Truck tool boxes are a way of life for many truck owners. Having secured storage for tools, straps, tow ropes and other items is often more necessity than desire. Unfortunately a tool box can take up valuable bed space. For several years manufacturers have worked to overcome this issue with specialty boxes that limit the amount of space they take up. One such example is the Specialty Series Narrow Tool Box by Dee Zee. The box is only 12 inches wide compared to the 20 inch average width of other commonly found tool boxes.
Most of the remaining features are standard. Construction is made from .056 brite-tread aluminum and can also be ordered in black powder-coat. The .056 is a little on the thin side and may not hold up well to heavy abuse. The front, bottom and back of the unit are bent from a single piece of aluminum like heavy-duty origami. Closed cell foam across the lid keeps the 5 to 5.75 cubic feet of storage space dry. The locking lid is controlled by a single gas strut to add to the longevity of the unit. But the real seller is the price tag. The MSRP is $301.95 but you can find it online for under $250 shipped.
I ordered the DZ6170NB through an online retailer and in two days it was delivered. At only 35 pounds the package was easily maneuvered. I noticed a couple marks on the shipping box but nothing of concern. Once I opened the box I realized there was no padding whatsoever and my new toolbox had suffered some small dings and scratches from the shipping process. A higher end tool box with thicker metal and without the black painted finish would probably have held up better, but a budget unit like this should really be packaged a bit better. I also noticed that one of the latch rivets was poorly done. The latch is firm and it’s really only a blemish close up.
Installation is simple. The box comes with a pair of J-hooks used to catch the lip of the bed and hold it tight. Once you have the box centered between the bed rails a pair of holes need to be drilled to insert the bolts through. Overall installation is only about a 10 minute process. The provided instructions are weak. They appear to have been photocopied several times and are very blurry. There were duplicated pages and some instructions were apparently in error. It recommends drilling 1/4″ holes to insert the blunt 3/8″ J-hooks into.
Overall this is a prime example of “you get what you pay for.” If you have a smaller budget or don’t expect heavy abuse to the tool box, this unit is probably enough for you. If money isn’t an issue or you plan to really push the durability of your tool box there are thicker units on the market that will probably hold up much better.