Project Guide

How to Install a Truck Tool Box: An Installation Guide

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Find the Right Tool Box
the back of a truck at a jobsite

Before shopping for a truck tool box, take careful measurements of your truck bed and consider the make and model of your truck. Choose a toolbox designed to fit the design of your truck. Once you receive the tool box, place it in the back to ensure it fits properly before continuing with installation.

As you shop, consider the overall look of your truck. The paint color, bed lining, and trim will all play a factor in which finish makes the best choice for your vehicle. Take note of the internal cargo room as well as any dividers or organizational features the box contains. Consider the size and types of items you plan to haul when deciding which box is right for you.

Tip: With the tool box lowered into place, open the lid and make sure that nothing is blocking the hinges of the box.

Add Rubber or Foam Padding
the back of a truck showing an empty truck bed

A metal tool box can scratch a metal truck bed and be incredibly noisy as you drive over uneven ground. Protect both the truck bed and the toolbox while making transit nice and quiet by laying down a layer of rubber or foam padding. 

This material is available by the roll and is easy to cut with a durable pair of scissors or a razor blade. Measure the tool box carefully and cut the padding to size anywhere the box will be in contact with the vehicle itself. 

Tip: This step is not necessary if the truck bed has already been fitted with a full liner. 

How to Install a Truck Tool Box Without Drilling
a man positioning a tool box on the back of a truck

Many of today’s trucks come outfitted with pre-drilled holes to make installing a tool box fast and easy.

Learning how to mount a truck tool box with pre-drilled holes is quite simple.


  • Step 1: First, remove the rubber plugs from the pre-existing holes. With those plugs removed, the bottom of the tool box you choose should nestle down to align with the pre-existing holes. 
  • Step 2: Once everything is aligned, use J-hooks or standard nuts and bolts to screw the box securely into place. Most truck tool boxes use between four and six bolts, depending upon the size and design of the box.
  • Step 3: Tighten the bolts until they are snug, but take care not to over-tighten, as this could cause rail damage.

Tip: Some tool boxes come with the necessary installation hardware. If not, it's easy to purchase nuts and bolts online or at your local Home Depot.

How to Install a Truck Tool Box with Drilling
a man about to drill a tool box into the back of a truck

Some truck models don’t come with pre-drilled holes. In this case, there’s one more step to follow: drilling the holes yourself.

  • Step 1: Measure the placement of the box carefully and drill four to six holes in the truck bed using a durable metal bit and a powerful drill.
  • Step 2: Lower the tool box into place and line it up with the drilled holes.
  • Step 3: Use J-hooks or a standard nut and bolt set to secure the truck tool box into place.

Tip: Check what installation hardware your tool box comes with before purchasing additional bolts.

Make Sure Everything Works Properly
a tool box on the back of a truck

Once you’ve tested the lid to make sure it opens and closes freely, all that’s left to do is load it up with your essentials. 

Make sure to clean out the tool box regularly so dirt, debris and moisture doesn’t accumulate inside. When cleaning out your tool box, give it a quick inspection to make sure the bolts haven’t loosened over time. If they have, tighten them and reload your tools. 

Now that you know how to install a truck tool box properly, take on the task yourself instead of paying a professional for installation. With storage this easy to install, you’ll be tempted to purchase a truck tool box for any truck-owner on your shopping list.