You rely on your pick-up truck to haul all sorts of things. Whether it’s for work or play, you use your truck hard and want it to last a long, long time. You also know that the cargo you’re hauling around can scratch, gouge, dent, and ding your pick-up’s bed, reducing its useful life.
To protect the bed from damage and rust, you can install a bed-liner. The two most common types of bed-liners are drop-in and spray-on.
Drop-in liners are typically hard plastic or rubber and are “dropped in” to the back of the truck. Unfortunately, unless the drop-in liner is specifically designed for your truck’s make and model, this may not be the best option.
There are many “universal” liners available, and while they’re relatively inexpensive, the low price might mean you’re getting low-quality construction. Drop-in bed-liners are also considered relatively simple to install, which is great for DIYers. But most universal bed-liners don’t fit exactly right. There are several big problems with an inexact fit. First, it creates gaps between the liner and the bed, which produce weak spots that can cause the liner to crack more easily. Those gaps also invite moisture to build-up, eventually causing rust. The imprecise fit may also cause the liner to move around with the cargo inside, damaging the sides of the bed. Finally, many plastic drop-in liners have a smooth surface that allows your cargo to slide around, also damaging the sidewalls of the bed or the backside of the cab.
The other primary type of bed-liner is a spray-on liner. Spray-on liners address all of the potential concerns of a drop-in liner. It is essentially painted onto the bed, meaning the fit is perfect for every vehicle. So, there are no weaknesses. This means that cracks and moisture are less likely to pose a problem. Also, the surface texture does a better job of preventing cargo from sliding around than a plastic drop-in liner.
The most durable bed-liner on the market is the Scorpion XO2 formulation. This is a 3-component system combining (A) polyurethane resin, an (B) activator, and (C) Scorpion’s patented blend of acrylics.
The polyurethane resin (Part A) is a blend of aliphatic and aromatic polyurethanes, offering UV stability and durability. Part B is the activator that hyper-activates the resins and allows them to cure out to a rubberized coating. Finally, Scorpion’s patented blend of acrylics (Part C) does several things. While helping to promote UV stability, it also serves as an acrylic binder enabling the use of any automotive based toner (urethane, acrylic, or waterborne). This allows you to tint the liner to match any color. It also promotes vertical hang for texture. The XO2 formulation naturally provides a smooth, orange peel texture. However, depending on the final look and feel that you want, by varying the air pressure and trigger pull on your gun, you can go from a flat smooth finish to a gritty grip-tape look.