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Behind the Brand: Get the Story on DECKED’s Rigid Tool Box Made From HDPE

Behind the Brand: Get the Story on DECKED’s Rigid Tool Box Made From HDPE

A black tool box made from HDPE

We get it—you want the perfect toolbox. One that is waterproof, durable, and built to last. One that will make your friends jealous, piss off your enemies, and will #UnSuckYourTruck. You want a lightweight, yet still rigid tool box that is secure and nearly indestructible. A DECKED Tool Box. A truck bed storage solution that is engineered, made in the U.S.A, and is a long-overdue retooling of a truck’s best friend.

If It Doesn’t Exist—Invent It

Where do most good ideas come from? They say “necessity is the mother of all invention,” and for a good reason. Think about it: what do most hardworking folks do when they need a tool, storage solution, or, [insert your noun here]? They make one. They DIY it. They jerry-rig it, (or “jury-rig” if you want to get all proper and stuff), but the point is, if you can’t work without it, you work with what you have. If it’s a rigid truck tool box that you need, one that can withstand the elements and also won’t warp, bend, or flex when fully-loaded, then you’ll be happy that one day two dudes went out to lunch and formed a company on a napkin…

The Lunch Counter Napkin A black truck with camping supplies in the back is parked in front of mountains. A DECKED Drawer System drawer is extended.

Out of necessity is how the DECKED company was formed. DECKED started out making DECKED Drawer Systems that revolutionized the way we work with our trucks. You can think of the Drawer Systems as a rigid tool storage box that is made up of two side-by-side drawers that extend across a truck bed. Made from high-density polyethylene, it’s a workhorse that organizes all of your tools, recreational gear, guns and ammo—you name it—and virtually puts an end to the junk show in the back of your pickup.

In a YouTube video, viewed over fifteen-and-a-half thousand times, our VP of Marketing, Greg Randolph, shares a little more about the birth of DECKED and what the company stands for.

“DECKED was born in 2011 in Ketchum, Idaho,” Greg says, “on a lunch counter napkin—as a solution to a common problem: storage in the back of pickup trucks.”

It was “kind of a typical story,” he shares, “of a couple of guys inspired to solve a problem, who got together and started a company.”

DECKED wanted to “productize something that already existed—do-it-yourself plywood drawers.”

3 guys sit in a meeting. One bald, one wearing a baseball cap, the other, a beanie. A laptop sits open.

We’re sure you’ve seen them—super cool, DIY plywood truck bed drawers and hand-crafted plywood toolboxes that are obviously a labor of love. And we don’t discount them, as these are totally viable storage solutions, rigid tool box hacks, if you will, and though they are a unique solution to a sturdy and rigid portable tool box for the bed of your truck, they aren’t really built to last, no matter how hard you try. It’s not the craftsmanship, or craftswomanship—it’s the materials.

“Everyone was making something that was basically pioneered out of hardware store materials,” Greg explains, “and we just took this concept a little further and put two years of engineering and design into an actual product. Then we founded this company that at its core, was just about doing something good for the men and women out there who are gettin’ the work done.”

The Early Days 

A DECKED Tool Box is open in the back of a white truck that is parked in front of a wind turbine.

The early days of DECKED were made up of limitless ideas, but not really a clear path on where we were headed. You know, the usual stuff dreams are made of. But how to bring the ideas out of the clouds and ground them in reality can sometimes be an Act of God. Fortunately for DECKED, we were led to Detroit, to Altair Engineering, where we partnered with engineering genius, Tim Smith, who we now refer to as “Dr. DECKED.”

Tim helped us define a list of attributes we felt were important in creating ultra-durable and innovative truck bed accessories that were equipped to serve the new era of trucks. Some truck models change year-to-year, but the toolbox? Well, the toolbox designs haven’t changed much in over 50 years. Let’s face it: it’s about time there was a toolbox on the market that looks like it came from this century. An easily accessible, secure, molded—not welded, storage solution that is still a very rigid tool box for trucks and the owners who love them. 

Dr. DECKED

A large machine presses pellets into flat plastic.

 

Once the foundational elements were defined, the search was on to find the best damn manufacturers this country has to offer. Our country. You know, the good ‘ol U.S. of A. making our products here at home is important to us, because if you’re using them around your homestead, they’d better be able to withstand the rigors of hardworking American life. 

