Truck Cargo Management Solutions to Suit Every Requirement

/ / Car Accessories
delivery man loading pickup truck

Pickup trucks are great vehicles if you frequently haul a lot of stuff, but they can be a mess if you have many small items. This is especially true if you use your truck for work and just leave your stuff in the bed when you go home.

A messy truck bed will make finding the things you need when you reach your destination difficult. Furthermore, having your equipment loose around the back could be a hazard to you and other road users, especially if you hit an unexpected bump or get into an accident. That’s why cargo managers are great accessories for pickup trucks.

However, as we all use our pickups differently, no one-size-fits-all cargo manager will fit everyone’s needs. While one cargo manager might be perfect for a carpenter, it might not suit a plumber, mechanic, or contractor. So, let’s check out these five cargo management solutions that will cover the needs of different drivers.

Truck bed pockets

truck bed pockets holding gear

Truck bed pockets are one of the simplest and cheapest cargo management solutions you can get for your truck. These pockets are usually just folded metal sheets cut to your truck’s size and mounted between the wheel arch and tailgate.

These are typically affordable, usually easy to install, and won’t take up much space in the back of your pickup, making it an excellent solution for cheap pickup trucks. Because of its placement, it keeps your gear near the tailgate for easy reach. A good example of truck bed pockets is the ACI Cargo Management Kit. This kit lets you pick between aluminum or steel, and you could add a retriever tool that doubles as a cargo bar.

However, truck bed pockets are just that — pockets. Although your gear is secured between the wheel arch and tailgate, they’re still exposed to the elements. Furthermore, passersby can easily see them, and someone could just grab your stuff. If you want this cargo management solution, we highly recommend having a tonneau cover on your bed to protect your equipment.

Moveable truck bed divider

truck bed divider on pickup

A truck bed divider is perfect if you frequently transport bulky items, while keeping other large items in the back of your pickup. For example, if you’re an electrician, you can permanently place a huge cable reel in your cargo bed. You can then use a truck bed divider to keep items in your bed separate from the reel, thus helping protect the cable from damage from your other cargo.

Although these are more expensive than truck bed pockets, they’re typically more flexible, as you can easily adjust their position. Truck bed dividers also install quickly and can swing out of the way when you need to unload your cargo.

The Armis Cargo Manager is an excellent example of a truck bed divider, although it’s only available for the Jeep Gladiator. Nevertheless, many other truck bed divider options are available on Amazon; just be sure to check reviews so you know you’re getting a good product.

Side-mounted truck toolboxes

pickup with side-mounted truck toolboxes

If you need the entire cargo bed of your truck but want a place to store your gear securely, you should go for truck toolboxes that are securely mounted on the sides of the bed. These aluminum or steel boxes let you stow and lock your equipment, protecting it from weather, vandalism, and theft.

Many sizes are available for these toolboxes, and you can get just one toolbox if you don’t have that many things to store. However, if you keep your entire workshop in the back of your truck, you could fit as many as four toolboxes that take up both sides of your truck bed to store everything.

There are a couple of downsides to this system, though. The first is that it’s large and bulky, so your pickup will definitely look like a work truck, and it’s not the most aerodynamic solution either. This isn’t an issue if you prefer function over form. However, the more significant downside is the limited visibility you get when you install these, as they will block your view from the back of the truck. This also may not be an issue if your vehicle has a rear/360 camera installed.

You can check out the Weather Guard Hi-Side Box for an excellent sample of these side-mounted truck boxes. The great thing about truck boxes is that it can fit almost any truck, even classic pickups you can use as a daily driver.

Truck bed storage system

Truck bed with storage system

If you don’t like the look of side-mounted truck toolboxes and don’t mind getting a shallower bed, consider getting a truck bed storage system instead. This storage solution installs large drawers with a solid cover in the back of your pickup. When you open your tailgate, you’re greeted by two drawers where you can store your items — from toolboxes to rods, and other longer equipment. Because you still have a sturdy cover on top of these drawers, you can carry just about any kind of cargo on top of it.

However, because this system will take up the entire cargo bed of your truck, you have to get parts specifically designed for your model to ensure fitment. Furthermore, this usually needs professional installation and costs a bit more than the other previously mentioned solutions.

One such storage system that caught our attention is the Decked Truck Bed Storage System. This system starts at $1,599.99, and can be installed at home without drilling holes or modifying your truck bed. It’s also available for different pickup models, like the Toyota Tundra or the Ford F-150 Raptor R.

Box and tonneau system

pulling out box system from truck pickup

Another alternative to the truck bed storage system is the box and tonneau. This cargo solution puts a deep drawer across your tailgate, allowing you to reach everything you need with just a single pull. However, this blocks the rest of your cargo bed, so this is ideal if you rarely use the rest of the back of your truck, or if it has permanent contents. Nevertheless, if you need space, you can remove the box in a jiffy with the help of someone else.

This box and tonneau system ensures that your gear is secured inside a locked box, which is further protected by a tonneau cover. This will keep your equipment safe, organized, and dry wherever you drive.

If you want to use this system, you can check out the Unruli Tonneau and Defender Box System, which comes with an LED light, has a 250-pound capacity, and is easy to install. It’s also compatible with several popular truck models, like the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali.

Cargo management is essential for carrying things on your pickup. They not only make it easier to find and organize your gear, but they also protect and secure them, ensuring that your stuff stays in the bed of your truck unless you need it.

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