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Driving with a large cargo on your truck bed comes with all sorts of complications, ranging from the inability to close the cover or the possibility of the cargo to shift from side to side, as you steer or sway the truck while driving. In addition, a large cargo may be so positioned that it obstructs the latch using which you can easily operate the tailgate.
When this happens, how do you open the tonneau cover when the tailgate fails to open? Under normal circumstances, you can open the cargo cover through a button in the glove compartment or by a key fob, but this is only possible where there is no obstruction to the free operation or movement of the various parts.
In this article, we shall discuss the various options available to you for opening the tonneau cover in such instances where it won’t open easily. This we will analyse in consecutive steps. (Read Also: Can You Stand On A Tonneau Cover? Find Out Now)
How To Open A Tonneau Cover When Tailgate Won’t Open
The first thing to consider when your tailgate won’t open is how exactly the load is placed on the truck bed since in most cases, this is complicit in making it difficult or impossible for you to open the tailgate.
Step 1: Position The Cargo The Right Way
To avoid any frustration associated with tailgate opening easily, position the cargo on your truck bed as rearward and centre as possible, such that your tailgate handle will not in any way suffer any obstruction and also pad its upper surface, where the load is likely to hit the lid.
Step 2: Bungee The Cargo Firmly
Thereafter, proceed to bungee the cargo down very firmly but not too tightly as you wouldn’t want anything to be hitting the underside of the lid near to its hinges, which might damage them. This is particularly important since you cannot raise or lower the top while the lid remains open.
Step 3: Be Careful While Cargo Is Bungeed
While doing all these, make sure that you do not bungee down the cover so far that it will be difficult or impossible to reach in and unhook the tailgate, which you can do by making sure that you leave a gap of approximately 6 inches between the tailgate latch and any objects around it. This arrangement will enable you to easily reach in when necessary and unlatch the tailgate in order to open it. It’s as simple as that.
How Does A Tailgate Handle Work?
There are several ways by which you can operate a tailgate handle. First and more conveniently, you can automatically operate it through the button in the glove box or the key fob in the truck for most modern vehicles.
However, if there is any obstruction to the free movements of any of these parts, there is an alternative route to take, that is by leaving a little space via which you can reach in and manually unlatch the tailgate handle which will get it open.
This is the reason why we have repeatedly spoken on the need to place cargo as appropriately as possible to prevent any obstruction to handling the hooks or handles.
What Causes The Tailgate To Get Stuck And Not To Open In The First Place?
The tailgate can get stuck and refuse to open predominantly due to two major reasons. The first of which is whenever there is any fault in the operating system such that the movement of some components is obstructed.
For instance, since the tailgate is fully automated in some modern trucks, any fault in the movement chain can make it fail such as broken wires, power cuts or excessive friction.
The second and most common reason is where the cargo is badly placed, such that it can interfere with the easy operation of the tailgate hatch.
Other common causes that lead to tailgates becoming stuck involve the manual operation of the tailgates in some older truck models, or even in the modern ones where there is a problem with the automatic operation mechanism.
To relieve such difficulties will depend on the causes; for problems in the automatic control, refer to qualified auto electricians while for any physical restriction, simply remove the offending objects.
Read Also: Can I Paint My Bakflip Tonneau Cover?
Are There Alternative Ways Of Opening Truck Bed Covers When Tailgates Fail To Open?
Yes, there are. When the tailgate fails to open due to whatever reasons, you can open the truck bed manually by unhooking the latches and lifting the tonneau cover. Replace the cover and re-install all the latches when you are done.
It’s as simple as that. The only inconvenience to this procedure is that it takes a little more time to accomplish and is also more strenuous too. Otherwise, it is a safe and easily accessible alternative.
How Does The Tailgate Affect The Opening Of The Truck Covers?
The tailgate enables the opening of the truck covers and so without it, your tonneau cover will present difficulties during either closing or opening them.
To get quick access to both your cargo and truck bed requires a fully functional tailgate and where that is not possible, you will obviously have problems with both loading and off loading the truck.
With the aid of a tailgate latch or handle and in some cases automatic buttons, you can easily open or close your tailgates whenever you so desire. This ease of operation fails when the tailgate has any complaints from whatever cause(s).
How Do You Open A Tailgate With A Broken Latch?
When a tailgate has a broken latch, opening it certainly presents a problem. The surest way to go about it maybe probably to fix the broken latch promptly.
However, in some instances, you may not have this option or the time for it. In such cases, what are your options? Another way you can approach this problem is by manually removing the hooks or clips via which the tonneau cover attaches to the siding of the truck bed and covers it.
