Having access to a truck with a flatbed provides you with the flexibility to move a variety of different loads from one place to another. Replacing an existing truck bed with an aluminum flatbed can make your pick-up more versatile, but only if you invest in the flatbed body best suited to meet your hauling needs.

Here are three features to be watching for as you evaluate aluminum flatbeds that will help you select the flatbed that will be an asset to you in the future.

1. Durable Rear-View Cab Guard

When you load items onto your flatbed, your rear-view window will be exposed to the contents of your load. Any shifting that occurs during transit could cause your load to place too much pressure against the window, resulting in a potentially dangerous window break.

As you evaluate flatbed bodies to invest in, be sure that you are looking at models that feature a durable rear-view cab guard. Metal railings attached to the flatbed that extend across the length of your rear-view window will protect the glass from damage while providing an unobstructed view of the load you are carrying.

2. Protective Lining

Most flatbed bodies take a beating over their lifetimes. Constant loading and unloading can result in scratches on the aluminum surface of your new truck bed. Over time, these scratches will contribute to the development of rust that could compromise the structural integrity of your flatbed body.

Investing in a flatbed that has been treated with a polyurethane protective lining ensures that your purchase will protect against corrosion in the future. These types of protective coatings can also provide traction on an otherwise slick surface. Polyurethane coatings can act as a safety feature in helping you keep your footing while you are working with loads on your flatbed.

3. Tie-Down System

Because items loaded onto a flatbed body cannot rely on the sides and tailgate of the truck's bed to keep them in place, they must be secured using a system of tie-downs. In order to facilitate this process, you should look for a flatbed that has a comprehensive tie-down system in place at the time of purchase.

Watch for D-rings that lie flush with the flatbed when not in use for maximum versatility, and ensure that these D-rings run the length of the flatbed to allow for a variety of tie-down configurations in the future.

By taking the time to look for features like a rear-view cab guard, protective lining, and tie-down system as you shop for a new aluminum flatbed, you will ensure that you end up with a flatbed body that is equipped to meet your needs.