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It's The Little Things: Additional Considerations When Choosing A Truck Bed Extender

by Jacob Scott

If you've been trying to get a truck bed extender, you know you have specific styles that you have to choose from. Some install on the truck's hitch, other's install inside the bed and can be pulled out, and so on. But there are other considerations that could make an otherwise fine style become problematic for you. Here are three things to consider when choosing your truck bed extender.


Cage-style extenders generally follow the outline of your truck's tailgate, but the corners can differ. Some models have fairly squared-off corners -- they're still rounded somewhat, but you get that space. Other cages have basically no corners; the extender sides veer diagonally to the center point at the back edge of the tailgate. That lack of extra corner space can make carrying wide, flat goods difficult. If you think you'll need a lot of tailgate surface space, look for more squared-off corners.

Vertical Bars

Flat items like planks of wood can fly through horizontal bars on an extender if whatever was restraining them broke. For example, if you had them wrapped in bungee cords, and the cords broke, there's nothing to stop the boards from sliding through the extender's horizontal bars. That is, unless you find an extender with vertical bars that can block items from slipping through. You'll find extenders that have very few vertical bars and others that have so many that the extender looks like a grid.

Open Sides

Some extender styles block the back of the tailgate, but not the sides. These open sides are OK if you're hauling something big, like a couch. But if you're hauling smaller items, you need sides that restrict items from falling out. That sounds obvious, but it's these smaller spaces that will get you if you don't plan properly.

Metal vs. Plastic

You'll have your choice of materials when choosing an extender. Some are made with plastic, some with metal, and some with both. Metal will be less prone to cracking, though many plastics are quite strong themselves. Consider the weight of what you'll be hauling and the likelihood of that cargo breaking free of restraint and sliding into the extender. For more heavy-duty loads, metal might be better.

If you want to see more styles of truck bed extenders and talk to someone who can help you choose, go see your truck accessory dealer today. You'll be able to look at extenders up close and compare models.