Showing posts with label Light Bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Light Bars. Show all posts

Friday, September 8, 2017

Making Sense of Truck Racks Part 1: Headache Racks and Cab Guards

The Truck Rack market is one that is highly saturated with manufacturers and models, enough to make anyone's head spin. What are truck racks? What makes a good truck rack, and what brands can you trust to offer consistently high quality products?
The short answer is check out our website. Auto Truck Depot has a rigorous vetting system that analyzes the products we sell to ensure that highest quality makes it into our stock room, at the most worthwhile value for your dollar. The long answer will span a multi-part blog where I will break down each type of truck rack and answer these questions in more detail.
BACKRACK Half Louvered Cab Guard 

Today's Products

In this first article, I will be discussing Headache Racks, also commonly known as Cab Guards. One great benefit of this style of rack is their cost effectiveness. As a base unit, the cost for a Headache Rack starts at the low 200's, giving you a huge upgrade in terms of cargo hauling capabilities for very little cost. Headache Racks serve three main purposes.

1) Protection

Cab Guards do exactly what their name says; they protect your cab from damage that could be caused by shifting cargo. If you suddenly slam on the brakes and a cargo item is flung towards your cab or rear window, it could shatter the window, or dent and scratch your truck. That is, unless you have a Cab Guard between the cargo and your truck. Headache Racks also allow you to secure cargo against your cab without fear of scratches or other damage, which leads us into their second purpose.
Aries Headache Rack

2) Cargo Hauling

Headache Racks are helpful when hauling cargo for a few reasons. The first is they give you a place to secure extra long cargo to. If you are hauling ladders or lumber, as an example, you can rest them against the top of the rack. This allows you to pin the bottom of the cargo against the base of your tailgate if it's long enough, or at least keep it inside the bed if it isn't, to make it more secure. It also stops the cargo from touching you cab, as mentioned above. You can then secure the items to your rack. Cab Guards also work very well in concert with Rear Racks to create a full truck rack.

3) Anchor Points

Finally, Headache Racks offer a tonne of anchor points for securing cargo. The various styles feature a wide range of mesh and bars that can be used to hook ratchet straps and bungee cords to. Whether you're hauling long cargo on your rack, furniture right behind your cab, or even just average gear that you want secured to the front of the bed, it can be done using a Cab Guard. 
Cab Guard/Headache Rack

The Brands

Headache Racks can go by several names. Some companies call them Cab Guards, some call them Truck Racks and other still prefer to use Headache Rack. What always stays the same is their versatility and functionality.
A Canadian company, BACKRACK is one of the best Headache Rack manufacturers for those looking to customize and deck out their cab guard, especially vehicles used for work on construction sites, for landscaping, and other jobs. BACKRACK offers an extremely wide range of add ons and accessories for their racks. These include light brackets like the Light Bar BracketLandscaping Tool Holders, and even Antenna Brackets for two way radio antennas. 
The Truck Racks themselves are available in a wide range of options that vary in style and cab coverage. This allows you to get a style of cab guard that not only looks the way you want, but performs the way you want. Some, like the Half-Louvered Rack, are designed to help keep some of the sun's harmful and hot UV rays out of your vehicle while leaving a space clear in the center of your truck for unobstructed vision through your rear view mirror. Others, like the Safety Rack, are all about cab protection, offering a full mesh protector that provides tonnes of anchor points and ensures nothing will get through to damage your cab. If you're looking to go all out, the Three Light Rack has a classic construction style with brake, reverse, and turn signal lights built into the rack, you just have to buy the bulbs separately.
BACKRACK Safety Truck Rack
BACKRACK's truck racks are constructed from hot rolled pickled and oiled HRPO steel. This is a scale free steel that won't peel and is extremely durable. This does mean that BACKRACK Cab Guards are heavier than most other brands, but because they're designed as a working rack that often isn't a problem. It also means that they are able to take a beating and keep running. 
It's important to note that, like most truck racks, BACKRACK markets their installation kits separately. This is because every pickup truck is a little bit different and everybody needs an installation kit that will suit their specific situation. BACKRACK designs their mounting kits to suit each vehicle model, meaning they are always going to fit perfectly. They also offer three different mounting kits, Toolbox KitsLow Profile Kits, and Standard Kits. In the end, this saves you money because you don't pay extra to get a mounting kit with the rack that might not be right for your application. Instead you can chose the kit that is right for your installation the first time. 
BACKRACK also offers a Tonneau Cover Adapter Kit so that you can use the truck rack while a tonneau cover is installed on your bed. You can't, however, have both the toolbox and tonneau cover kits. If you're looking to upgrade a work truck, or if you're a contractor of someone who works their truck hard, BACKRACK is likely the best choice for you.
Aries Logo
In contrast to BACKRACK, Aries Headache Racks are designed for more recreational use. This isn't to say that they aren't still high quality, durable truck racks, but rather that they sacrifice the ability to add work accessories for really great look. Their style is perfect for those who are looking to make their truck truly their own by adding unique, stylish, and hard working accessories onto it.
Aries AdvantEDGE Carbide Black Headache Rack
Aries really only has one main model of headache rack, the AdvantEDGE. This rack, however, is available in Carbide Black and Chrome finishes. These styles are designed to match up with a series of other products in the AdvantEDGE line, including Bull Bars and Side Bars
Because Aries has designed their products around custom truck builders, they have chosen to construct their racks out of treated, hardened aluminum. This makes the rack durable and functional, but also very lightweight. This means they can support the weight of your cargo without weighing down your truck down, and they are easy to take off and install when necessary. Aluminum also has this nifty, atomic trait where it doesn't react with oxygen, which means that it will never rust or corrode. There are also no plastic parts, which means no cracking or fading.
Aries Headache Rack
Aries is a more expensive buy than most other headache racks. Part of this is due to the fact that they are a more specialized, stylized product, and the other part is due to the fact that everything comes together in one kit. So while a BACKRACK purchase may involve 2 to 5 smaller purchases, an Aries Headache Rack will involve one larger purchase. There is even a track built in to the crossbar on the top of the rack that is compatible with many offroad lights. So if you're looking to build a truck that has a killer look and is capable of venturing far off the beaten path, Aries is likely the best choice for you.

