable tonneau cover. These tonneau covers are easy to convert into a toolbox-friendly solution. This is due to the flexibility and versatility that they offer. You can use them to make life easier. But that will not be long-lasting if you are looking for this aspect.
Therefore, you can choose to do things yourself. I mean that you can follow the method that I mentioned above to modify your tonneau cover. This will provide great results if you do it well.
In order to carry out the whole process smoothly, you should use the right tools and follow the procedure correctly.
Moreover, soft covers are very easy and possible to work with as compared to hard ones. Because when there is hard material involved, you need good expertise to do the modification.
Your safety is the most important thing, and it should be your utmost priority. If you are not used to mechanical tools, then you have to put in extra care. Especially while using machines like drills and tools like a hacksaw, you have to be extra careful. Because a slight mistake can have bad consequences. Depending on the job, you can use personal protective equipment. You can make sure about the following:
- Safety Gloves
- Ear Plugs
- Safety Goggles
- Safety Shoes
Other than that, it is totally up to you to decide what you want to have in terms of safety. But do not ignore it because that can lead to serious consequences as well.
It is a pretty cool idea to modify your tonneau cover. If you are good at doing it, then you can have pretty good results. Although there are other options available like pre-modified tonneau covers, you have to get limited choices, and the prices also get higher. So, modifying yourself is a great option.
To have the best results, you should follow all the steps in the correct order and manner. Do not bypass the steps and if you are not clear, browse more to get clear in your head regarding the method. Because tonneau covers are expensive and you should not damage them. This is all from my side. Have a great day!