Pickup Truck Tailgate Theft on the Rise in Texas

Thieves are becoming more likely to target tailgates as the number of tailgates reported stolen soars across the United State. Texas is a hotbed of activity for this unique type of theft, and people living in major metropolitan areas across the state are cautioned to be proactive about keeping their tailgates secure. Houston truck accessories retailers offer tailgate locks that can help to prevent this increasingly common theft from occurring. Accessories including truck bedliners, wheels, performance parts, and truck lift kits are also available through these retailers to customize your pickup truck.

The Rise In Tailgate Thefts

A sharp increase in tailgate thefts has been observed since 2009. Hundreds of tailgate thieves are targeting pickup trucks each year, and many of the thefts occur in Texas. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that this type of theft is increasing in frequency by as much as 18 percent each year.

Data analyzed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau is sourced from insurance claim statistics. Incidences of theft that are not reported to an automobile insurance agency are not factored by the bureau, but the overall trend in tailgate theft can still be observed.

Only 23 tailgate thefts were reported between 2006 and 2009. This number began to explode in 2009, and there are now over 400 thefts reported each year. This number is expected to top 500 as the upward trend continues.

Texas is the state with the most tailgate thefts, and metropolitan areas including Houston, San Antonio and Dallas see a high level of tailgate theft activity.

Reasons For Tailgate Theft

Tailgate theft is on the rise because this truck part is a hot commodity. People are willing to pay $100 or more to purchase a tailgate that has been stolen instead of shelling out $1,000 or more for a new part from a retail store or dealership.

The ease of stealing a tailgate also makes the part a target. Thieves who are experienced in taking a tailgate off of a pickup truck can complete the process in about 30 seconds.

Body shops that participate in unsavory business practices are willing to purchase tailgates from thieves. These shops place the stolen part on a customer’s pickup truck while purchasing a new tailgate from a parts supplier. The shop is then able to claim the cost of the new tailgate when filing paperwork with the customer’s insurance company, but the new tailgate is later returned to the supplier.

Preventing Tailgate Theft

Tailgates cost $1,000 or more to replace, so it is important for vehicle owners to learn more about how to keep their tailgate secure. Keeping tailgate thieves at bay requires vehicle owners to be proactive about security. Tailgate locks are specifically manufactured to deter thieves who target pickup trucks. While these locks may come installed on some vehicle, there are also aftermarket options available.

It is recommended that drivers park with their tailgate facing a building to keep thieves from being able to access it. Parking as close as possible ensures that there is not enough room available for thieves to work on removing the tailgate from the vehicle.

Even the most proactive pickup truck owners may find themselves dealing with tailgate theft. Engraving the vehicle identification number into the tailgate may help increase the chances of having the part returned to its rightful owner. Thieves who notice that the VIN is etched into the tailgate are more likely to pass the vehicle up to avoid the risk of being caught with an easily-identified tailgate.

While tailgate theft is on the rise in Texas, vehicle owners can decrease their chances of becoming a victim by being proactive about tailgate security. A Houston truck accessories retailer carries security options for vehicle owners.

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The Different Types of Pickup Truck Wheels

wheelsAnyone who has driven the 610 loop has probably noticed that Houston truck accessories come in a wide variety of options and styles. Many owners, particularly those who use their vehicles to haul heavy or bulky items, add truck bedliners to protect the finish of the pick bed. Truck lift kits add the finishing touch to create a unique, customized pickup. However, when it comes to accessories, the greatest variety is in the wheels chosen to make just the desired statement.

Truck wheels come in many different designs. Different manufacturers use different methods of construction or materials. With some wheels, the material used dictates the construction method, while the reverse can also be true. One of the first decisions that must be made when shopping for new truck wheels is to decide which material to choose.


Steel has long been the standard for the wheels on vehicles of all types. It is stronger and heavier than aluminum. Steel wheels are typically made by using a powerful press to stamp out the parts, which are then welded to make the wheel. This method does not permit much artistic expression, such as intricate spoke designs. Buyers are pretty much limited to plain wheels, perhaps with openings to enhance brake cooling. However, some manufacturers have made chrome-clad steel wheels standard options on their trucks. Chrome-clad wheels have a thin, chrome-plated overlay that is affixed to the wheel’s surface.

