If you drive a pickup truck, you know how important a good tonneau cover is – at least you should know how important a tonneau cover is. A tonneau cover is really just a fancy way of saying truck cover. Although nobody’s really sure where the name came from, it’s believed that it comes from the French word “tonneau” which means tunnel.
A tonneau cover is a soft or hard cover that you can put over the back of your truck bed when carrying cargo or a large payload. The kind of people who drive pickup trucks isn’t the kind of people who shy away from rain, sleet or snow. They’re rough and tumble drivers – they embrace bad weather and refuse to let it stop them from getting the job done.
But in order to do this without losing or ruining your cargo items can be tough. There are some things you can transport in the back of your truck without them getting ruined. For the most part, however, you need to cover the back of your truck or your payload will be ruined.
What are the Benefits of a Tonneau Cover?
If you drive a truck, you may already have a tonneau cover. If not, you should really think about getting one. Even if you don’t use your truck for things like hauling payloads, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a tonneau cover.
People who have pickup trucks have them for a reason. Maybe you like the convenience of a truck. You can buy large items and transport them on your own. You can help friends and family members move (whether you want to or not.) Plus, having an open-cab truck is so much more useful than an SUV.
Having a tonneau cover lets you transport items without worrying about them getting lost, ruined or stolen. Some of the other benefits of having a tonneau cover include:
- You can protect your property from the elements
- You don’t have to worry about people stealing or destroying your cargo
- You can travel without worrying about your items falling out of your truck or blowing out in poor weather
- They’re easy to install and very convenient
- They’re not that expensive
- Most are easy to store right in the bed or cab of your truck
While it may sound cliché, the question isn’t really what are the benefits of a tonneau cover. The question is – what possible reason would you have to not use a tonneau cover?
There are Two Main Types of Tonneau Covers
Another great thing about tonneau covers is that it’s pretty easy to choose a type. There are really only a few types of covers to pick from. Here, we’ll talk about the two main types: soft covers and hard covers. They do make combination types, but these are the two most people choose from.
Just like with a convertible top, you can buy tonneau covers that are either soft or hard. It really comes down to preference and utility. You need to decide what’s important to you and decide which type works best.
A soft tonneau cover is just what it sounds like – a soft material cover for the back of your pickup truck. They’re usually made from vinyl or a soft fabric covered by a rubber coating. This helps it be so durable, especially in inclement weather.
Soft covers are really easy to use and install. They can be stored easily in the cab or back of your truck. They’re also a lot cheaper than a hard tonneau cover.
Obviously, if you don’t go with a soft cover, you would opt for a hard cover. It all comes down to what kind of work you do and what you use your truck for. If you’re not going to use your tonneau cover all that often, a hard cover may be a good fit.
While hard covers can be a bit more expensive than a soft cover, it can be more durable. This makes sense. Hard tonneau covers are made out of rigid fiberglass or metal. Some are made of hard plastic. But these materials are more durable than one made out of vinyl.
Hard tonneau covers can also withstand the elements a lot more than a soft cover. Hard rain, sleet, and snow will not be a real threat to a hard cover. This means your property will be protected in even the most extreme circumstances.
The downside to hard covers is that they’re a lot harder to install. They’re also harder to store. Even the ones that fold can be a bit cumbersome. And, as mentioned earlier, they’re a bit more expensive than soft tonneau covers.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Soft Cover v Hard Cover?
When it comes to choosing between a soft and hard tonneau cover, it really is a matter of preference. There’s nothing inherently bad about either kind of cover. It will depend on what you use your truck for and how often you intend to use your cover.
Pros and Cons of a Soft Cover
With soft tonneau covers, you’ll have your pros and cons, just like you do with any other product. Here are some of the pros of a soft, vinyl tonneau cover:
- Easy to install
- Easy to store
There are some cons to a soft cover as well. These include:
- Not as durable as a hard cover
- They may not be as weather resistant
- They tear more easily and don’t last as long
If you do a lot of hauling, you may want to consider a soft cover because they are so easy to install and store. But if durability and toughness if what’s important to you, then you should consider a hard cover.
Hard Tonneau Cover Pros and Cons
Like mentioned earlier, there are reasons why you may prefer a hard cover over a soft cover. Some of the pros of a hard cover include:
- Resistant to extreme and inclement weather
- Can withstand a lot of wear and tear
- Great for people who don’t need to use their cover on a regular basis
Some of the cons of a hard cover may include:
- They’re more expensive than soft covers
- They can be harder to install
- Not as convenient
- Difficult to store
No matter which choice you make, you can’t go wrong. Having a tonneau cover will allow you to protect your payload for a minimal cost and minor inconvenience.