If you've just bought a sturdy truck or sport ute with the aim of touring the great Australian outback, you have to make sure that it is properly equipped for the grand journey ahead. In particular, you need to protect your investment from a wide variety of different critters that could bounce, run or even fly directly into the path of your oncoming vehicle. What should your very first purchase be when it comes to aftermarket add-ons?
Defining Your Purpose
Firstly, you need to consider the practicality of any component that you add onto the front of the vehicle. If you are planning a lot of off-road driving in different weather conditions, then you should consider a dual-purpose unit that can also function as a winch. Therefore, make sure that you choose carefully as not all protection devices are so equipped.
Choosing the Material
Essentially, you need to figure out what kind of bull bar you're going to fit to the front of the vehicle. You can probably eliminate options that are made from strengthened plastic, as these are essentially made for the urban environment and far less harmful if you're unlucky enough to hit a pedestrian.
You will need to choose between aluminium (which is a relatively new entry to this market) and the most popular steel products. Both of these can be particularly strong and able to put up with quite a substantial strike, although steel is probably the tougher of the two. Aluminium bull bars can be lighter and this can have an effect on fuel consumption, for example, but they tend to be costlier to fit at the outset.
Selecting a Style
Once you've chosen the material, you should then choose the right style for your needs. Any products will be make and model specific, but there are several different styles for the most popular brands. Most people will choose either a single or a triple hoop bar, with the latter providing a lot more protection for the front of the vehicle and in particular, the headlights.
If you're planning to do some extensive travelling at high speeds down rural roads then you would probably be better off choosing the triple hoop design, as your risk of significant impacts is greater. However, if you're doing a lot more off-road driving at relatively slow speeds, then you could probably get away with a single option.
How to Make a Decision
Talk with your dealer and have a look at the various options that they have for your vehicle. You can narrow down your choice based on your plans ahead.