Ultimate Guide to Pickup Truck Bed Tool Boxes

Most contractors and professional builders could not do without their truck bed tool boxes, which allow them to store their essential tools and have easy access to them when the need arises. Pickup truck tool boxes are specially designed to fit pickup truck beds.

However, you do not have to be a contractor or builder to justify owning a decent pickup truck bed tool box. When you need to clear all the tools scattering on your truck bed, a toolbox is an ideal solution. Well, you might say, “I don’t need a pickup truck bed toolbox, just an ordinary toolbox would be okay.” But what if it doesn’t fit at the back of your truck? What if it slides down on the truck bed while you’re driving on rough and bumpy terrain? This is why precisely there is a toolbox for the pickup truck bed.

With models costing $300 and even under, you can clear out your truck bed space and carry your essential gear in a weather-tight toolbox.

Benefits of pickup truck bed tool boxes

  • They protect your tools from damage due to dirt, moisture, impact, and harsh weather conditions.
  • They keep your tools, parts and accessories organized.
  • You have easy access to your tools because you can find all of them in one place.
  • They protect your tools from getting stolen.
  • They are easy to install.
  • They provide a faster and easier way to get your job done.

Types of pickup truck bed tool boxes

Did you know that there are many types of tool boxes for your pick up truck? You need to know the size and dimensions of your pickup truck bed that will help you choose the right boxes to stash, organize and have easier access to your gear. Knowing your preferences will also help you to buy the exact type of toolbox for your pickup truck bed.

Based on material used:

  • Aluminum – Aluminum toolboxes may be lightweight, but they are strong and durable. Plus, they do not rust or deteriorate. They keep your tools safe from moisture and dust. Aluminum toolboxes are strong enough to withstand repeated and rough usage over the years.
  • Steel – Steel may be the type of toolbox you’re looking for if you need something more durable to store and carry your tools. They are tougher compared to aluminum, but they are a lot heavier. However, their durability means that they can withstand strong impact and dents better than aluminum and plastic toolboxes. They are usually powder-coated to prevent corrosion.
  • Stainless steel – Stainless-steel pickup truck bed toolboxes are not quite common because of the price. Nevertheless, they can make a good investment. They are extremely durable that they can protect your tools very well from strong impacts, moisture, dust and severe weather conditions. Also, they do not need a lot of maintenance or anti-corrosion paints and other coatings. A simple wiping or polishing will make these boxes look spectacularly shiny.
  • Plastic – Plastic pickup truck bed toolboxes are quite popular among truck owners and DIY builders because of their lightness and low price point. They may not be as durable as the other types of tool boxes, but they offset this with a number of advantages. Plastic toolboxes are so lightweight that they do not add too much weight and pressure on the truck body. They also do not rust or deteriorate and can withstand well against moisture and impact. In addition, they are not as expensive as the other types of pickup truck bed toolboxes.

Based on the area of installation:

  • Crossover boxes – They are tool boxes that are installed at the back of the cab. A crossover toolbox fits the entire width of the truck bed and rests both on its sides.
  • Side mount boxes – As the name implies, side mount boxes are installed on either the left or right side of the truck bed. Usually, side mount toolboxes extend down into the bed without touching the floor.
  • Chest tool boxes – They are usually placed at the back of the cab and placed on the floor of the truck bed. Their most significant advantage is that they do not cause rearview obstruction to the driver. However, they limit usable floor space.
  • Top mount boxes – As the name implies, top mount toolboxes are installed on the top side of the bed rails. Therefore, they do not extend down to the floor of the truck; instead, these boxes extend upward. They are extremely accessible and do not take up much floor space. However, they can create blind spots for the driver.
  • Storage drawers – Storage drawers are placed on the floor bed. A storage drawer comprises a flat, horizontal roof section, which essentially functions as a new storage floor. Sliding drawers are usually placed between the bottom and top areas of a storage drawer assembly. A drawback of storage drawers is that they cannot offer space to store bulky items. However, their most significant advantage is that they do not cause any rearview obstruction to the driver.
  • Fifth wheel tool boxes – They are designed to sit flat on the pickup truck bed floor, with a shape that will allow the trailer to be attached when needed. This option is available in different shapes, but none of them can come as a fifth wheel attachment.
  • Wheel well boxes – These tall and narrow toolboxes are placed on the floor of the pickup bed and occupy the space behind rear wheel well humps. Some wheel toolboxes are designed in a way that they can swing on the hinges, allowing easier access from behind. They are probably the cheapest option to store your tools and parts.
  • Hitch – This is the only option that does not take up space on the pickup truck bed. Instead, it is attached to a trailer hitch opening. Since most hitch containers are made of plastic, they may not have the same load-carrying capacity as the other storage options.

