Some canopy makers produce dual-purpose designs in different materials.


As utes have become larger and more powerful they're appealing to a wider range of 4WD customers - especially those buyers who want a working ute that can become a leisure vehicle when required.

The 4WD ute used to be a sluggish performer that was good only for carrying loads, but those days have gone. Today's ute has wagon-like performance, with a better payload than a wagon and the availability of clever bodywork that allows easy conversion from work to play.

We've chosen three different body makers to illustrate what can be achieved in aluminium, fibgreglass and steel.


Service body+camper

aussie rv Aussie RV came up with a multi-purpose, crossover service body that allowed tradies to convert their work tray-backs into camping vehicles very quickly.

The slide-on body is available in any stage of completion, from a plain, welded-aluminium shell to one fitted with roof rack, fridge slide, drawers and shelving.

If a tradie has working kit and camping kit packed into similar-sized boxes, it’s very easy to make the transition from work vehicle to fun vehicle.

It’s a similar situation with a slide-out table that can be a work surface or a camping kitchen.

The roof rack can be custom-designed to suit specific carrying needs and can also be set up to allow easy installation of any brand of roof-top tent.


AWL Canopies

awl canopyAWL Canopies is an Australian owned and operated family business, specialising in the design and manufacture of custom innovations. This Queensland-based company has distributors around the country and produces purpose-designed fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) canopies with metal fit-outs and accessories for trucks and utes.

AWL Canopies offers solutions for the work and leisure needs of government and national fleet companies, small business operators, miners, surveyors, electricians, builders, tradespersons, leisure seekers and off-road adventurers.

The product range includes exclusively-designed fibreglass moulded canopies with custom-designed fit-outs, intelligent locking systems, ladder slides, extension racks, toolboxes, shelving and specialised storage.

The AWL lineup is based on three different tray and canopy configurations:

Permanent Fit

The chosen FRP canopy is built permanently onto an AWL metal tray, or onto the customer's existing tray.

The fibreglass canopy shell is glued, bolted and screwed to the tray and cannot be removed after time of adhesion. To do so would involve breaking the fibreglass off the tray.

Base Rail

A specific AWLC aluminium extrusion is designed to suit most trays and is fitted around the base perimeter of the canopy shell. The bonded assembly is then bolted at each corner to the existing tray, allowing easy removal if required.

Sealing is achieved by adhesive foam tape and silicon to ensure waterproof integrity when despatched from AWLC.

False Floor

The Base Rail extrusion is attached to a floor, forming a permanently sealed unit to attach to an existing tray. The False Floor can be bolted in place or connected using over-centre latches.

AWL Canopies can also supply jacking legs for the False Floor model.



sammitr tradesmanPlastic canopies need considerable reinforcement to mount roof racks and most have only four load concentration points. Sammitr's all-steel canopies come with full length roof rails that are rated for 100kg loading.


Sammitr specialises in steel canopies and points out that their canopies are made and finished in the same way as the ute itself.


The Sammitr Tradesman canopy  is pressed from 0.8mm galvanised sheet steel and comes with colour-coded baked paint; twin rotary door locks; epoxy-coated roof rails; interior light; internal door release and lifting side panels.


The strength of the Tradesman canopy lends itself to mounting side-loading racks that can carry ladders, folded tents or kayaks equally easily.




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