Common accessories found on many offroad custom bumpers are d-rings. Whether standard from the aftermarket bumper manufacturer, or installed by the vehicle owner, d-rings are a handy accessory on steel truck bumpers. Yet some truck owners may not understand exactly how this accessory is used. Equipping offroading truck bumpers with the right d-rings gives offroaders a great tool to use - if they understand the limitations of bumper mounted d-rings.
Standard Bumper Mounted D-Rings
Many offroad bumpers come with at least two d-ring mounts on the bumper that are usually made from metal straps that are either welded or bolted onto the steel. When outfit with a high quality, durable d-ring, these mounts make great winch points for pulling lighter items using ropes and recovery straps. They can also be used as non-recovery tow points, when the mounts and rings are rated for that use.
The one thing that should not be attempted with most standard mounted bumper d-rings is actual truck recovery. Due to the force that recovery can put on a recovery point, most of these standard d-ring versions are not actually suitable as recovery points. Trying to recover a bogged or stuck vehicle by tow points could be extremely dangerous or even deadly.
Steel Welded Bumper Mount D-Rings
Some steel truck bumpers have integrated d-ring holes made right into them or thick, steel mounts welded onto the strongest parts of the bumper. In these cases, some types of recovery might be possible; however, before attempting anything like that a truck owner should consider a few important details. The quality of the weld is paramount in knowing whether d-ring mounts are actually strong enough for vehicle recovery. Always refer to the bumper manufacturer to find out what the mount ratings are and whether it is safe to use them for recovery.
It is essential to know the weight of the truck as well as understand the mechanics of weight transfer and the strain on recovery straps before any type of use. This is important to know exactly how the d-ring is mounted and how the bumper is attached to the vehicle frame before deciding it is suitable for recovery. Some of these mounts may be suitable for the recovery of small, light trucks and many may not. Before making a wrong assumption, vehicle owners must determine if it is safe to use these d-rings for recovery. Of course, small and light isn't a good description of most offroadng trucks!
Best D-Ring Recovery Points
Although some heavy duty truck bumpers might be rated for lighter vehicle recovery, the basic rule of thumb with offroad trucks is that the best recovery points are those designed specifically for that purpose. Most offroad trucks have recovery points already mounted on their steel truck bumpers. Additional d-ring shackle points can also be installed on the frame in key spots, which will provide more reliable and safe recovery.
Another good place for a recovery tow point is a d-ring shackle in a trailer hitch receptacle, since trailer hitches are mounted to various points on the vehicle frame. Regardless of where the recovery point is, it must be securely attached to the frame or there is too much of a risk factor.
While most custom bumpers for off road vehicles come with mounted d-rings, they may only be suitable for lighter duty use. Before attempting to tow or use d-rings as a rescue point, owners of that prized 2017 Ford Super Duty truck with winch mount bumpers should confirm the d-ring mount and steel truck bumpers to ensure they are actually safe for more serious work. This is information that every offroading truck owner should know before hitting the trails and potentially ending up stuck, where vehicle rescue and tow points will come in pretty handy!