Many truckers have trouble organizing their tools and equipment. Placing them in the cabin can appear messy and limit the passenger seat’s leg space, while storing them in the trailer will eat up precious cargo space. So, where should you keep your toolboxes?
Underbody toolboxes with drawers can keep truck tools and equipment organized while driving. They’re compatible with tractor-trailers, semi-trailers, and flat-bed trucks. Options come in various sizes, from small, compact drawers to large, industrial compartments equipped with multiple layers.
Not sure what type of underbody toolbox would best suit you and your truck? Keep reading. We’ll explain what truckers need to look for in a toolbox and where to find the best options on the market.
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Factors To Consider When Buying an Underbody Toolbox With Drawers
Having an array of underbody toolboxes to choose from is exciting. However, the experience can also be intimidating and overwhelming for newbie truckers who are shopping for underbody compartments for the first time. Where do you even start?
To make things easier, we’ve made a list of factors that truckers need to consider when looking for an underbody toolbox. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all storage solution. You need to find an option that addresses your specific needs and demands; don’t just go with what other truckers use.
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for an underbody toolbox is durability. Bear in mind that this compartment will hang from the underside of your truck, which means it will come in direct contact with various elements such as road bumps, chipped asphalt, flooding, and mud. A waterproof, heavy-duty, and reinforced frame is in order.
One problem here is that most truckers don’t know how to test the durability of the toolboxes they see in hardware stores—much less the ones found online. After all, the best indicator of strength and durability is time. Finding a toolbox that can withstand years’ worth of daily wear and tear damages is the goal.
How do you ensure the body toughness and reliability of a toolbox you only see now? The answer: by following a product checking routine. Here are some tips to help you score a durable, heavy-duty compartment you can rely on for daily truck driving:
- Read online reviews. Hop on online forums and threads to see what other truckers have to say. Bear in mind that the goal isn’t to find a product with an excellent review and zero complaints, but to see if toolbox brands meet their customers’ expectations.
- Assess the specs carefully. Don’t skip the product specs section—especially when buying online. A long chunk of text consisting of numbers and codes isn’t the easiest to read, nor is it the most attractive to look at. However, product specifications are extremely important. Reading this section is the simplest, most efficient way to gauge if a specific product matches your needs.
- Check the brand. We’re not saying that you should be a brand snob, but try limiting your options to toolboxes manufactured by trusted brands that are well-known in the heavy truck parts industry. Always check the brand’s website for more information.
Tool Storage Capacity
Truckers know just how unpredictable driving is. Statistics show that an annual average of 4.8 million truck crashes resulted in property damage over the past decade. On top of that, there’s also the risk of minor emergencies and inconveniences such as getting a flat tire, fully discharged battery, or overheated radiator. That’s why truckers need plenty of emergency tools and equipment.
Keeping these factors in mind, you need an underbody toolbox wide and spacious enough to store all the necessities, from screwdrivers to lug wrenches. The more tools you have, the bigger your compartment should be.
Generally, the size of your underbody toolbox should be proportional to your truck. After all, a bigger truck requires a wider range of tools for on-the-road accidents and emergencies. Narrow down your options to compartments that are at least a few inches larger than the toolboxes you have now.
If you want a slim compartment, go for a tall toolbox consisting of multiple drawers. If you’re looking for a short, stout underbody compartment, you can go with short yet wide toolboxes with only one or two layers.
Drawers and Layers
The quantity, weight, and volume of tools you can store in your new underbody toolbox heavily rely on how many drawers or layers your prospective compartment has.
A smaller, compact option with one or two layers is good for small tools like screwdrivers and wrenches. Meanwhile, big compartments with multiple drawers are suitable for carrying multiple full-sized toolboxes and mid-sized equipment like hydraulic floor jacks and tire wrenches.
Should you get a large or small compartment? Some truckers advise that one should always go for the larger option because it’s better to have too much space than too little of it, but that isn’t always the case.
