If you are serious about heading deep into the outback with your 4WD, you are going to need some additional protection for your vehicle. Not only does it look tough, barwork better safeguards your vehicle from front, side, rear and underside impacts. There are many ways to add protection to your 4x4, here is a quick rundown of what each type does:
Bull bars are the most common form of 4x4 barwork protection. They create a metal grill across the front-end of your vehicle, which has been designed to absorb the impact of animal strikes and other collisions.
Rear bars protect the backend and rear underside of your vehicle. They are designed to protect the rear when off-roading from impacts by rocks and steep slopes.
Tow bars connect to the rear frame of your vehicle to allow a trailer or caravan to be towed behind your vehicle. Towbars also feature electrical plugs and sockets to attach to the trailer’s brake and indicator systems.
Wheel arch flares deflect mud, stones and debris away from a vehicle’s body when flicked up by the tyres. They are also needed when upgrading to wider wheels and tyres to compensate for the increased size.
Winch bars are the same as a bull bar, just with an added winch incorporated into the design. However, this makes them slightly bulkier and heavier than a standard bull bar.
Side steps protect the vehicle’s skirting and lower panels from debris and impacts. They also provide better vehicle access with additional footholds along the side of the 4WD.
Nudge bars are simplified versions of a bull bar. They usually only feature a single loop over the radiator area and are mostly used for mounting driving lights and minor impact protection.
Underbody protection is used to protect vulnerable components such as the drivetrain and electrical systems from impacts underneath the vehicle.
If you are looking for other ideas to modify your 4x4, check out our Four Essential 4x4 Mods for Aussie Touring Adventures to get you started! We also feature some of the best brands in 4x4 barwork and protection, including: TJM, Ironman 4x4 and MCC 4x4.