What Are the Types of Truck Beds?

March 1, 2023
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Trucks come in different shapes and sizes, and so make their beds. The bed of a car is one of the essential parts of a pickup, as it determines the kind of load it can carry and how it's transported. The type of truck bed that is suitable for you will depend on the purpose of your truck and what you will be hauling.

With a wide variety of truck beds on the market, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. In this article, we'll tackle the different types of truck beds available, and their features, to help you pick which one suits your requirements.

What is a Truck Bed?

Truck bed

Truck beds, also known as cargo boxes, are the area of a pickup truck designed to haul various types of cargo. This open area is located at the vehicle's rear and is typically separated from the cabin by a partition. The bed is one of the defining features of a pickup truck, and it is what sets them apart from other types of vehicles. It is typically made of steel, aluminum, or composite materials and is designed to be durable and withstand heavy loads. Truck beds come in a wide range of sizes and configurations, and the type of bed that is suitable for you will depend on the intended use of your truck.

Some are designed for hauling heavy equipment or materials, while others are designed for more specialized tasks such as transporting livestock, moving dirt, or carrying tools and equipment. The bed of a truck is an essential component of a pickup, making them such a versatile vehicle for both work and play.                                  

Features of a Truck Bed    

The features of a truck bed can vary depending on the truck's model and the vehicle's intended use.

Bed Liner

A bed liner is a protective layer added to the bed's surface to prevent scratches, dents, and rust caused by heavy loads or rough materials. It can be made of various materials such as rubber, plastic, or carpet, providing a non-slip surface that keeps the cargo from sliding around.


The tailgate is the hinged panel at the end of the bed and can be raised or lowered to load and unload cargo. It can be removed entirely for more oversized items or to create a more significant workspace. Some models have a lockable tailgate for added security.

Tying Points

Tying points are hooks, loops, or rings mounted on the bedroom walls or floor, allowing the cargo to be secured. These tying points help to prevent the load from shifting or sliding during transportation and can be used to attach straps, bungee cords, or tie-downs.

Bed Lighting

Bed lighting is an optional feature that provides illumination in the bed area for better visibility, especially in low-light conditions. It can be located on the tailgate or the side walls and can be turned on and off manually or automatically when the tailgate is opened.

Drainage System

A drainage system is a set of channels or holes that allow water or other liquids to drain out of bed. It helps to prevent the accumulation of water, which can cause rust or damage to the cargo. Some truck beds have a built-in drainage system that leads to a water outlet, while others have removable plugs that allow the water to drain out.

What Are the Different Types of Truck Beds?


The following are the different types of truck beds with various functions.

Short Bed

A short bed is typically less than 6 feet long and is a standard option for mid-size and smaller trucks. It is an excellent choice for drivers who need a more compact truck bed for everyday use and easy maneuverability.

Standard Bed

A standard bed is typically around 6.5 to 8 feet long and is a common option for full-size trucks. It balances cargo space and vehicle length well, making it a versatile choice for everyday use and larger loads.

Long Bed

A long bed is typically over 8 feet long and is an excellent choice for drivers who need extra cargo space for more extensive or longer loads. It is commonly used for commercial or heavy-duty applications.


A flatbed truck bed without sides or a roof provides an open space to haul larger or bulkier items. They are commonly used for commercial purposes and are available in different sizes and configurations.

Skirted Bed

A skirted bed is a flatbed with additional side and rear storage compartments. It provides added storage space and security for cargo and tools, making it a popular choice for commercial and work trucks.

Dump Bed

A dump bed is a truck bed designed to tilt and dump the cargo at the truck's rear. It is commonly used for hauling loose materials, such as gravel or dirt.

Utility Bed

A utility bed is a truck bed designed to hold various tools and equipment used in commercial and industrial applications. It typically has built-in storage compartments and drawers for added organization and convenience.

Aluminum Bed

An aluminum bed is a lightweight and durable option resistant to rust and corrosion. It is commonly used for commercial and heavy-duty applications where weight is a concern and durability is essential.

Types of Materials Used in Truck Beds

Truck beds can be made of various materials, each with pros and cons. The most common materials used in truck beds are steel, aluminum, and composite.