 Characteristics of a good pickup truck tool box

 These guidelines will help you choose the ideal tool box to fit your pickup truck bed, and to store your most essential gear safely and securely:

  • Dimensions – As we remind again, you should measure the size and dimensions of your pickup truck bed first before buying a tool box. Because if you buy a tool box that proves to be (literally) ill-fitting to your truck bed, you will end up wasting your good money on them. In addition, you should consider the depth of your tool box because it is a good indicator of its storage capacity.
  • Durability – A good tool box should be sturdy and durable. If a tool box has a poor resistance to dents and impact, it means it is an inferior kind of tool box which, obviously, won’t last long. Tools for building and construction are typically hard and heavy, and if you transport them all in your truck, they will be subject to many bumps and rattles. A good-quality tool box should be hard and rigid to resist all the dents and bumps.
  • Water resistance – Many tools tend to suffer rust and corrosion easily, especially when they’re in contact with moisture. Also, if you’re carrying power tools and cords, water, rain and snow can damage them and cause a dangerous shock. That is why when shopping for tool boxes for your pickup truck, water resistance is a highly important consideration. They should be water-tight to withstand rain, snow, splashes and any other external sources of moisture.
  • Vehicle compatibility – Some tool boxes are made for specific truck beds. Before you purchase a tool box, make sure that its design should be compatible to your truck bed’s flooring. If it’s not compatible to your truck bed, it won’t be any of good use to you (and you end up wasting a good amount of your money, too).

Check out the following pickup truck bed toolboxes with the best features and prices. Before you proceed to purchase any of these products, make sure that it fits your vehicle:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Dee Zee DZ8546 46" Red Label Utility Chest

Buyers Products Black Steel Underbody Truck Box w/ Aluminum Door (18X18X48 Inch)

Buyers Products Polished Stainless Steel Underbody Truck Box w/ T-Handle Latch (18x18x24 Inch)

Plano 1819 Storage Trunk

Dee Zee DZ6163NB Specialty Series Gloss Black Crossover Tool Box

Lund 9748 48-Inch Aluminum Side Mount Box, Diamond Plated, Silver

 

Based on material:

Aluminum:

Dee Zee DZ8546 46” Red Label Utility Chest

Like many aluminum tool boxes from Dee Zee, this 46-inch truck bed tool box is also made of heavy-duty Brite-Tread aluminum. Other features include lockable stainless-steel padded handles and a removable plastic tool tray to help you keep your precious tools neatly organized.

Steel:

Buyers Products Black Steel Underbody Truck Box with Aluminum Door

This product combines two materials: 12-gauge diamond-tread alumimun for the door and 14-gauge steel for the entire body. This tool box will help keep your content safe and secure against harsh weather conditions and theft. You can place it either on the flat surface of the truck bed, or even under the truck bed.

Stainless steel:

Buyers Products Polished Stainless Steel Underbody Truck Box with T-handle Latch

This 18” x 18” x 24” underbody tool box doesn’t need any special polishing, as it is engineered to resist rust and corrosion. All of its parts, including the door, are made of stainless steel. Just a simple polishing will give this box a glistening, almost mirror-like appearance. However, this beauty is excellent in protecting your precious tools against weather and theft due to its durable construction, plus with a die-cast compression latch for additional security.

