Grille Guard & Bull Bar Installation
One good option to consider if you’re hesitant about upgrading to an aftermarket off-road bumper is to add a grille guard to your truck. These useful truck accessories go by many names here in American including bull bars, brush guards, deer pushers and cow bumpers, however in Canada they are called moose bumpers, and in Australia, they are called Kangaroo bars.
So what exactly is a grill guard? A grill guard is a protective steel framework that extends out in front of your vehicle. Grille guards are available in either a one-piece all welded design or a three-piece bolt together design. As you can imagine the one-piece welded designs are much stronger structurally than the three-piece bolt together designs. Even though the three-piece designs are less expensive, we recommend the one-piece welded design if used for rural drivers and offroading and the three-piece designs for aesthetics or city drivers only.
An inferior or badly engineered grille guard won’t have the capability to protect your truck when you hit a deer or other animal. These low-quality guards do almost nothing in the event of a crash and may bend when they’re used to push objects. In fact, some bull bars on the market are really just for style and will not stand up to the elements without rusting or pitting. In contrast, some critics of bull bars say that grille guards work exceedingly well.
Some of our customers question if adding a grille guard to their truck makes it more dangerous for pedestrians or even passengers in other vehicles if involved in an accident. Unfortunately, studies have shown that using a bull bar increases the risk of death or serious injury to pedestrians because bull bars are rigid and when in an accident the bull bar will transmit all the force to the pedestrian, unlike a stock bumper, which will absorb some force and crumple. We recommend using less rigid bull bars if you live in the city and more rugged grill guards if you live in the country where pedestrian’s collisions are less of a concern.
Bull bars usually come in three models, black powder coated, chrome plated steel, or stainless steel. Stainless steel is probably the most resilient material used for grille guard’s, especially stainless steel that has been highly polished to a chrome finish. The powder coated and chrome plated steel versions are more susceptible to flaking and chipping, therefore, allowing rust and corrosion. While the name grille guard suggests that these accessories will protect your vehicle’s grille from damage and they will, there are some other benefits too. Unfortunately, with so many assorted brands and models of grille guards on the market from the extravagant pure accessory type bars, to the mostly practical it may be hard to narrow down your options. So what exactly should you look for and which brand and style are right for you?
Grille guards are some of the most practical and trendiest truck accessory upgrades you can choose, particularly if you enjoy off-roading. Your truck will almost always take a beating when off-roading and a grill guard, specifically with added skid plate, will give your rig an extra layer of protection when it’s needed most.
Selecting the right bull bars or brush guard can be difficult, but ultimately it boils down to your personal style, your geographic location, and the types of recreational thing you do in your truck. One final thing to consider when you’re ready to pull the trigger on your new grille guard is that shipping costs can be high since some bars will need to be shipped by LTL freight. If you have more questions about bull bars or want our insight, please stop by or give us a call.
Some brands we recommend are the Ranch Hand Legend Series grille guard, the Westin Ultimate LED Contour bull bar, the Go Rhino RC2 bull bar, the Lund Revolution bull bar with integrated light bar, and the Rough County Bull bar with led light bar.