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The tonneau cover of a car is the area of the car or truck that is open at the top. It can be used for passengers or cargo. A tonneau cover in current automotive terminology is a hard tonneau cover or a soft tonneau cover that spans the rear of the vehicle. The rear cover of a pickup truck protects the load or improves aerodynamics. Tonneau covers come in a variety of styles, can be folded, retracted, or tilted open, and can be locked closed.
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l Common Tonneau Covers
Tonneau covers are used on coupe utility vehicles and pickup trucks to cover and secure cargo pallets and come in a variety of styles.
The most common style is the roll-up tonneau made of fabric or vinyl, which uses a ribbed structure to support the fabric and keep it taut. Snap-based systems are also used but have become less common as truck owners are reluctant to install them on their vehicles because truck owners often need to drill holes or use permanent adhesives. Rollable tonneau covers are opened by pushing the cover upward into the cab of the truck. Rigid rollable tonneau covers are stronger than conventional rollable tonneau covers. They are made of individual walls of aluminum slats covered with soft vinyl. In the unfolded position, these aluminum slats form a strong aluminum shell that not only covers the contents of the bed but also supports the 400-pound weight on top of the bed.
Another style of truck tonneau cover is the retractable unit, which is mounted on the front and sides of the chassis and rolls or retracts upward from the rear fender toward the cab. Retractable tonneau is usually made of vinyl, plastic, or aluminum. Retractable tonneau covers are more secure than soft tonneau covers because they usually lock and are made of harder materials, but they take more time to install and are designed for semi-permanent installation.
Fiberglass, hard plastic or aluminum tonneau covers are also common. Some may be painted to match the construction of the truck, and are strong and lockable. These lids are usually heavy and require gas struts to help open and close them. They operate very similarly to the hood of a car, usually opening from the rear fender end of the bed (back to front). Some have multiple compartments that rise from front to back, front to back, and from side to side to vertical. Fiberglass, rigid plastic, or aluminum trunk lids are sometimes installed on new cars as a factory option.
Many sellers claim that tonneau covers can improve gas mileage because they make the truck more streamlined. However, the airflow creates a wake in the pickup bed, which helps improve aerodynamics. Luggage compartment covers interfere with this wake, and scientific tests have shown little improvement in mileage with tonneau covers at speeds less than 70 mph (110 km/h). A similar effect is seen when the rear fender is lowered and mileage drops.
Trustmade has a wide variety of covers and accessories on our website with extensive hands-on experience and is ready to answer any questions you may have. With thousands of covers in stock and many more available to ship within a day or two, we can ship your covers quickly and at the best prices. So, call or chat with us today and find out what makes us the number one retailer of tonneau cover for your truck.