It is important for your truck or jeep to have a bumper that looks good when you are in town. However, if you like off-roading you need to balance the look of your ride with the dependability and durability as well. When considering which custom truck or jeep bumpers to add to your vehicle there are a lot of things to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that go into a decision about your bumper.
The first thing to consider are the materials. There are essentially 3 types of bumpers available: Steel, aluminum, and factory. Since steel bumpers are the gold standard, we will use them in a series of comparisons to give you a better idea of what you can expect from the various bumpers.
- Steel vs Factory – Factory Bumpers usually consist of a bare minimum of steel and aluminum which serves as a bracing under a bumper cover. This cover is usually made of ABS plastic. This flimsy construction does not inspire confidence when you are taking your truck or jeep into the wilds of off-roading adventure. Additionally, a factory bumper is extremely incompatible with the various accessories that associated with off-roading. Adding winches or lights is nearly impossible with most of these bumper models.
- Steel vs Aluminum – Unlike their factory cousins, aluminum bumpers can survive off-road driving. This is fine if you want to go mudding. Aluminum is rust proof, and it makes for a much lighter load and a less sluggish ride. But what if you want to do some climbing on rocky terrain? Anyone who has taken their 4X4 into these situations knows you are going to have impacts along the way. With an aluminum bumper you can cause strains in rivets and welds, which often lead to weakening the aluminum. With steel, these impact dents will never impair the strengths of the truck bumper. Overall steel is the better choice, especially if you upgrade your springs or shocks to handle the additional weight.
That takes care of the comparisons let’s look at the pros and cons of each bumper in turn.
Factory Bumper Pros
- Does not rust or degrade by being exposed to the elements.
- They are light weight, giving you better ride quality.
- Factory bumpers are easy to install and replace. You can do this yourself as often as needed.
Factory Bumper Cons
- These bumpers are constructed with mostly plastic. This makes them less durable when off-roading.
- Installing accessories is next to impossible.
Aluminum Bumper Pros
- Mud and water will not corrode these bumpers.
- Their light weight offers better ride quality
- They can accommodate accessories.
Aluminum Bumper Cons
- Impacts do damage these bumpers!
Steel Bumper Pros
- Accessories - Not only do they accommodate accessories they are often equipped with pre-drilled holes for light, winches, tow hooks, and more.
- Variety - There are tons of options to choose from, some of which have the accessories built-in! Not only is this useful, but it just plain looks awesome!
- Durability - These bumpers can take beating and still look great, all the while protecting your truck or jeep.
- Longevity – Most of these bumpers can last a lifetime without needing to be replaced.
- Compatibility – These bumpers have many varieties which make them compatable with many Jeep and 4X4 truck models.
Steel Bumper Cons
- Heavy – These bumper are heavier which makes them harder to install, and they will impact your ride quality a bit.
- Exposure – Without proper precautions they are vulnerable to water and mud. So to avoid rust and corrosion they have to be protected.
- Repairs – If you do manage to dent one of these bad boys, it can be a pain to get this more sturdy material repaired.
Since it is obvious that steel is the better choice for custom jeep and truck bumpers, let’s examine them more closely. With today’s technology these bumpers are no longer the thick monsters of yesteryear. The gauge of the steel has decreased, but the strength just keeps getting better. There are many coatings available to protect this custom accessories. They can be e-coated then painted or powder coated, zinc is even used at times. These coatings prevent corrosion, scratches and minor dings as well as extending the life of the bumper.
You can get these vehicle protecting necessities with some fantastic options including: light bars, pre-drilled holes for accessories, built-in winches, stubby bumpers for Jeeps, pre-attached stingers, a built-in bull bars, built-in steel grille guard, and much more.
At Tuff Truck Parts, not only can we help you find the perfect bumper, we can get you outfitted in hundreds of bolt on accessories. We can even go under the hood to improve the performance of your precious ride. Contact us today and we will make sure you look good when you're on the road, and that you dominate when your off-the-road!