7 Reasons Why Your Off-Roader Needs a Bull Bar

7 Reasons Why Your Off-Roader Needs a Bull Bar

Many people are mistaken in believing that bull bars on the front of a 4WD vehicle, like an Amarok, are there purely for aesthetic reasons. While some off-road vehicles do come with bull bars attached, there are, in fact, plenty of reasons why people choose to add bull bars to the front of their vehicles. And these reasons go way beyond enhancing the car’s appearance. If you spend a lot of time driving off-road, you’ll find that adding or upgrading the bull bars on your vehicle presents several benefits and can serve to improve your overall driving experience.

In this article, we’ll give you our expert insights on bull bars. We’ll start by explaining the actual purpose behind bull bars before unpacking how they have the potential to be beneficial to you as an off-roader. Once we’ve convinced you of the value of having a bull bar on your 4X4 vehicle, we’ll provide some useful tips on how to choose the best bull bar for your vehicle.

What Does an Amarok Bull Bar Do?

A bull bar, whether it’s on a Volkswagen Amarok or not, is also sometimes known as a nudge bar or roo bar. It is an essential robust device that is installed on the front of the vehicle to protect the engine components of the car in the unfortunate event of a collision.

Bull bars tend to be made from steel, plastic or aluminium. You’ll find that steel is the most common type of bull bar that is used on 4WDs in rural areas. This is because steel is durable and costs less to maintain when compared to aluminium. With that being said, however, aluminium is gaining popularity due to its strength and shiny appearance. While plastic bull bars are light, they will bend in a collision, but they make the most sense for those driving in urban areas, as they reduce the impact on pedestrians in the event of a collision.

So while some auto enthusiasts may argue that a bull bar is all about adding an element of style to the vehicle, the truth is that these devices are primarily intended to provide protection for the vehicle and its occupants.

The Benefits of Having a Bull Bar on Your 4WD

Now you know exactly what a bull bar is and what it’s intended for, let’s move on to the benefits you can expect to enjoy when you have a bull bar of your own.

Improved General Protection

As mentioned before, the primary reason for having a bull bar is protection. This is because driving in rural settings can be gruelling. 4WD vehicles are designed to be able to handle rough roads and hazards such as rocks, logs, potholes and sticks, but they’re not invincible. Of course, you may question the potential damage a stick could do, but the damage they cause when they get caught up or jammed into the car’s underbody can be quite severe. Having bull bars on the vehicle can protect it from these sorts of hazards by guarding the chassis, headlights and the bumper.

Protection From Animal Collisions

Wildlife sightings in the Australian outback are certainly one of the greatest pleasures of exploring this terrain in a 4X4. It’s all well and good when the animals keep their distance; however, hitting a kangaroo while out on the road is quite commonplace. This type of collision has the potential to disable your vehicle and cause some major damage, and even leave you stranded. A bull bar protects the car in such a way that if you do hit an animal, even a large one like a kangaroo or emu, you’ve got a good chance of driving on without too much drama. Ideally, you want to avoid collisions altogether, so minimise the risk of hitting Skippy and his friends by avoiding being on the road at dawn or dusk. With that said, accidents do happen, and when they do, a bull bar can make a huge difference.

Mounting Point for Winches

While there are alternate ways to mount winches to a vehicle without bull bars, having a bull bar right there certainly makes life easier. Even if you don’t plan on buying a winch, it is worthwhile investing in a winch-capable bull bar because it will increase the resale value of the car. Plus, you never know when you might get stuck 4x4ing and need to rely on someone to get you out.

Mounting Point for Other Accessories

On a similar note, bull bars are an excellent tool when it comes to mounting rails for various useful accessories such as flags, lights and UHF antennas. A bull bar is a very effective mount, particularly when you need accessories mounted as far forward on the car as possible. Furthermore, bull bars provide a really sturdy mount which prevents the accessories from falling, even when you’re travelling at those higher speeds.

Improved Angle Approach

The nature of rugged terrain means you’ll find yourself in many situations where the potential of damage to your vehicle is high. It doesn’t matter how careful you are; the terrain you take on in the outback will likely cause scratches to your car’s paint or damage to the bumper. However, when you have a bull bar, you are able to shield the bumper and protect the vehicle’s paintwork by having a better approach angle. Bull bars make it possible for you to drive without touching the terrain so much; this means, if anything, it’ll be the bull bar that is scratched rather than the car’s exterior.

Potential Recovery Point

Although the days of vehicles having simple chassis rails extending out in front are pretty much over, recovery loads are increasing. When shopping for bull bars, you’ll see that some have recovery points built-in, while there are other models that expose the chassis and make it possible to add recovery points. Without a bull bar, you may struggle to find recovery points. And this can be a real oversight if you’re tackling unfamiliar terrain or more difficult routes.

Improved Aesthetics

While bull bars are usually installed onto 4WD vehicles to improve functionality, they can also be added to improve the appeal of the car in terms of appearance. As a feature, bull bars will certainly increase the resale value of a car. You’ll often see 4×4 vehicles in urban areas, where the risk of damage and collision are relatively minor. In these sorts of situations, a plastic bull bar can be used to enhance the appearance of the vehicle and give it a ‘beastly’ or more masculine look.

How to Choose the Right Bull Bar for Your Vehicle

Having established that there are plenty of benefits to having a bull bar on your vehicle, now you face the difficult task of choosing the best bull bar for your vehicle.

While we stock a massive range of top-quality bull bars at PX Wholesales, as with anything, not all bull bars are made equal. So here are some factors to consider when choosing a bull bar for your 4WD, whether it’s an Amarok or Navara.

Safety First

We all know that a bull bar’s primary function is protection, and safety is a non-negotiable. It is natural to find yourself thinking ‘Are bull bars safe to use?’, and you can rest assured that the answer to that question is affirmative. All Rhino bull bars are crash tested, so you can guarantee your car and its contents are in good hands.

Think Quality

Naturally, when choosing a bull bar, you’ll want to find yourself something that has been properly designed, engineered and manufactured to the highest standards so it can withstand the hard realities of the Aussie outback. Our range of Rhino bull bars are all ADR-approved, which is certainly a sign that you’ll be getting yourself a top-quality product. Plus, our Rhino Amarok bull bars are made using strong welds and high-quality steel components to offer heavy-duty underbody protection.

Vehicle Compatibility

Of course, you also need to make sure that the bull bar you choose is compatible with your vehicle and its safety system. An Amarok-specific bull bar may not fit a Pajero. However, there are many bull bar models that are compatible with a range of vehicle makes and models. You want to choose something that has been designed specifically to take into account your car’s airbags, parking sensors and other front-end systems.

Flexible Design

Next up, you’ll need to think about the way in which you use your vehicle. For instance, if you often drive at night or in low visibility, you’ll want a bull bar that accommodates your fog lights.

Additionally, you need to think about what you need from a bull bar. Bull bars don’t just provide protection. They can provide recovery points and be a key component of a winching system, for example.

Do More With a Bull Bar

In short, there are several ways your 4WD vehicle can benefit from the addition of a bull bar. Bullbars improve the functionality of your vehicle, making them more suitable for their real purpose — explore without any fear of your vehicle’s durability being compromised. If you have a 4×4 or are in the market for one, then it is wise to consider the ways in which a bull bar will enhance your driving experience and overall safety.

There are lots of different types of bull bars available on the market, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase. To ensure you are getting a product, it is best to investigate options available from a reputable brand.