The HiLux has been enjoying many years of success in Australia, and has become one of the most popular all-round vehicles. Its sheer reliability makes it popular among tradespeople, while its ruggedness makes it popular among off-road enthusiasts. However, any off-road expert realizes that they cannot take a stock HiLux on the off-roads just like that. Some off-road accessories you just can’t go without, such as the rear step, bull bar, and recovery equipment.
Out of the three aforementioned accessories, the most important off-road accessory, according to most experts is the HiLux rear step. Especially if you’re into rock crawling or other extreme types of off-road driving. A HiLux rear step will keep your vehicle out of trouble when you go upwards at corners and provide more clearance at more extreme angles. Moreover, a rear step will ensure your vehicle’s rear end doesn’t drag, scrape or get damaged.
Stock rear bumpers are typically block-shaped and quite massive, while aftermarket ones aren’t. However, aftermarket rear steps are made of heavy-gauge steel, which gives them rigidity and strength. Additionally, they’re finished with a robust coating like powder coat or polished stainless steel which makes them corrosion resistant and extremely durable.
Whether you scrape them against a rock, or bash them into a tree, a rear step will continue to look and function as if nothing happened. And more importantly, there isn’t any plastic involved that can break like an eggshell which can damage the lights or other components. However, this isn’t the standard, but if you’re buying quality, this will likely be the case.
Furthermore, there are rear steps that come with built-in “arms” that are especially designed to support the weight of a spare tyre or two, and other equipment like jacks and liquid containers. If your HiLux already has a tyre carrier that is externally mounted, chances are it’s mounted on the tailgate. So a rear bumper with built-in arms can swing outward away from the HiLux and provide clearance for opening the tailgate.
And lastly, these rear steps make it so the weight from the wheels is transferred to the bumpers, and all the stress from the tailgate is removed. This can also add to the pulling power of your HiLux, as most rear steps have an integrated tow hitch. These hitches are welded for maximum strength, and when you pull another vehicle, the stress is evened out across the entire rear step instead of a single point. The fact that the hitch is integrated into the rear step also means that it can absorb some of the crash energy and prevent more damage to the vehicle itself.