No, it's not a bed liner! No, it's not plastic either! It's composite and in 2005 Toyota introduced the material as the inner bed of the ever popular Toyota Tacoma, thus replacing the traditional steel bed. Sure it makes some folks leery as most relate the Tacoma bed to plastic and immediately conclude that it's not strong. Well, it's actually pretty tough stuff and Toyota engineers made the move to a composite bed for several reasons. First and foremost is weight saving, but ultimately the material does away with rust, corrosion and dents/dings that are common in a traditional steel truck bed.
But is it strong? Well, braced properly it is pretty darn strong, thus the reason when Toyota introduced the composite bed, it included the Toyota Deck Rail System. The deck rails provided some rigidity and tie down points, but are flawed in that they are actually pretty flimsy pieces in their own right.
So what does this all mean to you? Well, since 2005 we've been selling our Bed Buddy Motorcycle Tie Down Rack to Tacoma customers all across the world. Since the factory deck rail doesn't provide the necessary strength and rigidity to transport heavier cargo like motorcycles, the Bed Buddy is the best solution to beef up the composite bed and to make transporting motorcycles a simple and secure task.
The 57" Mid Size Bed Buddy fits the Tacoma bed perfectly from side to side. The center mounting hole in the Bed Buddy is pre-drilled during manufacturing, however the two end mounting holes are omitted so that you (the installer) can drill the Bed Buddy accordingly in order to align the mounting holes properly with the vertical ribs on the face of the bed bulkhead.
In early Toyota Tacoma's it is common to install the Bed Buddy just below the factory deck rail. This would allow the user to still have access to the rail for other needs, while being able to take advantage of the strength of the Bed Buddy for transporting motorcycles. This mounting location typically requires the Bed Buddy to be installed with the center tie down loop pointed toward the floor of the trucks bed. This provides clearance for the factory deck rail and allows you to hook your easier.
In recent years Toyota has done away with the factory deck rail on the front bulk head of the bed and have replaced it with a square metal tube. This tube has caused some confusion of the installation of the Bed Buddy in the later model Tacoma's, as it prevents access between the trucks bed and cab in order to install the washers and nuts for a proper through-bolt installation of the Bed Buddy. This access issue is however easily solved by simple removing the metal tube from the trucks bed using a torx wrench to remove the five torx screws. With the metal tube removed, there is ample space to complete the through-bolt installation. Once the Bed Buddy is installed, simple reinstall the metal tube.
Installation is simple and requires a few basic hand tools and a drill. If you have a later model Tacoma with the metal tube, now is the time to grab your torx wrench and remove it. Once removed, follow the included installation instructions, install and go ride!
We are here to help and just a phone call away, so should you have any questions regarding our products, installation, etc. grab your phone and give us a call.