There are a lot of options in aftermarket off-road bumpers available right now, so many that choosing the right one for your truck or Jeep could get confusing. Yet all these options exist for an important reason since no two off-road vehicles are the same. To choose the right one for your vehicle, you need to understand the options and the purposes they serve.
Width and Clearance
Off-road bumpers come in three widths: full, mid, and stubby. A full-width super duty bumper is one that fits the same as the OEM bumper, wrapping entirely around the front of the vehicle. A stubby bumper spans only the width of the grille and headlights. Mid-width bumpers span between the two.
Why is bumper width important? Wider steel truck bumpers limit the size of the wheels and tires you can use on an off-road vehicle because they cause interference. If you want to use tires that are larger than the stock size or plan on adding a lifted suspension, your bumper will need to be modified as well. Many tire and wheel upgrades work well with mid-width bumpers; however, more extreme modifications work best with stubby bumpers.
Weight and Vehicle Balance
Extra weight is an important factor when modifying an off-road truck, especially when the extra weight is carried above the center of gravity. Depending on the weight of the vehicle, you may disrupt its natural balance and center of gravity by adding steel truck bumpers that are too heavy. At the very least, this could make it harder for you to negotiate certain obstacles. At the worst, an unbalanced truck or Jeep could unexpectedly tip or roll.
Level of Protection
Another detail that will vary significantly depending on what you plan to do with your off-roader is the level and type of protection necessary. Tubular bumpers provide protection against certain types of impacts but not as much protection against undercarriage or brush damage. Full-sized steel truck bumpers that wrap more completely around the vehicle protect a larger area.
There are many add-on accessories available for certain bumper styles that allow you to customize vehicle protection based on what you do and how it is most likely to sustain damage.
Some super duty bumpers are chosen because of their special features. If you plan on mounting a winch on your truck or Jeep, you need a bumper designed to securely accept one. If you spend most of your time riding the trails at night, there are bumper options that include extra lights or allow you to mount extra lights on them.
Stinger bumpers that can prevent a dangerous rollover are recommended if you rock and hill climb. Some designs have various d-shackle attachment points. If you carry a full-sized spare tire on the back of your vehicle, make sure to choose a bumper that fits beneath it.
Because there are so many ways to set up an off-road truck or Jeep based on various activities, there are many bumper options to accommodate this. Whether you need a stubby winch bumper with a stinger bar and d-shackle mounts, or a lightweight, full-width model with brush guards and a grille cover, there is a combination out there with the options you need. Steel truck bumpers are a critical part of your vehicle’s protective armor, which is why choosing the right one is important!