The Different Types of Truck Bed Toolboxes

Man using a truck side toolbox for work.

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A truck with an unruly truck bed is less of a monster truck and more of a monstrosity. We’ve all seen those trucks with tools floating around the bed or equipment hanging over the rails. Don’t let this be you- equip your vehicle with the right truck bed toolbox. The right one will serve both as a storage chest and a protective safe, designed to resist tampering and harsh weather. Without a proper toolbox, tools fall prey to rust, corrosion, deterioration, and theft. They add a degree of security to your tools by containing them in a durable steel enclosure. Many feature lockable lids for absolute protection. They also help your truck bed stay tidy. If you’ve ever tried to organize and transport tools without a toolbox, you probably found that it gets old pretty quickly. Truck toolboxes can add value to your vehicle and improve your experience on the job, and on the road. Let’s examine the different types of truck bed toolboxes, along with their unique purposes.

Crossover/Saddle Box

Weather Guard crossover toolbox for trucks mounted to a truck bed.

The first type of truck bed toolbox up to bat is the crossover toolbox or saddle box toolbox. It gets its name from the way it crosses over the truck bed, supported by the bed rails. Typically, they employ j-bolts for a simple installation process. They are universal rather than vehicle-specific, so you don’t have to spend time finding the exact product for your vehicle’s make and model. All you need is to compare the dimensions of your saddle box to those of your truck bed, ensuring compatible widths.

Saddle Box Purpose

Saddle boxes are one of the most popular toolboxes for trucks on the market. Their seamless installation process, ease of accessibility, exceptional bed clearance, and long-lasting strength make them appealing to truck drivers everywhere. If you don’t have any very specific needs in particular, this is an all-around safe bet and a stellar choice for a reliable, protective toolbox.

Topsider Toolboxes

Topsider toolboxes sit atop the side rails of your truck bed, functioning as cabinets that open downward from the front with a latch. They can feature single or double doors for varying levels of accessibility. They’re usually anywhere from 40” to 90” long and 16” to 18” tall.

Topsider Toolboxes Purpose

This type of truck bed toolbox is popular for workers who spend much of their time on building jobs, home repairs, and installations. Topsider toolboxes allow users to enjoy full use of their truck beds for transporting cargo and easily accessing items.

Wheel Well, A.K.A Pork Chop, A.K.A Fender Well Toolboxes

Pork chop toolboxes or wheel well toolboxes are an ergonomic solution for saving space while storing tools. If you’re the kind of truck enthusiast who loves to see every inch of space being utilized, this is the truck bed toolbox for you. With a curved shape to fit over the wheel well, these ultra-compact toolboxes act as a satisfying key piece in the puzzle of your truck storage solutions. Some open through a top lid, while others have drawers at the bottom for easy access from behind at the rear of the truck bed.

Wheel Well Toolbox Purpose

These irregularly shaped toolboxes for trucks can do a lot. They store tools, sports gear, guns, and more! Wheel-well toolboxes are especially great for people who seek quick in-and-out access to their belongings. They’re ideal for people who don’t have too much to store in their toolbox and want to leave maximum space open in their truck bed. Don’t rely on this type of truck toolbox if you have large cargo or lots of items- instead, use it as a supplement to your main toolbox or designate it for smaller item storage. Pork chop toolboxes are also ideal for someone who likes to clean out their truck bed frequently, as they won’t get in the way.

Storage Drawers

If the idea of a simple pull-out drawer on your truck bed appeals to you, you might be a candidate for truck bed storage drawers. They come in two varieties, including commercial utility drawers and decked systems. Utility drawers are metal cabinets with drawers. They are less common on trucks since they require precise fitting to the truck bed. A more common choice for truck owners is decked systems. Their modular, organizable, customizable design allows them to fit perfectly inside the bed. Their combined surface areas create a platform that can support up to 2,000 pounds. The units contain sliding drawers that can carry all sorts of heavy tools and equipment. Don’t be afraid to store more expensive gear and electronics inside- these truck bed toolboxes are weatherproof. Put your GPS, two-way radios, cameras, and other gear in one of these and enjoy the accompanying peace of mind.

