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The truck bed is one of the reasons why many drivers choose pickup trucks over cars. This feature allows drivers to haul heavy objects like furniture, household appliances, and camping equipment on trips. The size and cargo capacity of a truck bed are determined by the truck’s make and model.

What Are the Different Truck Bed Sizes?

There are many types of truck bed sizes but the two main ones are the standard short bed and the standard long bed. The first refers to truck beds that are six feet five inches long, while the second refers to truck beds that are approximately seven feet long. These bed measurements are done from the front of the bed all the way to the tailgate. Not knowing the difference between truck bed sizes can lead to confusion when you’re picking out tonneau covers, bed mats, and other bed accessories. We’ve created this guide for different truck bed sizes to prevent confusion and help you find the right accessories for your truck.

pick up truck bed
The standard short bed refers to truck beds that are six feet five inches long, while the standard long bed refers to truck beds that are approximately seven feet long.

Short Bed (5’5” to 5’8”)

Short beds are often seen in midsize pickup trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Honda Ridgeline. This truck bed is usually connected to a full-length crew cab that has four full-sized doors. Despite the name, you can actually fit a lot of stuff in a short bed, such as outdoor equipment, snowboards, and off-road gear. Pickup trucks that have short beds are also easier to maneuver.

Standard Short Bed (6’5”)

Standard short beds are much longer than short beds. They’re typically paired with crew cabs that have one full-sized door and another that’s half the size called a “suicide door.” Many off-roaders prefer the standard short bed and crew cab configuration for the shorter wheelbase. Full-sized pickup trucks like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra either have a crew cab, a single cab, or a full-sized cab and sport a longer wheelbase.

Standard Long Bed (7’)

The standard long bed is often found in trucks used for farming and construction. The larger cargo capacity means it can carry more items onboard.

Long Bed (8’)

Long beds are ideal for contractors who have to haul long items like piping, plywood, glass, and drywall. They’re often found in larger trucks like the Ford, Chevy, and RAM heavy-duty pickups. Because of their utility, these trucks can command high prices.

2022 ram 2500
Use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the inside of the bulkhead and the inside of the tailgate to get the length of the truck bed. Image source: Ram

How to Measure Truck Beds

There’s a simple way to measure truck beds. Use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the inside of the bulkhead and the inside of the tailgate to get the length of the truck bed. Then measure the widest part of the truck bed from point to point to get the width. You shouldn’t measure the truck bed from the outside because the truck’s bodywork can add a few extra inches.

Which Truck Bed Type Should I Buy?

The answer depends on your needs. Do you need to use your pickup to carry long slabs of plywood? Do you need more passenger space in your truck? Do you need an agile off-roader? A truck with a standard short bed should be enough for most drivers who don’t really need the extra cargo space. However, if you want to use your truck as a workhorse, you’ll need a standard long or long bed size for the added utility. Peer pressure from fellow truck drivers shouldn’t dictate your choices. Think hard about your priorities before purchasing a truck so you don’t regret your decision in the future. But if you do end up choosing a smaller bed size and need to upgrade it, you can do so by installing an aftermarket truck bed extender.

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