This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. If you work in the trades, odds are you’ve got a few bucks invested in tools. Since those tools are much less useful when left at home, and many job foremen seem to have a limited sense of humor, odds are also pretty good that you need to schlep them around a fair bit. As you journey from your home or shop to the jobsite, or from job to job, you want to make sure that A) You have all the tools you’re likely to need, and B) they won’t be sitting in a puddle when you get there, or disappear when you stop off for a quick cup of coffee. One great way to accomplish both of those goals? Tuck those tools into a Weather Guard Truck Toolbox before you head out.
Truck toolboxes have been around for a long time, and they come at various prices, with various degrees of quality. My first truck toolbox was a used plastic model. I didn’t have to worry about rust, at least not on the box itself. It leaked around the lid, though, and took on enough water to get a nice coat of rust started on several of my tools. As for security, when the lock on one side froze up and refused to budge, I popped the lid up with a large screwdriver. It took about two seconds. That toolbox has been retired for a while, so I was very intrigued to try out the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox.
Unboxing The Box
The Weather Guard Truck Toolbox comes in thousands of sizes, materials, colors and configurations. Okay, maybe not thousands, but there’s a model to fit pretty much any truck on the road today. The Weather Guard web site offers a “Gear-Up truck fit guide” to help you choose just the right box for your ride. The model I received to review is the Weather Guard 117-5-02, a diamond plate aluminum extra-wide saddle box. It has a gloss black Powder Coat finish, and a storage capacity of 15.3 cubic feet. It’s also available in bare aluminum and matte black finishes.
My Weather Guard Truck Toolbox was delivered by truck. It was enclosed in a cardboard box, and strapped to a pallet around six feet long. To prevent accidental dents, scratches, and excessive ibuprofen intake, it is strongly recommended to enlist a helper when you get ready to relocate the box to your truck’s bed.
With the help of a utility knife, I quickly had the box unboxed, and gave it a good look-over to check the quality. The finish looks great, and it appears to be a very solidly-constructed toolbox. There’s great attention to detail, as with the weatherstripping all around the inside of the lid, and the D-rings on the front for latching down tools or supplies.
There’s even a grommet to run an extension cord through, so you can run a battery charger or two with the lid closed and locked.
Speaking of closing and latching, the lid on the Weather Guard truck toolbox is supported by two gas struts. There’s a locking pushbutton on either end of the box, and the lid pops right up when you push either one.
When you close the lid, it feels very solidly closed. Here’s the full list of specs and features from Weather Guard:
• Fits all Full-Size pickups with 8ft beds, and many with shorter beds
• Tamper-resistant, retracting EXTREME PROTECTION® Lock helps protect against break-ins
• 90 degree cover opening for easy access
• Automotive-style rotary latch features smooth one-touch opening
• Full weather seal protects against the elements
• 12 volt access for electrical up-fits
• Level storage area secures a 48 inch level
• Convenient attachment points secure materials and tools in pickup bed
• Black ARMOR-TUF® Powder Coat finish ensures years of dependability
• Limited lifetime warranty ensures unparalleled quality
Features and specs for Weather Guard Truck Toolbox Model 117-5-02:
Style: Saddle Box
Approx. Product Height: 18-1/2″
Approx. Product Length: 71-1/2″
Approx. Product Width: 27-1/2″
Approx. Product Weight (lb): 100
Approx. Cu. Ft. Per Unit: 15.3
Color: Gloss Black
Powder Coat Finish Yes
Latch Mechanism: Automotive Dual-Stage Rotary
Lock System: EXTREME PROTECTION®
Key Alike: On Request
Reinforced Loop Striker: Yes
Weather Resistance: Ultimate
Weather Strip: Memory Resistant D-Shaped Ribbed
Attachment Point: Yes
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Saddle Up – Let’s Get That Weather Guard Truck Toolbox Installed
When I learned the Weather Guard truck toolbox was on its way, my first thought was “How many holes will I have to drill into my truck?” I was very happy to learn I could leave my drill bits safely tucked away; the Weather Guard fastening system doesn’t require ventilating your truck bed to install. This is the case for almost all trucks, although the instructions say if the truck has a drop-in plastic bed liner, it may need to be trimmed or drilled. The factory-installed bed liner on my Ford F150 needed no surgery.
A packet of hardware is included with the box, giving you everything you need to get the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox securely installed. There are four bolts with fender washers, and clips that hook underneath the inside edge of the truck’s sidewalls. The clips have a built-in “lock-nut” to keep the bolt from loosening, so the instructions recommend putting a small dab of grease or oil on the bolts to make it easier to tighten them.
