Some sort of truck bed lining is a must to protect your expensive truck. Really, new or used, your pickup deserves one of the bed liner coatings to prevent damage and corrosion.
Heavy hauling of rough material often leads to dents and scrapes. That damage can reduce the value of your vehicle besides making it look terrible. The real problem though is puncturing the paint coating of a truck is a starting spot for that dreaded enemy of all vehicles: the rust monster. Leave scrapes and scratches unrepaired and over the long haul your truck can become a pile of junk.
What are the best choices for a truck bed liner? Pick from several options, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.
The preferred liner for most people is spray on liner. Most people choose a spray in liner installed by a national franchise like Line-X or Rhino Linings, the leaders. There are other national and regional companies offering guaranteed coatings too. These liners are installed in just a few hours and dry quickly to a permanent finish. The finishes are thick, tough and repairable. Rubber granules in the finish make the beds cushiony and skid-resistant too. Really there are only a couple of negatives to these liners. You can't change your mind about your choice since the liners are permanent. The price is steep.
A custom drop in one-piece bed liner of plastic is a great choice for really abrasive heavy hauling. You need not worry about scarring your bed or even scarring an expensive spray liner. You also can buy a multi-piece liner custom made for your truck model with a rubber floor and snap in polyethylene sides. A danger is that water can pool under the liner and damage the bed. Also shifting of a liner from vibration can damage the bed paint.
For really heavy hauling a rubber truck bed mat may be the best
choice. Rubber pickup truck bed mats come custom fit or trim to fit.
Virtually indestructible, rubber mats are even great for use with a
spray in liner. Protect the nice liner with a replaceable covering.
Especially for beds covered with tonneau covers or bed caps, choose a carpet liner. Choices are custom covers for bottom and sides of the bed or just covers for the bed floor. Some floor mats are reversible and two sided with rubber on one side and carpet on the other. Carpet is a luxury coating that's non-skid and cushioning, but less desirable in wet weather.
Especially for older trucks, you can use a liner kit or truck bed liner paint. For a fraction of the cost of a professional liner spray coating, coat your bed yourself. You can save money, but the do it yourself liners are much thinner than a professional coating and are not nearly as durable. A truck bed coating you apply yourself may be just the thing for an older truck with bed damage that needs something to stabilize damage and improve the looks.
Protect your truck and make it look good longer with your choice of a truck bed lining.