Off-road bumpers are a great accessory to help protect your vehicle in the event of an off-roading accident. If you do not want to spend money on a winch, then a bumper is the next best thing. It collects all your recovery equipment and protects your front end from damage.
Aftermarket bumpers for Jeeps and trucks are one of the best investments that you can make. They have a myriad of benefits, and if you’re not convinced yet, here’s five reasons why they’re worth it:
1. Increased safety
Because most of the components on your Jeep (and many trucks) are plastic, they won’t stand up well to rocks and branches – especially when off-roading. Plastic is good at absorbing energy but doesn’t do so well when it comes to spreading out impacts over a large area. There have been many stories in forums about people who’ve had their fenders, hoods or other parts caved in by boulders while off-roading.
This was once very common among Wranglers because of the factory flares, but aftermarket fiberglass metal bumpers are almost universal. They spread out the impact over a larger area, preventing damage to the more expensive parts of your Jeep or truck.
2. Protection from other vehicles
Because most stock bumpers aren’t very effective at spreading impacts, they do a poor job of protecting you from other vehicles if you’re bumped by them.
The end result is that your vehicle gets knocked around like a ping-pong ball and can potentially cause substantial damage to all sorts of things – including yourself. If you have metal bumpers installed on your Jeep, this isn’t likely to happen because they absorb the impact rather than allowing it to move through into your chassis or cabin.
It’s probably not something that will often happen with your stock bumpers, but it’s not a big risk to eliminate.
3. Modifications won’t change the appearance of your Jeep or Truck
If you have aftermarket bumpers installed on your Jeep, other mods are unlikely to ruin their appearance. This is especially true if you choose to install metal ones because they’ll always look distinctive compared to fiberglass and plastic ones.
The benefits this offers go both ways, though – just as your mods won’t affect the look of your bumper, neither will damage nor other modifications that you make to it affect the look of the rest of your Jeep (unless you really want them too).
4. Cost Over time
Aftermarket bumpers can actually end up being less expensive than their factory counterparts – even when doing the bare minimum necessary to protect your Jeep. This is especially true if you purchase replacement parts for your factory bumpers – sometimes they’re almost as expensive as aftermarket replacements.
The reason for this, though, is because most of the benefits from aftermarket bumpers are derived during installation – and it’s a pretty time-consuming exercise with all the drilling and cutting involved.
5. They Look Awesome
The best part about aftermarket bumpers is that they just look cool – there’s no denying that fact. There are many great-looking options out there designed by talented artists, but even if you choose one without artistic merit, it’ll still look interesting, at least (until it gets damaged or covered in mud!). I guess when you boil it all down, the main reason aftermarket bumpers are worth it is that they look so good.
Bumpers are generally designed with a star rating in mind, and you should try to choose one that has a high number of stars against impacts in several directions. Bumpers can also have different ratings depending on what they protect, such as only the winch or both the vehicle and winch.
This is important because if your bumper cannot handle your abuse, then it will end up costing more than a higher-rated model in repairs due to damage occurring more regularly over time. It’s also worth looking at how easy it is to access an impact site considering that many manufacturers require you to drill out broken bolts before being able to mount new ones. If this sounds too much like hard work, then it may be worth choosing a bumper with bolts that you can access from the inside.
Most importantly, just remember that this is your vehicle, not the internets. So feel free to modify as you desire and even try alternative methods if you feel they will save you money or give better results than mainstream products. As always, enjoy your new adventures in 4WD driving and be safe out there!