A lid isn’t just a beautiful addition to your UTE but is actually a functional accessory meant to keep your cargo secure and dry. There are different types of lids to protect your truck bed from exposure to the elements and security from theft. In this article, we consider flat covers, namely the soft tonneau, roll tops, fold ups and solid lids. Canopies, while also a UTE cover, is a category on its own and will be discussed in another article. One major difference between a flat cover and a canopy type is that these do not change the vehicle’s original style line and the driver’s visibility.
- Soft Tonneau – This is the classic cover that has been chosen by many for its simplicity, versatility and convenience. Tonneaus are available in many styles and in a wide array of fabrics but you will usually find them in rubberized nylon or canvas style fabric. It is often secured by press studs at the front, with more recent models replacing this with a sail track. It usually has a series of eyelets with a bungy cord weaved through it so the tonneau can be stretched and secured to the UTE bodywork with hooks. Other models have replaced the hooks with concealed fastenings. Check out our Keko Soft Tonneau.
The benefit of this type of cover is that they do not limit the size and shape of the cargo that can be hauled unlike the more rigid lids. They are also easy to remove and store. However, on the down side, it cannot be locked. It is also prone to UV damage which results in deterioration and fabric shrinkage over time.
- Roll Top– Roll top types are considered more all-season cover than the soft tonneau because it offers better weather resistance. It easily opens and closes allowing you full access to the truck bed and versatility with your cargo – if you need to haul a taller load, simply keep it open. There are two basic types – those that have a clamp mechanism at the front and rear rail that locks into the side framework and the retractable truck bed cover that has a spring-loaded canister at the front and a flush-mounted keylock at the rear. This is usually made with segmented aluminum substrate with a vinyl skin such as the Roll N Lock M-Series available at Beaut UTEs.
- Aluminium Lid – A relatively new product on the market. These lids are hard wearing, weatherproof and have a static load capacity of up to 200kg, making them an extremely popular choice. Beaut Utes have their very own aluminium lid, the B.U.L Lid, which has features that you won’t see on other aluminium lids. These include; easy removal in under a minute and the sky hook hinge which allows a sportsbar to be mounted directly to the lid. You can see more about the B.U.L Lid here.
- Sport Lid – These are single-piece lids that are hinged at the front and open from the rear and has gas struts on the sides – so imagine a giant boot-lid for your truck bed. These are often made with fiberglass or ABS plastic. What it lacks in load-carrying versatility, it more than makes up for in style and security. These can often be colour-matched to the UTE and are available in a variety of styles – compatible with chrome or black sports bar or with a top external rack. These are often fitted with a security lock that can be integrated with the UTE’s central locking system.
Choosing a lid for your UTE is really dependent on your needs. Do you need a part-time cover a more permanent solution? What kind of load do you usually carry? Lids can also affect UTE performance as these offer better wind resistance and can potentially improve your fuel mileage. A heavier lid can also improve ride quality for some vehicles.