Let’s face it: when it comes to automotive ubiquity, it’s hard to top a ute. As ingrained in the country’s culture as big-block muscle cars are in America and long-legged sport sedans are in Germany, utes are the 4-wheeled ambassadors of the country that not surprisingly also boasts the world’s single longest highway. Where utes have so quietly and diligently distinguished themselves head-and-shoulders above of these other national icons, however, is in their utility … no pun intended.
While its intercontinental counterparts were the byproducts of excess, the ute immerged from a field of necessity … literally. The kind of field you’d only find in a big country. No backdrop other than seemingly endless and unoccupied stretches of the outback could have given rise to the ute. Fortunately, the Ford Motor Company wasn’t ashamed to take its cues from that environment 80 years ago – along with a famously anecdotal farmer who asked for a car to go to church in on Sunday and a truck to haul pigs on Monday – and produce a niche vehicle that would inevitably go on to become one of the nation’s longest-lived and most recognizable symbols.
From their humble payload-carrying origins to the modern, fully outfitted extra-cabs, utes have made living and working anywhere from Sydney to way out in the outback, well …more livable and workable. Suffice it to say then, if you’re a ute owner, you already know that their namesake utility brings more to the table now than it ever has, and that’s in no small part due to the sheer range of available aftermarket accessories.
Make no mistake, though: not all accessories are created equal. Whether it’s for farming, tradecraft or just plain recreation, there’s only one “must-have” tool and equipment carrying accessory when it comes to a ute – tray boxes – and if you haven’t added any to yours already, there’s no better time than now. Or better yet, maybe the time’s right for a full-sized 4-drawer aluminium toolbox? Well, regardless of what you’re looking for when it comes to alloy tool boxes Brisbane is the only place you need to go.
Just like the ute itself, the ute box has also gone through a long and deliberate evolution over the decades. But when you stop to think about what’s really at the heart of the modern truck tool box renaissance, though, there’s only one real answer: aluminium. Lightweight, rust and corrosion resistant, and just as tough as anything before it, aluminium storage boxes have become the material of choice when it comes to the design and construction of ute boxes; earning their right to replace the traditional homemade truck tool chest your neighbours use to made out of plywood, or the heavyweight steel boxes transplanted from old workshop floors. Today, a top-notch box supplier of pickup bed tool boxes will have a massive selection of basic and specialty ute storage boxes to choose from, including:
- Cross Decks
- High Sides
- Square Edge
- Water Holders
- Generator Holders
It doesn’t matter if you want to set up a rolling carpentry workshop with ladder racks or a welding rig with a generator; boxes now come in lengths, widths and heights for any size tray or bed to accommodate the full complement of equipment you’d need. When fitted with gas struts, strong locks and steel handles and hinges, it ultimately means you’re not limited by what you can safely pack up and secure.
And of course, when it comes to just a strictly purpose-built, multi-compartmented aluminium toolbox with multiple shelving and drawer combinations, there’s an option for practically any vehicle available now. At the end of the day, when shopping for ute toolboxes online, you want to make sure aluminium ute boxes are exclusively at the top of your list.
Installing a Toolbox
Let’s be honest: when it comes to installing a storage box, there’s no shortage of ways to do it … and certainly, no shortage of ways have been tried to do. A well-thought-through approach will give you a box that’ll stand faithfully beside you for as long as you own your vehicle … and the opposite approach will leave with a rattling, flexing, heavy metal attachment hanging over your shoulder that may unexpectedly decide to liberate itself while you’re driving down the highway.
The truth is: mounting ute toolboxes is a pretty straightforward affair. At the same time, however, the last thing you want to do after investing a nice chunk of cash in a nice aluminium storage box is found yourself needlessly punching arbitrary holes in it and your tray. There are 2 strangely powerful, but perfectly unavoidable foils to a good toolbox install – water and plain old misalignment – and the ways to avoid them both are as simple as you might imagine but well worth repeating.
- Double-check the fit of the box – With the box on your tray or bed, make sure there aren’t any clearance problems opening drawers or lids; or if you have sideboards, that the box doesn’t interfere with raising or lowering it.
- Mark off your installation area – When you’re satisfied with the fit, mark off the area. This’ll allow you to make sure your underside mounting area won’t be impacted by anything like the tray’s ribs, the vehicle’s frame, exhaust components, or chassis wiring.
- Measure twice, cut (… err, drill) once – If everything’s still satisfactory, mark out your drill points. You’ll want to have 4 evenly distributed drill points where the box attaches to your vehicle. Double-check once again to ensure there’s sufficient clearance underneath, and then begin by drilling your starter mounting holes 1 at a time. Be sure to insert temporary screws in the holes as you drill to ensure the box doesn’t move.
- Re-drill the starter holes – Remove the drilled box from the tray, and now re-drill and de-burr all your mounting holes to the desired diameter. Removing the box may seem like an unnecessary step at this point, but having a clear area to drill and remove your metal shaving from immediately afterwards will save you the headache later of moisture and other debris finding its way between the box and bed.
- Mount the box – With everything lining up, you just need to replace the box on the tray and mount it. Using bolts – not screws – to attach the box to the vehicle, insert the fastener from the underside of the tray or bed through the box and secure with a nylon nut inside the box for that added bit of locking when tightening. You’ll also want to use good quality load spreading washers on both ends of the bolt. Add a bit of quick-drying silicone sealant to the nut to ensure you’ve got a waterproof seal, and the job is done.
It’s In The Box
When it’s all said and done, the ute – in all its varied and ever-evolving forms – has remained the quintessential vehicle of necessity because it’s still the best at doing what it does. Whether you’re a farmer, a tradie or just someone who likes having a proper range of tools along when offroading, a ute’s always been the answer. With a bit of a storage space revamp or a new toolbox, just imagine how much more it’ll do for you. When you’re ready to take your ute to that next evolutionary level with new storage or alloy tool boxes Brisbane has everything you need.