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Tonneau Covers: What you need to know and how you can benefit

Tonneau Covers, also frequently spelled as Tonnou, Tonno, or Tono cover, is something that can be added to any pickup or full-size truck. It can be both aesthetically pleasing and save you money on fuel costs.
Views: 1.358 Created 05/15/2008

Pickups and full-size trucks offer a lot of utility to their owners, which is why trucks are such a popular choice in the US auto market.  Late model trucks are quite a lot larger than older models, now offering more interior room, hauling ability, comfort, and towing capacity.  Although many improvements have been made over the years, there are still two problems that most truck owners face; lack of security in the truck bed and poor fuel economy.  Fortunately there is a solution to help resolve these issues. 

A truck bed cover is exactly what it sounds like: a cover for the bed of your truck.  There are a number of manufacturers; some of the more popular choices are TruXedo and Pace Edwards.  Tonneau covers are available in two main flavors; hard and soft.  The hard covers are typically made of fiberglass or aluminum.  The aluminum tonneau covers are usually a hinged, folding type of cover that is removable, light weight, and allows the owner to quickly open up a large section of the truck bed for use.  They provide moderate security and hide anything that may be laying in the truckbed.  Fiberglass bed covers, on the other hand, are typically bolted to the truck and tilt up to allow access to the bed.  A compromise with this type of cover is a lack of vertical space in the truck bed to use for hauling.  More simply put, the fiberglass covers cannot be easily removed and will limit the hauling capacity.  The tradeoff is the added security of the fiberglass covers, which will have a keyed locking mechanism and more sturdy construction.  There are also soft tono covers, which are available in both roll up and retractable versions.  The roll-up type are reinforced soft top tonneau covers which can be rolled back and tied with Velcro straps to allow access to the bed.  Retractable tonneau covers are flexible hard-top versions that retract into the included rollup device.

No matter which tonno cover you choose, there should be a slight gain in fuel economy.  There have been many studies performed about the aerodynamics of trucks.  Although truck models have very different aerodynamic properties, almost every truck will experience some drag from air flowing into the tailgate.  An increase in vehicle drag implies that the truck must work harder to keep moving, which means an increase in fuel consumption.  When a tonneau cover is installed and coving the entire truck bed, it is able to force air over the tailgate and reduce the total amount of drag, thereby increasing fuel economy.  However, it is important to remember that a heavy tonneau cover will offset the reduced drag by adding weight to the vehicle.  Thus it is more likely to see a gain in fuel economy with a lighter tono cover.

Which tonneau cover is right for you depends on your needs.  Some offer better security and weather proof seals while others offer low maintenance and ease of use.  Also, some tonneau covers look much nicer than others, so aesthetics is also an important factor to consider when searching for full size or pickup truck bed covers.

For more information, you can click on the following links to learn more about Pickup Truck Bed Covers, Truxedo Truck Tonneau Cover, or Tonno Covers.

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