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Putco Side Bed Rails Guide

Jul 14, 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 offers a stylish and useful solution to this problem. They have designed a line of side rails which stretch the length of your truck bed. Easy to install, these rails are made out of chromed stainless steel and are easy to install. Not only are they strong, but they look good too!

The rails are designed to anchor into your truck's current tie-down cutouts, and they can easily be installed with simple hand tools. There are three main pieces - the two curved anchors and the long steel bar. Once these parts have been joined together, you simply place the anchors on top of the cutouts, and then use an Allan key to tighten the mounting bar from the top. There are no visible clamps, and a rubber gasket goes between the rail and your paint to make sure there is no scuffing or scratching.

The simplest Putco locker side rails are a simple steel tube with a cutout at each anchor end in case of more involved tying. These can hold up to 1000, which is more than most hauling will require. A heftier look can be achieved by upgrading to 2.5 inch tubing with the same design, but these "Boss" railings, as called by Putco, can only hold 500 pounds.

If you have a need for more tie-downs, but don't want to clutter up your truck's bed rails, the Putco Pop Up Lockers might be worth a look. They have 4 hidden tie-downs, which are rated at 500 pounds, along that railing that can be 'popped' to use when you need them. Otherwise, the railing maintains a solid appearance, lacking even the openings found at the anchor points on the standard version.

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
Author Jason Lancaster administrates TundraHeadquarters.com, a web site with info, news, and reviews of Toyota Tundra parts and Tundra accessories.
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