There’s just something special about kitting your 4WD out with a brand new bullbar. In fact, when you think about major accessories for your ride, a great-looking bar is the modification we all want. If you’ve been searching the internet looking for great bullbars Perth drivers know and trust, then just read on. Let’s find out all the ins and outs of finding the ultimate front-end protection for your pride and joy.
What exactly is a bullbar?
The first thing we’re going to concentrate on is what a bullbar actually is. You’d be surprised at the number of people who think they’re just for aesthetics. Although bullbars can be awesomely rugged-looking, these wonderfully engineered pieces of manufactured metal provide additional frontal protection to your vehicle. If you live, work or play in rural WA, the importance of having a great-quality, well-designed and properly constructed bullbar cannot be stressed enough.
A bullbar provides enhanced protection in the case of head-on crashes as well as in the animal strikes that our region is famous for. You don’t want to be stranded bang in the middle of nowhere with a whole lot of damage to your bodywork, engine and other components. So, especially when you’re long distance touring, you really need to protect your vehicle.
When you’re looking for a bullbar for your vehicle, you need to think about the materials you wish it to be made from. For example, if you own a Prado and are searching for a robust Prado bullbar, you’re probably not going to want a plastic one as these are just not fit for purpose in the event of a crash. Generally speaking, your choices will consist of steel, plastic or aluminium.
Traditionally steel has always been the number one bullbar material. Perhaps this is down to the fact that drivers equate the metal with strength or maybe it’s just because steel has always been used for bullbars. (Many of us are creatures of habit, after all!) The thing with steel is that it’s perfect for withstanding animal strikes and minor frontal collisions without damage. So, if you’re driving on a rural highway in peak kangaroo season, you should be okay.
Another plus point relating to steel bars is that they don’t require much maintenance apart from a wash from time to time. Also, steel is super-easy to repair and is pretty cheap into the bargain. The one issue with steel bars is that they’re heavy compared to their aluminium and plastic equivalents, so you need to take that into consideration.
As you can probably imagine, plastic is a pretty weak material in terms of bullbar construction. It’s noticeably light, however, which is something that it has going for it. Another positive is that if a plastic bar is pushed in or bent during a collision, it should be an easy problem to fix.
Although plastic bars probably don’t seem that great, one thing they’re perfect for is for use in urban environments. You don’t want to be driving around heavily populated areas with a steel or aluminium bullbar in case you have a collision and hurt someone badly. A plastic bar has far less impact on pedestrians which can only be a good thing!
Aluminium bars are a great choice in terms of strength. These are also far lighter than steel but do tend to cost a bit more. Oh, and if you’re thinking that alloy bullbars must be weaker than steel because they’re so much lighter, that’s simply not right. In fact, the majority of modern, quality bullbars are unbelievably durable and tough.
One minor aspect to be aware of is that aluminium bull bars also need a bit of cleaning and polishing to maintain a good look. However, we think it’s worth the extra work to have a great, safe, well-designed and made bullbar.
So, what material should you choose?
When it comes down to it, the material you choose for your bullbar depends on your own needs. You have to ask yourself where you will be driving and what you will be using your vehicle for. Generally speaking, steel is still the most popular choice. It’s incredibly strong, so this advantage seems to outweigh the added fuel consumption and increased weight disadvantages.
If you’re simply using your bar for travelling into known animal strike areas or for off-roading, you might want to purchase an aluminium bar instead of one that’s heavy steel. Again, as we said earlier, plastic is probably only suitable if you’re a city driver.
Considerations when Purchasing a Bullbar
There are a few things to think about when you’re buying bullbars. Perth 4WD owners are particularly fortunate to be able to come to our team here at Irvin Bullbars to have their questions answered by our bullbar experts. We’re a knowledgeable and approachable bunch who love helping our customers to stay safe. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of a few considerations to bear in mind before you make your purchase.
- Build quality and general aesthetics. You want to purchase a bullbar that looks great and that is the best quality possible.
- Handling. Ask how the weight of the bar will affect the handling of your vehicle.
- ADR compliance. Your new bullbar has to be ADR compliant by law, so don’t order a cheap foreign made one online!
- Finish. Ask about the different types of finish you can have for your bullbar so you’re happy with its overall look.
- Maintenance. Is any maintenance required? If so, what do you need to know?
- Fuel consumption. Depending on the type of vehicle and bullbar you have, you could see a slight decrease in fuel economy.
These are just some of the aspects you need to keep in mind when buying a new bullbar. You also need to ask questions about product warranty, after-purchase support and so on. At Irvin Bullbars, whether you need a BT50 bullbar or one for any other model of vehicle, we’ve got you covered!