One of the most reliable and trustworthy 4WD accessories is undoubtedly the bull bar. Whether you’ve installed a triple hoop or a bumper bar, no off-road vehicle is complete without this type of front-end protection. If you’re interested in purchasing a bull bar for your 4WD, don’t just jump online and buy the first one you find. While it may seem relatively straightforward, there’s a number of factors which must be considered before making any decisions.
For those that aren’t familiar with all the distinctive styles and types of bull bars, today we’ll offering a complete guide to give you a better understanding of which bull bars are suitable for your 4WD.
Bull bars are available in several types of materials and there’s generally a compromise between the level of protection you need and the weight of the bull bar. The heaviest bull bar which provides the highest level of protection is steel. Steel bull bars are the most popular and reliable bull bar simply due to its strength and durability. You may need to consider purchasing aftermarket suspension if you’re interested in a triple hoop steel bull bar though, and additional fuel costs should also be taken into account.
On the other hand, aluminium bull bars are becoming more popular nowadays due to its considerably lower weight yet comparable strength to steel. They aren’t as sturdy as steel bull bars so the type of terrain you’ll be covering will generally govern which bull bar is most suitable for your needs. Vehicles with aluminium bull bars can carry more cargo due to the decreased weight, however they are more expensive and require some maintenance due to its metallic finish.
The last option is a plastic bull bar which is typically installed for aesthetic reasons and used in urban environments to provide a degree of protection to your vehicle and pedestrians.
Bull bars are also available in a variety of styles, depending on the type of vehicle and off-road requirements. Typically, each brand will have several styles of bull bars designed for a particular vehicle. As an example, the Nissan Patrol bull bar is substantially different from another brand. The following lists the most common styles of bull bars in no particular order.
- Single Hoop – Arguably the most popular style of bull bar is the single hoop which is fixed to the bumper section and hoops over the radiator. Provides an excellent balance between weight and front-end protection.
- Triple Hoop – Covers the entire front-end of your vehicle and offers the highest level of protection. This style of bull bar is comparatively heavy, however its strongly encouraged to use in animal strike prone areas.
- Bumper Bar – The most basic form of front-end protection that protects your stock fender only.
- Nudge Bar – Not suitable to withstand any substantial collisions, the nudge bar is typically installed for aesthetic reasons only.
In terms of protection, the single hoop and triple hoop are the most popular choice of bull bar because they protect the important components of your vehicle; the radiator and cooling system. The single hoop covers the grill and protects the radiator only, therefore being suitable for light off-roading. It is also more aesthetically appealing considering that it doesn’t cover the entire front end of your vehicle like the triple hoop. Despite this, the triple hoop extends from headlight to headlight and provides maximum protection for heavy off-road adventuring.
If you’re interested in buying for a bull bar for your 4WD, TJM are one of Australia’s most trusted vehicle protection brands and have a wide-range of ADR compliant bull bars. For more information on any of their bull bars or other vehicle protection equipment, get in touch with TJM Dandenong by phoning 03 9792 1116.