Many truck owners can benefit from the extra storage and ease of use a high-quality truck bed slide adds to a vehicle. Whether for personal use or for extra storage on a work vehicle, bed slides are useful for all the extra storage they provide. However, these sliding trays need proper care and maintenance, just like any other part of your truck. Here’s a deeper look at how you should tackle the maintenance of your truck bed slide.
Why Slide Maintenance Matters
Slide maintenance is crucial for keeping your slide tray functioning. Without regular maintenance, your slide will quickly wear down and could eventually become useless to you. Improper care can even lead to dangerous situations where normally safe features rust and become hazards on the road or at the worksite.
Where To Start
When it comes to maintenance of your bed slide, there are many things you should do that’ll prevent issues. However, it’s up to you to prioritize repairing the most damaged parts of your truck bed and prevent further damage. But if there isn’t one part that needs your immediate attention, you should start with an overall cleaning of your slide.
Empty Your Bed Slide
When you start trying to clean and perform maintenance on your slide, the first step is to empty the bed slide of all the equipment and items you have on it. It’s difficult to fully clean your tray if there are items or gear still inside while you clean it. Take the time to fully unload everything from your truck bed so that you can freely access all parts of your slide.
Sweep Away Debris
When you can fully access the slide, the easiest thing to start with is sweeping away all the debris on your slide and in your truck bed. A simple brush or broom will help you sweep away any large debris on your sliding tray. Normally, it’s easier to clean away the debris if you fully extend the tray, as this step provides easy access to every part.
Clean Away Grime
Once you clear away the bigger debris, you might find small patches of dirt or grime stuck to your slide. Leaving this mess will cause damage over time, as the grime will eventually weaken the metal of the slide. Take your time to wipe away any dirt or grime to clean your slide and prevent future damage.
Use a Wet Towel
You should utilize a wet rag or towel to clean any part of your slide. Simply using water and a rag should clean up almost any mess and won’t damage your slide with abrasive chemicals. Be gentle when cleaning to avoid scratching the metal as you clean off the dust or grime, as the debris can leave marks on the metal.
Whether the moisture is from your cleaning process or recent rain, you should dry your truck bed slide whenever it gets wet. While air drying can work, it can also cause damage over time and slowly affect the performance of your tray. Using a cloth or towel to clean and dry your tray will help you maintain the condition of the part.
Check the Moving Parts
The moving parts of the slide can accrue the most damage and wear. Inspecting these areas for damage is a major part of maintenance, as you can often spot the causes of issues right away. You should also check the rails that help guide the slide for any chips or debris that might affect the part’s operation.
You should also test your slide for stabilityto ensure the mounting system hasn’t loosened over time. Check all the bolts and latches of the bed slide to ensure that they’re still tight and keep your slide stable. Inspect the stability of the slide on a monthly basis to protect your truck bed and slide from any avoidable issues relating to the mounting system.
When it comes to the specific care of your bed slide, it’s best to follow whatever instructions you receive from the manufacturer. Every sliding tray is different and will need specific care according to the materials and build. Use these instructions to create a maintenance schedule you can follow.
A huge part of maintenance isn’t repairing damage but preventing it in the first place. This preventative maintenance is essential, especially if you have something like custom truck storage boxes, as normal cleaning methods can be less effective with custom modifications. Preventing damage is more effective for maintaining your vehicle and modifications than any other form of maintenance.
The most important preventative maintenance tip for a truck bed slide is to inspect your sliding tray regularly and frequently. These inspections are a major part of identifying damage so that you can deal with it before the damage spreads and becomes problematic. Run these inspections every few weeks to catch any damage early.
Caution During Use
When you utilize the bed slide, it’s vital that you’re gentle and don’t rely on its durability. While these trays can be very durable, you shouldn’t actively cause more wear and tear than necessary.
Prevent Sliding Items
You should tie items down when you store things on your truck bed tray. Sliding items are a common occurrence, but they’re safety hazards to people, and they can cause damage to the truck and tray. Whether you invest in custom storage options and slide out trays or utilize nets and ropes to tie things down, preventing item shifting will help maintain your truck bed.
Invest in a Cover
If you have an open bed with a slide out, you may want a cover to go along with it. Debris can damage your truck bed and slide when you drive. A cover helps prevent that damage and protects your slide while you transport items and goods.
Follow Slide Restrictions
Every slide out tray is different, which allows you to pick the one that best fits your needs. However, that means they each have different restrictions regarding capacity and weight. Always avoid going over those set restrictions on your specific slide out tray.
These maintenance tips are important for the continuous use of your bed slide and will make your investment worthwhile, ensuring you enjoy better returns on your investment over time.