There was a time when trucks were one size fits all—you got a big, empty bed, and it was used for whatever you required of your truck. But today’s rigs can be purpose-built for all types of uses, and you can bet there are components to build out that simple bed to accommodate all your needs. This is nothing new for the experts at ATC Truck Covers, who have been in the business of building fiberglass truck bed products for 20 years. ATC offers various cargo management bed systems and top-notch truck caps and lids to choose from, so we were happy to work with the company for our ’15 Ford F-150’s load/hauling necessities.
To handle the cargo management, we visited with the guys at County Toppers and Truck Accessories to choose the best option for our needs. They immediately steered us in the direction of ATC’s Load Master CP setup. The all-fiberglass composite deck is coated in a spray-on bedliner material that provides a strong platform to handle anything we plan to load into the truck.
We were searching for a high-end truck cap that provides ultimate protection from weather and intrusion, and the ATC LEX cap fit the bill. The contoured crown flows into an aerodynamic design for great fuel savings and even better looks. A built-in LED brake light, large all-glass rear door, and convenient center lock make this cap a perfect complement to our F-150. Once the ATC products were in hand, we spent a few hours back at County Toppers in Olathe, Kansas, and soon our empty bed was built out to provide us with more than enough good-looking and secure storage.
| We weren’t starting with much on our ’15 Ford F-150, just a slightly used empty bed. The first thing we did was remove everything from the truck bed and clean it up a little.
| Next, we removed both front bed tie-down mounts with a #T30 torque bit.
| We hand-tightened the four 9/16-inch nuts and bolts to the three front bed frame mount bars. These bolts will be tightened once the frame system is placed inside the bed and aligned between the wheeltubs.
| The top bracket mounts were placed over the inner bed tie-down bolts.
| With the front mounting bracket in place, we set the Load Master frame and tray into the bed.
| We inserted the framerails into the installed front bed mount bar using a 9/16-inch socket and wrench to tighten the supplied nuts and bolts to secure both pieces together.
| Now we could adjust the side-to-side play of the frame system so there is equal clearance between the load tray and wheeltubs.
| With the Load Master system aligned, we tightened all the bolts for good.
| The convenient back-release handle makes for easy loading and unloading of the newly installed Load Master setup.
| With the Load Master install complete, we turned our attention to the ATC LEX cap.
| The fully built and color-matched ATC LEX cap was carefully placed on top of the bedrails and aligned.
| With the cap now aligned, we used the four supplied C-clamps to secure the cap to the bed.
| Using our 9/16-inch socket, the two C-clamps were tightened down on each side of the bed.
| Next, we wired up the lights. Our LEX cap includes an interior LED light as well as an LED third brake light. Feed the wires down through the hole in the inner bed wall.
| Then we removed the driver-side taillight to gain access to the wires.
| Using the supplied splice connector, we connected the interior LED light to the factory bed light switch wires.
| To hook up power to the third brake light, ATC supplies a vehicle-specific seven-way wire harness to make sure all the correct connections are made.
| We connected the red power wire up to the positive terminal, then ran the wire back to the rear bumper to be connected to the seven-way harness.
| The driver-side taillight could then be reinstalled.
| Finally, wire loom was cut to size and placed over the cap wires, making for a clean install.
| With the install all wrapped up, we brought the truck outside to check out the overall appearance, and it was even better than expected. From its flush-mounted side windows to the clean back glass window system, it was clear the masterminds at ATC had done their homework to be able to supply such a top-notch bed cap.
| The folks over at ATC Truck Covers have proven to us that not only is their product made exceptionally well, but it can withstand the grueling tasks a pickup owner uses it for.
| Not only did the topper, in conjunction with the Load Master CP system, cut the loading and unloading time in half, it allowed us to place bigger items inside the bed while keeping things protected from the elements and provided security for everything inside the bed.
| ATC Truck Covers