Trick out your truck with the ultimate combination of custom looks and complete security. Hard tonneau covers showcase the added benefit of true custom molding to the dimensions of your bed. And, hard tonneau covers are fully lockable for the absolute best in cargo security.
Anatomy of a Hard Tonneau Cover
Hard Tonneau Covers and Large Loads
Hard tonneau covers are best for loads that sit lower than the bed rails. Carrying an oversized load requires removal of your tonneau lid - a 2-3 person job because of the cover weight and necessary disconnecting of the struts and hinges.
Hard tonneau covers don't mess around, employing tough materials that feature a high strength-to-weight ratio. Fiberglass has been the hard tonneau cover construction of choice for years, though hard bed covers crafted from lighter ABS polymers are on the rise.
Fiberglass lids incorporate a resin-filled honeycomb pattern for superior strength and longevity. The honeycomb pattern more evenly distributes stress and weight. The typical fiberglass tonneau cover weight is between 80 and 110lbs., depending on model and bed size. Ranch makes industry standard tonneau covers: Ranch Fiberglass Tonneau Covers.
Weighing-in at an easy-to-handle 60lbs. or less, ABS polymer tonneau covers boast complete strength and ease of use. The secret is a network of molded lightweight plastic cross bows underneath the smooth top surface that evenly distributes weight and stress. No ABS tonneau cover exemplifies this style better than the Undercover Classic Tonneau Cover.
Hard tonneau covers employ a few different hinge and lift designs for making the opening of your bed cover a cinch.
Heavy-duty gas struts
Charged with nitrogen gas to allow easy lifting, heavy-duty gas struts open your tonneau cover in just seconds. You've probably used them before - gas struts have a number of automotive applications, including van and SUV rear doors/windows. They're good-as-new for up to 50,000 uses or more.
Attached at or close to the cab, hard tonneau cover hinges are designed for a long life of openings and closings. Though designs and materials may vary, these hard tonneau hinges are a more heavy-duty model than those employed by soft hinged tonneaus, as they must support the weight of your cover. Given the weight they support, drill installation may be required.
A Guide to the Look of Hard Tonneau Covers
Hard tonneau covers provide some of the hottest-looking bed coverage on the road today. It's the specialized shape combined with custom paint matching that turns ordinary trucks of any age into a smooth street machine.
Hard Tonneau Cover Shape Guide
While soft tonneau covers are customized to the size of your truck bed opening, most hard tonneau covers are truly shaped and molded to the exact curves and unique characteristics of your truck.
Hard tonneau covers showcase different degrees of wrapped edges that overlap your bed rails. This design makes for a seamless look with the paint finish of your truck when color matched. Overlapping benefits security and weather protection, too.
Hard Tonneau Cover Wings
Beyond functional shape, some hard tonneau covers come equipped with low-flying aerodynamic style. This customized shaping is more for show than function, but your truck's appearance really takes off as a result.
Hard tonneau covers can also be equipped with aftermarket spoilers and wings, provided you're ready to drill into the surface of your hard cover to attach one of these speedy parts. Both wing design hard tonneau covers and aftermarket hard tonneau spoilers are the lifeblood of modern-day race-inspired trucks.
Hard Tonneau Cover Paint Matching
Most of the hard tonneau covers we offer can be ordered to match to your vehicle's factory-original paint color, like our Ranch Sportwrap Tonneau Cover. The finished product is sanded, buffed and treated to achieve the pinnacle of custom tonneau looks. It's a presence soft tonneau covers simply can't touch.
Hard tonneau covers not ordered as paint matched come in a black finish; or,
some models (like the Undercover Tonneau Cover) come in a semi-textured finish that can be paint-matched at a later
date by a professional, though it is extremely difficult to do right without the use of adhesion promotors and flex agents.
Laying Down the Law on Hard Tonneau Cover Security
Soft tonneau covers keep your stuff out of sight, and hopefully out of mind. However, a simple pullback or slashing of the material and your gear is gone. When your cargo is topped by a hard tonneau cover, a would-be thief had better be packing a sledgehammer, chainsaw or cutting torch to get in. They're just better at securing your gear.
Aside from seamless looks, the overlapped shape of hard tonneau covers takes away a huge security concern by preventing the tailgate from being opened without lifting the lid. Outsiders will have plenty of difficulty lifting the lid, as most hard tonneau covers, like the Gaylord's Traditional Tonneau Cover (pictured), are equipped with a sturdy keyed lock on the driver's side, in the middle, or on both sides.
Carry what you want in your truck bed - a hard tonneau cover turns a once wide-open invitation for theft into the pickup version of Fort Knox.
Some quick advice on picking the right hard tonneau cover for your vehicle
Getting the right hard tonneau cover for your truck is simple, fast and fun. When you know it's a hard tonneau cover you're after, consider:
What shape/style of hard tonneau cover you would like
Whether or not you want a custom paint matched tonneau cover
How often you'll be carrying large or oversized loads
Which shape or style of hard tonneau cover is best for my truck?
As your old high school guidance counselor may have mentioned, life is full of choices. Hard tonneau covers are no exception. From standard bed coverage to sleek racing looks, there's definitely a hard tonneau cover that fits your needs.
If you want traditional hard tonneau coverage, security, gas mileage savings and looks, select a classic-style hard tonneau cover comparable to the Ranch Legacy Tonneau Cover
Do I want a custom paint matched hard tonneau cover?
The only path to true customized hard tonneau cover appearance requires custom paint matching. While custom paint matched hard tonneau covers are premium-priced, the end result is worth the extra dollars. Best yet, we'll ship it already painted and ready to install. All you have to do is find your vehicle's paint code.
When you want completely customized looks and seamless blending with your
truck, pick a paint-matched hard tonneau cover, available with any Ranch Tonneau Covers
If you want a basic hard tonneau cover with improved scratch/chip resistance, select an unpainted hard tonneau cover model like the Undercover Tonneau Cover
How often will I need to carry large loads?
Hard tonneau covers can be heavy (up to 110lbs.), which makes them tricky to remove when carrying a large load. More often than not, oversized loads that stack above your bed rails require removal of your hard top tonneau cover, which takes time, tools and a couple of people, plus a place to safely store your lid.
If you need a hard tonneau cover for strength and security but still need to carry large loads frequently, select a lighter ABS polymer material hard tonneau that's easier to remove—the Undercover Tonneau Cover is the best example of such a tonneau
If you rarely carry large loads, never have trouble getting a hand with removal, or if fully-customized looks are priority #1, grab a paint-matched fiberglass hard tonneau cover.