The truck and trailer beds are both important for hauling. A truck bed serves a wide range of purposes such as for carrying a large toolbox or for storing some items that you can’t otherwise put into the trailer. The trailer bed, on the other hand, takes a lot of beating throughout its life. Because of their vital role in the business, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of how to keep them in good condition.
Truck Bed Maintenance Tips
Pickup trucks are one of the most common vehicles used for towing trailers. And while you don’t have to worry about its bed on a daily basis, you need to do something to keep your truck bed in good shape. That way, you can also extend the life of your truck.
- Install a bed liner
One of the most common and easy ways to maintain your truck bed is by installing a bed liner. It fits over the truck’s steel bed, providing a direct layer of protection. A liner can be made of vinyl, plastic or other polymers. If you choose this path, proper installation is key to getting the most benefits. Make sure that you have it installed by a professional who can ensure that moisture or dirt can’t get under the cover.
- Install a cover
A bed cover offers several advantages. Not only will it protect your bed from rotting due to exposure to the elements but it will also keep the bed free from dirt and debris. However, this option is not for everyone as it is only suitable for bumper pulls.
There are different types of bed covers for trucks including soft, roll-up, folding, retractable, fiberglass and aluminum lids. Each of these comes with advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, most of these covers come with a frame with support bows that are attached to the truck. They are also easy to install.
- Check the underside
The underside of the truck bed is exposed to a different kind of potential hazards including corrosive elements such as road salt. Over time, this can cause rust on the bed panels and supports. If you frequently drive in areas where salt on the road is common, you should think about adding rust-prevention coating underneath.
Trailer Bed Maintenance Tips
The trailer floor cover does not just provide protection for the floor but it also keeps your load safe while in transit. Preventive maintenance will go a long way to keep your trailer floor from failing.
- Match your trailer’s floor with the type of load
The first step in trailer floor maintenance should start before you even accept your first load. Check if your floor system can handle the type of load you intend to carry. How you handle the loading and unloading is also important. For instance, some heavy items may require a lift truck to load it into the trailer. The flooring system should have an adequate rating to be able to handle the combined weight of the freight and lift truck that is transferred to the floor. If you frequently compromise on this, the trailer floor will suffer.
- Limit exposure to moisture
For open trailers, one of the main causes of trailer floor problems has to do with exposure to moisture. If not in use, be sure to keep your fleet protected from the elements. When cleaning, it is recommended to just sweep the floor or use air pressure rather than power washing.
Many businesses have a checklist for fleet maintenance but many also overlook floor maintenance. Don’t make the same mistake as floor maintenance keeps your fleet in good running condition.
If you know of other ways to keep the truck and trailer floors in tip-top shape, please share them with us in the comments.