Having a large, spacious compartment is nice. However, it’s exponentially heavier than its smaller, more compact counterparts, so your truck would need more fuel to drag it around. If you’re not utilizing the extra space, you’ll simply be wasting energy.
With that in mind, don’t blind-buy the largest, multi-layer compartment you see. Instead, check your tools, assess how large the compartment has to be to fit all of them, and check whether you want one with multiple thin drawers or few wide ones.
Design and Aesthetics
A wide, durable, functional, and spacious underbody toolbox for your truck is great, but how does it look? Trucks are heavy-duty vehicles made for long-distance hauling. However, that doesn’t mean you can completely neglect aesthetics and allow your truck to look terrible. You ideally need a functional compartment that addresses your tool storage needs and matches the way your truck looks.
There are quite a few designs for you to choose from. These include the following:
Chest Storage Boxes
The chest storage box is the most basic and simplest toolbox design. It’s an average-sized compartment that consists of one or two layers and opens from the top.
Chest storage box-types of toolboxes are ideal for truckers that drive small container trucks and semi-trailers. They’re simple, compact, and discreet. Although these don’t offer too much room, don’t expect them to carry a wide range of tools.
Wide Multi-Layer Trunks
Feel like chest storage boxes are too small for your tool storage needs? Try the wider multi-layer trunks. As the name suggests, these are mid-sized trunks that consist of multiple sliding drawers capable of carrying everything from small bolts to large tire wrenches.
The wide multi-layer toolbox is perfect for truckers who drive large semi-trailers and have multiple tools and equipment they can’t afford to be without.
Large Multi-Layer Barn-Door Type Chests
If you drive a large trailer truck and need a proportionally large compartment that can carry industrial, heavy tools, try barn-door-type chests. These are heavy-duty trunks made to store multiple toolboxes. They’re compatible with many large trailers/container trucks and have three to four times more storage space than other underbody toolboxes do.
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Best Overall Underbody Toolbox: Buyers Products 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk
If we were to describe the 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk in three words, it would be compact, spacious, and functional.
They’re not the largest compartments on this list, but they offer two spacious drawers capable of storing all types of tools, from screwdrivers to tire wrenches. Alternatively, they’re not the smallest, but they’re a compact 25-inch (63.5-cm) trunk that only weighs 50 lbs (22.7 kgs).
Overall, the 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk is the ideal option for the average American trucker. It fits medium-sized semi-trailers, can go on daily hauling trips, and can store two to three toolboxes’ worth of equipment. Plus, it’s not expensive. This toolbox is a mass-appealing option.
Buyers Products is the leader in the truck parts industry. They’ve been in business since the 1940s and are well-known for providing high-quality products built to last years, so durability won’t be an issue.
Durability is the main selling point of the 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk. It comes equipped with a diamond-threaded .100-inch (.254-cm) aluminum frame and aircraft-quality latch cables that make the trunk resistant to heavy showers, corrosion, rusting, and denting. It’s an all-season toolbox you can use, rain or shine.
The 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk takes security very seriously. Apart from its durable frame that won’t break even in the harshest weather conditions, it’s also built to deter theft.
A die-cast, auto-locking latch protects the toolbox. Whether you try to pry the hinges open with a crowbar or smash the lock with a hammer, you won’t be able to even shake the toolbox’s secured door.
The 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk is a secure, durable, and heavy-duty toolbox that features a smooth-sliding, two-drawer storage compartment. The drawers are very spacious, and truckers can carry a wide range of small to medium-sized tools. Although, larger equipment and tools like tire wrenches and floor jacks might not fit.
The drawers also come with adjustable dividers so you can separate tools according to their sizes and uses. Scouring for nails and bolts in a pile of large tools is not fun.
At first glance, the 1703150 Aluminum Underbody Trunk’s overall design doesn’t look special. However, its features and details focus on durability and functionality, not on design and aesthetics.
The trunk’s silver aluminum frame is resistant to corrosion, the hidden hinges keep mud and dirt away from the drawers’ contents, and the large, bulky die-cast latch prevents thieves from breaking into the toolbox.
