It has been said that no plan survives first contact with adversaries – and, in off-roading, the same can be said for any load not properly secured in the cargo bed of your truck when encountering rough terrain.
While you may get away with stuffing equipment and toys into the tray of your truck for quick trips around town, keeping everything secured for highway speeds and off-road driving takes a little more thought and preparation.
When it comes to trips to the great outdoors, the pickup stands head and shoulders above other vehicles for practicality. Anything from fishing rods to large dinghies or camping equipment can be thrown in the truck bed, opening up a world of play that’s only a drive away.
The Ford Ranger is equipped for the job. With integral load hooks and options to fit Ford’s adjustable box-link system, the Ranger’s cargo tray offers off-roaders total flexibility when it comes to packing their trucks for adventure.
If you’re going to make the most of your trips – and your truck – then a few simple packing techniques can help you take everything you’ll need, and then some. What’s more, you’ll be able to carry your stuff securely, helping to keep your family and other road users safe at the same time.
Get a sticky mat for your truck bed
All Rangers come fitted with a factory fitted bedliner which both protects against damage and offers a degree of slip resistance. If your pickup doesn’t have a bedliner, you can help protect your gear from sliding about by using a bed mat which helps keep things in place when bumping around off-road.
Put small items in containers
There is nothing worse than getting out after a long drive to the great outdoors and having to fish around in every corner of the truck for what you need. Putting small objects in containers will keep your load neat and tidy, and save you a headache when you arrive.
Grab a cargo organiser
If you’re taking a variety of smaller-sized items, placing them in a cargo organiser or large bag can keep them together and stop them from sliding around. It’s also easier to secure a larger bag to the truck than a lot of smaller items individually.
Put heavy items at the front
If you are taking anything heavy on your trip, load it towards the front of the truck bed to keep all four wheels stable and your truck balanced. Also try to centre the load as best you can to help balance weight distribution on each side of the truck.
Cover the load
Use a cargo net to cover all of the items you’re carrying and keep them from bouncing out of the truck bed. If you don’t have a cargo net, you can tightly rig chains along the sides of the truck bed with quick links and pass ratchet straps or bungee ropes over the top of your load to hold it in place. Often a pair of ratchet straps is all you need to ensure the load remains in place when bumping over dunes or through rocky wadis.