Truck bed mats are one answer to protect your trucks from life shortening damage. Pickup trucks were made for hauling. Unless you are very careful though, quickly a shiny new bed can look like a rust bucket. Scratches and scrapes from just casual use will start the rusty trail if the paint is scraped down to bare metal. And a work truck that’s used hard can quickly pick up big dents and dings that lead to an early grave. So what’s the answer? Can you really use your truck and still keep it looking good?
One choice to protect your bed is a spray on bed liner. That may be the number one choice now for a number of reasons. The bed liners are attractive, tough and permanent protection for your bed. But maybe you don’t want a permanent coating or maybe you choose something with more padding or less money. Maybe you want some protection for that expensive spray on liner. That would be protection for the protection!
In many cases a bed mat may be a great choice to protect your bed or even to cover up existing damage. Bed mats come in a variety of types and variations. Your main material choices are carpet and rubber. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Carpet is an especially good choice if your truck sports a tonneau cover or a topper shell. Most carpet liners are weatherproof, but a wet liner can hold moisture on the bed and start damage to the bed. However, some new carpet covers are made of closed cell foam like life preservers and dry very fast. A carpet covering is a non-skid surface and that may be just what your hauling requires. Plus carpet is cushion for knees if your loading or hauling calls for some crawling around on the truck bed. Also carpeting is perfect for cushioning big, messy hauling jobs.
With these mats you may choose a reversible cover. For really messy, rough hauling some mats have two usable sides. Sometimes one side is carpet and the other rubber. These dual side mats are just the thing for real work trucks that need tough non-skid protection.
On the other extreme, pick a custom made carpet lining that covers bottom and sides of the bed with luxury carpet. You wouldn’t want a luxury carpet liner for messy loads but for more casual hauling and recreational use. Many of these liners are installed with velcro so the liners are easy to remove and clean.
For really nasty or rough hauling, rubber mats are virtually indestructible. These mats are also weatherproof, unbreakable and shock absorbing. Rubber mats can take severe bashing with little or no damage. Plus you get some road noise muffling with the bed protection.
You may want a trim to fit universal mat. That will be your cheapest choice. A custom fit rubber mat is probably made for your truck too. Another option is to get a multi-piece liner just for your truck that includes a rubber floor mat plus snap in side pieces to cover the whole bed.
Whatever your choice, truck bed mats are an important option to protect the value of your old or new truck.