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Can You Have Both Tool Box and Tonneau Cover in Pickup Truck Bed?

A close up photo of an aluminom tool box placed in the truck bed.

According to the Tonneau Cover Guide, “Yes, you can use a tonneau cover with a tool box. To enjoy the tool box, you have to choose a tonneau that size matches the tool box.” And, if you like me, trying to run a business from the bed of your pickup truck, you should be invested in various styles of tonneau covers, too.

I am constantly in and out of the homestead with my truck maintaining and repairing other people’s tractors. As a result of this side hustle, I like to call it, I have invested in my pickup truck in a number of ways. 

The first big item was a tool box, and then I went all out with a hinged and folding hard body tonneau cover. Let me tell you, that was a heavy load in terms of shopping!

First of all, not all tonneau covers are suited for tool boxes. Here is a breakdown of the best tonneau covers I recommend for using with a tool box in a professional capacity.

Related: What is a Tonneau Cover?

What Should I Look for in a Tonneau and Tool Box Combo?

First, the tool box has to fit securely with the tonneau cover. That’s a must for anyone interested in this style of setup for their truck bed. Otherwise, you will have squeaking toolboxes and tonneau cover frameworks that will drive you crazy on the highways and byways.

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To keep your cool, choose a tool box that is made especially for use with a tonneau cover. Then, find out what kind of tonneau cover you plan on getting. There are soft bodied canvas tonneau covers, as well as hard body tonneau covers.

These can be attached to a vehicle using various styles, including hinged, retractable, and folding mechanisms. The tool box will have to fit the specific style of tonneau cover, i.e., a hard body folding cover on a hinge.

The easiest way to start this process is by choosing the aspect that matters most to you as a vehicle owner–the tool box or the tonneau cover.

Once you have determined which of these is most important for your needs, invest the most time and money in that item. Then, find the tonneau covers that fit that kind of tool box.

Optionally, you can start by buying a tonneau cover first, such as a custom made hard cover, and then getting a tool box that is compatible with it.

Either way, you want to start shopping for the big ticket item that you will use the most first. From there, the process is a lot easier since you can more efficiently narrow down the types of tonneau covers and tool boxes that will work for your particular make and model of vehicle.

Related:  

Are Tonneau Covers and Tool Boxes Waterproof?

Back photo GMC car with toolbox and tri fold tonneau cover.

The next item of discovery when I went to buy a tonneau cover to fit with the tool box in my truck was waterproofing. I really wanted to make sure the tonneau cover would remain waterproof, or at least protect against most water and moisture.

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This is key to protecting the longevity of the tools and machinery used on the farm. Rust is not my friend, or anyone else’s! 

The issue I found is that the main styles of tonneau covers do not have the best waterproofing capacity. Along with being waterproof, the seal also has to protect against dust storms.

Here in the Midwest, we get a lot of constant wind at about 20 miles per hour, and it really brings up the dust. As a result, you have to block out the wind and the rain in the tonneau and tool box setup. 

What Are Types of Tonneau Covers for Tool Boxes in Pickup Trucks?

A white pick up truck with an aluminum toolbox placed in the truck bed.

So how well did I fare in this fight to fit a tonneau cover and a tool box into the back of my old Ford pickup truck? Well, I did it, and I am here to share the wealth of what I learned in the process.

Here are some of the styles of tonneau covers to shop for when buying a cover to attach to the bed of a truck with a large body tool box already fitted inside:

  • Tonneau cover with integrated tool box
  • Truck bed cover with low profile tool box
  • Under tonneau cover tool box
  • Tonneau cover with WeatherGuard tool box
  • Hard tonneau cover with tool box
  • Tonneau cover tool box backrack
  • Silverado/Chevy/GMC Colorado bed cover with tool box 

These tonneau cover and tool box combo ideas are really great to start out with if you are in the market for this setup. For example, if you own a particular brand of truck that happens to sell an aftermarket tonneau cover with a tool box, I would recommend starting there.

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You get the benefit of the branding from the truck, as well as the installation and maintenance. Plus, you can save time and avoid any misfittings when installing the tonneau cover with a tool box. 

Can I Find Affordable Tonneau Covers for Tool Boxes on Amazon?

A woman polishing her aluminum toolbox in her pick up truck.

But if you are like me, and want to save money, you’ll avoid those value-added proponents of branding. Instead, you might be interested in a tonneau cover with a tool box from Amazon, of which there are several brands including:

  • TruXedo TonneauMate tool box
  • Gator ETX Soft Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
  • Access tool box Roll Up Tonneau Cover
  • Extang Solid Fold 2.0 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

These are some of the many varieties of tonneau covers that are sold by Amazon. You can see from the images that these are all suited for adding to a pickup truck bed that has a tool box installed near the cab area.

By also investing in a tool box that is made for use with a tonneau cover, you also ensure that your truck will look great and be protected from the elements. 

What Are the Benefits of a Tonneau Cover and Tool Box Setup?

As you make this investment into your vehicle, consider why you are getting the tonneau cover and tool box. “Tailor-made for your truck, a tonneau cover with tool box allows you to protect your entire payload without losing entry to your existing rail-to-rail tool box,” according to Auto Anything.

Are you working from your truck and need easy access to your equipment and tools? If you are, then the focus will be on getting the tonneau cover pulled back swiftly, and accessing the tool box with ease.

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As noted by Part Catalog, “You can have a tool box and tonneau cover for your truck to help you organize your gear and protect your payload while being able to access your current rail-to-rail tool box.

With the perfect custom-fit tool box truck bed cover, you can keep all your items in order.” This will help you look more professional in front of your customers, too, since you will always have the equipment you need readily available. 

No more tossing around boxes of rusted bolts, either, since all of your metal tools are safe from the elements when you protect them in a toolbox.

The addition of the tonneau helps to protect those large items like machinery or equipment, such as air compressors, that cannot fit in the toolbox.

You are able to transport these items to and from a worksite without losing anything to the wind, or to unsuspecting sticky fingers reaching into your truck bed while you are in a gas station, for example. That has happened to me, so be warned!

When Looks Matter More

Side view angle of a red pick up truck with a black tonneau cover asnd a black open tool boxe with tools inside.

On the other hand, some truck owners really want the look and style of the tonneau cover and tool box arrangement. The idea is that the pickup truck will be more rugged in appearance when these amenities are added.

You can also increase the value of a vehicle by adding a well made tool box with a tonneau cover. Used truck buyers will snap this style of vehicle up in a heartbeat thanks to the functionality of the tonneau cover. 

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If looks are more important than functionality, I recommend going with a solid tone of all metal or the same coloration as the vehicle with these inclusions.

As a result, the truck bed will be seamlessly integrated into the rest of the truck. In the end, the visual effect is quite appealing and adds to the value of the automobile. 

If you are running a business, you can add your company logo to your tonneau cover, as well, to boost your brand appearance. The temporary installation of a tonneau cover means you can easily switch the imagery at your convenience, which is not to be said of a custom painted logo on a car body.

Having the security and style of a tonneau cover and tool box combo as a business owner can also increase the effectiveness of your business efforts. Customers will recognize your brand along with the covered and outfitted truck bed–and see your business as one to be taken seriously.