Bed liners or bed mats cover various products that fit on the floor of the truck bed. When shipping a heavy cargo can easily scratch and dent the truck. The main purpose of bed liners and bed mats is to protect the truck bed.
The major difference between bed mats and bed liners is the protection coverage offered and cost. Bed liners offer more protection but are expensive. Bed liners protect the bed as well as the sides of the truck. Bed liners are mainly classified into two categories as drop-in and spray-on/in. Truck bed mats are flexible, affordable, and easy to clean and install, easy to customize and cut the rubber truck bed mat.
One of the most common and initial methods used to protect truck beds is using bed mats. Truck bed rubber mats cover the truck floor but the walls and wheels are not covered. Earlier it was made only using rubber. Nowadays, more options are available in materials. The rubber is reinforced with fiber for more toughness and longer life. Another option is the Bedrug mat, which is made from polypropylene.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of bed mats.
- It protects the floor of the pickup truck from scratches and dents. It also protects the paint from rusting.
- The bed mat is bound to get dirty. It’s super easy to clean up.
- An expert is not required to install the bed mat on your pickup truck.
- It is not permanent and just placed on top of your truck like a carpet. It can be removed whenever required.
- It covers the whole surface of the truck bed.
- For extra protection, you can combine it with a tailgate mat.
- It can be cut for any pickup truck models like Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tacoma, Ford F150 and other ford trucks, Dodge Ram, Tundra, etc. to name a few. I have provided details on how to cut the rubber bed mat below in the article.
- It is cost-effective when compared to bed liners
- The bed mat is not permanent and the cargo may slip if the bed mat moves.
- It does not protect the sidewalls of the pickup truck.
- The life of the bed mats is shorter when compared to bed liners.
- Moisture and water can get collected below the mat and it could start rusting.
Bed mats are the best choice if you have a budget constraint and the wheels and side walls do not require protection. Let’s look at some key factors to consider while choosing a bed mat for your truck.
- Choose a superior quality material. Heavy-duty rubber and marine-grade carpet are quite popular. It should be cut, wear and tear-resistant.
- Go for a non-skid mat. You don’t want your cargo sliding and slipping around in the truck. Preferably go for a textured bed mat surface. This would prevent the cargo from moving around while speeding.
- A bed mat should be soft enough to protect your knees but tough to protect from dent and scratches of the cargo.
- Go for the mat that offers good airflow. A knobby downside would provide for required ventilation and allow drainage. This would keep the downside dry and prevent it from rust and mildew. Good ventilation would also ensure the mat does not stink.
- Choose a durable mat. It should last through daily loading and unloading activity. Typically, the life of the truck bed mat is approximately 5-10 years. Once you cut the mat as per your requirement it lasts only 3-4 years. The weight and type of cargo also affect the life of cargo.
- How thick should the mat be? A thick mat would not only protect the truck bed but also act as a cushion for fragile cargo. Generally, the truck floor mats have 0.375 inches thickness. A thicker mat would leave you with less cargo space and the truck becomes heavier. A right balance with thickness is essential.
- Whether or not you wish to keep the mat for a long time. Consider the installation and removal of the mat based on your utility and purpose.
- Depending on the daily usage and wear & tear, the warranty can be considered if it’s not adding too much to the cost.
You may own a pickup truck or a camper truck or a flatbed truck. The bed mat has to fit well into the specific truck. The bed mat options available in the market may not be designed to fit your automotive. The best factor of bed mats is you can purchase a universal size and cut it as per your required dimensions. The universal size of the truck bed mat is around 8 feet long.
Let’s look at how to cut the traditional rubber truck bed mat?
- First, close the tailgate. Measure the length and breadth of the truck bed with the help of a measuring tape.
- The next task is to mark the fender wells. You would require a heavy paper and compass. With the help of the compass draw the fender well on the paper.
- Now cut the drawn area using scissors or utility knife. Place it back on the truck bed to see if any adjustments are required.
- Now you can trace the outline of the paper on the bed mat using a marker.
- A wood cutting blade is required to cut the rubber truck bed mats. A heavy-duty utility knife is good enough to trim other truck bed mats.
- Once done put the bed mat on the pickup truck to check if any adjustments are required. Trim the additional adjustments and place the mat on the truck. You are done.
Check Out The Video to Know How To Cut A Rubber Mat
Few Last Words
Even though bed mats do not offer complete protection, they are an excellent option. They are removable, cost-effective, easy to clean and install. We have already seen how to cut the rubber bed mat to the specific dimensions of the pickup truck or camper truck models. You can DIY without help from a professional. Ensure to purchase a non-skid, high-quality bed mat that is durable and tough.