“Our search for methods, manufacturers, and materials led us to northwestern Ohio,” recalls Tim, err, Dr. DECKED. “And more specifically, a rural, agriculturally rich part of the state called Williams County. This is where stuff gets made.” 

He goes on to say, quite truthfully, that “In this unexpected corner of America, we found this concentration of incredibly capable, sophisticated, and highly-committed manufacturing partners.”

It is these men and women in the DECKED facility in Defiance, Ohio, that bring DECKED dreams to life for the masses, but it’s not just them. There are many others—right down the road…

An aerial view of the DECKED warehouse in rural Ohio.

The Midwest: Full of Bad Asses

“Right here in America,” Greg says, “we’ve been able to assemble a team of best-in-class manufacturers and suppliers that span the Midwest. We mold our high-density polyethylene plastics in this massive, state-of-the-art molding facility that covers four football fields.”

What’s even more impressive is within that facility are the largest molding presses on earth that weigh an excess of 35,000 pounds. That’s a lot of tons, working ‘round the clock to bring you a product that helps you get a ton of work done.

Greg goes on to explain that part of what makes the DECKED product lightweight, yet a rigid tool box system, is that the HDPE is “injection-molded to create the foundation components...then these parts are finished and prepared for assembly.”

A view of a warehouse filled with blue industrial racks that are holding countless cardboard boxes on wooden pallets.

The Other Players

It takes a big ‘ol team to make a DECKED Tool Box and all of their other truck accessories. Take DYCO Manufacturing Inc. for example. (And make sure you click that last link to see a sweet letter from DECKED to DYCO. DECKED gives a crap about not only their customers, but about their manufacturers too.)

“Down the road, there’s this family-run business, [who at the time of the video was] in it’s 41st year of operation and they create the crucial steel components which give our product strength and industrial durability. 

Their stamps, dies, and robotic welders pump out a mountain of steel parts with a nearly perfect level of quality and consistency.”

A worker uses the handle to open a DECKED Tool Box. 

It’s DYCO’s products that play a massive role in the rigidity of a DECKED Tool Box. Our unique combination of molded, high-impact polymer resin, with galvanized steel and aluminum reinforcements make this a rigid truck bed tool box that you’ll be stuck on for life.

And speaking of aluminum— we’ve got to shout out about Supreme Casting. Greg details the fascinating process of the metallurgy that provides the aluminum for DECKED truck accessories by saying, “At our casting facility, massive forges are heating recycled aluminum to over 1200 degrees fahrenheit, and then that molten alloy is cast into our iconic aluminum handles.” 

A DECKED Tool box sits open in the back of a white truck. There's two smaller boxes inside with blue lids, and a fold out aluminum ladder.

What Sets Us Apart

Handles that are made of aluminum, and all of the other hardware necessary for making DECKED Tool Boxes so tough they’ll make a crowbar cry, are all anti-corrosion treated. The important point is that they are made with aluminum, not out of aluminum, like many other toolboxes on the market today.  We’re not trying to horrify you here—in the middle of our light-hearted story—but, around 50% of aluminum toolboxes arrive at the customer dented and dinged. (We know—it’s cringey. We’ll pause so you can recover...)

At DECKED, we will only sell something that we want to use ourselves, (remember that napkin?) and we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay full-price for shoddy shit. We believe in one fair price, one price all year round, and that is why we don’t run any b.s. sales or quasi “20% off” claims, and then inflate the price the rest of the year. We treat our workers fairly, our manufacturers fairly, and of course you—our greatest asset—our customer, fairly too. 

“From the beginning to end,” Greg sums it up, “DECKED is manufactured. It’s assembled, and shipped, and packaged right from the heartland of America. There were times when it seemed like this wasn’t going to be possible, but like everything else, when the goin’ gets tough—you just keep on going.”

DECKED’s Specs

A screenshot of DECKED tool Boxes from their website. Underneath the toolboxes that are show are the item's measurements.

