What are Tonneau Covers?

Tonneau Covers are built specifically for truck beds in an effort to provide safety and security to truck cargo in the form of a bed cover.  Not only do tonneau covers hide your truck cargo from prying eyes, it also protects your vehicle from harsh outdoor elements.  Tonneau covers are the perfect accessory for nearly all truck owners on the road.  With the right tonneau cover, you can quickly cover and uncover your truck bed as desired.

BAK Tonneau Covers

Reasons for a Tonneau Cover

There is a wide range of tonneau covers, to the point where it can be a bit confusing to customers new to the truck world.  With several styles, types and options fitting nearly every budget, there’s a tonneau cover out there for you.

With that said, the purpose of a tonneau cover can vary depending on the one chosen; however, common reasons for purchasing a tonneau cover include:

  • Truck owners that regularly haul cargo
  • Customers going on a long road trip
  • Sometimes haul weather-prone cargo (groceries, luggage, etc.)
  • Need safety and security of cargo (some tonneaus provide a locking mechanism)
  • Want a sleek look to their truck 
The bottom line - tonneau covers have a wide range of applications and usages.

What are the Benefits of a Tonneau Cover?

The benefits of having a tonneau cover are extensive, which is why it’s a recommended accessory for every truck owner.  Tonneau covers range in price between $250-1500, so there are options available for budget-conscience customers as well as customers looking for extremely tough, commercial-grade, top-of-the-line options. Benefits include:

  • Keep your cargo out of sight and out of mind from prying eyes
  • Shield your cargo from weather – rain, snow, wind, etc.
  • Lock access to your bed (possible with some tonneaus)
  • Increase fuel economy up to 10%
Yes - fuel economy is a benefit!

Gas Savings – It Pays for Itself

A side benefit to having a tonneau cover is the gas mileage savings.  A lot of customers may not immediately realize it, but an installed and covered tonneau cover provides better aerodynamics to your truck with better wind flows, thereby increasing your gas mileage efficiencies.  The reason is that the wind does not converge in the truck bed causing drag when the airflow hits the back tailgate. 

Some manufacturers, such as Access, boast up to a 10% savings on gas.  What does this mean for you as a truck owner?  Here’s an example:

Let’s say you drive 1,000 miles per month, roughly 33 miles per day.  A truck owner generally receives about 14 miles per gallon.  With an average gas price of $3.50 per gallon (July 2014), this equals out to a $250/month gas bill.

With a 10% fuel-economy boost, you’re now looking at 15.4 miles per gallon and a $227 monthly gas bill, a savings of $23 per month.  That means you’re saving $276 per year by having a tonneau cover.

While that may be an optimistic outlook, and includes mostly highway driving, even if we look at a 5% efficiency increase, we’re looking at a $144/year savings.

If you plan on keeping your truck for the next 3-4 years, most tonneau covers will end up paying for themselves.

Click here if you want to play around with a tonneau cover gas savings calculator.

Styles and Types of Tonneau Covers

There are many types of tonneau covers on the market, including hard and soft tonneau covers, as well as many styles: folding (including tri-fold), rolling, retractable, hinged and snap tonneau covers.

Additionally, there are tonneau covers that provide a locking mechanism for your cargo and some covers that will also work with your toolbox.

Click here to read our in-depth guide “Types of Tonneau Covers”.

How to Find the Best Tonneau Cover

Fitment Tool

Once you have a general idea of the type or style of tonneau cover you want, the next step is to browse our inventory of tonneau covers to find the perfect one for you.

Using our handy Vehicle Fitment tool, all you need to do is let our website know the vehicle you’re working with – and we’ll do all the work behind the scenes to let you know exactly which tonneau covers will work for your truck.  We’ll show you only the bed covers guaranteed to fit your specific year, make and model.

We have an in-depth description of each tonneau cover we sell, as well as numerous photos and videos.  If you have any questions on a specific tonneau cover, please let us know by contacting us.

Guide references:
How to Choose a Tonneau Cover
How to Measure Your Truck Bed
What’s a Cargo Management System?

Click here to get started.