The right pickup bed liner keeps a truck looking good longer or makes an older truck look better fast.
Keeping a truck looking good, and making trucks look better, are mostly what liners are all about anyhow, don't you think?
There are so many liners on the market now that picking the right one is quite the struggle.
Getting the wrong one is in some cases worse than getting nothing at all.
That will become clear if you read on and get some hints for getting the best liner.
Bed liners are a little like gloves for your hands.
It isn't so much that work gloves protect your hands, which they do. It's more that you can get more done if you have gloves on.
Otherwise you're so busy dealing with hurting hands that you can't get much else done.
Liners are sort of the same way.
Who wants to beat up an expensive truck just to haul something???
But with the right liner you can use a truck and still maintain the look, and value, of the truck...
Read on for more on liner types...
Following are the types of liners, with a few listed that are in a way in a class of one. Those are described more in other pages. Here are the liners by type...
Since these are just types, it is easy to break them down into all sorts of other categories. For example, truck bed mats can be either rubber or carpet. But then again, the mats are custom fit, or cut to fit too.
In addition, some of the liner types are almost defined by brands. Spray in bed liners are associated with Rhino Liners, as well as with the Linex bed liner even though there are all kinds of other brands that produce and install spray on truck bed coatings.
The Dual Liner and the BedTred both are something like plastic bed liners which include the DuraLiner and PendaLiner too. But, for both of these, the liners differ enough from others that they are somewhat unique.
Scratches to pickup truck box are bad enough and can quickly make a mess of a pickup box without some repairs, but the repair of scratched paint is not too tough.
Here's where you get in trouble though.
I watched a young fellow once loading firewood in a pickup.
Now what happened as he and his buddy got in a little pitching contest, to see who could throw the chunks the fastest. At least I guess that was what they were doing. Anyway, the wood chunks were going at the truck fast and furious. A few started to go astray, bouncing off the back window and the fenders and so on.
But, in most cases, they were hitting the box.
But throw split pieces of oak at a pickup and you get some serious impact forces. With nothing in the truck for protection, no truck bed coating, no drop in liner, no nothing, what you get does not look pretty.
What he and his bud inflicted on that poor Ford Ranger, that looked almost like new at that point, was lots and lots of big deep dents.
Dents to truck beds are serious trouble.
Scratches I can fix. Deep dents to the floor and wheel wells of a box are a different matter.
Dents to that Ranger bed likely reduced the value of the truck by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in just a few minutes.
Bed liners for trucks or some sort of truck bed coating could have stopped most, or maybe all, of what happened to that truck, and kept the little truck looking good, instead of making it look like a piece of junk.
I'm beginning to think that the best protection for truck beds is a combination.
Add an inexpensive rubber truck bed mat over a high quality spray in bed liner, like the Line-X or the do it yourself version, like the Magnaliner or Al's Bed Liner, and you may have the best.
Of course the DualLiner is a top option too. It's like a plastic bed liner on the sides, with a rubber bed mat on the floor.
In any case, some form of protection for truck beds is a really good idea.