How to Successfully Secure Your UTE Lift-Off Canopy?

Over 1,2 million UTEs were sold in 2023 in Australia. This is the highest ever number of vehicles in history, which clearly shows how much Australians love driving UTEs. Around 10-20% of these new UTE owners will add a toolbox canopy to their vehicles, and many of them opt for a lift-off canopy.

A lift-off canopy is the most flexible option among the many different toolbox options available for a UTE. This is the main reason why so many people choose it. The ability to have it on your UTE but take it out and use it independently is a huge advantage.

You have two options when ordering one for your needs – you can either install it yourself or ask the pros in our shops to do it for you. An aluminium UTE canopy is not easy to mount over the rear bed, but the lift-off canopy is even more complex.

You must mount it perfectly and without any chance of failure. Since it is often detached from the vehicle, it has a different way of installing it. It requires knowledge and skills. In this blog post, we explain how to secure the lift-off canopy successfully. Keep reading and learn more.

Prepare the Canopy and the UTE Bed

Before starting anything, you must prepare the area for the job. Place the canopy near the working area and see what you’re dealing with. Measure the size and make final preparations before loading on top of the bed.

Clean the bed from any items, dirt, dust, or things that mustn’t be there. Loading and mounting the canopy means you have everything cleaned in the area, and it is ready and free of debris. Check the parts that you’re about to install.

The seals or the gaskets are especially prone to damage, so you must ensure they are perfect before installing them. If there are flaws, replace them before use. If you mount them damaged, they will not protect the canopy against harsh weather conditions.

Load and Position the Canopy

This step is a two-person job. Unless too small to lift alone, canopies are robust and heavy, so you will need some help to load them. Although you can technically do it alone, it’s safer when there’s help around. Find someone to help and place it over the bed.

Position it precisely and drill the holes where it is supposed to stay. Think of the lift-off canopy as any other type when securing it. The difference is between the different ways of use, but the installation process is pretty similar.

After you have it positioned and drilled the holes, double-check if it fits perfectly. A mistake in this phase will mean you must start everything over, drilling new holes and potentially even giving up on your plans.

Secure the Canopy

The lift-off canopy, or the jack-off camper as it is also known, is a robust piece of equipment that needs to be 100% secured. While driving through the harsh Australian off-road tracks, the canopy must stay in its place without a chance to malfunction. One slight mistake in the installation process is potentially a life-threatening situation on the road.

Read the manual and fasten the bolts or the clamps flawlessly. Some canopies use bolts, and others use clamps, but in both cases, you must secure them perfectly and without a chance for them to lose. Tighten them optimally. Don’t over-tighten because you may damage the vehicle or the canopy.

Install Additional Equipment

After successfully securing the canopy, it’s time to add everything else that goes with it. Think about electrical wiring, locking mechanisms, safety cables and straps, etc. Everything you might need for a successful trip should be installed right after installing the toolbox, so don’t postpone this task and do it right away.

Security is essential. Don’t miss the opportunity to add a padlock or other type of security. You never know who lurks and tries to break inside when you have your vehicle parked in the open.

Test the Setup

Once you’re done with all the tasks and the vehicle looks ready to roll, it’s time to give it a test ride. Start by driving slowly around the neighbourhood. Listen to unusual sounds and see how the UTE behaves on the road. Keep the speed down and look for issues.

If everything feels smooth, speed up on the open road and see if the speed does something. Still, keep things under control in these first few tests. You don’t want to experience a problem and lose control.

Do several tests and make corrections if you find out if there’s a problem. If everything looks normal and your driving is easy, you’re ready to hit the road and go camping or take the lift-off canopy to the construction site, where you will find the most use of it.;

Author: Dean Peechiari Date Posted: 18 June 2024