Customizing Your Ride: The Ultimate Guide to Ute Tray and Toolbox Configurations for Maximum Utility

With today’s bigger and stronger utes being called upon to perform ever greater ranges of jobs, the expectations from their tray box combinations have to be equally versatile. The fact is, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to tray box configurations, and the perfect toolbox/compressor/ adder rack combination for a tradie, is likely to fall way short of the fridge/pantry/dog box combination that a hunter or off-roader would prefer.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of heavy-duty steel and lightweight aluminium tool boxes, box inserts, and sliding drawers available to satisfy every requirement. And together with today’s bigger, more capable utes, you’re able to design a hybrid trayback configuration that has the precise balance of strength, capacity, and utility that you need.

Tray Box Configurations That Let You Maximize Your Ute’s Functionality

ute tool box ona truck
source: amazonaws.com

Let’s be honest: if you’re a ute owner, you didn’t buy it for its miserly fuel consumption or blistering acceleration. You bought it for its heavy towing and hauling capabilities. And if you’re contemplating swapping out the factory bed for an aftermarket tray, you know that it’s going to take a proper ute cargo box combination to get the full benefit of the swap.

No matter if you’re looking for job site capacity or campsite convenience, there’s a king-sized selection of heavy-duty, Australian-made ute toolboxes for sale that are built for every possible cargo-carry contingency. And with trusted Aussie market leaders like Renegade Industrial and Weather Guard leading the way on innovative tray box design and engineering, you can count on a core of superior box qualities, including:

  • Quality materials. With choices of either 1.5mm heavy-duty steel, or 1.4mm – 2.5mm flat- and diamond-plate aluminium, today’s ute boxes for sale guarantee you all-round corrosion protection, while still affording you the opportunity to choose between either more impact-resistant or more weight-conscious alternatives.
  • Rugged construction. Fully TIG-welded seams and reinforced floors and roofs are standard construction techniques for every quality engineered box; and depending on the style of box, are rounded out with gas strut-supported lids and full-length stainless steel piano-style door hinges, or full extension drawers with either roller, or ball bearing drawer sliders. 
  • Maximum security. Whether it’s protecting your expensive job site tools, or your costly camping gear, security is everything when it comes to locking your ute tool chest or tray box; and not only are Renegade and Weather Guard boxes fully sealed against Australia’s toughest elements, but they also feature a choice of automotive-style locking mechanisms and keyed whale-tail style T-handles to keep prying fingers out.

Ideally, the sheer range of available styles and sizes of ute tool boxes for sale makes it possible to put together a one-of-a-kind tray package for any professional, recreational, or daily-driven need that you have. There are 3 basic box types, however, that make up the basis of every good tray package; and with the ability to choose between preferences in aluminium and steel ute boxes, you can even make minor adjustments in your vehicle’s hauling and towing weight limits to match your desired functionality.

Side-Style Ute Boxes are the Perfect Replacement for Full-Sized Canopies  

With their choice of either high or low profiles, side-style toolboxes for utes are arguably the most functional tray boxes you can buy. That’s because they provide the same nominal storage capacity that full-sized canopies offer, but with a principal reduction in box depth that would almost inevitably be lost as unused cargo space.

Side-style ute tray boxes are available in trapezoidal- and rectangular-shaped configurations and offer a host of features that aren’t always possible with full-sized canopies, including:

  • Lengths up to 2350mm, with capacities up to 1215ltrs;
  • Choices of full-door, half-door, and half-door/multi-drawer configurations; and,
  • Adjustable height internal shelving.

Unlike tray-sized canopies, side-style boxes make it possible for owners to get the most practical use out of all their available ute toolbox and tray space. They can even be populated with smaller tool boxes, or outfitted with your own custom-designed interior shelving configurations.

Gull Wing Boxes Give You Good Capacity and Great Visibility 

gullwing truck tool box
source: iconicmetalgear.com

Although they have the lowest profile of all ute storage box types, gullwing boxes are still among the most practical. These cross-deck boxes stretch from one side of your vehicle’s tray to the other, affording you full access to their contents from either side, while still leaving you a full deck of free tray space to use for other purposes.

Gullwing boxes are also manufactured in trapezoidal- and rectangular-shaped configurations and offer a variety of features that include:

  • Fully accessible capacities up to 400ltrs, with widths up to 1770mm;
  • Removable partitions that allow boxes to be divided into 2 equal sections; and,
  • Built-in 12V connectivity for electrical hookups.

Low-profile gull-wing boxes are unique in that they’re the only boxes that don’t impede your rearward view. And while on- or off-road safety would be a difficult quality to quantify just on the basis of a tray box, ute configurations with just gull-wing boxes boast an increase in visibility that can make a big difference when backing up.

Drawer-Type Tool Boxes are the Key to Staying Organized

It wouldn’t be possible to have a discussion about tray boxes without properlu acknowledging the importance of easily nested, drawer-type tool boxes and drawer inserts. Not surprisingly, Renegade and Weather Guard are two of the most prominent names in custom drawer-type tool boxes in Australia, and they can both be credited with producing top quality drawers boxes that are particularly well suited for ute trays.

The best engineered drawer-type tool box for ute tray configurations feature heavily reinforced seam welding specifically to prevent them from opening unexpectedly, or from being worked apart when driving. Along with the use of thicker, more impact-resistant stock, it’s an integral part of the structural strengthening that every drawer-type box and insert undergoes, which also includes:

  • Larger, reinforced drawers with security locks;
  • Heavy duty, smooth motion drawer slides; and,
  • Rubber weatherstripping, with inside and outside protective coatings.

The advantage that drawer-type, ute back tool boxes have, however, isn’t as much in their carrying capacity as it is in their ability to help you stay organized. Regardless of whether you’re using a drawer-type box to store bulky tools and spare parts, or food rations and dry socks, they provide the clear organization that prevent your goods from being damaged, misplaced, or even stolen when you’re on the move.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, if you’re a ute owner, you already know that there’s no shortage of turnkey canopy, and tray-top options available to you. The fact, however, is that very few of either are likely to have precisely what you want, which means you need to have a selection of boxes available to design your own.

Suppliers like Renegade Industrial and Weather Guard specialize in custom ute cargo box selections that make it possible to get maximum utility and functionality from their box lineups. It’s the surest way to get the fullest benefit from today’s big utes.