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Your Guide to Putco Side Bed Rails

Jul 13, 2008
The typical pickup truck is an extremely practical vehicle, especially when it comes to hauling cargo. However, some people often carry bulky gear that doesn't always fit snugly between the walls of their truck's box. It might be furniture, lawnmowers, motorcycles, or pallets of wood - anything bulky that could be damaged by too much movement from side to side. Most newer pickups are outfitted with cutouts and tie-downs that allow for ropes and chains to be attached, but they are positioned at very fixed locations, and it's not always easy or convenient to use them.

Putco has developed a stylish and utile solution to this problem: a line of side rails which span the length of your truck bed. Made out of chromed stainless steel and available in a variety of designs, these rails are easy to install, are strong, and will look great on your truck.

The rails are easy to install with simple hand tools, and anchor into your truck`s existing tie-down cutouts. There are two curved anchors and a long steel bar, which you join together. Once this is done, simply place the anchors atop the cutouts, and tighten the mounting bar from the top using an Allan key. The rails feature no visible clamps, and there is a rubber gasket which goes between the rail and your pain to prevent scuffing or scratching.

Your basic Putco locker side rails can hold up to 1000 pounds, more than adequate for most hauling jobs, and have a steel tube with a cutout at each anchor end to accommodate more involved tying. For those wanting a heftier look, these can be upgraded to 2.5 inch with an identical design, but these "Boss" railings, as they are called by Putco, can only hold 500 pounds.

If you need to have more tie-downs without cluttering your truck's bed rails, Putco Pop Up Lockers are worth a shot. 4 hidden tie-downs rated at 500 pounds lie along a railing that can be "popped" up when you need it, and which looks solid otherwise, without even the openings at the anchor points found on the standard model.

Putco SSR Lockers are perfect for those who want a good chrome accessory for their truck bed, but don't necessarily need to have the option of tie-down. These lockers add shine to your truck without competing for attention with the rest of your truck, which some accessories may do. Chrome wheel well flares, for example, compete with your truck's wheels because of their proximity to each other. Adding a chrome accessory in an area which doesn't already have a lot of shine will be more appealing to the eye.

Those who frequently climb in and out of their truck bed will find bed side rails to be useful, especially in wet conditions when bed liners or bare steel are more slippery. The rails are great for hand grips, and provide leverage when reaching over the side of the truck bed to get something from the cargo floor. The only real disadvantage of bed side rails is that you will no longer be able to use a tonneau cover, which probably wasn't an option anyways, if you're regularly hauling bulky loads. Putco side rails are a great way to accessorize your truck, at a rather inexpensive price of about $200, and have the added benefit of being practical as well.
About the Author
The author Jason Lancaster is the editor of TundraHeadquarters.com, a website with info, news, and reviews of Toyota Tundra accessories and Tundra parts.
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