Hands On: A Swing and a Hit
by Kevin Livingston
May 31, 2016
Filed under Products
Taking advantage of otherwise wasted space, UnderCover’s unique cargo box mounts on the side of a truck bed
Ask trailer owners if there is ever enough space for storage, and they will likely sheepishly admit to taking along too much stuff. If you’re towing with a pickup truck, the bed offers a great amount of space, but without built-in toolboxes or other storage, the items kept in the bed are tossed around and vulnerable to those who prefer not to pay for things. A clever product to add to the storage options for pickups is the SwingCase, a unique box on a hinge that mounts on the side of the truck bed.
Made of heavy-duty molded plastic, the SwingCase is a swing-away cargo box that doesn’t slide around the truck bed. Instead, it attaches to the back side of the bed, consuming a small amount of otherwise wasted space.
Mounting brackets that are specific to most newer trucks are provided with each SwingCase, making it easy to install and remove. The box can be mounted on older trucks, or models that are not on the fit list, using a universal bracket kit — which is what we did, and it worked perfectly. We elected to mount two SwingCases, one on each side of the bed, and ordered the driver’s side and passenger’s side versions plus two universal bracket kits.
To begin the installation, the hinged mounting plate is affixed to the long, narrow locking bracket by way of the two studs and corresponding locking nuts. Once this is done, we attached the mounting plate to the SwingCase and mocked up the installation to establish proper clearance.
If a helper is not available, find something flat (like a piece of wood) that is thick enough to get the proper amount of spacing and keep the box steady. Mark the location for the hinge bracket that will mount to the stake-pocket post, immediately adjacent to the tailgate. The objective is to position the bracket as close to the bed floor as possible, while allowing room for the box to swing back and forth freely.
The bracket with the latching mechanism is then attached to the side of the bed using the self-tapping bolts. From there, place the box back on the hinge, latch it into position, and the 20-minute install is complete.
Once the SwingCase is in place, regularly needed tools and other gear can be reached by grabbing the pull handle and swinging the box across the bed and open tailgate. A tool tray at the top of the box can be pulled out to access the storage space below, and there are even a pair of molded cutouts in the lid that can act as cup holders.
A locking mechanism secures the contents and can be used with or without the key. Since the boxes can be easily lifted off the hinges, the brackets themselves can be padlocked for additional security; the padlocks just have to be removed before swinging the boxes out.
The two boxes were loaded with frequently used tools and supplies and subjected to blowing sand and rain over a period of time. The interior of the boxes remained clean and dry. We suspect that the high-impact ABS plastic will hold up for a long time. If the boxes outlast the truck, they can be transferred to another pickup.
The SwingCase is made in America by UnderCover, a company that specializes in truck-bed covers, so it comes as no surprise that the boxes fit comfortably under such covers.
The SwingCase sells for around $190, depending on the retailer.
UnderCover | 866-900-8800 | www.undercoverinfo.com