It is always a good thing to have a toolbox at hand in one’s vehicle while driving on the road. No one really knows what will happen along the way or what lies ahead while travelling, and for this reason, a toolbox—complete with the necessary tools—will always come in handy. Sometimes, cars may bog down and may need minor mechanical troubleshooting on your part, and having a toolbox in your vehicle—which contains most of the basic troubleshooting tools—is always imperative during road travel.
But what basically is a toolbox?
Well, a toolbox is a rigid box used to secure the necessary tools for troubleshooting and fixing simple mechanical problems while on the road. In some instances, small vehicles have a simple leather pouch where the tools are stored instead of having a toolbox. However, most large vehicles, like the light trucks, utilize a small plastic toolbox, instead of the usual leather pouch, and this toolbox is stashed in the vehicle’s trunk, or in most cases, under the driver’s seat for ready access. The heavy jacks however are mounted elsewhere in the chassis of trucks and are firmly secured by retainer clips.
There are basically two types of toolboxes: the fixed toolboxes and the movable one. Most cars and light trucks nowadays carry around a limited number of tools, and for this reason, they don’t need fixed toolboxes; these vehicles only need portable toolboxes for storage of limited tools. Likewise, these vehicles have limited spaces and need small toolboxes. On the other hand, large and heavy trucks need fixed toolboxes. These fixed toolboxes are usually integrated into the body of a medium or a heavy truck for convenience sake. Additionally, most heavy trucks have built-in toolboxes which are usually fastened to the chassis. These toolboxes have to be firmly fastened to the chassis of the heavy trucks to make sure they will not fall out. Moreover, the jacks and wrenches of a heavy truck are quite bulky and heavy, and thus require more spaces for storage. These tools would readily clutter the vehicle’s floor and may cause accident to the vehicle’s users. For this reason, these tools are usually kept in a huge toolbox affixed at the side of the chassis of the truck.
Nowadays, the use of light trucks and pick-up trucks has diversified into a variety of purposes. For this reason, the designs of some of these pick-up trucks have to be totally reworked to equip them with the necessary toolboxes for any specific purpose. These pick-up and light trucks are usually fitted with commercially available add-on toolboxes which can be easily fastened to the rear bed or the truck. These add-on toolboxes are not necessarily meant for housing the vehicle’s tools. In some cases, add-on toolboxes are affixed to trucks, not for whatever functionality, but simply for embellishing the outside appearance of the truck.
There are several companies which are engaged in the manufacture of new generation add-on weather-proof toolboxes for trucks. You could readily choose from their several designs. Some of these designs are listed under:
- CrossBed or Saddle toolbox is a type of toolbox designed to be mounted on a pick-up truck’s bed at the immediate rear of the cab. It is also known as the Crossover toolbox. It is affixed to the front part of the bed, and is suspended from the truck’s side rails to optimize the bed space area for other applications.
- Cross box is also mounted on the trucks side rails like the CrossBed toolbox. The only difference is the cover opening. While the CrossBed or saddle box has a full width flap hinged lengthwise for easy access from the vehicle’s bed, the cross box on the other hand has two independent covers which are fastened at the middle and readily accessible from the truck’s side.
- High-side or Rail Top Toolbox is mounted atop the light truck’s side rails. This toolbox is designed to maximize the pick-up truck’s bed for more cargoes. Moreover, this type of toolbox is easily accessible from the vehicle’s side via the side or upward swinging doors.
- Underbed or Underbody Toolbox is fastened to the chassis under the truck’s bed. This toolbox is designed for light trucks which are equipped with a flatbed or boxed truck. Likewise, this toolbox is ruggedly built to withstand the adverse effects of mud, dirt and weather.
- Lo-side or Side-Mount Tool box is mounted on the side rail of the pick-up truck. This toolbox has its outward side straddling the side rails of the truck. Lo-side is designed with a lower height than that of the High-Side tool box.
- Pork-Chop or Wheel Well Toolbox is designed to fit in on top of each wheel of the pick-up truck. This toolbox is much deeper but shorter in comparison to the Lo-Side tool box.
- The All-Purpose Chest or Truck Chest is intended to fit into the front width of the truck’s bed. Unlike the Saddle or Crossbed, the all-purpose chest is adjacent to the side rails of the pick-up trucks.
- Side-bed Truck Box or Drawers is mounted on the rear of the wheel well area. Some designs of Drawers are equipped with up to three sliding rail drawers which open to the rear of the truck. Other models are upright with hinged flaps.
- Tote Box is a portable hand-held toolbox which is designed for functionality and for ease of use. At times, it is fitted with elevating compartments designed to hold small items such as screws.
- Trailer Tongue Toolboxes is a fixed type toolbox designed to fit into the chassis of the truck similar to the underbed or underbody of the truck. This type of fixed toolboxes is commonly seen in medium and heavy trucks.
These different toolboxes are fashioned out of various durable materials. These materials include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, polymer, and plastics. The fixed toolboxes however are commonly made of steel or stainless steel with treaded patterns and anodized aluminum, because they are generally exposed to increment weather conditions. Most of them are tinged with rubber, plastic, or Teflon parts for more durability. On the other hand, the portable toolboxes are commonly fashioned out of polymer materials.
Additionally, toolboxes nowadays are fast becoming a fashion statement for pick-up trucks. Just like the roll bars and the bull bars that were widely used during the past decades, add-on toolboxes are now utilized to embellish the appearance of a vehicle. It is not uncommon, nowadays, to see pick-up trucks equipped with a combination of two or more types of new-generation add-on toolboxes in addition to other after-market products such as ladder retainers and supports. Maybe, a few years from now, we may be further seeing more advancement in the designs of mounted toolboxes; and maybe, we will be seeing more fashionable toolboxes for embellishment purposes.