Most mats are just a rectangular sheet of rubber that doesn’t fit well on specific applications such as pickup truck bed. You will have to cut it to fit it around the fender wells and to the measurement of the bed that doesn’t obstruct the tailgate. Among new truck owners, this is a common question. So, I’ve done some research and collected information from my friend who has the experience of cutting and fitting a bed mat on his truck.
How to cut a truck bed mat? After creating a template of the truck bed area, the truck bed mat is cut using a regular wood-cutting blade. Other bed mats can be cut using a heavy duty utility knife.
Among all truck bed protection option, truck bed mats are the cheapest and also easy to install. But that doesn’t mean it is ineffective. You will find several high-quality mats that provide great protection from the cargo you haul, as well as adverse weather conditions. Most truck bed mats are 0.375 inches thick which is average. However, if you opt for a thicker option, there will be less cargo space as well as make your truck heavier.
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How to Cut a Rubber Truck Bed Mat?
- Start by measuring the truck bed with the tailgate closed. Use a tape to measure the length and breadth of the truck bed without the fender well.
- Bring a heavy paper and mark out the fender wells using a marker. Use a compass to mark out the shape of the fender well on the paper.
- After creating the template, cut out the paper in the marked area using a utility knife or a pair of scissors. Place the template paper on the truck bed to make any final changes to the shape of the bed.
- Trace the template of the heavy paper on the truck bed mat using a market. Then cut out the shape of the truck bed using a wood-cutting blade.
- Now place the cut-out mat on the truck bed to make any final adjustments. Cut out the additional details, place the mat on the bed and you are good to go.
To cut out the bed mat, you can use other cutting tools such as a utility knife, but you have to make multiple slices. You can spray the utility knife blade with WD40 or coat it with silicone grease to make a smoother cut.
- Utility knife – I use Tekton heavy duty knife
- Wood cutting blade – I got a couple of Milwaukee saw blades and I use it to cut just about everything from rubber to plastic and wood.
- WD40 -I would recommend WD40 multi-purpose grease.
- Silicone grease –Super Lube is my go-to silicone lubricating grease.
Truck Bed Mats are Cheap; are They Any Good?
Yes, truck bed mats are cheap and would cost you around $100 even if you buy a high-quality product from a reliable brand. They may not be as good as truck liners, yet they are good enough to protect your truck bed from most damages. Many good truck bed mats can defense against impacts, scratches, shifting cargo and will stand up against common chemical spills. These heavy-duty truck bed mats will not crack, or break in extreme climates. High-quality bed mats from top manufacturers even come with a lifetime warranty.
Here are a few reasons why tuck bed mats are a great option
- Provides good grip to the cargo and prevents them from shifting
- Prevents scratches, fuel spills, and cracking
- Reflects UV rays to reduce fading as it is made of the rubber material
- It can be installed in minutes without using any tools. Some rubber mats come with tiny pegs that fit into the holes of the truck bed and some come with self-adhesive strips.
What are the Different Truck Bed Materials?
Rubber – Most truck bed mats are made from rubber. They are much thicker and provides better protection than their counterparts. It doesn’t stain and can withstand extreme weather conditions. The rubber material fights UV rays which prevent fading. Moreover, it is easier to clean and maintain. Top rubber mat manufacturers use UV resistant coatings or simply use high-quality rubber such as Nyracord that holds its shape with breaking or withering.
Plastic – Plastic mats are lightweight and easy to install but it may melt in extreme heat. Make this choice depending on the weather you have in your area.
Carpet – Carpet mats look great and protect the truck bed from dirt and grime. They are cheaper but they get stained easily. Carpet mats are thinner and may not last long if you are hauling heavy cargo.
Other Accessories for a Pickup Truck
Tailgate mats – Tailgates are easy to get damaged while loading and unloading cargo. The mat will help shield the truck beds from dents and scratches when loading and unloading any cargo.
Cargo bar – It keeps cargo intact and prevents its movement. It makes sure that even the heaviest cargo doesn’t move during transportation. It can be adjusted to fit any pickup truck and can even carry other items easily.
Tonneau cover – If you have a pickup truck, you must have a tonneau cover. It will protect your cargo from weather damage.
Bed extender – Bed extender extends the bed’s hauling capacity. It enables you to carry cargo that is larger than the truck bed.
How long does a rubber truck bed mat last?
A rubber truck bed mat made from a reliable manufacturer will last from 5-10 years, however, the cut-out rubber mat will normally last for 3 – 4 years. The weight, type, and frequency of hauling cargo on the truck bed will affect the longevity of the mat.
Does the rubber truck bed mat smell bad?
Rubber truck bed liner doesn’t have any strong odor, however, aftermarket rubber mats bought from Wallmart or other hardware supplies can have a strong odor. You can reduce this odor by cleaning it immediately after buying using neutral PH cleaner.
Right after buying a pickup truck, most truck owners look for some kind of truck bed protection. Installing a horse stall mat will be enough for most cases, but if you transport cargo frequently you should buy a truck bed mat from a reliable manufacturer.
With a wrench in one hand and a trucker’s hat on my head, I’ve been knee-deep in the world of trucks for over a decade. From tinkering in greasy garages to cruising down open highways, my life has been one big trucking adventure. I’ve hauled, repaired, and revved up more rigs than I can count, and now I’m revving up your truck knowledge with articles that’ll steer you right.