This is both time consuming and stressful, but as it were, you seem not to have much options on account of the problem at hand, particularly where you must open the truck covers.
How Do You Fix A Broken Tailgate On A Truck?
In order to fix a broken tailgate on a truck, you really have two options. One, you identify what is at fault and look at possibilities of mending them or improvising while the tailgate remains on the truck. Where that is not possible, you may then have to remove the entire tailgate and seek for the help of specialists on the matter.
Another viable alternative, though the most expensive, may involve replacing the tailgate with a new one entirely. In most cases, however, you will find that it is easy to identify where the fault is and effectively fix it without necessarily referring to any experts.
I have long come to believe that most problems can indeed be reversed by ourselves independently, if we look long enough and keenly enough, but avoid such ingenuity where there may be any harm to you or others in the process. Otherwise, it is a good way to go. To fix a broken tailgate, you may apply the following steps:
Step 1: Identify Problem
Identify the problem(s) with the broken tailgate by taking a very close look at how the tailgate is affected. Identify whether it is a part or component that can be easily removed and replaced.
Step 2: Remove Faulty Parts
When it requires replacing parts you can handle, start by removing such faulty components and where all you need is to improvise, look at the options available to you. In most cases, it is easy to see how you can adopt reliable measures that will enable you to repair the malfunction parts in any device. After removing any faulty parts, it is advisable to take them along when going to buy their replacements in order to get the right fits.
Step 3: Instal Replacement Parts
Having procured the correct replacement part(s), carefully instal the new one and test whether everything is done correctly. Sometimes, a broken component may just need oiling or tuning up. We should therefore be very careful so that we can identify what really is the problem of any breakdown to guard against taking un-necessary measures that may not really be necessary.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Broken Tailgate Handle?
How much it costs to fix a broken down tailgate handle depends on the kind of breakdown and what needs to be fixed, whether a certain part of the handle only or the entire handle itself will get to be completely replaced.
In any case, it does not cost more than a couple of dollars even though some handles cost more than others. Essentially, whatever may need to be done, it really does not cost much and in fact, in some cases, you may not spend much other than maybe the price of lubricants to tune the handle up and get them working well again.
How Do Tonneau Covers Ward Off Thieves?
Whatever kind of tonneau covers you have, they are certain to give you some protection against thieves, particularly when you consider that most crimes happen when opportunities are presented for them to take place. For instance, when you cover your cargo with a tonneau cover, people don’t get to see what you are carrying and become tempted. (Read Also: Can I Drive With My Tonneau Cover Up?)
If you have your cargo fully covered, you are essentially removing that temptation. Be that as it may, simply covering your cargo may not deter very determined thieves, since all they require is a razor blade or knife.
However, even though the soft kind of tonneau cover can be cut through with just a razor blade, the hardened types may require the use of special tools and lots of time to infiltrate. For this reason, experts recommend that you get retractable covers with electromagnetic locks for maximum protection.
Certainly, tonneau covers give you rest of mind whenever you carry any cargo by providing some security since you are not showcasing what you are carrying at the back of your truck. You should, however, be aware that using a tonneau cover is likely to increase your gas mileage, not to talk of the fact that tonneau covers are in some way very expensive and hence you may not have more than the type you want.
Because of this, you are advised to choose carefully by going through all the available options and their individual qualities, to enable you to make a more proper and wise choice.
How Do You Open A Tonneau Cover When Tailgate Won’t Open – Conclusion
Even though the use of tonneau covers comes with a slight increase in gas mileage, it is still a price worth paying, if one puts that side by side the benefits we stand to gain from their use.
To make sure that such is done effectively, we have taken up a special time to keep you abreast on how to determine good ones, to ascertain that you don’t end up buying what may elicit any regret afterwards. Various ways of cleaning and maintenance were also explained to the minutest details just so that your truck covers do not come to any harm in the process.
Their various types and how each type varies from the other were all explained too and this will enable you to get exactly what you want that will satisfy your every purpose(s).
Tonneau covers serve such a range of functions which make them a must-have for most truckers; they protect you from thieves, give you privacy while hauling your cargo and also serve a very aesthetic function too by making your truck to have additional beauty and appeal.
Having said all these, you are required to carry out adequate research before getting any truck covers. The user manuals that come with these gadgets will help you out with regards to cleaning and everything else you may desire as well. Any additional information on the matter that is not provided, can be obtained from the manufacturers’ websites or customer care units.
For the umpteenth time, never commit to buying any tonneau cover without undertaking adequate research to ensure that you buy right, which inadvertently means that you get treated right too. Need I remind us that, getting right is always assured through doing right? Yes, that is simply it. Have a great trucking experience.