Best Compact Toolbox: Phoenix USA TB2DK Glossy Two-Drawer Underbody Truck Toolbox
The Glossy Two-Drawer Underbody Truck Toolbox by Phoenix USA is a compact, lightweight underbody toolbox. Initially, shoppers might notice that it looks a bit different from other options on the list. That’s primarily because this toolbox focuses on portability. You might even say that this underbody toolbox looks like a heavy-grade office drawer.
Considering the compact, lightweight frame of this two-drawer toolbox, it’s ideal for truckers that drive small semi-trailers. Your vehicle won’t have to burn too much fuel to carry this trunk. Although, if you need to store and carry around multiple large, space-consuming tools, you might want to look at other options.
Do not underestimate the durability of this two-drawer underbody toolbox. Trunks do not need large, bulky frames to become tough.
This compact toolbox comes equipped with a tough, commercial-grade 13-GA steel that’s around .100 inches (.254 cm) thick. This thickness level is enough to withstand a daily beating from rough asphalt and concrete roads with multiple humps and potholes.
Plus, the black, glossy paint isn’t just for show. When paired with the waterproof aluminum frame, the high-grade paint provides an extra layer of protection against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains, large hail, and dirty floodwater. You won’t have to worry about corrosion.
What makes this trunk’s security so cool is that it’s not unnecessarily complex. Instead, it’s plain, simple, and efficient. The toolbox consists of two secure drawers, and each layer comes protected with a two-part security system: the locking slide bolt and heavy-duty steel handle.
You can try to hammer or pry your way into the latch, but these hinges and locks made of commercial-grade aluminum won’t budge.
Since the trunk only measures 25 x 17 x 13 inches (63.5 x 43.18 x 33.02 cm), some truckers worry that the compartments might not have enough space for their tools and equipment. This misconception is far from the truth. Phoenix USA maximizes each compartment’s storage space by making the aluminum frame as dense and compact as possible.
Plus, while the toolbox itself weighs less than 50 lbs (22.67 kgs), the compartments can store a total of 150 lbs (68.03 kgs) worth of tools.
This two-drawer toolbox excels in the design department. It offers a sleek, stylish, glossy black coat finish that both exponentially boosts the trunk’s overall appearance and protects the frame from corrosion. This trunk will stay rust-free for many years.
The black glossy paint is also extremely easy to clean. You can maintain its brand-new appearance just by cleaning it once or twice a week with a bucket of soap and water. If there are stains, add baking soda.
Best Unique, Multi-Functional Toolbox: Buyers Products 1712205 Aluminum, Diamond Tread Underbody Trunk
Another underbody toolbox from the long-time leader in truck parts manufacturing is the Buyers Products 1712205 Aluminum, Diamond Tread Underbody Trunk. It’s a high-quality 20 x 18 x 36 inches (50.8 x 45.72 x 91.44 cm) trunk equipped with two secure, smooth-gliding drawers capable of storing everything from small bolts to large tire wrenches.
This trunk is ideal for truckers who drive medium-sized to large trailers. It can contain a wide range of equipment and is durable enough to withstand the daily abuse most long-distance hauling trucks go through regularly.
However, those who drive small pickup trucks and semi-trailers might want to look at other options. This trunk isn’t the heaviest option on the list, but it already weighs 65 lbs (29.5 kgs), so smaller vehicles with not much engine power might not be able to carry it.
As mentioned, durability is at the forefront of Buyers Products truck part manufacturing plans. They go above and beyond to ensure their products are 100% durable and built to endure the harsh conditions heavy trucks go through every day, and this underbody toolbox is no exception.
The 1712205 Aluminum, Diamond Tread Underbody Trunk comes equipped with a .100-inch (.254-cm) thick diamond-tread aluminum frame, heavy-duty continuous hinges, aircraft-quality cables, and waterproof gasket mechanisms. It’s resistant against corrosion, heavy showers, snow, hail, bumps, potholes, chipped asphalt, and harmful UV rays.