Steel is the most traditional material used in truck beds and is known for its strength and durability. It is resistant to wear and tear and can withstand heavy loads and rough handling. However, steel can be prone to rust and corrosion, especially if it is not adequately protected.


Aluminum is famous for truck beds, especially in heavy-duty and commercial applications. It is lightweight, which can improve fuel efficiency, and it is resistant to rust and corrosion. Aluminum is also more flexible than steel, which can help absorb shock and reduce damage to the cargo. However, aluminum is more expensive than steel and may require additional reinforcement to maintain strength and durability.

Composite materials

Composite materials are a newer option for truck beds, and they are made of a combination of plastics, fiberglass, and other materials. They are lightweight, durable, and resistant to rust and corrosion, making them an excellent choice for many applications.

Composite materials can also be molded into various shapes and sizes, providing additional flexibility in design. However, mixed materials may be more costly than steel and aluminum and may be less widely available.

Ultimately, the choice of material for a truck bed depends on several factors, including the intended use, the desired level of durability, and the available budget.

Each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to consider all options carefully to ensure the best choice for the specific needs of the driver or business.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Truck Bed

Norstar AR model Aluminum Flatbed

Several factors need to be considered when picking a truck bed to ensure the best option is selected. The purpose of the truck, storage and hauling needs, budget, and style preferences are all crucial factors that should be considered when selecting a truck bed.

Purpose of the truck

The truck's purpose is a critical factor in determining the right bed. Some trucks are used for commercial purposes, while others are used for personal use. Commercial trucks require heavy-duty beds that can handle the weight of the load, while personal-use trucks may require a more versatile and flexible bed.

Storage and hauling needs

Storage and hauling needs are also critical considerations. It is essential to note the size and weight of the items that will be transported, as well as the frequency of the bed use. Depending on the items being hauled, it may be necessary to select a specific bed material or type to ensure the safety and security of the cargo.

Budget and affordability

Budget and affordability are also essential factors when selecting a truck bed. Different materials and types of truck beds have varying costs, and it is necessary to ensure that the fixed bed fits within the available budget. However, it is also crucial to balance affordability with quality and durability to provide a bed that will last for a long time.

Style preference

Finally, style preferences should also be considered when choosing a truck bed. Different types of truck beds have different styles, and it is essential to select a bed that fits with the overall look and feel of the truck.

Some drivers prefer a more traditional style, while others prefer a more modern or unique design. By considering all these factors, drivers can ensure that they select a truck bed that meets their needs and preferences.

How much does a truck bed cost?

Determining the cost of a truck bed can be a complex process, as it depends on several factors, such as the material, size, and customization options. It is essential to consider these factors to get an accurate estimate of the truck bed cost.

At Norstar Company, we have a team of truck bed specialists who can provide an estimated cost based on the specific needs and requirements of the customer.

We offer a wide variety of options for truck beds, including steel, aluminum, and composite materials, as well as various sizes and customization options.

Our team can work with the customer to determine the best option for their needs and provide a competitive and transparent estimate of the cost of the bed.

It is vital to work with a trusted and experienced truck bed specialist like Norstar Company to ensure that the customer gets the best value for their investment.

By taking into account the customer's specific needs, including the truck's purpose, storage and hauling needs, and budget, our team can provide an estimated cost that accurately reflects the value and quality of the bed.

If you want a truck bed, we encourage you to talk to our team of truck bed specialists at Norstar Company to get an estimated cost and find the best option for your needs. 

Get a Custom-made Truck Bed 

Choosing the correct type of truck bed is crucial to ensure you get the best performance and durability from your pickup.

Whether you need a flatbed, service body, dump bed, or any other type of truck bed, it's essential to consider the specific features that will meet your requirements.

Norstar Company is a top truck bed manufacturer in Texas that offers custom-made truck beds that can withstand heavy loads and harsh conditions. Our innovative designs and quality materials make them a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting truck bed.

With Norstar Company, you can confidently invest in a truck bed built to last. So, consider Norstar Company as your go-to manufacturer if you're in the market for a new truck bed.

Contact us to learn more about how to get started today!