Best Ute Tool Boxes for Tradies
Due to the fact many utes spend the lion's share of their time being used as workhorses, there are a lot of them kicking around with a toolbox or two (or more) in the tray.
Lockable heavy-duty tool boxes add a level of safety and security to your ute that it otherwise lacks in standard form – especially in terms of keeping your tools and work equipment – or whatever you want really – stowed away and protected from the effects of nature and also those members of society who are, ahem, somewhat morally challenged and may be inclined to help themselves to what is not theirs.
Here's our bloody unreal guide on how to find the best tool box for your ute. Read on.
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Different types of tool boxes
Ute toolboxes come in many different shapes, sizes, configurations and with different openings (i.e., one door, two doors, two gullwing doors), as well as the choice between a ute tray toolbox, which sits on or in the tray, or an under tray (or under body) tool box.
They can be off-the-shelf ute tool boxes, or highly customised jobs.
The design and shape of ute tool boxes may vary but the focus on primary function will remain. Features will generally include rubber seals, lockable T-lock handles, stainless-steel hinges, stay-open doors and powder-coated surfaces.
Materials also vary; the stuff used in something which serves as a dual cab tool box, for instance, may be plastic (as in a moveable cargo box), steel, or aluminium (smooth) ute tool boxes and aluminium checker-plate.
Colour options are generally limited to white, black and silver finish.
A tray drawer (or slide) slides in and out from under your ute's tray or inside its canopy and provides you with a hide-away version of a tool box, albeit substantially shallower.
So, what’s the best tool box for your ute? The one that best suits what you do with your ute, of course. Your lifestyle – and budget – will dictate the body style and configuration of, as well as the materials used in, your tool box.
What sort of tool box you get depends on what sort of ute you have – cab chassis, single cab, space cab or dual cab – and whether, for instance, the tool box will be positioned on the left-hand or right-hand side under the tray as they need to slot in neatly behind the ute’s wheel.
How much does a tool box cost?
The cost of a tool box and fitment vary, but expect anything from around $70 for a basic on-tray tool box (maybe a moveable cargo box), through to more than $1000 for a high-quality tool box.
Rhino toolboxes are available as grey polyethyboxlene cargo cases (from about $100) and Bluescope galvanised steel ute tool boxes (from $75), fully welded aluminium checkerplate under-tray tool box (from about $90), through to an aluminium checkerplate high-side ute tool box (from about $850). Bear in mind, these prices are for the product only; they do not include any fitting charges.
Prices for Ironman 4x4 tool boxes vary from $1070 (steel, fitted), from $360 (undertray, steel, fitted) and from $590, (alloy, fitted).
The water- and dust-proof Ironman 4x4 Ute Box – in 140-litre or 200-litre size – is designed for anyone “who needs a multi-purpose, strong and all-weather storage solution for their ute”, the company reckons. The 140-litre ute box sits below the rail of the ute’s tray; the 200-litre version sits above the rail. Prices on request.
Custom tool boxes – with ute toolbox drawers and more – will cost a lot more as well.
Warranties for a ute tool box range from 12 months onwards depending on the brand/manufacturer involved.
Who are the leading brands & manufacturers? Best places to buy?
Focus your shopping research on local well-respected aftermarket brands and manufacturers, including Ironman 4x4, ARB, Flexiglass, NorWeld, Carryboy Australia, Opposite Lock, and TJM, and these companies have branches in most capital cities including Sydney and Melbourne.
Contact any of these local mobs for a tool box: