All the Info You Need on Ford Ranger Bull Bars

When most Ford Ranger owners start contemplating modifying their pride and joy, the bull bar is the first accessory they get to start off the process. Often considered the king of 4×4 accessories, bull bars for Ford Ranger provides invaluable protection to the front end of your vehicle, while also transforming the way it looks. Whether you plan to tour Australia with a caravan or venture off the beaten path, bull bars are essential pieces of vehicle protection equipment. 
But with so many different bull bars available nowadays, pinpointing which bull bar for Ford Ranger suits you best can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. For that reason, I’ve compiled all the information to assist you through the process, so you have an easier time choosing the right product.

A Guide to Buying Bull Bars

Bull bars are large pieces of metal designed to protect the front of your Ranger from a collision that may damage the engine and other fragile parts under the bonnet. Bull bars are commonly used by off-road enthusiasts who travel long distances and through harsh terrain. They protect from impact from animals like kangaroos, as well as debris. 
But besides serving as protective accessories, bull bars also provide a range of other functions. For instance, they can be used as a mounting platform onto which you can mount other 4×4 accessories, such as winches, auxiliary lights, antennas, and so on. 

ford ranger bull bars
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Bull Bar Materials

The preferred material is the first thing you need to decide on before deciding on a bull bar. Steel and aluminium are the most commonly used materials to manufacture these accessories, for numerous reasons. Each of these materials has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. The ideal bull bar material for you will depend on your needs and application.

Steel Bull Bars

Steel bull bars have been the go-to for most 4x4s, and for a good reason. It provides the most protection, and is capable of withstanding the most abuse without damage, making them ideal for those travelling through rural highways in peak ‘roo times. Steel requires little to no maintenance, besides the occasional wash. They’re easy to repair and are generally cheaper than aluminium bull bars. 
On the downside, steel bull bars are heavy, weighing up to 30% more than aluminium bull bars. Typically, a steel bull bar will weigh anywhere between 50kg to 100kg, depending on the style.

Aluminium Bull Bars

Aluminium bull bars are quickly becoming as strong as steel bull bars, while retaining a lighter weight. Where a steel bull bar would weigh 100kg, an aluminium bull bar can weigh 60kg, using the same design. This can be a huge difference, especially if you want to mount a range of other accessories to your Ford Ranger. 
However, aluminium bull bars can cost significantly more than their steel counterparts. The price will depend on whether the aluminium bull bar has been polished or not, to improve its looks. Aluminium bull bars require more effort to maintain, and they may start appearing dull after prolonged exposure to the elements.

aluminium bull bars
source: ranger5g.com

Bull Bar Styles

Once you’ve decided on the material, you need to make the decision on what style of bull bar is best for your Ranger. Keep in mind that the styles vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, as well as the model and make of your vehicle. For instance, an H-bar for a Ranger from OCAM is different from one by TJM. Moreover, some styles aren’t available from certain brands or for particular vehicle models and makes. Generally, bull bars are divided into a few different styles, including:

  • Bumper Bars (H-bars) – Even though these provide more protection over factory fenders, they’re the most basic form of front-end vehicle protection.
  • Single-Hoop Bars – As their name implies, these bars feature a single hoop that goes over the radiator of the vehicle. They provide a good balance between weight and front-end vehicle protection.
  • Triple-Hoop Bars – These bars provide the utmost protection, but also weigh the most. If you traverse animal strike-prone areas, choose a triple-hoop bull bar.
  • Nudge Bars – These are designed for light impact and are generally installed for aesthetic purposes
bull bars styles
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Other Important Factors

There are a few other important factors to consider when choosing a bull bar. For instance, is the bull bar winch compatible? Winch compatibility makes it easier and safer to attach a recovery winch. Being winch compatible means the bull bar has rated tow points. Furthermore, does the bull bar have high-lift jack points? Having these points means you’ll be able to use a high-lift jack safely. Last but not least, is the bull bar ADR compliant? ADR compliance relates to the Australian vehicle safety standards. All bull bars must be ADR compliant in order to be road-legal, so this is not something you should skimp on. Every bull bar from a reputable Australian manufacturer will have this compliance by default.