Posted: April 29, 2016
Fighting The Elements
Truck Cap And Tonneau Manufacturers Are Utilizing Better Sealing Methods And UV ProtectionBy Dan Sanchez
Often taken for granted, is the fact that caps and tonneaus protect cargo within the truck bed from the elements. Over the years, however, small improvements have been made to provide better sealing between the bed rails, which have gone unnoticed, but are important nonetheless. "We've added cap tape and tailgate seals from ESI to our line of products," says Jim Fike of Jason Industries. "All of these products are made with long lasting automotive grade EPDM rubber. Unlike foam seals, they do not need to be replaced every time the cap/lid is removed. To promote this new product we offer install kits to our dealers that have everything need to properly install the unit."
"We have developed snap-on seal technology using co-extruded plastic and rubber to replace adhesively applied seals around the perimeter of the truck bed cover frame," says Steve Kelley, VP Sales at Extang. "These seals, introduced on the EnCore and added to the Solid Fold 2.0 provide improved retention, sealing and have a crisp straight appearance. We’ve also designed molded corners and hinge caps from a hard rubber that allows seal incorporation and interference fit for improved moisture resistance."
Along with improved sealing, protection from ultraviolet rays has always been a concern for cap and tonneau manufacturers. The biggest examples of this are evident in hard folding, soft, and roll-up covers. Innovations here have resulted in products that maintain their finish longer and resist fade. "Recently, we’ve incorporated lightweight TPO skins into our Solid Fold 2.0 that are much more dent and fade resistant than our previous aluminum skinned product," says Kelley. "The TPO skin we’ve selected has the very popular matte black finish that integrates very well with the trim around the bed of today’s newer trucks for a really great appearance."
It's evident that caps and tonneau covers have come a long way since they were first introduced several decades ago. With continued advancements in design, materials, security, and sealing, truck caps and tonneaus will stay in tune with what customers demand, and include features that make them easier to install and use for a multitude of purposes and lifestyles.