It’s been said that to best foresee the trajectory of the personal watercraft industry, one needs to only look towards snowmobiles. So much of the technology first applied to the snowmobile industry finds its way into watercraft, particularly in regards to engine design and management, but then again, that’s solely at the OE level. Many in the aftermarket equally cut the teeth of their latest products in the wintertime arena, and of those industry leaders is Truckboss Decks.
“We have been designing, manufacturing, selling and installing truck decks for over 15 years,” Truckboss’ Kent Natrass wrote. “Over 15 years of servicing this market, we listened and observed how our customers used their truck decks, what features they found lacking and how pickup trucks were evolving. After several years of concept testing and design improvements we developed our modular Truckboss product to meets these needs.”
Split between both US and Canada, Truckboss focused its early efforts in developing durable, lightweight and weatherproof truck decks for the snow and ATV markets. This began by engineering an all-aluminum system that was completely weldless. “Even when performed properly aluminum welds considerably weaken base metal strength (up to 40%), while creating start points for metal fatigue and cracking,” Natrass continued. “Our Modular System replaces welding with purpose-built aluminum extrusions to retain high base metal strength throughout every truckboss component and connection.”
And to survive the rigors of inclement weather and harsh salt deposits on roads, all Truckboss decks’ wear surfaces are treated with ExtremEtch anodizing. “This hard-wearing no-maintenance finish is an exclusive feature of our product and comes standard on every deck,” Natrass added. Years of working with avid snowmobile enthusiasts and professional riders required Truckboss to up their game. “The materials used in a standard Truckboss deck meet or exceed the fit and finish of any truck it is mounted to.”
Equally, the systems needed to be able to not only transfer from one truck to another, but outlast the truck itself. “Our product is designed to outperform and outlast anything on the market – including the trucks they are mounted to. After years of service it will transfer to another vehicle – with little effort and little or no depreciation in value,” Natrass beamed.
Since that time, Truckboss has managed to build upon its modular design, adding to it several features that have set the truck deck manufacturer at the top of its industry, one of those being the “SureSeal-Fit.” This ensures that the cargo in the bed of your truck will remain dry and safe despite the conditions outside, and when the tailgate is locked the deck provides a secure tamper-proof seal. In fact, Truckboss is the only deck system that seals around the bed rails and tailgate with a weather-proof fit.
Only a few short years ago did Truckboss begin development on its first PWC application. Much of the technology created for the snow and off-road systems transferred seamlessly over to watercraft, save for a couple of items. In its original iteration, the Flexxloader provided a cart system that held the watercraft as it rode up the ramp up and onto the deck. Early last year, Truckboss made several key improvements on the Flexxloader, and developed a smoother operating, easier to secure and more diversified product.
“The [new] Flexxloader is easy and safe to load and unload using the Truckboss winch system, will allow you to unload almost anywhere – boat launches, beaches, parking lots [and] incorporates a push back system to make unloading easier and safer,” Natrass explained. “The ramp is now lighter and easier to engage, [and] with the optional buggy system, [it] becomes an ideal beach tote and a beach dock, [and] also helps with storage when you get your machines home.”
The modular aluminum construction and ExtremEtch anodizing, together with the SureSeal-Fit has never been better tested and more appropriately applied than with the PWC-focused offerings as salt water-dripping standups were first fished from the beach at the Blowsion Surf Slam two years ago. The contents of the weatherproof “Smartboxx” cargo drawer remains dry and safe from contamination even as a pair of full-sized runabouts drip-dry on the deck above, their Flexxloader racks protected from corrosion and locked in place.
Interestingly enough, the recent innovations incorporated into the new Flexxloader have been added to the snowmobile and UTV/quad lines, bringing the Truckboss deck systems full circle. Equally, the rise of snowbikes (dirtbikes with front skis and articulated rear tread) has caused a second integration of technology – this time from the motorcycle applications to snow. It’s another testament to the flexibility of the modular Truckboss Decks design. With only some minor accessory additions, one truck deck can be used for water, snow or dirt with little effort and maximum enjoyment.