The 1712205 Aluminum, Diamond Tread Underbody Trunk takes security seriously. First, the drawers come with adjustable, high-grade dividers. These sections not only allow truckers to organize their tools more efficiently, but they also keep the stored items in place. After all, having your bolts and tools clanking around during a bumpy drive is annoying.
Second, the compartments come protected with die-cast compression doors. These keep water and moisture from entering your compartments, and at the same time, secure the doors so thieves won’t be able to break into the trunk so easily.
Lastly, heavy-duty aluminum hinges line the trunk latch. Whether you’re driving down a bumpy road or a crook tries prying the latch off of your trunk, you can rest assured that industrial-grade hinges will keep the door shut no matter what.
What makes this trunk unique is it consists of both a sliding drawer and barn door-locked compartment. This design makes the organization so much easier. Rather than mixing all your different tools and equipment, you can separate and divide them based on their purpose.
For example, small bolts and nails can go in the sliding drawer with small dividers. Meanwhile, larger tools like wrenches, hammers, and jacks can go in the more spacious barn door-locked compartment at the bottom.
We can describe the overall aesthetic of the 1712205 Aluminum, Diamond Tread Underbody Trunk in two words: simple and efficient. It doesn’t waste space on useless designs and patterns. Every detail on the frame and insides of this toolbox has a specific purpose designed to boost overall efficiency.
- Silver paint: You can easily clean this trunk’s silver body using just a wet piece of cloth. Silver paint also isn’t eye-catching, so it won’t attract thieves’ and crooks’ attention, especially in the dark.
- Diamond-tread aluminum frame: Its diamond-tread aluminum frame is resistant to all types of wear and tear damages.
- Die-cast compression lock: The bulky handle on top of the latch appears that way because it comes equipped with a die-cast compression mechanism for improved security.
Widest Underbody Toolbox: Westin 80-UB48-20TD-BT Black-Finished Textured Underbody Toolbox
If you’re looking for a wide, spacious, functional underbody toolbox, try the 80-UB48-20TD-BT Black-Finished Textured Underbody Trunk. It measures a whopping 50 x 19 x 21 inches (127 x 48.26 x 53.34 cm) that can hold a wide range of trucking tools and equipment, from tire wrenches to spare truck parts.
The 80-UB48-20TD-BT Black-Finished Textured Underbody Trunk is ideal for truckers who drive medium-sized semi-trailers. It’s not too large, yet it’s not too small either. Generally, you’d be able to store all the necessities and emergency tools, but you might have trouble carrying heavy-duty equipment built for larger trailer trucks.
The slim, wide trunk comes reinforced with a textured black, .100-inch (.254-cm) aluminum frame resistant against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains, strong sunlight, and dirty floodwater. You can have this on your truck for daily long-distance hauling without worrying about wear and tear damages.
For added protection, Brute manufactured these trunks with a .125-inch (.317-cm) aluminum reinforcement at the bottom. A few pieces of chipped asphalt or concrete won’t be enough to dent these heavy-duty toolboxes.
Rest assured, your tools are safe inside your toolbox. The aircraft-grade cables, heavy-duty compression handle, and industrial-standard hinges will keep the door latched shut no matter what foreign object smashes against the trunk.
On top of that, the latch’s sides close tightly so moisture cannot enter the compartment. A drawer full of wet, rusty, and muddy equipment is not something truckers would enjoy sorting through.
The 80-UB48-20TD-BT Black-Finished Textured Underbody Trunk is undoubtedly an elegant, classy-looking trunk. However, contrary to what one might think, it’s also very functional. The designs and patterns on the frame improve the overall functionality and ergonomic value of the toolbox. They don’t just make the trunk look better.
- Black paint: The textured paint makes the toolbox look discreet. Not only is this neater, but the inconspicuous design also prevents unwanted attention from thefts and crooks.
- Large door locks: Crooks can try to hammer their way into your trunk, but the heavy-duty, industrial-grade lock will stay latched onto the hinges.
- Heavy-duty gussets: The gussets on the corners of the door frame further reinforce the toolbox latch that already comes equipped with aircraft-grade cables and industrial-strength hinges.
