Showing posts with label Truck Bull Bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truck Bull 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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Grille Guards and Bull Bars: What They Do and Why You Want Them

At first glance, a Grille Guard or Bull Bar may seem a little extravagant. When I first started looking into them I thought they were entirely aesthetic, and who has that kind of money to spend on something that just looks good but serves no real purpose? Some of us, certainly, but not most.
But I’m here to tell you that my first impression was wrong, and I would imagine that some of yours were too. In this article I will discuss some of the more important uses for Bull Bars and Grille Guards, as well as share some of my own thoughts on which models work for which applications.
The first thing to keep in mind is that while Grille Guards and Bull Bars are often used to accentuate the beefiness of a large truck, or to make trucks look bigger and tougher, they are a little bit more versatile. They can be added to big and small trucks as well as SUVs, and different models are going to look better and be more compatible with different applications.
They serve several other purposes besides just being aesthetically pleasing. Do you go off-road a lot? Do you go camping places where there isn’t a lot of access to light? Have you ever wished you’d had just a little bit more light? Well, this is one of the primary functions of Bull Bars and Grille Guards. The Aries brand models we carry, such as the Pro Series 3″ Bull Bars come set up with pre-drilled mounting holes in the crossbars. These can be used to mount auxiliary lights such as fog lights, LED Light Bars, and othegrill-5r light accessories. The Pro Series Grille Guard is even more versatile. The light mounting crossbar here gives you options for a single 20 – 30″ LED light bar, two 10″ bars, or three 7″ bars that can be adjust and redirected for maximum versatility.
Add on lights are extremely useful in emergency situations. If you’re off-road, lose track of time, and find yourself needing to get back in the dark, extra light never hurts. If you’re out camping and need to set up in the dark, or you have to do maintenance on vehicles or equipment, the extra light could make the difference between finishing the task and being forced to make concessions you don’t want to make. Aries also makes tow hooks for larger trucks that are compatible with the Bull Bars and Grille Racks as well.
Another important function of Grille Guards and Bull Bars is protection. Protection of your vehicle from various outside forces. It doesn’t matter it you’re driving on the highway or a gravel road, debris is always kicked up. Small stones, dirt and mud particles, and many other pieces of material can be flung into the front of your truck. Not only can some of these things (like bugs) be hard to clean off of your vehicles paint, they can also leave dents and chips that will lower your resale value and look bad.grill-1
Bull Bars in particular protect your vehicle from this kind of damage,as they come with removable skid plates. These skid plates are brushed 304 stainless steel, which means they are designed to hide minor scratches and grime, and they can be more easily cleaned without fear of damage. Plus they are removable, which increases the ease of cleaning as well as allowing you to take them off if you don’t need them. Both the Grille Guards and the Bull Bars come with protective cages for any light mounts you may want to add.
The Aries Bull Bars and Grille Guards are made from a couple of different materials. Many of them are 304 grade stainless steel, which is a steel that contains a high percentage of nickel. Because of this, the 304 stainless is considered rust proof and is extremely resistant to corrosion. These are particularly good for places close to the ocean, or for anyone who finds their vehicles tend to rust or corrode quickly. Stainless steel is also quite durable, and can protect the front end of your vehicle from minor impacts, minimizing damage.
Many of the Grille Guards and Bull Bars are also available in a carbon steel tubing option. The carbon steel is powder coated to protect it from rust and corrosion. Powder coating is an extremely durable process of coating over the metal with a rust proof layer. The powder coating is chip, peel, and scratch resistant and the texture helps hide minor scratches and grime. This means that the carbon steel look can often be easier to keep looking clean. The carbon steel is also stronger than the stainless steel is, meaning it can help protect your vehicle form a bit more damage.
Keep in mind that these are not perfect. It’s not likely that a bull bar will bring your vehicle out unscathed if you rear end someone at high speeds. They are primarily designed to protect the front end of your vehicle from making contact with things that can scratch it, like larger rocks, logs, tree branches, and other off-road obstacles.  Studies have shown that in low speed collisions, Bull Bars and Grill Guards can protect your bumper, lights, and grill from damage, both surface and structural. If the collision is made if a sedentary object, bars-7it is even possible that they will help you push that object for a little ways, although that may scratch your guard or bar. In high speed high impact collisions, your Bull Bars or Grille Guard can collapse into the front of your vehicle.
On a final note, Grill Guards and Bull Bars install quickly and easily by bolting on to factory installed mounts on the underside of your truck. This means no drilling to install. Hopefully this article has helped you make up your mind about your purchase of these products. You can check out our selection of Grille Guards and Bull Bars, and if you have any questions contact us at 1-403-253-4330, toll free at 1-855-253-4330, or by email at

