These new-age tonneau covers could be a deciding factor when buying a new bakkie

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• Tonneau covers have taken on many applications over the years.

• Ford, Mahindra, and Toyota have all opted for the latest iterations of this item.

• Tonneau covers are often optional extras buyers can purchase with their bakkies.

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The bakkies on sale in South Africa today, are often sold without a canopy or tonneau cover over the loading bay. If you want to close the rear of the bakkie, you must look at the options list and add it at an additional cost. And if the item charged by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is too costly for your liking, you can direct your attention to several aftermarket providers. 

Tonneau covers, for examples, come in a variety of applications, with the most common being a cloth-like material that can be stretched over the loading bay. While functional, it often loses its functionality thanks to Mother Nature and the sun beating down on it. As of late, though, tonneau covers have taken on a new design, that being of the retractable kind.

Ford, Toyota, and Mahindra are some of the automakers who have added this kind of tonneau cover to their respective bakkie lineups as standard, but the usage thereof is very different.

Ford Ranger Thunder
Ford Ranger Thunder tonneau cover (QuickPic)

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Now that's a cover

The type of tonneau cover used by these three automakers is called shutters. Or roller shutters, if you will. It's made up of strong plastic and covers the entirety of the loading bay. Its benefit is that goods are stored safely, and the locking mechanism works in tandem with your bakkie's central locking.

The Mahindra Pik Up Karoo and Ford Ranger Thunder have a similar device over their respective loading bays. This device can be locked and unlocked with a key but is unclipped using a rope. Pull said rope to your right and the tonneau cover clicks open, allowing the user to push it back. Closing it requires you to pull it towards you with the rope.

The Toyota Hilux's unit is standard on the RS model (RS: Roller Shutter). It does not come equipped with a rope, but rather an electronically operated mechanism. Buttons on the edges of the cover allow you to push open or close it. The process takes slightly longer than on the Mahindra or Ford, but with the benefit of imposing the least amount of human input.

What type of tonneau cover does your bakkie have and are there any advantages to it? Email us.

Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux RS tonneau cover
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