Steel Vs Aluminium Ute Trays - Which one's your choice?

Author: Ez ToolBox   Date Posted:24 February 2021 


Ute trays are an important and useful component for 4x4 vehicles. Whether you’re making new additions to your existing ute or getting a new one altogether, having a ute tray is handy. What’s more, ute trays for 4x4 vehicles allows for a variety of customisations. This means you can kit your ute based on your specific requirement.


But should you go with an aluminium ute tray, or is steel version a better choice? There are pros and cons for both versions. Here’s what you need to know.


Aluminium costs more than mild steel. So aluminium ute trays are usually more expensive than the steel trays. They come at a higher price point for customised ute trays for 4x4 vehicles. There are times where steel trays may cost more due to design and shipping.

The weight

Aluminium is far lighter than steel. Usually, steel ute trays are almost as twice as aluminium trays. While this adds to the durability and hardness factors, but also has negative effects on fuel consumption and mechanical wear. 


The added weight would also mean a greater kerb weight for your ute, which translates to reduced Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) rating and payload. In other words, heavier trays mean lighter payloads. Thereby, an aluminium tray may fit your needs better if payload capacity is important. 


By default, steel is the clear winner in this department. If strength and hardness are a necessity for your work, a steel ute tray will work for you. Particularly, if your cargo involves moving with heavy appliances like jackhammer drill bits and sledgehammers. 


Although not to the level of steel, heavy-duty aluminium ute trays are capable of handling harsh conditions better.


Apart from the lighter weight, aluminium is also more corrosion resistant. Commercial aluminium comes from bauxite ore, making it non-ferrous and rust-free. Steel, on the other hand, is a combination of iron and carbon.


This means steel trays are more prone to corrosion. This becomes noticeable in the long run considering your ute and all the outdoor trips. For example, if you spend a lot of time in coastal areas, a steel ute tray would corrode significantly. This is why it’s important steel trays are sealed in some form like galvanising or powder-coating. 


Thankfully, steel ute trays are built with sturdier steel than the typical lightweight steel material. This means that even with the eventual rusting, there’s less chance of it affecting the structural integrity of the tray.

Reach out today

There are other factors that you need to consider such as steel being magnetic and susceptible to sparks, material considerations for custom trays, and design choices, to name a few.


Here at ezToolBox, we manufacture and supply all things aluminium toolboxes, canopies and trays. Our products meet tough Australian weather and road conditions. Whether you go for a steel or an aluminium ute tray, ezToolBox can help find with what you need. 


So feel free to reach out to us. Our team will be happy to answer all your queries. Call us on 1300 710 666 or feel to drop us a message.


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