Adding a tray to your ute can increase your cargo-carrying ability, help keep your cargo organized and even help keep your belongings under cover. Of course, there's one major decision every driver needs to make before picking up and fitting a tray: steel or aluminium alloy?
There are advantages on both sides, so it often comes down to individual needs. That said, here are just four reasons why you should consider alloy over steel.
1. Reduced Fuel Consumption
There's no getting around the fact that your average ute is going to burn more fuel than your average sedan or compact. That said, you can mitigate fuel consumption when adding a tray by choosing an aluminium alloy version over a steel one. Alloys are much lighter than steel, which is one reason why many auto manufacturers are making the switch. Given the weight difference between an alloy tray and a steel tray, you could end up saving a lot on fuel each year and going further without having to worry about finding a fuel pump.
2. Added Load Capacity
Most people looking to add a tray to their ute are hoping to carry plenty of cargo, which means you need to take your vehicle's weight ratings into account. The tray itself is going to take up some of that capacity, so choosing a heavy steel model over a lighter alloy tray could mean you aren't able to carry as much overall. There are ways to get around this, such as upgrading the suspension, but that means sinking more money into the vehicle.
3. Less Loss of Ground Clearance
As if increased fuel consumption and reduced load capacity wasn't enough, the added weight associated with choosing a steel tray over an alloy tray also means you'll lose a touch more ground clearance. With more weight at the back, the body will be pushed down more. If you like to off-road, such a reduction in ground clearance could prove problematic, potentially leading to damage to your undercarriage.
4. No Risk of Corrosion
When comparing alloy trays against steel trays, it's natural to focus on weight issues. However, you should also consider the corrosion factor. Steel can rust. Your tray should come with painting or coating to protect against corrosion, but such coatings can fail. In contrast, aluminium alloys are naturally resistant to rust, so you shouldn't have to worry about corrosion showing up after a few years.
Contact a company that sells alloy ute trays to learn more.