Aluminum Alloy

An alloy of nickel and aluminum is commonly used for truck wheels. However, the ratio of the metals determines the properties of the wheel. If the mixture contains a higher proportion of nickel, the wheel is heavier and less prone to bending, but they can be more likely to crack or be brittle. If the mixture has a lower proportion of nickel, the wheel is lighter, but it is also more prone to bending when impacting a curb, pothole or other obstruction.

Cast Aluminum Wheels

Manufacturers normally use one of two basic types of casting to create wheels.

  • Pressure casting may be low-pressure or counter-pressure. The low-pressure method forces the molten alloy into a mold by applying air pressure, which packs the alloy more densely into the mold and makes it stronger. The counter-pressure method uses reverse air pressure by creating a vacuum to suck the alloy into the mold. It produces similar results to the low-pressure method.
  • Gravity casting lets gravity do the work to fill the mold with the molten alloy. This method is the simplest, but it also produces wheels with the least density. To ensure that the wheels are strong enough, manufacturers make the wheels heavier and thicker than those produced by pressure casting.

Flow Formed Wheels

Flow-formed wheels are made using a hybrid manufacturing process. It starts with an alloy formed using the low-pressure casting method. The alloy is then stretched and shaped through the use of high-pressure rollers and heat. This produces an alloy that is both dense and thin, and these wheels share many properties with forged aluminum wheels.

Forged Wheels

Forged aluminum is made by subjecting a solid chunk of alloy and then using an extreme amount of pressure and heat to crush it into the proper shape. Forged aluminum wheels are extremely strong and dense, but they are also quite light. These wheels are much stronger than those made from cast aluminum.

Putting Everything Together

Once the wheel material has been selected, the next step is to choose the design. The right wheels can make a pickup stand out from the crowd. To add even more personality, a lift kit can create an impressive look, and Houston bedliners are not only decorative, but they are also protective. Other after-market accessories, such as side mirrors, toolboxes and lights, can help truck owners create a vehicle that is individually unique.

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Aftermarket Truck Bumpers Are An Easy Way To Customize Your Truck

Most Houston truck owners want to take pride in their vehicle—how it runs, how it feels—and how it looks. One of the best ways to do this is to customize your truck so it is truly your own. A smart and easiest ways to go about customizing is to get new aftermarket bumpers from a Houston truck accessories company.

Custom bumpers used to be a feature you would only find in big commercial trucks. Lately, though, more and more pickup truck drivers have joined in. They are a great way to make your truck look bigger and get more admiration from onlookers. A bigger and better-looking bumper is not just for attracting envy, though. It can also improve the resale value when you are ready for a new truck.

But that is not all a custom bumper can do. For one thing, they make your drive safer. You might think that the bumper your truck came with will serve this purpose well enough, and in most cases, that is true. Still, custom versions are often even better. Many people who drive pickup trucks do so because they know they may need their vehicle to perform some heavy-duty jobs. This can involve going off-road or travelling in wildlife-heavy areas—circumstances that make it more likely the truck could suffer damage. Getting a larger bumper that sticks out a little further offers major protective for these situations or any situation where your truck may hit something.

Adding a custom bumper to the front of your truck also brings the added benefit of balancing its weight a little better. You bought that pickup truck to haul things, but for every pound of cargo you put in the bed, you unbalance it just a little bit more. If you are carrying enough cargo back there, your front end will start sticking up, making the vehicle a little less easy to handle as you drive. A heavy bumper will help correct this imbalance.

It is not difficult to find good aftermarket bumpers and getting them installed to customize your truck. So take your time and weigh your options carefully before coming to a decision about what you want.

Other Ideas for Customizing Your Truck


Bedliners protect your truck’s bed from damage and keep the cargo from skidding around. Like bumpers, the liners that come standard with most pickup trucks are okay, but if you want better than “okay,” you will have to find it yourself. If you go for a new truck bed liner, you will want to consider both the way it looks, especially the color, and the material it is made of. Make sure the liner you buy is resistant to any damaging material you may carry, like battery acid or oil, as well as to adverse weather like rain or hail.

Lift Kits

A truck lift kit can help your truck be better at off-roading, especially in extreme conditions. Installing a lift kit on your truck increases its multipurpose capabilities. Like a good custom bumper, it will also make the truck look bigger and potentially increase its resale value. Lift kit options range from those that just raise the body a little, kits that even out the truck’s balance, to suspension kits that lift the whole frame making for a smoother ride on rough terrain.

