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Decisions between Gaylord and Undercover Hard Bed Covers
Home Autos & Trucks Trucks
By: Andrew Bernhardt Email Article
Word Count: 811 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


When I wanted a new truck bed cover for my 99 Sierra, I ran across quite a dilemma. Do I save a few bucks and buy the Undercover Tonneau Cover my buddy has? Or, do I blow his truck away with a custom painted truck bed cover from Gaylordís? The internal struggle was quite wrenching.

A guy at the local truck parts place once told me that I was wasting my cash and time by buying a tonneau cover. His theory was that nobody west of the Rockies needed to cover their bed, because snow was the only thing worth keeping out of the payload. He figured that water would get past a cover anyways, and probably dry out fast. Knowing he was a fool, I bought one anywaysóa cheap, soft one. So, when I went through a round of having pieces of my vinyl tonneau stolen about a month later, I returned to grill the same idiot again. After all, if nobody needed one here, and nobody wanted one here, then why was my cover worth treating like a Sprint in the salvage yard? He had no reply, just a stupid grunt.

My next step had two parts: 1. find a new truck parts shop with fewer blowhards (after all, I could just go to Kragen for that kind of entertainment), and 2. Pick a cover without loose, accessible or soft parts that could be picked clean like strands of meat dangling from a hot wing. I arrived at a hard truck bed lid as my best option. They cost considerably more than the vinyl designs, but I discovered that you really get what you pay for. On the flipside of the price tag, they also look many times better and are infinitely more secureówhich was now my de-facto area of greatest need.

The first one I looked at was getting a custom Gaylord truck bed cover. There are many brands out there making a truck bed cover in this style: fiberglass construction, gas strut lifts, keyed opening, and custom paint matching. Thereís no question that a lid like Gaylordís makes is quite impressive; the price is just a bit tough to tackleóroughly 6 times higher than the softy cover I was replacing. And, itís heavy, which means a few drawbacks for hauling a large load. First, you have to lift off the truck after undoing the struts and hinges. Itís a two-man job for certain. Then, thereís finding a place to hang the lid where the paint wonít get jacked up. I had such a place to hang the cover, and a wife who loves to prove she can handle lifting from time to time. All I had to do was get comfortable with the price.

I decided to take a look at my friendís bed cover. He found his receipt for it so that he could tell me the brand (it was a gift, so he didnít really know it himself). It was called an Undercover tonneau cover, and itís much different than the Gaylordís, despite initial similarities. First, the Undercover wasnít smoothly painted to match; it was actually kind of rough to the touch. No big deal, I thought, because the black surface would look fine with my dark blue GMC, and it has to cut several bills off the price tag. Itís also not fiberglass, but a lighter plastic material, making removal a one-man gig. Thatís another bonus, but it also contributes to the cover looking a little flimsier, and a lot less like a custom, professionally crafted item. The price tag on the Undercover (about half of the Gaylord cover) started to look nicer and nicer.

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Picking between Gaylord truck bed covers and the Undercover tonneau cover was quite a dilemma, but ultimately I ended up happy (and still kind of sore).

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