Trucks are very valuable, whether you’re towing a trailer or boat, hauling personal or business-related gear, or loading them up with toys like ATVs for a trip to the mountains. But while useful and fun, they’re expensive items, not just in the high purchase cost, but also in long-term maintenance. All that loading and unloading along with the elements like sun, rain, and snow can take a serious toll on the bed of your truck and that damage can be quite costly to fix, especially when it causes rust to form.
That’s why since the 1980s, truck owners have found bed liners an essential way of maintaining the quality and integrity of the truck bed, especially in the Flagstaff area, where we have such a wide variety of weather conditions.
However, for the most part, bed liners are an after-market accessory, so it’s up to you to decide what you’re looking for when purchasing a liner for your truck, and there are many options out there. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of different bed liners so you can make an informed decision on this important purchase.
How Do Trucks Benefit from Bed Liners?
Hauling trailers, loading and unloading gear, and all those other activities that make trucks so useful also cause a lot of wear and tear on the bed. Bed liners help to prevent scratches, dings, and rust, and they’re much easier to keep clean. They also add plenty of resale value. Here is a short list of just some of the costly damage you could encounter by not using a bed liner:
- Rust caused by rain and snow
- Dents from hauling objects
- Damage caused by hauling chemicals
- A load that’s too heavy
- An improperly secured load
- Scraping and scratching from hauling
- Hauling items placed in the wrong position
What Is a Drop-In Bed Liner?
A drop-in bed liner is simply a plastic sheet of polyethylene composite molded into a rigid structure to match the contours of your truck bed that can be easily attached. Some people only look at up-front cost when choosing add-on accessories like a bed liner, but that’s not the right approach. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” If you’re on a tight budget, cost is an advantage of a drop-in truck bed liner versus the more expensive spray-on variety, but it also has many disadvantages you should consider before making this purchase.
8 Disadvantages to Drop-In Bed Liners
There are several reasons why drop-in bed liners aren’t always the best option for your truck. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.
1) Trapped Water
Because a drop-in bed liner is factory-molded to fit your truck, there are natural gaps that don’t exist with a spray-on liner. These gaps can allow water to pool between the liner and the truck bed, whether from rain, melting snow and ice, or something you’ve been hauling. Once that water pools for long enough, rust will form. Trapped water is one of the biggest disadvantages of a drop-in liner because it isn’t likely to be a truly tight fit.
2) Poor Quality
Again, you get what you pay for. Drop-in liners have an up-front cost advantage, but they’re often poor quality, reducing the value and allowing the very damage to your truck bed you sought to prevent. Lack of quality in the manufacturing process can lead them to break or in the event that you happen to snag the liner’s edge when moving large, heavy gear. In that case, a portion of it can pull up, which is very difficult and costly to fix. It could easily become so damaged that you find it’s easier to replace it with a new one.
3) Easily Loosens
Because a drop-in liner is made in a factory and literally “dropped in,” it’s never going to be the tight fit you’d like. Because it’s not affixed in the way a spray-on bed liner is, it will also most likely become loose over time. This could pose a hazard when driving down the highway, moving things around when hauling, and it can lead to a worsening condition that requires full replacement.
4) Produces Scratches and Scuffs on Paint
One of the main purposes of a bed liner is to prevent scratches and scuffs of your truck’s paint but having a drop-in bed liner can actually cause this rather than prevent it. As we just discussed, loosening can cause the liner to slide around when driving or hauling large objects that aren’t properly secured, and this may lead to truck damage.
While there is some benefit to having items easily glide across the surface when loading and unloading, the slick nature of drop-in bed liners can also be a disadvantage. When you’re dealing with such a slippery surface, you run the risk of an accidental slip and fall, particularly when wet. This also means you must be extra careful in securing loads because if they’re sliding around something could fall out or cause damage to your truck when you’re traveling down the highway.
Nobody likes a constant rattling sound in their vehicle, the kind where you have to turn up the radio to tune it out. That’s a risk you run with drop-in liners. They do tend to become noisy from wind and vibration, which can be quite annoying as they loosen over time. You’ll want to make sure you blast your music extra loud!
7) Not a Perfect Fit
An advantage of drop-in liners is also a disadvantage. On the one hand, you can easily install it immediately after purchase. But on the other hand, it’s probably not going to be a perfect fit. If you’re just looking for a bit of short-term protection when hauling large items, that shouldn’t be a problem, but if you want something that will last through the life of the truck, you may come away disappointed.
8) Not Permanent
Along this line, you have a decision to make. Drop-in bed liners have some advantages like cost and ease of installation, but they have many more disadvantages as we’ve discussed here, such as noise, loosening, improper fitting, and poor quality. You’ve already invested a lot of money in your truck, and you plan to hold onto it for a while. You don’t want it damaged and have its resale value reduced just because you decided to go cheap at the very end of the journey. If you’re doing a lot of hauling and your truck is your lifeblood, choose a spray-on bed liner that’s permanent and whose lifespan will match that of your truck.
Upgrade Your Truck With a LINE-X Spray-On Bed Liner
LINE-X spray-on bed liners are your top-of-the-line choice for the best truck bed protection out there today. These permanent, high-quality liners will serve you and your truck well through the hot Arizona summers and harsh mountain winters and are perfect for all the hauling you plan to do, whether for personal or business reasons. LINE-X offers a lifetime warranty and acts as a suit of armor to protect your truck, with unmatched damage tests that include 150-foot drops with heavy objects.
Any bed liner can offer basic protection for your truck, but if you want something that really stands strong against scratching, scraping, impact, rust, weight, and extreme temperatures, there’s no substitute for LINE-X. The experts at Flagstaff Collision Center can help with all your truck bed protection needs and we proudly offer LINE-X spray-on bed liners. Contact us today to learn more about this exciting product, obtain a free quote, or schedule an appointment.