year at the SEMA Show, one of the first booths we stopped by was
the Bed Bugs™ booth. Not because we
knew about Bed Bugs and were just dying to go see them, though.
We had never even heard of them. No, it was simply the fact that
when we entered the exhibit hall, their giant green bug was seen
above all other booths and he drew us in. In fact, he drew in
a lot of folks. There was a line to see the live demonstration.
Wondering what the excitement was about, we went over to take
don't let the bed bugs bite." Mom
used to tell me that when she tucked me into bed at night - when
I was a little kid, that is...not now... But what mom didn't know
then is that if you own a pickup truck with a drop-in bed liner,
a little bite is exactly what you need when you've got something
sliding around back in the bed. Most bed liners can be pretty
darned slippery - especially if you drive your pickup like Michael
Schumaker hits a Formula 1 race course. Heavy and light objects
alike go sliding, slamming, and flying around back there. Not
only is it unsafe, but it can cause damage to both your cargo
and your truck bed or tailgate.
Bugs! The design of most bed liners uses a ribbed
surface. This design causes very little surface-to-surface contact
between the bed your cargo because of the rounded top edges and
the many valleys between the ribs. Without good contact, your
cargo can easily go for a ride the next time you gas it, stomp
on the brakes or hit a fast turn.
Bed Bugs are
designed to help combat that sliding around. The bottom of each
Bed Bug is made of rubber and is shaped into a waffle-like design.
The Bed Bug drops perfectly into the valleys of your bed liner.
Even under only its own weight, a Bed Bug is hard to move. We
tried pushing one and it was quite difficult.
The top of
the Bed Bug is walled off to make two 90 degree corners and also
has a rounded, third side. The corners are made to hold square
objects, while the rounded side can fit against tube-shaped or
rolled objects. The idea here is to place the object you are trying
to keep still on top of the Bed Bugs, which are placed at its
corners. When the object is held snugly between the Bed Bugs,
it will be very difficult to move.
Two Bed Bugs
can be used to pin an object against a wall of your truck bed
or in a corner, while four Bed Bugs will be required to hold something
in the middle of the bed. In addition, four Bed Bugs can be used
to also hold an additional object against a bed wall if placed
We tried the
Bed Bugs with several different objects, including a large box,
a heavy driveshaft inside a tubular container, and a trailer hitch.
Our test truck was a 2002 Dodge 4x4 Quad Cab with an OEM bed liner.
In all cases the Bed Bugs held our cargo in place, as advertised.
The heavier the object is, the better the Bed Bugs will work because
of the extra weight (down force) on top, forcing the rubber waffle
into the valleys and increasing friction.
we did notice that perhaps might be considered by the manufacturer
is that in several cases, the Bed Bugs' walls were about 1/2"
away from truly snugging up against our cargo. In other words,
adjusting the Bed Bugs out one more ridge on the bed made them
too loose, while moving in one ridge made it too small. A minor
quirk, but one worth mentioning. You won't always get a 100% snug
fit. However, the Bed Bugs will still function correctly in most
On the trails,
Bed Bugs can definitely be a help, however, since they do nothing
to keep your gear in place vertically, we cannot recommend them
for this use. The bouncing and potential roll-overs on the trails
are more than the Bed Bugs can handle.
If you need
to keep your stuff in place while driving around town, on the
farm, or at the job site, Bed Bugs are the perfect ticket. At
$19.95 for a pair, they can go a long way to keeping your cargo
and your truck in good shape.
They Don't Fit
(excluding Ford SporTrak)
Bed Gard (top)
Spray-In Bed Liners