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lighting Made Easy

It’s very likely that you’ve found yourself in this situation more than a time or two: You’re driving late at night, and you can’t see very well. In an effort to improve your vision, you turn on your brights, which work great. You’re seeing everything clearly…and then a car comes by. You flick off your lights out of courtesy and flick them back on again once the car passes. If you’re like most people, you probably wouldn’t mind flicking your lights on and off if you didn’t have to do it constantly—if cars weren’t approaching every few seconds or minutes.

Well, believe it or not, there’s an easier way to burn your headlights now! SmartBeam recently released its Lighting Assist technology. The special Lighting Assist device is made up of a Gentex Smart Mirror that reacts when it sees a car coming your way; the mirror cues your lights to dim to the appropriate brightness and, once the other vehicle passes, puts your lights back on the setting you’ve selected. All of this happens automatically, without you lifting a finger or taking your eyes off the road!

While you probably already have a wish list of truck accessories, a list that likely includes truck bull bars, stylish seat covers, and everything in between, you’re strongly encouraged to go ahead and add the awesome new Lighting Assist device to your must-have list! #CalgaryTruckBullBars
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Driving Around with a Chassis Cab?

Are you currently driving a chassis cab? These cabs are fully mobile vehicles but do not feature a bed. The purpose of the chassis cab is for you, the owner, to attach a specialized bed to it, but not everyone gets around to that right away. If you haven’t yet attached the bed and if you’re actually driving your chassis cab around, it is imperative that you do everything you can do to protect it. Drive slowly and carefully for starters and always obey the rules of the road. Remember, you are not in a big, powerful truck anymore, but in a small cab!

You should also consider adding on safety features to your chassis cab. This might prove difficult if you’re saving up for that bed, but your truck needs it. Truck bull bars are a great thing to consider since they attach to the front of your truck and keep it safer and stronger. Truck bull bars are also attractive and can provide a nice distraction from the fact that you don’t yet have your truck bed, which you should get as soon as possible.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deer Present a Driving Hazard

When you see them on the side of the road, deer can look cute, gentle, and sweet. Behind that innocent veneer, however, lurks an animal that can do serious damage to your vehicle. Collisions with deer are some of the leading causes of accidents. You don’t have to hit a deer head-on to do damage to your vehicle either. These animals have been known to run right into the side of vehicles unexpectedly. You can protect your truck’s front end from deer by installing truck bull bars. As the name implies, these devices were invented to protect against run-ins with bulls, and if they are strong enough to stand up to bulls, they can certainly stand up to deer!

Don’t rely on your truck bull bars alone though. It’s also important for you to utilize safe, smart driving techniques. In order to do that, however, you have to be informed about deer. You should know, first and foremost, that deer are most active during dawn and dusk. If you can avoid driving, especially in heavily wooded areas, during these times, do it. If not, just make sure that you are extra alert, watchful, and careful during these hours
Part of being careful is not speeding, especially if you are driving through an area known for a hearty deer population. When you travel in such areas, go as slowly as the speed limit allows and slow down even more if you happen to see deer in the area. The slower you are going, the easier it is to stop if a deer happens to run in front of you.