The 80-UB48-20TD-BT Black-Finished Textured Underbody Trunk excels in design. Yes, it’s a massive 50-inch (127-cm) long trunk built to carry a wide range of equipment, but it’s also sleek and compact.
- It has a beautiful matte-black finish. The paint is simply amazing; it’s classy and adds a touch of elegance to even the roughest and most rugged semi-trailers. Plus, it’s easy to maintain. The black frame on this trunk doesn’t easily stain or dent, making it a suitable option for daily long-distance hauling.
- It’s stout. The trunk is 50 inches (127 cm) long and 20 inches (50.8 cm) high, which means the frame will seamlessly fit in the underside of your semi-trailer. You won’t have to worry about the trunk sticking from the cabin.
- It has a non-slip, diamond-tread texture that’s easy to grab onto. This texture makes it easy for truckers who constantly need to attach and reattach their toolbox from the vehicle.
Simple, Efficient Toolbox for Fleet Operators: Brute Pro Series 80-UB48-20TD Aluminum Underbody Toolbox
The 80-UB48-20TD Pro-Series Underbody Toolbox is a simple yet functional compartment equipped with high-grade, industrial-standard aluminum and stainless steel. It measures 51 x 22 x 19 inches (129.54 x 55.88 x 48.26 cm) and weighs 45 lbs (20.5 kgs).
What sets this toolbox apart from other options on the market is its practicality. Other brands strive to create multi-functional trunks with unique, outstanding features, but not Brute. With the 80-UB48-20TD Pro-Series, Brute wanted to create a simple, efficient cargo management solution for operators who oversee large fleets of multiple trucks. It’s inexpensive, efficient, discreet.
Note, however, that Brute only offers this fleet-style compartment to professional contractors. Hobbyists or solo owner-operators might need to check out other options.
This 50-inch (127-cm) toolbox comes reinforced with a high-grade .63-inch (1.6-cm) diamond-tread aluminum frame resistant to wear and tear damages brought by harsh weather conditions and rough driving conditions.
An extra feature is the underbody trunk comes coated in a black powder finish. This finishing further improves the aluminum frame’s resistance to moisture, heavy showers, and even dirt floodwater. You can install these trunks on your fleet without worrying too much about regular maintenance.
Security is a crucial factor to consider if you’re a fleet operator. Unlike solo truck drivers and owner-operators, professional contractors don’t have the freedom to inspect every single truck in their fleet one by one.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the security of the 80-UB48-20TD Pro-Series Underbody Toolbox. Each drawer has heavy-duty, stainless steel, aluminum-lined T-handle built to withstand heavy pressure. You can try hammering these locks down, but they won’t budge.
A cool feature that sets this trunk apart from the rest is its rain gutter design. The trunk itself is already waterproof, but to further reduce the risk of moisture damages, the compartments come with a separate rain gutter. That way, not even a single drop of water would trickle into the drawers.
Truckers would best appreciate this feature when it comes to long-term usage. The reduced risks of corrosion, rusting, and water spots make maintenance extremely easy—which would be great because maintaining a large fleet of trucks is already quite expensive.
The 80-UB48-20TD Pro-Series Underbody Toolbox’s design is very simple. The frame has diamond treads for easy handling, the silver paint makes the trunk easy to clean, and the rectangular frame makes the toolbox suitable for all kinds of trucks.
It’s perfect for fleet operators and professional contractors who want to equip their entire fleet with an inconspicuous, discreet underbody trunk that doesn’t catch the unwanted attention of crooks and thieves.
Keeping your tools stored in a safe, organized compartment isn’t just for show. Carrying a full set of tools and equipment is great, but simply storing them at random spots in your cabin compromises safety. A thick, hard wrench isn’t something you’d want falling on your foot.
Don’t be afraid to explore your options. There are dozens of underbody toolboxes available on the market; there’s no reason why truckers should limit themselves to the top one or two popular brands. Truckers need a toolbox that matches both themselves and their vehicles.