Review & Install Video
Hey, guys, I'm Justin with AmericanMuscle.com, here with my quick review of the Putco SSR Locker Side Rails available for your 2015 and up F-150. This video is going to cover a few basic topics about the Putco side rails, basically what they're made of, what they're going to do in terms of functionality, how they're going to impact your budget, and finally, what it takes to get them installed. Now speaking of the install, they can be a little tricky depending on your bed size so we're going to give this one two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter with a little bit more detail coming up later on.
So why do you want to go with a set of bed rails for your new F-150? Well, from a functionality standpoint, they're going to be two main reasons. First and foremost, it's going to give you a ton of tie down options using basically the length of the rail, the length of your bed, giving you more options that you would have if the bars or rails were not there. Going a little further with the functionality of the Putco bed rails here, you're also going to be gaining some protection for the side of your truck's bed more specifically, the paint no matter what you use your truck for, whether it be work, pleasure, or maybe a combination of both.
Finally, guys, adding a set of bed rails is just going to add to your overall appearance a little bit and give your truck a slightly sportier look. Typically, when shopping for bed rails in the aftermarket, you're going to find a ton of different options out there not just from Putco but from other brands as well. And typically you're going to find two main styles of bed rails. There's going to be the drilling type, and then there's going to be a type called a stake pocket rail. The SSR Putco rails I have here are going to be the stake pocket variety and this is very important to point out because there is no drilling into the actual metal of your new F-150. There is a little bit drilling involved but it's simply just the plastic and that's only if you have a five and a half-foot bed.
Now, Putco does offer their fair share of aftermarket side rails as well with one real difference being the end cap. Now for the most part, they're all going to be the same in the middle portion here but the end cap is where they're going to differ. You're going to find their boss style side rail, their locker style side rail, even a pop-up variety and many more, all of which you can grab right here at AM. They do offer a stainless steel end cap or for a few bucks less, you can always grab these end caps in a nylon variety.
The SSR rails I have with me here in this video are essentially Putco's entry level side rail and they're not really going to offer a ton of bells and whistles when it comes down to tie down or extra capacity or really anything like that. Now if you are looking for a little bit more functionality then you might want to check out the Boss style side rail or maybe even the pop-up rail I mentioned a little earlier also from Putco.
As far as build quality, well, guys, you're going to be looking at a very solid construction overall. Putco does utilize their 304-grade neverust stainless steel here for the basic materials, which is one of the top materials in the category and backs it with their limited lifetime warranty. The diameter, you're looking at one and three quarters inches which is a very common size in the aftermarket or in this category. But if you are looking for something a little beefier, Putco does offer some slightly bigger options. The rails are then finished off with Putco's trademark chrome plating process, which honestly, is one of the areas they really excel. The truth is, guys, Putco has been doing chrome truck accessories for a very long time, probably longer than anybody else and it really does show in the final product as it really is impressive.
I do also want to point out that Putco specifically makes these bars to fit either fit the five and a half-foot, the six and a half-foot, and the eight-foot bed F-150s, so just make sure you're ordering the right bar for your truck. As I have been saying on video, guys here, the SSR rails from Putco are designed to be their entry level rail and as such they are going to be their most affordable coming in just north of 300 bucks for the full chrome and stainless option. If you wanted to save a little bit more money on top of that, again, you could go with the SSR but with the nylon ends. It will save you some extra dough.
Switching gears to talk about the install a little bit here, guys, and as I mentioned at the top of this video, it really is going to come down to your bed size. Unfortunately, five-and-a-half-foot bed F-150 owners will be in for a little bit more work compared to the six and a half foot or eight-foot bed options. Five-and-a-half-foot F-150 owners will need to modify the existing plastic in their bed in order to expose those stake pocket holes we talked about a little bit earlier. This can be done using a drill, router, dremel, whatever you have on hand and it is a very small amount of cutting so don't freak out here, guys. Luckily, Putco does include some very detailed instructions, they tell you exactly where you need to cut. I suggest marking that off with a little bit of tape before you get started.
I do also want to emphasize there is absolutely no drilling into the actual aluminum of your truck. However, if you have a six and a half or eight-foot bed F-150, this is not an issue at all because these holes are covered with a plastic cap making them much easier to remove. So once all your holes are exposed or the caps are removed, get to work assembling your Putco side rails. Once the Putco rails are fully assembled, set them on your truck's bed rails and get to work tightening down the five-sixteenth inch hex bolt until you reach 11-foot pounds both front and rear.
So to recap, guys, all owners are going to need a quarter inch hex tool, a pocket cap removal tool, if you don't have one of these, a flathead screwdriver will do the trick just fine and Putco does also recommend using a torque wrench for this install. If you do have a five and a half-foot bed, you will need those cutting tools and drill like we talked about a little bit earlier and you're going to be looking at a two out of three wrenches on the difficulty scale here because there is a little bit more work involved for you short bed owners. Everybody else, the six and a half-foot and the eight-foot beds, you're getting one out three wrenches on my difficulty meter because there's no cutting, there's no drilling needed. It's a full bolt on install. Either way, both options should take you a couple of hours from start to finish to get in place.
So if you like the idea and look of a set of side rails but you don't need the crazy tie downs or weight capacity of some of the more expensive options, the Putco SSR rails are going to offer a great build for a great prize and you can find yours right here at AmericanMuscle.com.