Did you know that the first pickup trucks were made by the consumer? In the early days of the Ford Model T, drivers would modify the rear end, adding their own wooden cargo bed. Ford took notice and began offering his own pickup truck by 1925. Thus, the aftermarket industry was born. While consumers are not really into cutting off the rear of their vehicles anymore, the aftermarket industry is still very much alive. These can be anything from DIY repairs to modifications to personal touches. For trucks, Chevy parts can include all of those parts you want, and some you may not have known that you needed.
Much of the aftermarket truck parts industry is aesthetic. There are custom paint jobs, decals, mud flaps, and other ways to make your truck stand out. However, there are quite a few truck parts and accessories that have a much more functional use. Those uses can be lost on cars and most SUVs. Trucks are made to be functional, first and foremost, but not all trucks come equipped with exactly what you need. Take a look at a few of the more useful aftermarket parts and see if you can see yourself putting these parts into service on your own pickup truck.
Not all pickup trucks are sold with factory installed tow hitches. This may seem odd, as trucks are seemingly designed to do heavy towing, but not all pickup truck drivers utilize this feature. Instead, they may just use the cargo bed for hauling gear around. That is why something as seemingly necessary as a tow hitch is often an optional feature.
If you are looking at a used truck, there are no guarantees whatsoever. The previous driver may have bought the truck with a factory-installed hitch and removed it. It might not have come with one; then the previous owner added one. Either way that isn’t something you are likely to see on the top-selling points of a used truck’s checklist. You might only know if it has one by seeing a picture of the rear.
If you do want a tow hitch, you have plenty of options. They come in all different sizes and rated to handle different weights. They are even made for subcompact cars. We could get into the “Why?” of that, but we will save it for another day. Before you pull the trigger on an aftermarket tow hitch, make sure you know what your particular truck is capable of. If you have, for example, a Chevy Colorado, don’t expect it to be able to tow something that your buddy with a Silverado 3500 just towed. That is a disaster waiting to happen.
You can go to your local Chevy dealer and talk with their parts and accessories staff. They can steer you in the right direction on which size is appropriate for your truck. They can even install it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Unlike tow hitches, lift kits can sometimes be used for aesthetic reasons. No one in his right mind would add a tow hitch and not use it for its intended purpose. Lift kits, on the other hand, raise the appearance to a new height.
But, they can also be extremely useful for the right kind of pickup truck driver. Say you are the outdoorsy type. You go hunting or fishing or camping. You need to get to places that blacktop roads can’t take you. You need to get the truck on dirt roads, mud paths, and rocky tracts of land. While most trucks are capable of traversing these terrains, you might want a little added support and peace of mind. After all, some of these places can get quite sticky. Even the biggest, baddest trucks get stuck sometimes.
Adding a lift kit can be greatly beneficial to the off-roader. It adds several inches of room between the earth and the undercarriage of the truck. That can be the difference between a safe, fun outdoor adventure and a jagged rock or branch puncturing something on the underside of the truck. You could have just gone from having a good time to being stranded and potentially looking at thousands of dollars in repairs. With a lift kit, you are much more likely to avoid that scenario.
It also adds extra strength to your shock absorbers. A particularly rough patch of the great outdoors can send you and your passengers bouncing dangerously inside the cabin. Adding extra length to the shock absorbers gives you more leeway and offers a safer trip over even the worst ground.
Finally, a lift kit can help improve visibility. Some parts of your off-road adventure may have a high brush that is difficult to see over and impossible to see through. Giving yourself a height advantage over these elements can further help you avoid doing any damage to your truck.
A tonneau cover is one of many coverings that are installed over the bed of a pickup truck. They can be canvas, fiberglass, or hard plastic. They come in many different configurations, from roll-back to folding. They are sturdy enough to install racks on top of them, as well, to add an extra dimension of space if needed.
Tonneau covers are relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed. In fact, most tonneau covers do not even require the use of tools. They can be installed easily by even the most mechanically challenged and do not require professional installation at all. They provide a sleek look over the bed of the truck and can even be painted to match the color of your truck.
For all the utility that a truck bed provides, it has one inherent flaw: it is open to the elements. Rain, snow, hail, and even exposed sunlight can do serious damage to some things that are left in the cargo bed of a truck. Even riding down the highway can cause some objects to go flying out. Not only will these objects never be seen again, but they could also harm the motorists behind you.
A tonneau cover shields your cargo from the elements and keeps them safe and secure until you need them. Tonneau covers are also very easy to use. Once you do need access to your truck, you need to simply roll, unfold, or unhinge all or part of the tonneau cover and you will have instant access.
Again, these can be found at your local Chevy dealerships parts and accessories department. Talk to the associate and see which one best fits your needs, budget, and truck style.
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making your truck unique and pleasing to the eye, even if it is only your eye. But, some aftermarket parts serve a much more useful function. There are many, many other aftermarket parts that we did not cover here, such as winches, cargo bed lights and others, that can be very useful and add a very cool aesthetic element to your truck. It is all about your personal needs and tastes.
Check out your local Chevy dealership’s parts and accessories and see for yourself all of the wonderful things you can do to personalize your truck. But be warned! If you are anything like us, you can wander that store for hours and spend way more money than you intended.