It just seems to me that the plastic truck bed liners are the really toughest product for using on truck beds that will really get used a lot. I know that the spray on bed liner people now say theirs are just as good or better. And they have the figures to back it up. I still don't believe it.
That thick and heavy plastic not only keeps a bed from getting scratched up, it also just about stops the potential for dents too. That happens it seems to me because if something hits the bed, like a big chunk of firewood, then the hit on the bed gets spread out over a larger area because that plastic is so stiff it will not bend much at all.
So what happens with the plastic bed liners is you get an impact to the bed that otherwise might make a dent but instead the force is spread to a larger area. That means there really is not high force at a point to make a dent.
That same situation does not exist with anybody's spray on bed liner. There may be cushioning there but the spreading out of the hits to a larger area is not there at all.
So drop-in bed liner is really good at stopping dents and at stopping scratches. What's the downside?
Here it is or here they are...
Plastic truck bed liners with the exception of the DualLiner are one piece of plastic, not counting the tailgate cover, that just drops into the pickup bed and is fastened into place. That's good. You get a liner that is like a big bucket that is a sort of cover all. Where you get in trouble with that is the liner must fit just right or it will likely start moving around.
The moving may not really be all that much. It may just be a sort of vibration that gets going and then it just goes along for awhile. Of course under just the right circumstances that little bit of vibration will work on the paint under the liner and before you know it what you have is worn away paint underneath the liner, out of sight too by the way.
That really matters as I will point out in just a few seconds.
But what sometimes happens if the plastic truck bed liner moves around is that all that moving makes the liner fit even worse. It starts to either loosen at the fasteners or it just plain old starts to break where it is mounted. In any case if unchecked a loose bed liner is often a liner that completely lets go and might even be gone with the wind, so to speak.
But back to the worn away paint.
Plastic bed liners also are a little weird as they make it pretty easy for water to get past the liners. That can happen at the sides of the liner and even in cut-aways for hold down points, all sorts of places. Yet most plastic liners are not made to drain very well if at all. So you get this weird position where this big plastic box is bolted into the liner but nothing is there to make it easy for water to get out.
Now since there are all these spots where water can get behind the liner there are also all these places that other stuff can get behind the liner too, stuff like leaves and such. What then happens, probably quite often, is debris gets under the liner, and remember it is locked down, and starts moving around. When it gets to the front of the bed that stuff likely just moves right where the drain holes reside.
Lock up the drains and water that makes it into the bed starts to poll under the liner. Combine that with bare paint, as we likely not have, and you get a rusty mess in time. Now certainly that is not necessary. Periodically you can take the liner out and make sure that no water is pooling and that all is well.
Remember though that the liner is bolted in place and is a real hassle to change out.
See the problem?
Look out though as the liners are capable of inflicting some damage under the right set of circumstances. Of all the different bed liners the plastic truck bed liners are maybe the toughest and the liners best able to stop dents.