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Truck Bed Rail Styles

Truck bed rails are stylish steel bars mounted on top of a pickup’s side rails. We discuss their benefits and variations when it comes to strength, style, and length.
Bed Rail

Actually, truck bed rails serve as extremely handy aftermarket add-ons and are designed for unparalleled utility and appearance. These accessories also protect a truck's surface from dents and scratches that might occur while loading cargo on a vehicle. What's more, the bed rails provide the ability to tie down bulky or oddly-shaped objects. Depending on the style, the bed rails can dramatically alter the look of any truck while allowing the truck owners to customize their vehicle by adding certain finishes or lights. Before deciding what bed rails to buy, you should determine which style will suit you best. As for the installation process, truck bed rails require almost no modifications and are a real no-fuss addition if you definitely know which specifications you'll need for your truck. As a rule, truck bed rails are constructed of stainless steel; these tubes are usually mounted along the length of the pickup truck's back. Sometimes you can choose to add a rail to the edge of the truck's bed, right behind the cab. There are several different mounting styles: some bed rails are attached right to the truck, other use separate pieces of steel to attach to the bottom of the rail, raising it off the vehicle's surface.

Bed Rail Lengths

In fact, bed rails vary in length: there are full length rails that allow for using the entire length of the vehicle to carry cargo. Toolbox length rails allow room to accommodate a cross bed toolbox. Sometimes buying both accessories may be the perfect solution (especially when you have to perform various cargo hauling tasks.)

Difference Between Truck Bed Rails and Truck Caps

Bed Rail

Truck caps and bed rails are commonly confused as being the same item; however, they differ in a major, structural way. Truck bed rails are raised on mounts while truck caps are trimmed to sit flush with the surface of the vehicle's sides. Sometimes truck owners use truck caps and bed rails at the same time: they install bed rails along the sides and mount caps on the truck's back door. Depending on the particular style and installation, both accessories can be added to the vehicle for increased functionality.

Truck Bed Rail Features

As a rule, manufacturers often add unique features to their bed rail models in order to make them perfectly functional as well as appealing. Before buying a set of bed rails, however, you should decide whether or not these features are essential to you and your truck because the more exclusive bed rails are, the more they cost.


The strength of bed rails is determined by the type of material they are made of. Since most bed rails are constructed of steel, it's important to note that stainless steel is classified in several grades depending on the elements employed in forging the steel. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, there are several grades of steel strength: type 304 is the most common for manufacturing bed rails. For those truck owners who're going to haul large loads, however, stronger steel grades, such as Type 303 or 302, will be preferable. So, before opting for a set of bed rails for their truck, the owner should consider the strength of the accessories to make sure they're as durable as required.


Bed Rail

For the complete custom look, truck bed rails can be equipped with LED lights to give the ability to go on working even in poor lighting conditions. These lights can also add extra visual interest to a truck. Lighted bed rails can be a great help when improved visibility is desired: they can be connected to a truck's running and turn lights to illuminate automatically.

Truck Compatibility

One of the most important things to take into account is the compatibility of add-ons with the specifications of a truck. This is because the stake holes, which are usually squared or rounded openings for mounting the accessories, are placed in different areas on a truck's side.

Truck Bed Rail Installation Options

Truck bed rails normally install with no drilling to protect the vehicle's body from corrosion and rust. To allow for a simple installation, manufacturers utilize the stake holes included into the design of a vehicle.

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