So, you’ve recently bought a nostalgic, retro Ford stepside and want to have a more organized bed by adding a toolbox? What are the best toolboxes for a Ford Ranger stepside?
The best toolbox for a Ford Ranger stepside are precisely those used for style side trucks. There are no customized toolboxes made for stepside trucks with wheel wells outside and a solid rectangular bed. Since these trucks are compact, toolboxes for mid-size trucks are perfect.
In this article, we’ll talk about the features of the Ford Ranger stepside. We’ll also tell you how to measure your truck bed and choose the best toolbox for your vehicle.
Table of Contents
What Are Stepside Trucks?
In stepside trucks, the wheel arches are outside the bed and accompanied by a small step, creating a fully rectangular box inside the truck bed. This small step makes the bed easily accessible.
Conversely, the styleside model, which is the regular pickup bed style, has a flat exterior with the wheel well arches integrated inside the bed. It has short and long-box versions, with the latter having more cargo room.
Ford creates its own words to refer to its different models. So, instead of “stepside,” it uses “flareside” to refer to this bed option to highlight the truck box’s flared shape. Ford flareside features small steps on the front and back exterior wheel wells.
The first generation of Ford pickups only included flareside vehicles because they were easy to make. First, they manufactured the rectangular bed and then added the wheel arches outside the bed. Back then (1948), they didn’t have the technology to contain the fenders within the box fully.
Since then, Ford has stopped manufacturing the flareside model due to its waning popularity. It discontinued the model in 2010. So, any model available on the market dates back to that year. In fact, all truck manufacturers have phased out their stepside models. Instead, they house the step on the rear bumper.
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How To Choose a Toolbox for Your Ford Ranger Stepside
If you’ve had your truck for a couple of years, you must have lots of tools lying around that you need to organize in the box. Fortunately, there’s a whole range of toolboxes with different materials and sizes from various brands that spoil you for choice. But if you have a stepside truck, you may have a difficult job finding the right toolbox.
Most toolbox manufacturers don’t make these truck toolboxes for custom-use. You can use a wide range of toolboxes on the market for various trucks by considering the dimensions. Since manufacturers don’t produce stepside trucks anymore, most toolboxes are designed for regular styleside trucks.
But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a perfect toolbox for your truck. On the contrary, since stepside trucks don’t have the wheel wells inside, the rectangular shape lends itself to all kinds of toolboxes.
If you don’t find a perfect-fitting box, you could just opt for a rectangular chest. All you need to do is take the precise measurements and directly call the manufacturer or go online to find the toolbox that fits.
For example, this Dee Zee Red Label Crossover Tool Box is a perfect fit for a 2002 flareside. It features a Brite-Tread aluminum cover with silver and black finishes. The dimensions (37-1/8″ × 19″ × 15-9/10″) fit inside the bed. You can either drill it to the floor or put it there and move it with the two handles on either side.
When shopping for a toolbox, consider your truck’s model and its overall look. The bed trim, lining, and paint color determine the best type of toolbox and its finish. Don’t forget the cargo room it leaves after installation. If you need lots of cargo room, you may want to go for a smaller box. Pay attention to the inside space and look for organizers and trays.
When you receive the toolbox, put it on the bed to make sure it fits before installing it. Open the lid to ensure it opens freely without anything blocking the hinges. It also shouldn’t be too tall in a way that it blocks your rearview.
You could drill holes in the truck bed or use J-bolts, depending on the brand. So, before buying the box, ask how to install it. If you don’t want to damage your truck bed by drilling, choose a box that doesn’t need mounting.
Ford Ranger Stepside Dimensions
Like other Ford Ranger models, flareside models also come in regular and Supercap sizes. However, it doesn’t affect the bed size as it’s the same in most models. Here are the approximate bed dimensions for the Ford Ranger stepside:
- Inside bed length: 71.88” (182.5cm)
- Inside bed width at the cab and the tailgate: 45.81″ (116cm)
These are the Ford Ranger stepside average measurements. But different variations may vary in terms of dimensions. So, it’s better to take measurements before getting the toolbox.
How To Measure the Truck Bed
Knowing these dimensions helps you decide which toolbox better fits your truck bed. However, before choosing the toolbox, get the precise measurements of your stepside’s bed to make sure it fits. Measuring a stepside’s bed is pretty straightforward due to its solid rectangular shape.
Here are the measurements to take for your truck bed:
- The distance between the rails (both inside and outside)
- The rails’ height
- The distance between the bulkhead and the tailgate
For regular styleside trucks, you’d have to measure the distance between the wheel well’s forward edge and the bulkhead. But because stepsides don’t have a wheel well inside the box, you don’t need this measurement.
If your truck has bed rails, a truck rack, or a tonneau cover, you should consider those elements’ dimensions before getting the toolbox.
Truck tool boxes come in two main sizes: mid-size and full-size. Each is suitable for a different truck size. Mid-size toolboxes are ideal for compact and mid-size trucks. Ford Ranger stepside trucks are considered compact due to their small sizes.
What Is the Best Material for a Truck Toolbox?
Stepside truck tool boxes come in different materials such as steel and aluminum. Steel is perfect since it provides break-in security. However, it’s prone to rust, especially in coastal and high-humidity areas.
While steel is sturdier and better for heavy-duty use, aluminum is a more viable option. That’s because aluminum provides the same durability as steel while it’s more lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
If you want an inexpensive toolbox to store everyday objects such as tie-downs or jumper cables, a plastic box will be enough.
Top Truck Toolbox Brands
There’s a wide variety of truck toolbox manufacturers that could confuse you when making decisions. But the following are the most reputable brands:
- Dee Zee: This company has been in the truck accessories market since 1977. The company’s lineup is designed to serve customers with various tastes and needs. You can find a whole range of general-use and professional accessories, including toolboxes.
- Weather Guard: Weather Guard has been in operation since 1960 and has established itself as a leading manufacturer of trucks and vans accessories. They offer a full range of truck tool boxes with different materials, sizes, and styles to fit your personal preferences.
- UnderCover: UnderCover originally made one-piece truck covers. But since it started in 1999, it has expanded its product lines to include toolboxes that create more value for the customers.
Stepside trucks, or Flareside trucks in Ford terminology, are classic truck designs that have their wheel wells outside the truck bed. These were the original trucks back in the 40s. But due to shrinking markets, manufacturers decided to discontinue them.
Ford Ranger stepside trucks don’t have customized toolboxes. So, you should look for your desired box among those for regular truck styles. Before shopping, take precise measurements of your truck and contact the manufacturer to give you suitable options. Make sure it fits your truck’s style and color, and it doesn’t block your view.
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