While the humble ute may be one of the most popular vehicles in Australia these days, you may have bought your particular ute model for practical purposes rather than for show. You earn your living with this vehicle and have to make sure that it is configured correctly to take into account your specific needs, the type of terrain that you drive over on a regular basis and many other factors. Therefore, it's important for you to choose accessories that are always going to work no matter what and to choose the type of tray that you fit to the vehicle very carefully. In your case, should you choose regular steel or alloy instead?

How to Choose

You'll probably find people who are vociferous in their support for either side of this equation. They may tell you that steel is far stronger than alloy and that it will therefore last a lot longer, but you need to take that argument with a pinch of salt.

Weight Saving

In the vast majority of cases, an alloy tray will be just as sturdy as a steel version, but crucially, it will be much lighter. If you spend much of your time driving over rough terrain, you will certainly feel the extra weight that a steel tray brings, and you may have to fit additional underbody protection as a consequence.


However, with an alloy tray, you can pack some additional cargo to make up for the weight deficit, and this could be crucial in helping you to be more efficient at what you do. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to make additional trips to get the same amount of work done on a particular day if you opt for steel.

On the Road

Don't underestimate the driving experience either. If you fit your ute with a full steel tray and then pack as much cargo as you can, the vehicle will be much more difficult to drive as a consequence.


As you know, the sun does not always shine in Australia and you have to be wary of corrosion, given a long-term view. The typical steel tray is not stainless and you may have to deal with oxidisation, but this is not a worry if you simply choose alloy at the beginning.

Simple Choice

When balancing the two, you will see that the main argument for steel boils down to its strength. In the vast majority of cases, you won't need to test that hypothesis, so you should choose alloy all the way.