An unrestrained truck cargo bed can be dangerous to cab occupants as well as vehicles or pedestrians near the truck. Ever wonder why “headache racks” are so popular with many truck owners? Some like the rugged look but most appreciate the safety factor. A headache rack is a metal guard mounted at the front of the pickup bed that helps protect the cab and rear window from loose objects. They come in many styles, including tubular cross bars and stout wire mesh.
Headache racks serve as a reminder that unrestrained cargo can be dangerous to cab occupants as well as vehicles or pedestrians near the truck. Toyota Tundra has numerous features to assist in cargo control. Here’s a quick look:
2-tier loading – This feature is stamped on the inside of the bed. Four horizontal slots–two on each side of the bed–are located on the shelf by the wheelwell. These slots are directly opposite each other and support a length of 2×4 or 2×6 wood cut to the width of the cargo bed. These two pieces of wood now act like crossmembers and can separate cargo from the load floor. For example, PVC pipe can be stored on the floor and a load of 4×8 plywood can go on top of the wood crossmembers with easy access to both.
Bed dividers – Vertical slots–two on each side–are also stamped in the bed sides. These ribs add structural support to the inside of the cargo bed and can be used to divide the bed to help separate different types of cargo. Lengths of 2×8 or 2×10 wood cut to the width of the bed can be inserted into the slots to create partitions. This allows the owner to keep different building materials, such as dirt, rocks and wood chips, separated from each other.
Tie-down loops – D-shaped tie-down loops are anchored at each corner of the bed. These loops are very effective at securing hooks at the end of motorcycle-style tie downs. Some trucks use a bat-wing cleat as a factory tie down.
Deck Rail – This available feature is the ultimate tie-down system. This innovative utility uses C-channel brackets mounted inside the bed rails and along the header rail behind the cab. Large tie-down cleats can be positioned and tightened anywhere along the rails. The system comes with four cleats but additional cleats can be purchased for specific cargo needs.
The aftermarket offers numerous innovative cargo-control accessories that will help a wide range of customer needs. Some of the more popular items, like tie-down straps and spider nets, are strong sellers in the parts department. Other useful items include bungee cords, canvas or plastic wraps (to protect against weather) and even bed-mounted tool boxes.
Of course, a locking hard tonneau cover is one of the best ways to secure cargo if the load isn’t bulky or oversized.