April '19

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44 THE SHOP APRIL 2019 APRIL 2019 Tonneaus p.44 MXC Profile p.50 Accessory Managers p. 58 Products p.60 S elling to the truck market almost always starts with covering that empty pickup bed. And tonneau covers are the most popular way to do that. With a seemingly never-ending variety of trucks available to consumers, it's a market that needs to be checked in on often to keep up with the changes in sizes, applica- tions, styles and materials. Manufacturers have you covered with the latest industry trends, technological advancements and a rundown of what's hot right now in the tonneau cover market. TECH TURNS Light-duty pickups have evolved tremen- dously over the last decade. It's no surprise that tonneau cover technology would have to move just as fast to keep up. "As technology is evolving in all seg- ments of the marketplace, customers are in search of products that offer ease and convenience," says Ryan Osborne, product manager for TrailFX. "Drivers want easy- to-use products to suit their everyday wants, needs and lifestyle. They crave the flexibility that the tonneau cover market delivers through the variation of designs and categories (soft/hard/rolling/folding, etc.).Consumers are no longer forced to choose between convenience and quality." New technology allows manufacturers to design and execute products that inte- grate with the truck to make the bed more usable, and therefore better meet the lifestyle needs of customers, according to Jonathan Light, marketing manager for Stowe Cargo Systems. "Whether it's cutting-edge software or lighter, stronger and more weather- resistant materials, manu- facturers can leverage new technology to provide better products and increase their value propositions," he says. "Because of engineering advance- ments, we've been able to design a two- in-one toolbox/tonneau combination, for instance, so that instal- lation is a simple, noninvasive process that increases cus- tomer confidence and makes it easier for the shop to install." Ryan Herman, e x e c u t i v e v i c e president of sales at Truck Hero, singles out the hard-rolling cover category as a new market that's benefited from advanced designs. "While this market is still fairly new, it's growing by leaps and bounds," he says. "Consumers are still interested in the added security and strength that comes with a hard-folding truck bed cover, but there is a segment of truck owners looking to take it up a notch with the upscale, seamless appearance of a hard-rolling truck bed cover. We continue to innovate and Tonneaus There's more to these versatile products than meets the eye. Covering By John Carollo New technology allows manufacturers to design and execute products that integrate with the truck to make the bed more usable. (Photo courtesy Stowe Cargo Systems)

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