Since the advent of the pick-up truck in the early 1950s, people have looked for ways to protect their truck beds. Designed as a versatile option for the average driver to haul a wide range of items, these vehicles made it easy to accomplish projects of many sizes. To protect their beds from dents and scratches, owners and manufacturing companies have devised three primary solutions:
- Simple Starts – With the very first Ford trucks came the most basic shielding solutions. Sheets of wood installed in the beds provided necessary protection that was relatively easy to create. Still used for classic style and restoration, these early proto-liners were the first concerted attempt at preserving truck beds.
- Drop-In Liners – As technology advanced through the next few decades, manufacturers and inventors stepped in to add a more advanced option. Using thermoforming, a technique for shaping plastic, Robert J. Zeffero created one of the earliest cargo box liners in 1976. Later corporations eventually replicated the design, and it’s still used today.
- Sprayed-In Bed Liners – Arma International first introduced the contemporary standard for maximum truck bed protection in 1991. Made from sprayed materials like polyurethane, sprayed-in bed liners offer superior safety, but require a complicated installation process that can be difficult to do correctly without professional equipment. Still, it remains one of the best choices for today’s truck beds.