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A Quick Guide to Putco Side Bed Rails

Jul 15, 2008
Pickup trucks are extremely practical vehicles, great for hauling cargo. Some people, however, often carry gear like motorcycles, lawnmowers, furniture or pallets of wood, which are too bulky to fit snugly in the truck's box, but which could be damaged by too much side-to-side movement. Newer pickups are usually outfitted with tie-downs and cutouts so that you can attach ropes and chains. However, these are located at very fixed positions, and might be difficult or inconvenient to use.

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!

Designed to anchor into your truck`s current tie-down cutouts, the rails can be easily installed with simple hand tools. The three main pieces - two curved anchors and a long steel bar - are joined together, the anchors are placed atop the cutouts, and the mounting bar is then tightened from the top with the use of an Allan key. There are no visible clamps, and scuffing or scratching is prevented by a rubber gasket which goes between the rail and your paint.

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 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 information, news, and reviews of Toyota Tundra accessories and Tundra parts.
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