Steel or Aluminum? Which is Best for Your Truck Rack?

Steel or Aluminum? Which is Best for Your Truck Rack?

Steel or Aluminum? Which is Best for Your Truck Rack?

If you’ve been shopping around for and comparing truck racks, one of the big differences you might notice between different brands is that some headache rack manufacturers use aluminum, while others use steel. And you may be wondering which metal is better. At BACKRACK™, we make our products using high-quality steel which we believe is ultimately the best.

Both steel and aluminum are man-made alloys comprised of basic elements.


It is important to note that both steel and aluminum have their pros and cons. So here are some things to consider when choosing your next truck rack.

Strength and Durability

Steel comes out the big winner when it comes to strength and durability. While new technology has made it possible to make aluminum much sturdier than it used to be, steel is still preferred for heavy duty jobs.

Since the main purpose of the truck rack is to ensure that items are securely tied down and that the truck cab is well protected, strength and durability may be the most important factor. And of course, durability also means that BACKRACK™ truck racks will be longer lasting than many of its aluminum competitors.


Likely the biggest advantage that aluminum has it that it is much lighter than steel. Potentially, this could make aluminum racks easier to move around when installing them and also give some advantage for gas mileage.

While this is a definite “point” for aluminum, we think the advantages of steel still outweigh it. (No pun intended!) 


Obviously, there are different qualities of both steel and aluminum and that is going to affect the price. As a general rule, however, steel tends to be less expensive than aluminum.


In this day in age, if you don’t like the way a particular truck rack looks on your vehicle, you shouldn’t buy it. Manufacturing standards today are such that you should be able to get a high-quality product that also looks great.

That being said, aluminum and steel truck racks may look quite different. Because steel can rust, steel racks must be coated. At BACKRACK™, we use a high-quality powder coating that prevents the rack from rusting and keeps it looking great for many years. Aluminum typically will not have a coating and therefore will be either metallic in appearance or they will be painted.


Another advantage of using steel for a truck rack is its magnetism. Tools and other items that have been magnetised may be attached directly to a steel truck rack without the need for tying them down.  This can save you a great deal of time and energy on the job site.

Ultimately, the decision whether to use a steel or aluminum truck rack on your vehicle will be up to you. At BACKRACK™, we believe in giving our customers the very best combination of functionality and appearance. For this reason, we choose highly strong and durable steel and use a powder coating to preserve its great looks. In the battle between steel and aluminum, steel comes out on top in our books!