When you purchase a Spyder Industries headache rack you'll also need to pick up a matching installation kit designed specifically for your truck. One option contains a pair of our Standard bed rails (compatible with most inside mount tonneau covers) and the other contains a set of our Heavy Duty bed rails (compatible with tool boxes). For the most part choosing the style is straightforward and will depend on how your truck is currently equipped or how you plan to accessorize it down the road. But there are a couple of caveats to be aware of.
Bed Rails for Tonneau Covers (or no cover at all)...
Our 'Standard' bed rail installation kit will work with most tonneau covers that mount inside (or essentially flush) with the bed of your truck. If the edge of the cover overlaps the top edge of the bed rail 1/2 inch or less you'll be fine. Examples of this type of cover are the Bak Industries BakFlip and Roll X, Truxedo Lo Pro. There are instances of inside mount tonneau covers that overlap the bed rail a little more. ReTrax is one example. If you have one of these or plan to get one, know that some modification will be required to work with our racks. Usually, the extra wide aluminum lip can be trimmed enough to provide clearance around the stake pocket area where the rack is secured - without losing the sealing ability of the cover.
Surface mount tonneau covers are generally not compatible but in some cases can be adapted or modified to work with the help of an upholstery professional. Unfortunately we don't offer any type of special bracketry or tonneau cover adapter to work with these. We recommend direct mounting to your truck bed as instructed for the most rigid and secure installation possible.
And finally, If you own a 2005 or later Toyota Tacoma, guess what? You're special! Your vehicle requires unique mounts that we make and are only compatible with tool boxes. Rails compatible with tonneau covers are not available.
Bed Rails for Tool Boxes...
The difference between the rails in the Standard installation kit and Heavy Duty is length and shape. The Heavy Duty (tool box compatible) bed rails have a lip that extends down the inside edge of your truck bed. This makes it incompatible with tonneau covers. They're also much longer (24" overall vs 11" overall) to provide a continuously flat surface for the tool box to rest on. Before ordering a tool box for use with our headache racks be sure to measure between the bed rail gussets on each side and subtract 1" to determine the maximum width box you can install.
And finally, if you plan to add a lot of accessories to your headache rack you might consider choosing the 'Heavy Duty' installation kit. While the bed rails in either kit will provide a very rigid and secure installation, the longer Heavy Duty rails will spread the extra load across the sheet metal of your truck bed that much better - even if you don't plan on using a tool box.
BONUS FEATURE: All of our bed rails include an integrated hole near the original stake pocket designed to serve as a tie down point.
If you have any questions about either of these bed rails or compatibility with your truck and existing accessories, don't hesitate to call or email.