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September 21, 2021 3 min read

Tacoma Bed Stiffeners for Toyota Trucks, Why are Stiffeners Important?

We at Heavy Metal Off-Road have helped some of the most outfitted customers across the United States with necessary accessories for hunting, exploring, 4-wheeling, outlanding, as well as helping trucks function properly, which is why we want to discuss bed stiffeners.

Many of us want to load up our trucks with bed racks, roof top tents, gear, and accessories to take with us when we go off-roading. Having those conveniences and, often-necessary gear, adds to the loads your truck bed will experience.

What do Truck Bed Stiffeners Do?

Best Truck Bed Stiffeners for, Toyota, Jeep, Nissan,


Truck bed stiffeners work to reinforce the tailgate frame. When strengthened, they will handle more lateral and torsional forces that would otherwise damage the structure. Bed stiffeners for Toyota Tacoma also provide additional features, such as tie-down points to secure cargo, and mount locations for lights and antennas. 

Why is it important for your Toyota Tacoma to have Bed Stiffeners

The tailgate / rear bed frame is only meant to support so little. It’s made from thin and flimsy sheet metal and not fully boxed and welded - definitely a weakness on Toyota’s part. When overloaded by gear or stressed with torsion by off-roading, itwillcrack and split as you can see here:

A properly designed bed stiffener nearly eliminates this possibility.


Tacoma Bed Stiffeners, How do you install Stiffeners?

Installation is easy and quick, let us show you how:

Instructions can be found here.Installation video here.

Tacoma Bed Stiffener Installation Procedure, and How To:

  • Difficulty: Easy / Beginner
  • Tools required: 9/16” wrench and socket, drill with 3/8" drill bit, T55 Torx bit, 5/8" socket
  • Time for install: 30-60 minutes

Your kit will have the following hardware:

  • Pair of stiffeners
  • (6) 3/8” bolts
  • (12) 3/8” washers
  • (6) 3/8” nuts
  • (2) 7/16" bolts
  • (2) 7/16" washers


Best Top Quality Tacoma Bed Stiffeners, What, where, how

When you have confirmed all parts are accounted for, proceed to install.

  • Side #1 - Start by removing the (2) stock bolts in the bed, then discard the shorter of the two bolts and the stock tie-down ring.
  • Remove the taillight.
  • Place the bed stiffener in the orientation you prefer – there is no specified left or right. It is recommended that the open sides face rearwards.
  • Hand thread in the longer stock bed bolt you kept and the new longer 7/16" bolt provided in the kit, until it is less than hand tight.
  • Tilt the stiffener front to back and make sure it is plumb and parallel to the tailgate frame.
  • Holding the stiffener in place, use either a transfer punch or a 3/8" drill bit to mark the (3) vertical holes that need to be drilled.
  • Remove the stiffener and proceed to carefully drill the holes out using the same 3/8" drill bit.
  • Lightly sand / debur the drilled holes and touch up any exposed steel with some black paint.
  • Position the stiffener in place and hand thread in all the bolts in the kit.
  • FULLY TIGHTEN THE (3) 3/8" BOLTS FIRST, then fully tighten the floor bolts. This ensures that you will draw in the thinner material first and not deform it.
  • Repeat for side #2.

Conclusion: What do the Best Top Quality Tacoma Bed Stiffeners do?

Excessive weight on Bed Bars, bed racks, and other equipment pushing down on the bed sides, even bed movement from rough driving leads to the well-known Tacoma bed splitting issue, seen in many Tacomas and addressing the need for the 2017 Tacoma bed stiffener. Address this with the ULTIMATE in reinforcement, unparalleled strength, made with the industries only 1/4 inch steel brackets! No cheap stamped steel here. CAD designed, laser cut, CNC bent and welded.

Designed to replace the bed's tie down rings, these brackets provide 12 high strength tie down points. Also allows use of the DECKED™ System. Uses four existing bed bolts, requires six holes drilled to mount (All hardware included). Top holes add additional mount for an antenna, light, whip or whatever you want. With theseBest Quality Bed Stiffeners, from HMOR, never worry about splitting your bed sides again! With a 30 minute install time, you'll have more confidence in no time.