Plastic:

Plano 1819 Storage Trunk

Plastic tool boxes for pickup trunk beds are popular because of their lightness, durability, ease of transport and low price point. This storage trunk is perfect especially for DIY builders or for those who are engaged in light building and construction work. This durable and weather-tight plastic tool box has built-in wheels for easier carrying and transport, and molded grooves which allow stacking of other containers.

Based on area of installation:

Crossover box:

Dee Zee DZ6163NB Specialty Series Gloss Black Crossover Tool Box

This box is constructed of Brite-Tread aluminum that offers toughness and durability. The narrow profile of this box saves precious space of your truck bed floor. The Black-Tread powder coating protects the box against oxidation and rusting while giving that shiny and luxurious black look.

Side box:

Lund 9748 48” Aluminum Side Mount Box, Diamond Plated, Silver

Lund’s 48-inches diamond-plated aluminum toolbox adds a great space to store your precious gear. Unlike other side tool boxes, this doesn’t block the rearview sight of the driver while offering an effortless way to store and access your essential tools.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Lund 288271BK 32-Inch Aluminum ATV Storage Box, Diamond Plated, Black

Buyers Products Diamond Tread Aluminum Topsider Truck Box w/ T-Handle Latch (16x13x72 Inch)

Jobox 1403980 3-Drawer Long Floor Heavy-Duty Aluminum Drawer Storage - (36" W x 6" H x 50" L)

UAA TB203-57RD 57" V-Shape 5th Wheel RV Box

UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box | SC100D | fits 2007-2018 & 2019 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500-3500 Driver Side

MODOKIT Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier Bag 100% Waterproof 60"x24"x26" (22 Cu Ft) Fits Car Truck SUV Vans Cargo Carrier Hitch Rack

Chest tool box:

Lund 288271BK 32-inch Aluminum ATV Storage Box

This 32” diamond-plated black aluminum chest box features a three-finger latch paddle with oversized stricker pin, and fully-welded seams for additional durability and security. The handles allow for easy carrying.

Top mount box:

Buyers Products Diamond Tread Aluminum Topsider Truck Box with T-Handle Latch

You may want to invest in this handsome diamond-plated aluminum top mount toolbox from Buyers Products. It is lightweight but durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, sealing in your most important tools of the trade safely against dust, dirt and water. Its shielded locking, die cast, compression latch system keeps your tools wholly protected from harsh weather conditions and theft.

Drawer storage:

Jobox 1403980 3-Drawer Long Floor Heavy-Duty Aluminum Drawer Storage

This heavy-duty low-profile three-drawer aluminum storage is perfect to use for any vehicle apart from pickup trucks – service vans, SUV’s minivans, or motor home basements. The dividers can be removed, which means you can create segmented storages for smaller and bigger tools. It is made of heavy-gauge aluminum but is light enough for easy carrying and transport.

Fifth wheel box:

UAA TB203-57RD 57” V-Shape 5th Wheel RV Box

It is constructed of a heavy-duty aluminum body with a heavily reinforced lid for additional safety and security. It comes with one lid and two rear-facing doors. This product is a good deal for its price because it also offers a lifetime workmanship warranty.

Wheel well box:

UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box

It is one of the few swinging, removable and portable wheel well boxes on the market. It can hold up to 75 pounds of tools, parts or other goods and cargo, and allows you easy access and storage of your most essential tools. Installation is fast and easy, too.

Hitch:

Modokit Trailer Hitch Cargo Carrier Bag

This waterproof hitch cargo carrier bag is neither made of metal nor plastic. Instead, it is made of military-grade material and heavy-duty tarpaulin. It has dual-welded seams for extra durability, and hook-and-loop closure on the flap to protect your gear against rain. You can install this cargo carrier bag not just to your pickup truck, but also to your van, car or SUV.