MAXIMIZE THE CAPABILITY OF YOUR TRUCK
By: Lance Schwartz for ATV Rider Magazine
When I decided to bite the bullet a year ago and buy a new truck, I knew the one I decided on was going to have to serve multiple purposes. With an active family and young kids, this truck was going to have to serve as my primary family vehicle. With that said, I needed a ton of rear seat room. I also needed the ability to tow a large ATV trailer, a heavy 22′ Hurricane deck boat, the ability to swallow several dirt bikes in the bed, and basically any other household task I could throw at it. As a huge fan of Toyota, I ended up settling on a Toyota Tundra Crewmax Platinum. Inside, the interior is plush and nearly Lexus-like. But, the large, luxurious cabin has left me with a super-small five and a half foot bed.
It is not at all uncommon for me to roll out on a weekend with four ATV’s on my trailer and either one of the kids’ quads in the bed or their two small dirt bikes. The problem then, is my bed essentially has very little room left for anything else. In stock form, what space remaining leaves anything I put in the bed exposed to the weather.
A few months ago, I got the opportunity to try out a cool new product from a company called DECKED. Their product is a truck bed storage solution that protects the contents within the device from the weather. The heart of the system is two large, rolling drawers that extend out from the rear of the bed, with a deck capable of supporting just about whatever you can fit on top of it.
The first order of business for me was installation. Due to the shear number of manufacturers out there, Decked is incompatible with bed liners. Since my Tundra came with one, a few minutes is all it took to remove and store it. Assembly is a piece of cake and probably took me about two hours.
At the corners of the system are four “ammo boxes”. You can certainly throw ammo in those boxes if your little heart desires. For my taste, I preferred the ammo boxes to hold my tie downs and bungee cords. There are also two drawers, each capable of holding up to two hundred pounds of whatever you can fit in there. I’ve spent my time with Decked using it to hold my gun cases and ammo, as well as riding gear and riding boots.
The real magic for me happens on top of the Decked storage system. The unit is capable of handling 2000 lbs on top of it, which is enough capacity to handle a large UTV. Unfortunately, the small size of my 5.5′ bed really limits what I’m able to put on top of the device. To haul a full-size ATV, I normally need to leave my tailgate down. Unfortunately, with the Decked unit, I can no longer do that. So, in the case of a Tundra CrewMax, I’m limited to ATV’s that fit within the bed itself. My son’s Honda TRX90 works perfectly. So does my daughter’s Suzuki LT-Z50. With a little bit of forceful pushing and obligatory swearing, I was able to actually spin the TRX90 and LT-Z50 sideways and fit both. With the two little quads in the bed of my truck, it gives me the ability to throw four more machines on my trailer for a total of six machines, which is pretty damn impressive!
Some cool niceties are the bottle opener and ruler integrated into the top of the bed. I absolutely can’t wait to hitch up my Hurricane deckboat, fill the DECKED drawers full of fishing rods, snacks, and frosty beverages, then hit the saltwater when the weather breaks to see how many flounder we can snag!
A few other points of interest. Due to the low height of the DECKED unit, truck owners like myself who have tonneau covers can actually still utilize them. This gives a foot or so of clearance between the DECKED system and the tonneau cover to house other gear. When I need to haul a few loads of mulch when spring has finally sprung, ten minutes or so of my time will be all I need to remove the DECKED unit.
For those looking to maximize the capability of their truck and desire secure, weatherproof storage, the DECKED truck bed storage system is worth a legitimate look.