A tonneau cover is an excellent investment for any truck owner looking to secure the truck bed and protect cargo or equipment from weather and theft. But will locking the tonneau cover actually help prevent theft? Let’s explore this question further.
What are the Different Types of Tonneau Covers?
There are several common types of tonneau covers to choose from:
What is a soft roll-up tonneau cover?
A soft roll-up tonneau is made of vinyl, canvas or other fabric and rolls up for easy access to the truck bed. These covers use snaps, zippers or Velcro to attach to the sides of the truck bed. Soft tonneaus are an affordable option but they don’t lock and can be easily cut into.
What is a hard folding tonneau cover?
Folding hard tonneaus are made of aluminum, fiberglass or ABS plastic panels that fold up accordion-style for truck bed access. They have a low profile, sleek look and are lockable for security. However, the hinges can be a breaking point for thieves.
What is a retractable tonneau cover?
Retractable tonneaus roll up into a canister at the front of the bed. This allows for full bed access without removing the cover. A locking rear tailgate bar provides security, but the vinyl cover itself can be easily cut.
What is a hinged tonneau cover?
Hinged tonneaus are a single hard lid that attaches with hinges at the front of the bed. The gas struts allow the cover to be lifted easily. This style provides the most security but does need to be fully removed for maximum truck bed access.
How Does Locking the Tonneau Cover Prevent Theft?
Here are the main ways that a lockable tonneau cover helps deter thieves:
Creates a Physical Barrier
A locked solid tonneau cover acts as a sturdy physical barrier preventing access to the truck bed from the outside. Thieves are less likely to target a truck if they cannot easily see or grab what’s inside.
Provides Visual Obstruction
The opaque surface of most hard tonneau covers obstructs the view of cargo. Keeping belongings out of sight goes a long way to keeping them secure.
Needs Forced Entry to Access Cargo
With a locked tonneau, thieves cannot simply open the tailgate to steal your gear. They would need to cut through or pry open the cover to gain access. This extra level of effort can deter criminals.
Allows Use of Security Features
Many tonneau covers integrate with existing truck bed security features like tailgate locks. This combines layers of protection to make your truck less vulnerable.
Gives Warning if Tampered With
If a thief attempts to force their way into a locked tonneau cover, it will show signs of damage. You’ll know if someone tried to breach the security.
What Style of Locking Tonneau is Most Secure?
If theft prevention is your top priority, consider these most secure tonneau options:
Hard Folding Tonneaus
The thick panels are difficult to cut into. Hinged models provide full bed coverage when locked.
Look for heavy duty vinyl material with security flaps to deter slashing. Dual latching systems are very secure.
The low-profile design hides contents without removing cover. Ensure it has a reinforced locking system.
One-Piece Hinged Lids
This seamless design fully seals the bed when locked. Opt for thick aluminum or fiberglass panels.
What Truck Bed Security Features Should I Add?
Complement your locking tonneau cover with these extra truck bed safety options:
- Tailgate lock – Prevents thieves from dropping the tailgate to access cargo.
- Bed rail caps – Locking caps seal stake pocket holes on top of bed rails.
- Cargo tie downs – Straps help secure larger equipment and make it harder to steal.
- Toolbox locks – Keep your smaller tools and supplies locked up.
- Aftermarket alarm system – Deters potential thieves and alerts you of tampering.
Adding a quality locking tonneau cover goes a long way in securing your truck bed and preventing opportunistic theft. Look for durable materials, reinforced panels, seamless construction and integrated locking systems when choosing the right tonneau cover. Taking the extra step to lock your tonneau after each use provides an invaluable layer of cargo protection and peace of mind. Your truck bed will be locked up tight!