While short-bed pickups are popular for their improved gas mileage and ease of parking, they are not always so great when it comes to hauling building supplies and other large cargo. The good news is that you can purchase a pickup bed extender to install when you want to move large items from one place to another.

Here are some tips to ensure that you install your new truck's bed extender in a safe manner:

Avoid Drilling Into Brake and Electrical Lines

When installing your new truck bed extender, you will have to drill some holes into the metal bed of your truck. You should only do this task yourself if you have a wiring diagram for your truck and can ensure that you are not going to drill into an important electrical or brake line. Additionally, you should drill slowly and check often to make sure you do not see any lines inside of the metal frame.

Tape the Mounting Hardware Template to Your Truck with Masking Tape

Use masking tape, because it is easy to remove and will not leave any sticky residue on your truck's paint, and tape the mounting hardware template to your truck before you drill the holes. Taping the template in place will keep it from moving around while you drill, and this will ensure that the holes you drill will be in just the right location for the bed extender to fit into.

Drill Though Your Truck's Bed Liner Without Removing It

If your new truck has a bed liner installed in it, then you should drill through both the liner and the metal frame of the truck. Removing your truck's bed liner is an unnecessary effort and liners that are drilled separately are much more likely to have problems with alignment of the mounting hardware for the bed extender.

Use a Silicone Sealant to Avoid Rust

Finally, when you drill through the metal frame of your truck, you open the area up to the growth of rust. If rust starts to build on your truck, then it can eat through the metal, spread to other areas, and will eventually cause structural damage to your vehicle. To avoid rust in any of your drill holes for your bedxtender, place a silicone sealant into the holes before placing the mounting hardware into them. You should use a marine sealant for this application, and you can purchase it at your local automotive parts store.