How To Modify Tonneau Cover For Tool Box? (Solved)

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Written By Waylon Joe

Hey, It’s Waylon “Joe” Kite here. I am a West Virginia native and a die-hard pickup truck fan. My story with trucks started with my dad’s 1989 Ford F-150, and it's still going on. I'll share all my trucking experiences (both great and gross ones) with you. I have a garage full of tools to fix and renovate trucks and a freezer full of ales. Do you want to join me?

If you have installed a tonneau cover and now want to install a toolbox too, then you have to modify your tonneau cover for the toolbox. Modifying the tonneau cover isn’t an easier process as it is subject to some consideration and the right process.

But if you still need to enjoy both the benefits of having organized tools and improved cargo protection, keep reading the guide. We will discuss an easier process of customizing the tonneau cover to fit it with a toolbox in a shorter time. Not only that, we will reveal an alternative to solve the problem.

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How To Modify Tonneau Cover For Tool Box?

How To Modify Tonneau Cover For Tool Box

Tools Required

To modify the tonneau cover smoothly, you will need some stuff. The required tools aren’t costly and are hard to find. However, the list is a bit long. Firstly, buy protective gloves to keep your hands from hurting. Other tools are required:

  • A measurement tape
  • Bungee cords
  • Sharpie
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw

Getting Ready

Before proceeding, you should know one vital thing. You can only modify the soft tonneau cover since the hard tonneau cover is made of aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass.

Conversely, soft tonneau covers are made of vinyl, which is a yielding material and is flexible and allows customization. For the most sensible sections, like sewing pars, you should go to the upholstery shop to re-stitch them.

The reason is that re-stitching this part can be slightly tricky for you. The auto shop is the ideal place that can handle the job properly, but it costs a bit more.

Read More: What Size Toolbox For Toyota Tacoma?

Customizing the Bed Cover

Start by parking the pick-up truck on a flat surface and activating the parking brake. Doing so keeps the truck from moving suddenly during the modification process. Though you can perform this operation right under the sun, the garage is also a good place.

Now measure the tonneau cover, keeping the toolbox size in mind, and mark 0.5-inches facing the 2nd bar. Then roll out the tonneau cover-up and make sure it overlays the entire bed. Most of the tonneau covers generally come in the same width as the truck bed.

So you may only need to cut the length of the tonneau cover. After measuring, cut the cover using your hacksaw. Complete the process gently; otherwise, it could damage the cover as it is made of vinyl.

Read More: What Size Toolbox For Dodge Rams 2500?

Cutting the Vinyl

After that, attach the two halves to get the desired size. The toolbox will dictate the dimension.

Though all the toolboxes don’t come in the same size, the average size ranges from 12 inches to 15 inches and drivers want to get a half-inch overlap behind the 1st bar. It will offer you an essential idea about the length you should cut.

If you don’t desire to consider the overlapping part, you can cut through it. After that, check the cover to see if it is fit for the toolbox or needs more cutting.

If you find it, remove the tonneau carefully, unroll it, and rotate it. Now mark the cover 1-2 inches away from where you want to cut it and leave two marks on every side.

Read also: How To Patch A Hole In A Tonneau Cover?

More Cutting and Sewing

You can use a straight edge to attach the mark. Once again, cut through the vinyl. Don’t worry, those extra inches will give you room for error.

After cutting the cover, you will need to sew it again and a local upholstery shop is an ideal place to complete the task. They can cost about $40-$50 but will handle the job precisely.

Conversely, if you want to sew yourself, connect the two halves close to each other, keeping the cut end line properly. After sewing, you should be able to open the soft tonneau cover like a book.

Now drill a hole into the frame using the drill and put a bungee cord into each hole. Make the job done carefully as it can damage the tonneau. Finally, hook the other end of the bungee onto the frame bracket and complete the task.

What’s the Alternative?

Another option is to use a pre-modified tonneau cover designed to be compatible with a toolbox. These bed covers are both available in a local shop or online, but the cost is top dollar.

Before having such customized accessories, measure your truck bed properly. The reason is that the unique shape, these won’t fit universally. Apart from these, the most modified truck bed cover comes in a roll-up design. 

However, a retractable tonneau is also available for the toolbox and constructed with a versatile and flexible design. When it comes to longevity, pre-modified covers aren’t long-lasting enough.

So if longevity is your priority, bus a soft roll tonneau, follow the process we have mentioned, and enjoy solo service. It will assure you of working with the toolbox without sacrificing its original properties.

Also read: How To Open Truck Bed Cover Without Key? Answered!


1. Is It Possible To Put A Tonneau On A Pickup Truck With A Toolbox?

If your pickup truck previously installed an over the rail toolbox, a typical tonneau cover won’t fit. Even so, you shouldn’t sacrifice protection to enjoy the toolbox. In such a condition, you should use a tonneau that is compatible with a toolbox. If you can’t find the right size tonneau, you can customize it.

2. Can I Customize A Tonneau Cover?

Though you can customize the hard tonneau cover, its soft counterparts allow it conveniently. The reason is the hard tonneau is constructed of fiberglass, plastic, or aluminum, while the softcover is made of vinyl.

3. Is It Essential To Put A Toolbox On The Pickup Truck?

The key reason for attaching the toolbox to the vehicle is to get the improvements organized. It will save you from wasting time searching for tools. So, installing a toolbox is a time saver. Some toolboxes come with a lock mechanism that offers improved protection for valuable tools.

Final words

While toolboxes are a better addition for keeping the valuable tools organized, the tonneau cover ensures improved protection for the stuff. So, a combination of such accessories makes the pick-up truck a top performer. But sometimes compatibility is the biggest concern. 

So, to conquer such a situation, it needs to modify the tonneau cover for the toolbox. If you are facing such a hassle, simply follow the customizing process we have discussed. Over time, you will end up with the operation successfully and enjoy the improved performance of the toolbox and tonneau cover.

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