More Ideas

Other truck accessories to consider if you want to customize include roof racks, trailer hitches, grill guards and even backup cameras to help you navigate in reverse more safely. Whatever you choose, think carefully about your specific needs and seek out the advice of truck accessories experts or other pickup truck drivers if you need more direction.

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What Is The Best Choice For Pickup Truck Bedliners?

If you are one of those people in Texas who actually uses their pickup truck to haul things around, you probably would rather not end up with a truck bed that has dents or scratched paint. Moving a few tools or a small piece of furniture can result in unsightly damage to the bed of your truck. Stop-gap measures like wrapping your cargo in drop cloths are not a reliable solution. If you are serious about maintaining the appearance and quality of your truck, a decent truck bed liner is in order.

Truck Bed Liners: What are the Options?

While shopping for Houston truck bedliners, you will quickly discover that there are two primary options: spray-in liners and drop-in liners. Therefore, the first step to finding the right truck bedliner is to decide which style is right for you. Once you have narrowed it down to either a spray-in or drop-in liner, you can start looking at specific models, designs and colors. Should you choose a drop-in liner or a spray-on liner? The best way to figure that out is by considering the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Pros and Cons of Spray-In Truck Bed Liners

Like many truck accessories, including truck lift kits, spray-in truck bedliners have their pluses and minuses. A few of the advantages of spray-in liners include:

  • No Shifting – Because they are sprayed right onto the panels of the truck, spray-on liners do not shift around while you drive. Therefore, dirt and debris cannot get beneath them to cause damage to the bed.
  • Easy to Clean – Spray-in liners tend to be a breeze to clean, so maintenance is no big deal.
  • Prevent Dents – Although they are thinner than drop-in liners, spray-on liners are still thick enough to help prevent dents and other forms of minor damage.
  • Sleek Style – The smooth, seamless style of spray-on liners makes them especially popular.
  • Lots of Options – Many colors and finishes are available, so finding the right spray-in liner option is easy.

Some of the disadvantages of spray-in truck bed liners include:

  • Permanent – You cannot remove spray-in liners, so you better be happy with this choice.
  • Professional Installation Recommended – You can technically install them yourself, but it is easy to make serious mistakes.
  • Staining – If something like paint gets onto a spray-on truck bed liner, it is likely to be there forever.
  • Not Very Thick – Spray-on liners are not as thick as drop-in liners, so they do not offer as much protection.

Pros and Cons of Drop-In Truck Bed Liners

Drop-in truck bed liners tend to be quite popular. A few of their pluses include:

  • Easy to Install and Remove – Unlike spray-on liners, drop-in truck bed liners are not permanent. They are easy to install and just as easy to remove.
  • Thick, Rigid Designs – Most drop-in liners are very thick and rigid, so they offer superior protection.
  • Easy to Clean – Just hose them down and wipe them off to keep them looking great.
  • Flexible Styles Available – If you do not like rigid liners, flexible designs are also available.

There are some downsides to using drop-in liners. A few include:

  • Shifting – Because they are not permanently affixed, drop-in liners shift around and could possibly cause damage to truck beds.
  • Rigid Designs Promote Damage – In the case of rigid drop-in liners, sand, dirt and other debris can get beneath to damage the finish on the truck bed.
  • Other Damage is Possible – Depending on the material it’s made out of, a drop-in truck bed liner can be gouged or otherwise damaged.

Take your time and consider plenty of options when shopping for truck bed liners. The extra research you put into it will pay off well in the long run.

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What You Should Know About Pickup Truck Lift Kits

Power. Reliability. Prestige. These are some of the many attributes craved by Houston trucking enthusiasts who are searching for the ideal truck lift kits for their pickups. Lift kits provide a smoother and more level on and off-road experience that allows for bigger, “badder” tires. Larger tires typically promote better performance, so it is a no-brainer that many pickup truck owners are forever seeking the best alternatives for lifting and leveling their vehicles. Lift kits can be installed either professionally or by the owner, but if you are going the self-install route, it is even more important to perform adequate online research on a host of truck lift kits troubleshooting articles should any complications arise. It can indeed prove a challenge to select the absolute best product, so thankfully many teams of professionals have done their research through trial-and-error and word-of-mouth in order to take the guesswork out of this process.

