Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Truck bed covers, man. They’re terrible. Don’t ask me to call them “tonneau” covers either. I refuse. I hate the word “tonneau” - mostly because I don’t know what it means and I'd prefer to keep it that way. I, like many people, am wary of what I don’t know, and I also loathe what I don’t feel comfortable pronouncing, which is sadly why I can never visit Quebec.
Now, I don’t expect you to take me for some kind of an expert on the subject of bed covers or anything. I’m not one. But I know pure, unadulterated brilliance when I see it, and I'll be damned if it wasn't staring me back in the face when I looked in the mirror this morning. See, my wife has the best truck bed cover I’ve ever encountered on her recently acquired ride (which I may or may not cover later), and even it sucks. But fret not! I'm brilliant, remember?! Thankfully, I have the solution to all of your truck bed cover woes. And if you’re anything like me, it’s going to blow… your effing… mind.
I’m a rabid reader of The Autopian. If you’re not, you certainly should be. The content is fresh and first-rate. Even the comment section below the articles is sprinkled with little gold nuggets, and it was there that I first spelled out my idea for the greatest truck bed cover of all time - one that renders all others obsolete. It’s such a good idea that another commenter tried to convince me to patent the idea. It’s sound advice, and I totally should. But frankly, I just don't have the time to get rich. I’m a busy man, you see. That’s why you may only see a blog entry from me once every few months or so. But my motivation is steadfast and my passion resolute. And every now and again I have an idea that’s so good, even I’m impressed. I invented the Tweel, for instance, around age eleven or thereabouts. Of course, at the time, I had no knowledge of intellectual property law, so in the end, regrettably, it was Michelin that brought home the bacon - not me.
Anyway, as I was saying… my idea. The greatest truck bed cover of all time. Until now it has existed only in my brain and in a few gifs I’ve made and selflessly deposited into the infinite and all-consuming void that is the internet via my Tweeter and Instant Telegram applications on my cellular telephone. But all that changes today, because after today - if you make it all the way through this article - you too will possess this knowledge and share this great burden that, heretofore, I have carried alone. But I must warn you. It has been a heavy load.
Just in case you can see text but not pictures for some reason, like some sort of highly evolved and cognitively superior tyrannosaurus rex that can no longer read picture books because they fail to satiate his intellectual appetite and are therefore of absolutely no use to him whatsoever, I’m going to describe the concept in words - as succinctly as I can, which is to say… not very succinctly.
Truck beds - as they exist today in all their many forms - are poorly conceived, half-baked, and ill executed. This one - the one I present to you now - is not. It enhances the truck bed where all other bed covers inhibit it. Now brace yourself.
What I’m proposing here is as follows: a rigid, load-bearing, water-tight truck bed cover that periscopes straight up and and down with the touch of a button to seal up or uncover the goods or garbage in your truck bed - allowing you to use the cover itself as a flatbed when necessary, while still keeping items in the cargo hold beneath dry and secure yet easily accessible. In essence, it would be a multipurpose platform mounted to heavy-gauge steel or aluminum pipe at each corner. Each pipe would be housed - and fully concealed when closed - inside the bed’s stake pockets (where tradesmen often mount ladder racks) and extend upward in unison the full height of the cab to provide a continuous loading surface that's flush with the roof of the cab when in the fully open position. The height of the platform would also be infinitely adjustable anywhere between the fully raised and fully lowered positions, with the strength to lift a full load or exert a crushing force on the contents of the truck bed, allowing the bed cover to act as a compactor for those trips to your local landfill or recycling center.
Also, did I mention that the whole thing extends upward and downward?! Or that it’s load bearing?! And water-tight?! And that it’s awesome and the greatest truck bed cover of all time?! Because it is! It’s all of those things. And here to demonstrate that to you by way of me, is a little truck that I hope will stick with you in a deep, dark, dank, and often-visited corner of your brain for decades to come.
What started as a showcase for the truck bed cover I just described above has now taken on a life of its own. It’s a life so rich and vibrant that it can no longer be contained. I’d like you to meet Hiccup… the pickup.
Here we see Hiccup showing off one of her uniquely utilitarian features - her bed cap, in all its glory. It’s the bed cap of my dreams and the bed cap of the future. I mean... JUST LOOK AT IT!
Now observe it from the rear!
So... this may not be a universal aftermarket bed cover that fits all makes and models. In fact, it may not be feasible (without some major custom fab work) on any existing pickup truck. And if you're curious about the mechanism that propels the bed cover upward and downward and the engineering behind it, I hear you. I'll get into those details in a later article. For now, suffice it to say that it is absolutely doable without a huge investment in R&D. But the simple fact that something very similar to this isn't fitted to nearly every single pickup on the road right now is positively mind-boggling to me.
I will be thoroughly dumbfounded if some major automaker out there doesn't catch wind of this and deploy it on the next generation of their best-selling pickup. The concept is that solid. Granted, it's not fully fleshed out just yet. There are several features that I haven't worked into the model yet, such as lights, tie-down points, and mounting points for some short bedsides on top of the bed cover. I'm even planning to allow for the ability to quickly and easily secure panels to the sides and rear when the cover is in its fully raised position to create... a VAN! And let's all be honest here. Trucks are just, ya know, better... when they're vans.
GM, Ford, Ram, Toyota, Nissan, Rivian, Canoo, Alpha. All of you truck manufacturers and wannabes out there. You've all been put on notice. It's a race to the patent office now. To the victor go the spoils. This will come to fruition, and I’ll be there when it happens.
Oh, and one last thing. If you like the looks of Hiccup the Pickup™, then you're in for a real treat. She's going to to be a regular around here - almost like our mascot in a sense. I'll be posting loads of information about Hiccup going forward. So if you think her bed cover is innovative, just wait until you see what else she's got going for her. It's stuff you won't want to miss. Plenty of stories to tell and a whole new world to explore. I think you'll enjoy it.
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