UTE trays and canopies: A complete guide

Utility vehicles are certainly the most efficient multiple purpose vehicle known to us. It is highly flexible and is equally loved for personal as well as commercial usages. A UTE provides you the luxury of a car with an air-conditioned cabin and additional storage space for keeping your gears, luggage, or loads. The only lacuna in these vehicles is the exposed storage trays. However, this can be easily overcome by installing a UTE tray build with the right measures and suitable material.

There are several varieties of trays and covers/canopies that often leave you perplexed. Here is a comprehensive guide to UTE trays and canopies to assist you to pick the best one for your vehicle.

  • Tray options

UTEs come with a wide range of goods carrying options. The most popular forms are flat trays and factory tubs. If you do not ask explicitly for a tray, you will most likely get a factory tub for storage. It is important to keep the weight of the option you choose so that you can have a greater load-carrying capacity.

  • Flat trays

Conventionally you will find flat trays with removable or fold down sides. You can also get a custom-build tray that fits your needs perfectly and also aesthetically made. While trays are light-weight and easy to load with stuff, they provide lesser protection from elements.

  • Tubs

Most utility vehicles are designed with a factory tub or tray with sides. These are the standards in the industry and are made of aluminum preferably. You can also look for several aftermarket options. Conventionally, these tubs have solid sides and a drop-down tailgate for loading and unloading stuff.

  • Canopy options

UTEs are known for the exceptional storage space they provide. However, this space is not of much use without appropriate protection which is why canopies are essential. These coverings not only keep your tray/load safe from elements but also prevent theft and physical damages. Canopies are available in a wide array of styles, sizes, and materials. Here are some most popular products that have become industry staples in various niches.

  • Vinyl cover

These are lightweight and easy to remove covers with plastic moldings, sail tracks, and aluminum extrusions. These are suitable for both single or double cab models and can be easily stretched over large items. These lack in security as they cannot be locked and have water sealing issues.

  • Hard lids

Hard lids made of hard fiberglass are ideal for a sporty look. They are available in a variety of colors and finishes to match your vehicle’s style. These generally have two pieces and the rare piece is lifted and lowered to load and unload stuff. It provides better protection against elements but is heavier and harder to use. It also limits the height of the load.

  • Lockable roll tops

These covers can be retracted in a house mounted on the front of the tub. While the tracking is a manual process, you can also find newer versions with electronic controls. These are super-light and provide great protection from elements and water and dirt sealing.

  • Aluminum canopies

Aluminum canopies are the most popular types as they have no limits to customization. These are extremely lightweight, sturdy, and durable. These can seal the dust and water to protect your goods. You get a sporty yet elegant look that suits both personal and commercial usage.

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