Truck-mounted tool boxes are used by building contractors and tradesmen of all types. They provide a secure place for carrying handheld power tools, tool belts and other types of tools to and from the jobsite, or when running to pick up materials. These are not toolboxes for organizing small hand tools, but rather boxes for securing larger ones. Other than a sliding tray, they are not likely to have any additional organizers. The idea is that the placement of the tools themselves, in their individual cases, will provide the organization.
For these tool boxes to be effective, they must be mounted to the vehicle, becoming one with it. That prevents any potential thief from just picking the box up and running off with it. Often, the mounting is done from inside the box, making it almost impossible for a would be thief to get the box separated from the vehicle.
Another concern for contractors is that the toolbox does not prevent them from being able to carry building materials with them. Typically, a full-sized pickup truck is designed so that a sheet of plywood can lie in the bottom of it. If the toolbox is taking up part of that space, carrying that plywood is much harder. To accommodate this, the most common configuration of truck tool box is one that spans the bed, mounting onto the top edge of the bed on both sides. Space is left under it for putting in building materials.
In addition to the cross-bed design, there are truck tool boxes which mount on the sides of the truck bed, above the sides of the bed. These, which are designed more like cabinets, provide very easy-to-use storage space for more than just tools. They can also be used for storing parts in a more organized manner. There are also smaller toolboxes which can be mounted within the bed, in the area over the wheel wells.
Steel has been the traditional material of choice for these toolboxes, but some are now made of high density blow molded plastic. While not as secure as a steel box, they are rugged enough to keep the tools from falling out. It is easier for a thief to break into these plastic boxes than the steel ones, as they are built with the idea that “locks keep the honest people honest.”
The most important criteria in selecting a truck mounted tool box is finding one that is both rugged and has the room you need to store your tools. Remember that you may need a larger place soon, so don’t buy one that is just barely big enough. Instead, look at what you might need over the long-term and buy accordingly.
When shopping for truck tool boxes, you must make sure that the box fits your truck. Bed widths and lengths vary, as well as the placement of the wheel well. A toolbox for a “full-sized” truck may not fit yours, if it was designed to fit another brand.
For a big truck toolbox, I recommend the Delta JOBOX. This is a huge box, 18.875 inches deep, with lots of room for all your tools. The single lid runs full width and is held up by has props. Read Full Review
I always say that if you’re going to have a toolbox, you may as well have a large one. As truck tool boxes go, you can’t find much bigger than this one. It measures 18.875 inches high by 20.25 inches wide by 70.125 inches long. That gives you a lot of room for power tools and whatever. The box is made of aluminum to save weight and has a single wide lid. That’s much easier to work with than the older split lids. The lid is held up by gas springs and secured by 2-stage rotary locks. There are two small trays on both ends, for holding smaller tools above the truck bed sides.
I like the low-profile desing on this box; it helps keep the bad guys from noticing that the truck is sitting there with several hundreds of dollars of tools in it. Read Full Review
This box from UWS is a low-profile design, making it harder for the bad guys cruising the parking lot to realize that you’ve got a toolbox in the back of your truck. It comes with a full-width, single lid that flips up 90 degrees to give you great visibility. The lid is secured by twist lock handles when closed. The lock mechanism is encased in its own metal box to prevent the contents from shifting and jamming the box shut. Self-closing struts close the lid with a light push, in case your hands are full. Two built-in tool trays, a screwdriver holder, and a three compartment sliding tray all help you organize the small stuff.
There are a lot of side-mount truck boxes around, but this one is the only one I've seen that has dual compartments, stacked one over the other. That gives room for not only tools, but smaller things like boxes of hardware. Read Full Review
This is a side box, meant to mount above the side rails on the truck bed. What makes it unique compared to most side boxes is that it is split into two compartments, giving you a large compartment for your power tools and a smaller one below it for storing hardware and other smaller items. Make from 0.60-inch thick aluminum for strength and light weight. Waterproof gaskets protect your tools and other items. Each compartment has two locking flip latches for security.
This saddle design mounts over the wheel well, using space that is normally wasted. Even so, you can still slide a sheet of plywood into the bed and lay it on the floor. Read Full Review
This toolbox from DeeZee is designed to mount straddling your wheel wells, on the inside of the truck bed. Mounting it there reduces visibility, while avoiding stealing valuable room from the floor of your truck. Even with this box mounted, you’ll still be able to lay full sheets of plywood flat in the bed. Made of 0.056-inch thick aluminum, it’s non-rusting and lighter weight. A piano hinge runs almost the full length of the lockable lid for long life and security.
This unique design mounts over the wheel well too, but it's a swing out model, which will rotate out almost 180 degrees when the truck tailgate is open. That provides a lot easier accessibility, plus can be used as a makeshift desk if needed. Read Full Review
This is another over-the-wheel well toolbox, but it’s quite a bit different. Rather than a saddle design, this one only uses the back part of the truck bed, covering half of the wheel well. The toolbox swings out from its mounted and stowed position, allowing you easy access to everything inside. It is also removable if you need to carry something larger in your truck bed and there isn’t room for the box. A single lock holds the lid sealed and a removable inner tray provides space for storing smaller tools; with space below for larger ones.