Although you’ll never plan on hitting poor skippy as you travel along seemingly deserted country roads, preparing for the event could be the difference between being stranded in the outback or making it to your next destination. Don’t risk your safety and equip your 4x4 with a bull bar.
Across Australia, there are an estimated 30,000 animal strikes to vehicles every year. Most animal strikes occur in rural areas far from civilisation, which is where the bull bar comes in handy. The primary objective of a bull bar is to prevent damage to the front of your car, where the radiator, engine and important electrical systems are located. In the case of a collision with a large animal, they are designed to absorb the impact and allow you to make it to safety where you can make repairs. Many collisions with animals without a bull bar result in catastrophic damage to the radiator and engine, stranding the travellers far from help.
Bull bars are also needed for when going truly off the beaten track, where vegetation may have got the better of the trail you’re on. Here, a bull bar is necessary to help clear the path in front of you.
Along with protecting the front end of your vehicle, bull bars provide space for accessories to be mounted, such as; driving lights, UHF radio antennas, winches and other recovery equipment – all for sale from some of Australia’s leading brands, including: MCC, Ironman 4x4 and TJM.
However, adding a bull bar may reduce the clearance at the front of the vehicle, so raising your suspension with a lift kit may be necessary.
Bull bars undergo thorough evaluation before they can be mounted to any vehicle. They must comply with the relevant Australian Standard when they are manufactured, while also adhering to the state’s transport regulations. In general, when purchasing a bull bar, check the compliance plate and Australian Standards sticker with the seller. Most compliant bull bars follow the shape of the vehicle when fitted and do not contain any protrusions or sharp edges.
If your bull bar does not comply, you are putting yourself, your passengers and any pedestrians you hit at risk. Non-compliant bull bars may not trigger the vehicle’s airbags and reduce the crumple zone in the case of a collision. Headlights could also be obscured and your vision obstructed with a large, non-compliant bull bar.
Not sure if your next bull bar complies? Contact the manufacturer, retailer or your state government’s transport department for more information.