WestCan Full Bar Cab Guard


While WestCan refers to their Headache Racks as cab guards, they serve the same purpose. WestCan's racks are somewhat of a middle ground between Aries and BACKRACK, in that they offer a lot of the work truck accessories for add ons, but not quite as many. Their price range is very similar to BACKRACK's as well. 
The installation kits are sold separately, just like BACKRACK's, and they are available as a Standard Kit or a Crossover Toolbox Kit that allows you to install the rack alongside a toolbox in your truck bed. There are light mount brackets available that allow you to install lights onto your rack. If you're thinking this is starting to sound familiar, well, that's because it is. But there is one important distinction to make with WestCan versus the other cab guards. They require a Secondary Hold Down Kit to ensure a secure mount if you aren't installing them with a rail kit. WestCan racks are constructed from structural anodized aluminum to keep the weight down so that they are versatile and long lasting. 
WestCan Full Mesh Cab Guard

In Summary

Headache Racks, Cab Guards, or sometimes Trucks Racks, are all quite similar. What tends to set the brands we carry apart is the features that are available and their style of construction.
So when you are looking at purchasing a Headache Rack, you should first consider what you are going to be using it for. Is it going to see a lot of heavy use and get exposed to hard impacts? If so, you may want to consider BACKRACK, versus Aries and WestCan which are great for a combination of personal and work use.
Thanks for giving this article a read through. Stay tuned for part two, where I will talk more about another kind of truck rack, why they are different, and their uses and benefits. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Auto Truck Depot

107, 42 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta
Toll Free: 1-855-253-4330

Friday, September 6, 2013

Drive Safely by Utilizing Your Vehicle’s Lighting Correctly

Think back to when you first learned to drive. If you’re like most people, you were probably a young teen, and an instructor or parent likely taught you all the basics before letting you climb behind the wheel of the car. Hopefully, these basics included how to properly use a vehicle’s lights.  If it’s been a while since you were a driving student, however, you might have forgotten a few of those basic rules, and it’s never a bad idea to brush up on them.

D2 LED Light Wide at
For starters, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle has ample lighting, including all of the required lights. And, of course, you’ll want to make sure that all of those lights are in good working order. If you regularly drive off-road or are still having trouble seeing, it may be a good idea to think about adding in little extras, such as light bars. You can find light bars and other wonderful lighting accessories at Auto Truck Depot.
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