How To Measure Your Truck Bed for a Tonneau Cover

Measuring Your Truck Bed for a Tonneau Cover.

In the past, a standard-length truck bed was 8 feet and a short bed was around 6 feet. The variety of bed lengths offered by the truck manufacturers today cannot be expressed that simply any longer. Today a “short bed” could be 5’, 6’ 6.5’ etc. and to complicate matters, the industry doesn’t always advertise bed length in the same way. Some express it in inches, some in a combination of inches and feet and some just in feet.

A 6.5’ bed, verbally expressed as “six and a half feet”, could be a 78.7” bed or a 78.8” or an 80” bed. That lack of standardization leads to a lot of confusion. Taking an actual measurement is the only way to know, for sure, what your bed length is. So, grab your tape measure and place one end on the inside rail of the bulkhead (“A” on the illustration) and extend it to the inside rail of the tailgate (“B” on the illustration) and record the reading.

Unfortunately, tape measures don’t read in decimals. So, let’s say your tape reads 79”, grab your phone or calculator and divide 79 by 12. (Ex. 79/12 = 6.58 feet). You have a “six-and-a-half-foot bed” or a 6.5’ bed. If your tape reading was 80” you would have an 80/12 = 6.67’ bed but it would still be considered by the industry as a “six-and-a-half-foot bed”. Another example would be an 8’ bed or "long bed" could measure anywhere from 94' (94/12 = 7.8’) and a 98” (98/12 = 8.2’) . The point is, manufacturers round up or down so don’t worry about an inch longer or shorter than the advertised length in feet.

If you have a tailgate liner you must deduct the thickness for the proper bed length. There is usually an exposed edge when you have a tailgate liner so measure from that point if you can. However, If you have an over the rail bedliner you will not be able to install most tonneaus without cutting it below the rail or removing it entirely. Under the rail bedliners are easier but still may need to be notched or cut for clamp clearance.

If you're still not sure to call us with your tape measure reading and we will help you choose the right tonneau cover for your truck.

Established in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina in 1963, Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories is a privately owned retailer, manufacturer and distributor whose product lines include storage buildings, cargo and utility trailers, truck covers and accessories, carports, playhouses, and pet and animal structures. We serve our residential, commercial and government customers through our 57 factory outlet stores in the five-state region of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

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