Materials

Weight

Storage and Payload

Lid: Steel reinforced, injection-molded, high-impact polymer resin

With Ladder: 114lbs

 

Storage Capacity: 

9.82 ft³

73.4 gallons

Base: Injection-molded, impact-treated, high-density polyethylene

W/O Ladder: 103lbs

Payload: 500 lb dynamic payload

Hardware: Anti-corrosion treated steel and aluminum

 

 

External Dimensions

 

Internal Dimensions

Length: 76”

Width: 22”

Height Total: 20.53”

Height Above Bedrail: 5.78”

 

Width at Seal: 17.9”

Width of Ladder Verts: 13.5”

Internal Length: 60”

Depth: 17.4”

 

A DECKED Tool Box: Not your Granddad’s Toolbox

Now that you know more about our company, let's examine what the heck we actually made. What you’ll find is that ours is a toolbox that is different from the rest. If a toolbox can be tricked-out, ours is a fully-modded rigid tool box, but make no mistake, it’s not an orange rigid tool box. You know the one, the Rigid orange tool box from Home Depot. That brand of tool box and ours are two totally different things. Like apples to oranges, one might say. (If it isn’t obvious, we’re the apple here…)

A DECKED Tool Box is in the back of a white pickup that is parked in a workshop full of tools.

DECKED Tool Boxes Are: 

  • Fully Waterproof
  • Keeps your tools bone dry—even when you’re soaked to the bone.
  • Molded, not welded. The tub and the lid are each one piece, meaning there are no seams for water to sneak in.
  • Rust and corrosion-proof with treated steel and aluminum
  • DECKED Tool Boxes seal tightly with an EPDM gasket.
  • Created with an upstanding lip that acts as a rain gutter around the entire unit, making water roll away from your tools and investments—not toward them.
  • Super Secure
  • Impossible to break into with a crowbar, and if some idiot tries, the unit won’t be damaged (but the idiot might be)
  • Tub-lid interface minimizes pry bar points
  • Reinforced with steel
  • An armored locking mechanism combined with a driver-side lock makes forced entry nearly impossible.
  • Comes with two keys. (We’ve got you!)
  • Smart design. The lid of the DECKED Tool Box must be open in order for the toolbox to be removed from the truck bed.

DECKED D-Box has a back tub and blue lid. it's a portable carrying case, akin to a fishing tackle box.

  • Organizable
  • Each tool box comes with a D-Box, which is essentially yet another rigid tool box organizer nested within. It has a 50 pound weight limit and is great for grabbing and going, and using on the jobsite for your smaller items.
  • And for the tiniest of items, the DECKED Tool Box also comes standard with what we call a Snack Tray, but it’s really up to you what you put in it. We think it’s a great place to empty your pockets at the end of the day.
  • We added two tie-downs to the base of the tub on the tailgate side so you can secure your large cargo.
  • Customizable
  • Perhaps one of the best things about a DECKED Tool Box is it’s accessibility. No more doing gymnastics to access your gear, since our toolbox has an optional, integrated access ladder that extends all the way to the ground. When you’re done, it folds into the unit without obstructing a thing. (Thanks, Dr. DECKED!)
  • Order the unit with or without the telescoping ladder, or order additional accessories to use with your DECKED Tool Box or Drawer System.
  • Easy Install
  • Goes in two minutes or less with a bracket and bolt system. You;ll need a power tool, but we’re assuming you have several of those?
  • No drilling necessary. We’d never ask you to drill into your brand spankin’ new truck bed. We’re not heathens.
  • Engineered Durability
  • Doesn’t bend or sag when loaded up
  • No gas struts that will break down. We use torsion springs that last forever.
  • 500 pound dynamic payload
  • Tested in 180 degrees and -5 degrees fahrenheit
  • Free Shipping on Tool Boxes and Drawer Systems Anywhere in the Contiguous U.S.
  • That’s it. That's the bullet point.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • We stand by you, and we stand by our products. Unless, of course, you’ve chained it to a tree as a bear box, used it as target practice, or used it to participate in some off-kilter redneck sculpture project. That's where we draw a couple lines. We have boundaries—and so should you.

A DECKED Tool Box sits open in the back of a white pickup and a person riding a motorcycle nearby is launched off a jump into the air.

 

Ready to pull the trigger on a DECKED Tool Box? We thought so. Get one that fits your rig here.

But, if our story wasn’t convincing enough, and you want to hear others’ stories on how DECKED products have literally changed their lives, join the conversation on social media, here, here, or here.