Transform your vehicle into a powerhouse of utility and adventure with a Australian ute tray—a must for tradies and outdoor adventurers alike, they provide a durable and versatile platform for tools, equipment and camping gear. To keep your ute tray reliable through it all, it’s important to understand the best maintenance practices. Additionally, we’ll discuss choosing the right ute tray and highlight the advantages of a ute vs cab chassis.

6 tips to care for your aluminium ute tray

  • Regular washing: Treat your aluminium ute tray like you would your vehicle. Use a gentle car wash with a soft towel or sponge to avoid scratching the surface.
    • Avoid pre-soak agents at self-serve car washes. These can be harsh and may damage the aluminium finish.
    • Avoid specialist aluminium cleaning or restoring products. Many are designed for boats and can leave stains on your tray.
    • Avoid mag and tyre cleaners getting overspray on your tray. Some tyre shine products can also stain the aluminium surface.
    • When detailing your car, ask your detailer to test products in an area out of site to prevent stains on your tray.
  • Removing water spots: After washing, chamois the tray to remove any water spots. This helps in preserving the finish and prevents water stains from settling.
  • Use of metal polishes: For enhancing lustre and protecting the aluminium, consider using metal polishes like Wicked Metal Polish. This fast-acting polish is suitable for aluminium and other metals like stainless steel, providing a high shine with ease of application.
  • Restoring grain and removing scratches: Soapy Steel Wool Pads are effective in restoring the grain on aluminium surfaces, especially where fine scratches are present. 
  • Protective cleaning with 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner: After drying, apply 3M Stainless Steel Cleaner on the mill finished aluminium sections of your tray and canopy. This cleaner not only removes any residual water spots but also adds a protective layer to reduce future stains and marks.
  • Specialised cleaners: Consider using products like California Customs Aluminium Deoxidizer for deep cleaning and deoxidising. It removes road film, acidic stains and even rust without damaging the surface. For optimal results, pair it with California Customs Purple Metal Polish to achieve a superior shine and long-lasting protection.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your aluminium ute tray retains its durability, aesthetic appeal and performance in all conditions. For more information on maintenance or product recommendations, consult your Norweld maintenance guide or visit norweld.com.au.

 

What to consider when choosing the right ute tray

Selecting the ideal ute tray involves considering several factors:

  • Material: Evaluate the advantages of the material the ute is made from, whether it’s steel or aluminium. Steel is robust and can handle heavy loads but is prone to rust, while aluminium is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Consider your typical load and terrain to decide which material aligns with your needs.
  • Tray size and dimension: Assess your load requirements and the dimensions of the items you frequently transport. Opt for a tray size that accommodates these needs without unnecessary bulk.
  • Tray vs tub: Tubs come standard (but are replaceable), so for those happy with the factory options, your vehicle is ready to go. Ute trays on the other hand increase the durability, functionality and style of your ute, giving you more options. In the end, it’s all about your preferences.
  • Load capacity: Choose a tray with a load capacity that exceeds your typical needs to accommodate unexpected heavier loads, ensuring safety and extending the tray’s lifespan.  
  • Durability and finish: It’s important to assess the durability of the tray’s construction. Look for features like precision CNC-cut and fully welded aluminium construction, water and dust resistant and heavy-duty stainless steel. Additionally, choose a finish that complements your vehicle’s aesthetic, whether it’s a raw aluminium or 2 pac paint.
  • Compatibility and warranty: Ensure compatibility with your vehicle and warranty coverage. Some trays are designed for specific makes and models, ensuring a seamless fit. Opt for a tray that aligns with your vehicle’s specifications for a hassle-free installation. Look for lifetime warranty on workmanship, to guarantee long-term durability and peace of mind.
  • Budget: Set a realistic budget for yourself. While it’s tempting to opt for the flashiest options, prioritise features based on your actual needs. A balance between functionality and price ensures you will be content with your purchase.

Ute Tray vs Cab Chassis

Understand the distinction between a pre-fabricated stock standard ute tray and a cab chassis configuration to match your specific usage requirements.

What to know about ute trays

Stock standard ute trays come pre-fabricated, offering immediate on the road use. The flatbed design simplifies loading and unloading, catering to diverse needs. Some stock standard ute trays have a tendency to rattle when travelling over rough terrain. Essentially you get what you pay for when it comes to ute trays. Norweld prides itself on building durable trays that are expertly engineered to withstand the harsh Australian conditions, whether on or off road and provide you with a rattle free experience.

What to know about cab chassis

Cab chassis vehicles arrive without a rear tray fitted behind the cab, providing a versatile canvas. This allows for customisation with specialised trays tailored to your specific requirements. 

Understanding these distinctions ensures your vehicle aligns seamlessly with your needs. If you want to make every journey a smooth and purposeful experience, you should figure out if you want to purchase vehicle with a standard ute tray or cab chassis.

Find the right ute tray at Norweld

Discover durability, versatility and functionality with a Norweld ute tray. Engineered with over 50 years of expertise, our heavy-duty aluminium ute trays are designed to withstand the toughest conditions, ensuring longevity and performance.

Norweld: Your perfect choice for work and adventure for these reasons:

  • Australian Made: Engineered by Australians and built by Australians, our ute trays embody quality and precision.
  • Lifetime warranty: Rest easy with our lifetime warranty on workmanship, which is a testament to the confidence we have in our products.
  • Local service, national support: With 8 branches across Australia and authorised Norweld fitters and resellers nationwide.
  • Global presence: Trusted worldwide, our ute trays have proven their mettle in diverse environments, from North and South America to Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Quality: Because we live it and we use it, quality matters. It’s the little things that the industry has come to know as “The Norweld Difference”.
  • Style: It’s got to look good, we want you to turn heads wherever you go!

If you have questions like “Which is better, a ute tray vs tub?” or “Should I get steel or aluminium trays?”, reach out to our dedicated team at Norweld. We’re here to help you discover the perfect ute tray tailored to your needs. Our experts will guide you through our selection, ensuring you find the ideal solution for your adventures or work needs. Built to last a lifetime, our range is designed to meet every demand, whether you’re a hardworking tradesman, farmer or off-road adventurer.

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