Truck accessories are big business, and for good reason. No matter if it is for recreation or work, making a truck more useful also makes it more valuable to the user. There are hundreds of companies that specialize in this arena, so it can be difficult to find the ideal setup.
The best way to select items appropriate for your application is to do the research. First, identify your individual needs and look for solutions tailored to those duties. Second, it is highly recommended to work with a reputable truck accessory retailer and installation specialist. None of this stuff is cheap, so it is best not to skimp out on a high-quality install.
Lloyd Hunt from Murrieta, California, is a truck owner who was looking for heavy-duty truck bed upgrades and organization solutions that will haul it all.
Reasons For Heavy-Duty Truck Bed Upgrades
Hunt likes to go camping, fishing, hunting, and exploring the desert with his family and friends in his spare time. He pulls a 35-foot trailer for any overnight or extended trips. His daily-driver tow vehicle is a 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4×4 sitting on a 4-inch Long Arm Lift BDS Suspension system with Fox 2.0 Performance Series monotube gas shocks. The truck has also received some performance upgrades to improve its towing capabilities and range.
When hauling the camper with his family or friends, there is not enough storage space for all of the necessary gear. The truck owner realized it is a constant struggle to get items in and out of the truck bed, so being able to maximize the bed space and make it as efficient as possible is imperative. He said not only do we need to be able to secure items, but we also need to be able to create a modular way to store any of the necessities that a vehicle like this needs.
LTA Manufacturing Premium Truck Bed Upgrades
After scouring the internet, group forums, and Youtube, Lloyd narrowed down his search. Landing on LTA Manufacturing, he selected the Icon/Premier Premium Cab-High Truck Cap from Ranch Fiberglass. This top-of-the-line truck shell would house a LoadMaster StorMaster Combo Cargo Management System and a LoadMaster CapPack Cargo Management System.
Ranch Icon Truck Cap
Breaking down the product overview, the Ranch Icon Truck Cap from LTA Manufacturing is a highly rated truck shell with a lot of features. This includes tip-out side windows, high-quality paint, and a strong honeycomb structure. It has a frameless rear door on exterior hinges, a custom-fit rear door skirt, and a rubber bottom seal. The shell also comes with tinted windows, carpeted headliner, and third brake light.
Optional features include interior lighting options, remote keyless entry, an optional roof rack system, and front window options. And of course, the truck cap is shipped from the manufacturer with a custom paint finish that exactly matches the OEM’s original color specified by the VIN. All Ranch truck caps come with a limited lifetime warranty.
LoadMaster™ StorMaster Combo Cargo Management System
Looking to optimize organization, Lloyd ordered the LoadMaster™ StorMaster Combo Cargo Management System. This cargo management system easily slides in and out when fully loaded for convenient use. It is a flexible convenient storage solution with an 800-pound weight capacity. You can fit a variety of goods and tools inside the unit. Storage drawers are available as well as optional view dividers for the ultimate cargo management. The installation is a no-drill installation and it fits perfectly inside the Ranch Icon truck cap.
This system is ideal because it combines the two pull-out secure drawers underneath with the full-size slide-out deck on top. The drawer’s boxes pull out 100-percent to reveal the entire stowed cargo. The 57-inch wide deck can easily slide in and out when fully loaded for convenient use.
The sliding steel deck top is an open space where additional gear, suitcases, coolers, spare tires, and more can be stored. This entire setup will help with the arrangement and packing of gear for any adventure. It is also a great way to return from your monthly Costco haul. The StorMaster Combo essentially allows multiple options to secure cumbersome cargo.
LoadMaster CapPack Cargo Management System
How can one add even more storage? Well, the smartly designed LoadMaster CapPack Cargo Management System utilizes the otherwise unused space up above at the truck shell’s roof level. This lightweight aluminum storage compartment locks away into a sturdy elevated position. Hinged to a steel frame, the CapPack mounts to the top of the truck shell. Ideal for the storage of lighter and longer objects, it would be useful for securing and locking away firearms, fishing rods, and paddles.
The unit allows full use of the truck bed and includes marine-grade carpet-covered drawers, dual rotary latches with keyed locks, sealed bearing rollers, and adjustable storage dividers. It is rated at a 100-pounds capacity.
All of the LoadMaster products, both the StorMaster and CapPack, use the same locking system. The entire ecosystem works in tandem with each other while keeping your gear safe, secure, and organized.
With everything installed, the truck will be much more useful with all of the additional storage places to organize gear safely and securely. Heavier items can go into the lower sliding drawers, lighter and longer objects up top in the CapPack, and then all the larger odd-shaped gear on the sliding tray. There is lighting throughout the truck cap and the rear door will use the same remote locking system as the vehicle.
Ordering The Truck Accessories
Confident these items would relieve the issues Mr. Hunt had with loading and unloading gear for every trip, he now needed to locate a respected vendor to facilitate the installation. Using the LoadMaster’s website “Find A Dealer” function, several authorized retailers were presented. Going one step further, Lloyd contacted the manufacturer for recommended vendors in his area. He was assured that the dealer network list was fully vetted and all capable. Never resting on his laurels, Lloyd researched customer reviews on google and yelp before making any final decisions.
The vendor of choice became Pepe’s Truck Shell & Accessory Center which enjoys a 4.4-star rating with 35 reviews on Google. Pepe’s is owned by Pepe Gutierrez and is located at 236 Broadway Street in Chula Vista, California. The company specializes in truck accessories such as shells, bed liners, towing upgrades, and more. Even though it was a 90-mile drive for Hunt, he said their reputation of doing the job right was the determining factor.
Pepe’s assisted in the ordering of the parts and accessories, ensuring that all of the details were correct including the vehicle color match. With the order in and processed, the materials were all shipped to Pepe’s. The shop set an installment date that worked for everyone. When the day came, Hunt drove down to get his new truck cap and accessories installed.
Truck Bed Upgrades Installation
Jose, Pepe’s son, explained the installation steps for the LoadMaster and truck shell. First, they clean the back of the truck and install the mounting brackets for the LoadMaster cargo system. At the same time, one of them is doing this work, another is starting wiring. The wiring process connects the wiring from the locking system and lights to the truck shell.
The LoadMaster is situated over and into the truck’s bed using a forklift to lower it in place. Once everything is lined up and fastened into the hardware, they move on to the truck shell.
The shell receives a thorough cleaning and inspection before installation. Checking off as flawless from the manufacturer, it is ready to be mated to the vehicle. A forklift is used once again to bring the shell to the truck and lower it into place. When everything is lined up, the shell is secured and clamped down to the truck bed.
With everything wrapped up, The team finishes the electrical wiring and tests the doors, windows, lights, and locks. As expected, Everything checked out perfectly. The entire installation was slated for a full eight-hour day but was completed in less than six.
Hunt likes the look of his truck with the brand-new accessories. “After doing the research, LTA Manufacturing came highly recommended,” Lloyd stated. “The products are top-notch and made of premium materials with the highest construction craftsmanship. All of the accessories and options are what really bring the package to the next level. The fit and finish are on point, and the color-matched shell looks like a factory add-on. I am really excited about the new look and utility features and cannot wait to take the family out on the next adventure!