Eyes On: Truck Vault
I’ve long been a huge fan of the Truck Vault. I had one in a work truck several years ago, and I remember those days of organized gear and peace of mind security like it was yesterday.
Unfortunately, my days of unlimited resources on the government dime are gone and Truck Vaults can be pricey. Recently, however, things have conspired to make me re-prioritize my spending. Over the last year or so I’ve been on the road quite a bit teaching, training, and writing. While I love road trips, it’s stressful to know I have thousands of dollars of weapons and gear in my truck when I stop to get something to eat or take a leak. The other thing that got me thinking about a Truck Vault upgrade was that my worrying was making me take less gear on trips than I wanted. Ultimately, this could end up costing me money since I make a good chunk of change, you know, reviewing gear and shit.
I knew what I had to do, so I made the call. Truck Vault was an amazingly easy company to deal with. After I did my homework and research on the easy-to-use website, I told them what I wanted and what I had. They discussed several options based on my lifestyle and what I wanted, and gave an honest breakdown on the positives and negatives of each choice.
I have a fairly new truck, and I still wanted to have use of at least some of the bed since I haul everything from steel and targets to lumber and concrete block. Based on my conversation with the company, I decided on the standard-sized vault with two 6 1/8″ high drawers that run the entire length of the bed. I also decided on the extreme all-weather package because I don’t want a shell or bed cover, and my little corner of the American Southwest gets hot. Arrangements were made, orders were placed and credit card numbers were given. Luckily I work at a place with a loading dock, so I had the vault delivered to my work location. If you aren’t as lucky, you can use one of several Truck Vault dealer locations throughout the US as well as select international locations.
Every vault is made to order and mine was going to take about a month. I was as impatient as Ralphie from A Christmas Story waiting for his decoder ring, and checked my email every day for a delivery notice until it finally came. Delivery was much easier than anticipated. The forklift made quick work of unloading the vault, I quickly tore the cardboard wrapping off, and we centered the main body of the vault on my truck bed.
The vault was easy for me and a buddy to man-handle into place. It’s heavy but definitely manageable. All items needed to install the vault (except for a screwdriver) were in the drawers, and installation was very easy even without following directions. If you’re a directions kind of person, they’re included and very easy to follow. But that’s just not how I roll…
While attaching the “wing” panels that fill gaps between the vault body and side of the bed I noticed the vault needed to be moved about half inch, which I was able to accomplish by myself. Once centered, I anchored the vault in place with the supplied turnbuckles and tightened all of the wings in place. Once installed, I stepped back to admire my work.
It’s a beautiful set up. The drawer openings are recessed and suck in tightly to the vault, with a heavy gasket and self-tightening T-handles to lock them down. The drawers slide easily all the way out and back in, allowing me to access the entire length for storage. I did compromise a bit on the storage because I went with the standard drawer height instead of the magnum height, but it was worth it to me in order to keep some useable bed.
The entire vault and wing panel assembly is coated with a flat black textured coating very similar to spray-on bed liner, and it fits together tightly, providing a good-looking and waterproof surface. With the tailgate locked (mine does automatically) access to the vault is difficult to impossible without making a huge commotion and attracting unwanted attention. I’m sure that a knowledgeable thief with crowbars and power tools could gain access, but that’s the same type of thief that a gun safe in the home won’t deter either. I’m not worried about anyone accessing it while I grab a burger on my way to the Surefire Institute in Vegas or taking a leak in a truck stop outside Gunsite in Arizona.
I designated the right drawer as my supply drawer and filled it with tools, medical and emergency supplies. I’ll get into the specifics in another article, especially since I’m fairly positive the load will evolve. The left drawer (drivers side) is my designated “tactical” drawer for guns, ammo and such. Currently I just have armor, cased weapons and boxes of ammo. This drawer needs some help, and I’m not sure if I’ll use cutout foam or segment it into sections with the provided dividers. Much like the other drawer, I’m sure this will evolve as I try different options. The top of the vault can support up to 2,000 pounds, so hauling steel targets on top of it hasn’t been an issue.
As I get the specifics figured out, I’ll follow up with another article. But in the meantime, I’m really enjoying the security and peace of mind that the vault is providing.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Jeremy Stafford is a truculent old school LEO and a combat veteran of the Marine Corps. He has just one beady eye (the right), a single shriveled testicle (the left) and is rumored to be the adopted son of Burt and Heather Gummer. (Grunts: truculent). Probably only part of that’s true, but really does it matter? Jeremy has been serving with the Los Angeles Police Department for nearly 20 years, both on the road and in specialty assignments. He is currently a senior instructor at the LAPD Firearms and Tactics Division, is a Krav Maga instructor and probably the guy responsible for those few times you see some Hollywood type actually handling a gun correctly. He’s written for several publications like SureFire’s Combat Tactics Magazine and is one of the main reasons we started reading Guns & Ammo again (the other is Mudge.) Stafford teaches for the SureFire Institute, mentors local youth (including kids doing the Spartan Race) and he runs many courses himself (think marathons, Tough Mudders and assorted other needless exercises in self-flagellation). Follow him on Instagram here (@jestafford).