If you are an avid truck fan or have been driving a truck most of your life, you would have noticed the grooves or ridges on the truck bed's sides, floor, and tailgate. But, have you paused for a moment and ever asked yourself, are they there just as an aesthetic, or do they actually serve an essential purpose? Are these bit ridges something that would impact the everyday use and function of the truck?
Truck beds have ridges for several reasons, mainly about transportation safety. However, the most important reason is that the ridges provide added strength to the truck bed. The grooves between the ridges on top of the metal make the truck bed stiffer, ensuring that the bed doesn't sage beneath the weight of the load you are carrying.
If you have never asked why your truck bed has ridges and want to know if they have a purpose, follow along as we look deeper into their function. We will also discuss maintaining your truck bed and the different cover options for your truck bed.
Why Are Their Ridges on My Truck Bed?
The ridges on your truck bed are made from an outer material used to cover and protect the truck bed. The grooves/ridges may be molded into the truck's bed floor. The covering of ridges or grooves falls under the category of covers to protect your truck bed. Still, they have several essential functions to run your truck: strength, durability, protection, drainage, and ride comfort.
Truck bed ridges play a vital role in the structural integratory of your truck bed. The layer of ridges added to the truck bed is as thin as the metal underneath. The ridges make the truck's bed stiffer, ensuring that any load you carry (within manufacture recommendations) will not cause your truck bed to sag.
The ridges on your truck bed play an important role in reducing the low-tempo vibrations whenever you drive. However, these low-tempo vibrations can affect the truck's structural integrity long term. For example, the nuts and bolts would undo due to the low tempo vibrations.
The vibrations that occur when driving also impact the load you are transporting. The grooves prevent your load from shaking and moving around while you drive. The ridges also help provide a smoother driving experience for both the driver and the passenger as it minimizes the vibrations.
Water And Truck Bed Ridges
When the wet weather hits and you need to move items or carry goods, the ridges also help keep water from standing at a surface level on the back of your truck. Truck bed ridges protect loads from standing water as waterfalls into grooves and drain from the truck bed as there is a slight downwards tilt, which pushes the water towards drain holes. The moisture can also escape through the tailgate if the tailgate is not sealed to keep the water in the bed.
If your truck bed does not have ridges, the water is more likely to pool, and without the drain holes, the water would form a pool. Depending on what load you are carrying, this can cause water damage to your load or cause the load to slide around and damage during transport.
Role Of Other Ridges Found In The Truck Bed
The grooves are seen/ present on either side of the truck bed and are designed to place 2x4s in. This allows you to stop smaller loads from sliding around when you drive. The grooves on the side of the truck bed also give you the option and ability to put more comprehensive items that would typically not fit if there was a wheel well.
The ridges in the tailgate also serve a purpose in transportation as 2x4s and 2x6s can fit in these grooves if you need to run them lengthways.
Truck Bed Cover Options
Truck bed covers provide extra coverage to the truck bed. Other truck cover types different from ridges include; tonneau covers, Roll-up covers, retractable covers, folding covers, high-impact-plastic covers, and painted fiberglass lids.
Roll-up truck bed covers are the most economical and readably available. They are made from UV-resistant-grade vinyl and are attached to the bed of your truck by a frame. The frame is either drilled into your truck bed or attached with clips. These covers are designed to be rolled- up, making your truck bed easily accessible.
Retractable truck bed covers retract into a cartridge placed at the front of the truck bed. These covers help protect the truck bed from the elements when needed. In addition, these covers are more secure than roll-up covers and less susceptible to being ripped or torn.
Tonneau covers are hard-flat covers that cover the truck bed. These covers can be made from hard plastic or fiberglass and customized in a particular order to match the color of your truck.
Folding covers for your truck bed are similar to roll-up and retractable covers. They are removable and are easily folded when not in use. These covers are mounted onto the truck bed.
High-impact plastic truck bed covers provide excellent security as they are lockable; however, two people will need to remove the cover. These covers are super sturdy and lightweight.
Lastly, painted fiberglass lids can be painted to match the color of your truck and are the most durable and most robust cover on the market. They are the heavier option and not easily removable, but they will protect your truck bed against the elements the best.
How To Look After Your Truck Bed
Keeping your truck bed clean is not easy with all the ridges, but it can be done at home. Here are three simple steps to keep your truck bed clean and maintained:
- Wipe off any excess dirt; this can be done with a household broom. It is crucial to get off all sediment, compacted dirt, gunk, or anything that will not come off with a water hose.
- Rinse off the truck bed surface with a pressure washer or an ordinary household hose. Don't forget to put your tailgate down, so the dirty water can easily escape. Make sure that you pay close attention to the hard-to-reach corners of the truck bed.
- Repeat the rinsing process until there is no dirty water inside your truck bed.
- The last step is to scrub the truck bed with car washing soap. Make sure that the soap you use does not contain any harmful chemicals that can corrode or damage the surface of the truck bed. You can use a mop or scrubbing brush for stubborn spots.
- Give the truck bed a final rinse with clean water and let the truck bed air dry.
With trucks becoming more popular due to their durability and functionality for all terrains and everyday life, you no longer need to wonder why every truck bed has ridges. The ridge design is dependent on the manufacture and model of the truck, but they are there to serve the same purpose regardless of their appearance or structure.
It's also an awe-inspiring piece of engineering that something as simple as ridges in the truck bed provides strength and stability to the metal frame and increases the vehicle's longevity. There are also more cover options available to cover the top of your truck bed to further protect the truck bed and protect against the elements.