Isuzu D-Max: The Ultimate Guide to Bull Bars

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isuzu d max bull bars

Want a capable vehicle for both work and play? Get an Isuzu D-Max. The new one is a gem. Want a capable vehicle that can also stand up to collisions, animal strikes, and offer the best possible off-roading usability? Fit a bull bar to that same D-Max. One that looks good besides doing a great job at what it’s meant for – giving you the best possible protection in any situation.

If you’ve just splurged on a new D-Max, then what you’d want next is some decent Isuzu D Max bull bars to keep that investment in the best condition. You’ll find a bull bar good in everyday driving to and from work, the odd skip to the shops, or weekend adventuring on dirt trials. Well-designed (and tested) bars will fit seamlessly with the rest of the car, integrate all the new safety tech now coming standard on many utes (the D-Max has everything you need as standard equipment), and have space for a few extras that open up new possibilities.

The main purpose of a bull bar though is keeping the front and sides of the car unscathed in unexpected collisions with other drivers. And shielding the radiator and cooling system and keeping bodywork free from damage or dents when you’re down on more demanding paths far from home. Roos are more than common here, and they like greeting drivers in the middle of the road. As a bonus, you’ll also protect the underbody, steering and suspension with a bash plate that fits underneath. Besides bull bars and bash plates, there are a few other off-roading necessities to keep your ute in pristine condition even in the rough stuff.

isuzu dmax bull bar
source: 4x4venhicles.com

What Else Do I Get?

Protection is vital, but so is versatility. Bull bars are at home in demanding off-road scenarios. You’ll want Isuzu D Max bull bars with fitted winch cradles. A winch is a necessity, especially when heading out in the bush on your own. Having the possibility of fitting one with the bull bar, or as a later addition, ups usability. The same goes for rated recovery points, that are either fitted or sold separately, as well as safe mounting points for a hi-lift jack.

A bit higher up, there are points to mount useful accessories. LED light bars, fog lights and CB antennas are good for better visibility and when you’re out of network range. Designs differ, but most manufacturers now provide integrated parking and turning indicators, so other drivers know what you’re up to.

Designs

Two basic designs are single and triple hoops, though there’s no shortage of innovation with newer takes on what makes a bull bar. Single hoops are self-explanatory, having one hoop of the same thickness throughout that extends just over the radiator. These were some of the first types to be made, and for what they are, they’ll be good in minor scuffs. For cars that sit higher up, and have wider front ends, you’ll want a triple hoop. This has a (metal) hoop covering each of the headlights. The advantage is that more of the front is protected, so hitting anything at an angle won’t be an issue. In addition, to protect side bodywork and the wheels, a natural extension to triple hoops are side or brush bars. You’ll find these useful when driving through scrub or loose rocky areas.

Newer designs are innovative takes on single or triple hoops, and combine a dose of style along with protection. They’re not all about show, but are specifically designed to the dimensions of each ute or 4WD, and strengthened in parts that are likely to take the most impact.

What is more important is to get a bull bar that meets all regulations. Bars designed or built in Australia will comply with current ADR regulations. They’ll swoop around the front of the car, without protruding too far out. In addition, there need to be provisions regarding airbag sensors and safety tech to be fully functional. A fitted bull bar must not impede airbag activation in the case of a collision, and cameras in various systems need to work flawlessly.

isuzu dmax bull bars
source: pinterest.com

Materials

Triple hoops commonly come in steel. This has enough strength to protect everything behind the bar including the driver and passengers. They won’t budge in animal strikes, and get a scratch or two in something more serious. Better steel bars are powder coated to prevent rust and staining. If you want something lighter, a good choice is aluminium bars. With advancements in material tech and designs, aluminium bull bars have come close to the strength of their steel cousins. They’re easier on the suspension (which you might swap out anyway) and come at a similar price point. Lastly, there are plastic bull bars. They often have a mesh design, so are better in dust-ridden roads with a lot of road debris. This is the bull bar to get if you’re concerned about pedestrian safety, as they collapse on impact.

Buying and Installation Tips

Beware of cheap imports with prices that are too good to be true. Saving a few pennies now will cost you dearly in the long run. When buying Isuzu D-Max bull bars, look for ADR approved variants that have all the features you’ll need. Winch compatible bull bars are not much more than those that go without. Also, some come with integrated skid plates for the same price.

A good idea is to get the bull bar installed at a shop, to ensure that it is fitted as it should. Get a quote for the labour costs before any work is done. These are heavy, cumbersome items, that take some time to get right, and you’ll want a mate or two to help you out if you’re more inclined to doing the work yourself.