Everything You Need to Know About Ute Liners

Liners are an essential ute accessory that protects your tray from scratches, dings, dents and liquid spillage. Without the necessary protection, your truck bed can become easily damaged which will reduce your ute’s future resale value.

Ute liner base

There are two types of protective lining for your ute bed: spray ons or drop ins. Spray on is basically a thick rubber-like material that is either sprayed, painted or rolled onto the truck bed making it a permanent liner for your bed. A drop in is the more common one used in New Zealand – this is a plastic shell made to fit in the bed of your ute. It is the more budget-friendly liner and is easily removable. Mats are another option for protecting your ute bed, but this is usually used in tandem with either a drop in or a spray on liner.

There are two types of drop in bed liners: the under-rail and the over-rail styles. The under-rail model wraps under the steel lip at the top of the bed. It is a more subtle variation of liners which tucks underneath the vehicle frame. This is recommended for hard lid and ute canopies because the edge of the liner is not visible and creates a seamless look.

Mitsubishi Triton with tub liner

The over-rail liner, on the other hand, wraps over the steel lip at the top of the bed, which makes it a good choice for open tray tops or those that use vinyl tonneau covers, to give the upper edge of the ute tray further protection. Over-rail liners are also designed to protect the top of the tailgate and the sides of the wellside when loading and unloading your ute.   

Ute liners are custom moulded for a perfect fit with your vehicle and are usually installed without the need for drilling. Liners come with a fitting kit that accesses factory tie hooks or rails for easy installation. Because the liners have that contour-fit and are air-tight, it protects your ute’s deck from dirt, water and common chemicals like oil, petrol and battery acid that can cause rust, corrosion and abrasion.

The protective lining can also dampen vibrations from the deck and deadens the sound, giving the passengers a smoother and quieter ride. Some models, such as the Sportguard Liner, even have a non-slip ruberrised base which doesn’t just offer maximum protection and durability but is also great for keeping your cargo in place.

Exploded shot of Sportguard ute liner

Most liners are made with high-density polyethylene which makes it hard-wearing yet flexible and resistant to cracking and chipping.

Ute bed liners have a tendency to trap dirt and debris, so cleaning it regularly is a must. Remove items from the truck bed and sweep out or vacuum any dirt. Check the liner for stains and use an automotive degreaser to remove them. Pressure wash the truck bed with water and use an all-purpose cleaning liquid or gel. You can also use car wash soap or orange concentrate cleaner to clean your truckbed liner. Then, rinse it off with a high-pressure hose making sure you get into all the corners and crevices. Allow it to dry completely or wipe away excess water with a microfibre cloth. Proper maintenance prolongs the use and durability of your ute liner.  

Getting a truck bed liner is a smart investment that protects your vehicle and your gear and adds value to your ute.