Storage Drawers Purpose

Storage drawer truck bed toolboxes are versatile and exceptional for both work and play. Store small to medium-sized tools in the drawers and bulky, irregularly shaped equipment on the top. If your storage space is for recreation, then keep your valuables and fragiles safe in the weatherproof compartments. Many come with lockable latches for heightened security and protection. Throw your kayaks or hunting bows up top for use during your next camping trip, hunting jaunt, or overlanding adventure!

Side Mount Toolboxes

UWS heavy-duty side mount toolboxes on white pickup truck.

Side mount toolboxes sit at the sides of your truck bed along its perimeter. They rest on the bedrails, secured in place by clamps and supporting legs on either side or underneath. These truck bed toolboxes are not vehicle-specific, but again, it is helpful to know your truck bed dimensions. Most side-mount toolboxes range from about three feet to seven feet.

Side Mount Toolbox Purpose

Side mount toolboxes are ideal for those who use their toolboxes for work. Professionals who frequently access their trucks will find this type of truck bed toolbox suitable for gaining easy access to a bounty of tools for any job. Contractors, plumbers, and electricians alike benefit from the utility and convenience these toolboxes offer. Store long items and tools inside these boxes, such as power tools and straps.

Chest Toolbox

This type of toolbox for trucks is very simple and straightforward. Chest toolboxes are highly portable and movable, they can be placed anywhere their dimensions will fit. Store smaller tools inside and let them reside inside the truck bed. Then, move it to the backseat to make room for bulkier equipment when needed. Easily access your chest toolbox from anywhere in the truck and take it to the next job.

Chest Toolbox Purpose

Chest toolboxes for truck beds serve all kinds of maintenance workers and repair specialists. If you’re looking to store a full tool kit in your truck bed and transport it to any job site, a chest toolbox makes sense for you. This type of chest mounts directly to your truck bed, offering simple installation and easy access. Their single-lid design typically offers optimal storage capacity as well. However, if you happen to have a shorter truck bed, a chest toolbox may not be for you, as it reduces the amount of space in your truck bed for other cargo.

Trailer / Tongue Chest

Specifically designed to be mounted to the tongue of one’s trailer or truck, the tongue chest derives its name from its location placement. Shaped like a trapezoid, these truck bed toolboxes are designed to fit the irregularly shaped fronts of most trailers. Unlike square or rectangular chests, tongue chests will not interfere with sharp turns made by the trailer.

Tongue Chest Purpose

If you utilize a trailer frequently, you simply must opt for the tongue chest toolbox. Tow with confidence and peace of mind, using a tongue chest toolbox specifically designed and fit for the job!

5th Wheel Toolbox

Another advantageous way to save space while enhancing storage capacity is with a 5th-wheel toolbox. The construction of this truck bed toolbox type allows them to fit behind the 5th wheel, perfect for towing purposes. The low-profile design improves visibility and prevents the 5th wheel from hitting the toolbox lid on sharp turns. It mounts directly to the truck bed and sits below the bed rails. By sitting in tandem with the bed rails, 5th-wheel toolboxes optimize the amount of space available.

5th Wheel Toolbox Purpose

The fifth-wheel truck toolbox is a specialized solution for trucks that tow gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers. If you tow with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer and also require more storage space, a fifth-wheel toolbox is the way to go.

Choosing Your Type of Truck Bed Toolbox

ProMaxx truck bed toolbox in a black truck bed.

There are so many benefits to proper tool storage, especially on moving trucks. If you own many tools and rely on them for work, it becomes essential. Protect your tools from the elements and theft with space-saving toolboxes. We hope you use this guide to discover the best truck bed toolbox for you at Omni Garage!

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