Truck modification experts explain that each kit is tailored specifically for a truck’s make and model. They outline the buying criteria for prospective lift kit purchasers. In addition to their advice for choosing a model-specific kit, selecting a popular name brand is a must in order to ensure better quality materials. They also stress the importance of securing professional assistance if you are not confident in your ability to successfully self-install. J. Lancaster, contributor at HubPages.com, provides extremely helpful advice for selecting an appropriate kit for a truck’s make and model. A spacer lift kit is a cost-efficient option that gives just enough lift to boost performance and improve appearance. Offering a lift ranging from one to three inches, the spacer lift kit is definitely not an ideal choice if you need to navigate risky terrain. This type of kit is basically a conservative option for those seeking a slight, virtually risk-free alteration.

In contrast, a bracket lift kit can give a truck up to eight inches of lift. Although it is still a cost-efficient selection, Lancaster explains that the bracket lift kit is more complicated to install and can cause lasting damage to the truck if installation is not effectively executed. Therefore, if drivers harbor the possible desire to uninstall a lift in the future, the bracket lift kit might not be the wisest choice. Replacement lift kits are also a wise option if you are seeking a small amount of lift for your truck while boosting its performance. Lancaster basically asserts that these kits are actually a replacement of key parts of the truck. Although such an installation can be very costly, it is definitely a safer alternative that will prove nothing but a benefit to the truck’s structural integrity.

And finally, according to Lancaster, the highest quality lift kits are perhaps the best option since they offer significant amounts of lift while drastically increasing a truck’s off-road performance. The only downside is the cost. However, if long-term success with performance and durability is what you want, then this type of selection should certainly prove worthy of its price tag. For those choosing to self-install, Lancaster asserts that it is crucial to employ the proper tools, pry bars, jacks, and other such support as well as a helper who will provide physical labor and moral support for this task. Finally, truck accessories should be secured, such as truck steps and running boards, in order to customize your pickup truck and provide safe access. These are other accessories that serve such a crucial function while hosting a unique outlet for self-expression through customization.

The decision to lift your pickup should not be daunting: Do your research, partner up, and make your on and off-road ambitions a glorious reality.

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Protection | Truck Accessories

Today is one of those days that it would be nice to have Pick Ups Plus install some type of bed cover or “lid” on your truck. Bed covers protect your load from weather damage (like today’s nasty, drizzly weather) as well as protecting your bed from scratches and normal wear and tear of things moving around during transit. As a favorite truck accessory store in Houston, we offer a huge selection of protection accessories such as:

  • Tonneau bed covers
  • Side mirror covers
  • Door handle covers
  • Seat covers
  • Steering wheel covers

While some of these accessories appear to merely enhance your pickup truck visually, all mentioned above also actually protect from the worst effects of wind, rocks, debris, weather, and even everyday use (like kids).

Tonneau Bed Covers are perfect for protecting and securing your bed load and cargo. These bed covers can be combined with lockable storage boxes and other organizational equipment and with proper installation, can offer easy access to needed items.

All vehicles’, especially trucks’, side mirrors take a beating simply driving around town. Mirror covers can add style to your pickup as well as protecting from damage of flying debris or contact with cars/trucks parked next to you

Door handle covers adheree directly to existing handles and can create a new look for your truck. Note: Make sure to double check keyholes and keypad locations – at the very least, if you don’t drive your truck to the store, know your exact make and model of vehicle. ESPECIALLY Jeeps.

With the addition of seat covers, your truck can take an a totally new and fresh appearance. Seat covers are offered in a wide range of designs, colors, and materials. Custom seat covers can be custom embroidered with logos, names, initials – whatever you can dream up and fits the embroidery machine, can appear on your seat covers..

Steering Wheel Covers

Our exclusive lineup of steering wheel covers is definitely eclectic and offers total personalization of your truck. We offer an outstanding selection of durable and attractive steering wheel covers including leather, vinyl, and cloth covers for the perfect customization of your truck’s interior.

Stop by and check our organized truck accessory showroom – and get to accessorizing!
Melanie Ledbetter-Remy | Bizopia – Web Presence Optimization Strategist & Guest Blogger

Pick Ups Plus of Houston

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