Each Weather Guard truck toolbox has two or three slots on each side, depending on the model, that allow for a secure attachment to every truck the box is designed to fit. After placing one of the included rubber mounting strips on each side of the truck’s bed rails, set the Weather Guard truck toolbox into position in the bed of your truck. Make sure it’s centered from side to side. To avoid foul language later, also make sure the lid doesn’t bang into anything when it’s fully open.
Note: Some newer trucks have an aluminum bed. The mounting kit includes a piece of vinyl tape to fit into each mounting clamp, to prevent galvanic action between the different metals. Even though my F150 has a steel bed, I installed the tape anyhow, figuring a little extra cushioning is better than metal-to-metal contact.
With the bed liner in my truck, there isn’t a lot of space to get your hand in to start the bracket, especially on the connection further in. My ingenious solution was to prop up each edge of the box a few inches with a pro-grade piece of firewood, far enough to be able to start threading the clips onto the bolts.
I then slid all the bolts toward the center of the box, and dropped them down inside the bed area. Next, I slid the bolts back toward the outer edge, so the upward curve went underneath the edge of the truck’s fender.
While lifting up the driver’s side edge of the box to keep tension on the clips (MUCH easier with a helper!), I alternately tightened the two bolts on that side, making sure the clips kept their grip on the truck’s fender. I used an impact driver to speed up the process. If you use a drill or impact driver, be sure not to overtighten, so you don’t chew up your side wall.
I repeated the process on the other side, and that Weather Guard truck toolbox is going NOWHERE. The whole process took less than 20 minutes – and that’s on a day where the temps were in the 20’s. Here’s a quick video from Weather Guard showing the process (WITHOUT firewood):
But Wait – There’s More!
Once the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox is bolted in place, there are a couple of accessories to install. The first is a very handy set of brackets to hold a level. The two brackets mount to the rear of the box using bolts already in place. Just pop off the nut, slide the bracket over the protruding bolt, and re-tighten the nut. The brackets hold a level up to four feet long very securely, tucked into a recessed space to keep it out of the fray.
The Weather Guard Truck Toolbox also comes with a removable tray, that extends from the front to the back of the box. It’s made of sturdy metal, can slide from one side of the box to the other, and has adjustable dividers. The box also comes with a small accessory parts box, great for schlepping an assortment of screws, nails, driver bits, and other assorted small stuff that tends to get lost.
Pack It In – Loading Up The Weather Guard Truck Toolbox
Once it was installed, I brought out a bunch of tools, to see how much would fit. The short answer: a LOT. There’s room for several tool cases or tool bags, along with extension cords and supplies.
The built-in recessed areas at either end of the box don’t look that big, but they’re very handy for stowing a good quantity of smaller tools, fasteners, flashlights, and other stuff you want easy access to.
Often, the first question when buying a truck toolbox is “How much can it hold?” That’s a key question for sure, but MY first question is “How well is it going to protect my expensive tools?!” The full weather seal does a great job keeping out the elements; since the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox arrived about a month ago, we’ve had plenty of rain, snow, and freezing rain trying to make its way inside. None has – all nice and dry inside.
As for security, if someone wants to steal your stuff badly enough, they’ll find a way to do it, no matter how well it’s protected. The lock system on the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox will make their job a lot tougher, though. There are two good-sized latches to secure the front of the lid, and the automotive-style rotary push-button locks on the box stay recessed when the box is locked, making it tougher to pry or smash them off.
To lock the box, turn the key in either pushbutton lock to the “LOCK” position, and remove the key. When you push the button in, it stays in. To unlock it, turn the key to the “UNLOCK” position, and the button pops out, ready to open the box at the push of a finger. Pushing the button releases the latches, and the gas struts pop the lid up quickly and smoothly.
Got Something To Protect?
Most pros in the trades have a lot of money invested in tools. Without those tools, it’s tough, or even impossible, to work, so keeping those tools safe – both from the weather and from the scumbag thieves who would like to make YOUR tools THEIR tools – is a high priority.
The extra-wide Weather Guard Truck Toolbox, like the one I installed, will easily hold enough gear to get you and your crew through a day’s work. It will also keep your expensive gear dry and secure while getting to and from the site, and safe from the local tool thieves when you stop off for a cup of cocoa or other refreshing beverage after the day’s work is done.
If you want to protect YOUR tool investment, check out the assortment of Weather Guard Truck Toolboxes. From extra wide to extra deep to standard to low profile, there’s one that should be a perfect fit for your needs. Every Weather Guard Truck Toolbox is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, and if you get it from the Home Depot, you get to “tool around” with it for 90 days risk free.
Buy the Weather Guard Truck Toolbox Model 117-5-02 from the Home Depot:
Check out other Weather Guard Truck Toolboxes at the Home Depot:
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.