Adding accessories to your truck or SUV might substantially increase the weight, lowering the amount that you can tow or carry on board as payload. If you are considering adding a bull bar to your vehicle and are wondering how much one weighs, we can help you. We researched this popular accessory so that you'll know for sure how much weight you'll be adding.
A bull bar can weigh between 15 and 240 pounds. Smaller bull bars average 35 pounds, while deluxe bull bars equipped with a winch weigh an average of 185 pounds.
Now we know the average weight of a bull bar, we'll look at the differences in the weight of this accessory based on the material it's built with. You might also be wondering if bull bars are worth having or if bull bars will affect your insurance. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has shown.
The Weight Of A Bull Bar Will Depend On The Type
If you do an online search for bull bars, you will find a large variety that can seem overwhelming. Manufacturers make bull bars from different materials.
Bull bars are sometimes made from aluminum, while others are crafted out of steel. While the material has an impact on the overall weight of the bull bar, it is the style of the bull bar that has the most impact on the weight range.
You can separate bull bars into two classes. Let's take a look at each and discuss their average weights.
The nudge bar is the smallest of the two styles of bull bars. They average 35 pounds. They cover the center area of the grille of your vehicle horizontally. Vertically, they cover from the bottom of the grille to just above the midpoint.
The nudge bars will protect your vehicle from brush and small animals when you off road. They tend to be less durable than their larger counterparts. They will do the trick in many cases, but do not expect them to protect your vehicle from bigger animals, even at a low speed.
Many will have a nudge bar installed as a way to rig additional lighting for their truck or SUV. While some protection is better than nothing, some might opt for a bigger and more durable way to protect their front end.
Full-Sized Bull Bars
This style of the bull bar covers almost the entirety of the grille of the vehicle. This protection extends side to side and from top to bottom. This type of bull bar weighs considerably more than the nudge bar.
Full-sized bull bars will weigh an average of 185 pounds. The steel frame of this accessory is much stronger and is capable of deflecting damage from larger animals and small trees.
A full-sized bull bar will also allow you to install a winch. Many of these models even come equipped with a winch mount.
Are Bull Bars Worth Having?
Bull bars are increasing in popularity in the United States. They have been quite popular in Australia, where many off-roaders will swear by their ability to deflect front-end damage from kangaroos and other animals. How much damage are they capable of deflecting, and are they worth the cost and hassle of installation?
Bull bars work very well if you are off-roading in an area where your vehicle might strike an animal. They will also give you protection from brush, larger branches, and even small trees. But don't let that give you a false sense of confidence when you are traveling on a highway.
Bull bars will not be very effective when a large animal is hit at a high rate of speed. Smaller animals your vehicle might encounter on a highway will most likely not damage it if it's equipped with a bull bar.
But if you hit a deer while you are traveling at 70 miles per hour, you should expect some serious damage to your truck or SUV.
Does Having A Bull Bar Affect My Insurance?
A bull bar will not generally impact the number of insurance premiums that you have to pay. Though they make the vehicle a bit safer in specific circumstances, they do not offer your vehicle enough protection for everyday driving to alter the rates.
Every insurance company has its policies when it comes to any accessory, so you should contact your own company for their specific criteria.
If your vehicle is involved in an accident, the bull bar will probably be covered. Many policies will cover any accessories that are damaged. You can probably expect your policy to cover a properly installed bull bar.
In some instances, your insurance could be affected if a bull bar causes your airbags to not properly deploy. It's important to discuss the ins and outs of having a bull bar installed with your insurance agent. You should understand if having one will impact your policy in any way.
Why Do Some Police Vehicles Have Bull Bars?
You might have seen bull bars installed on the front end of a local police vehicle. Though these won't usually be going off road, the police vehicles use them for an entirely different purpose.
Bull bars will allow for additional lighting to be attached and installed on the front end of the vehicle. Many police departments are installing lighter-weight, aluminum bull bars for this purpose.
Upon impact, this style of the bull bar will collapse with the vehicle which makes them safer for pedestrians. We'll discuss that in more detail ahead in this post.
Some departments will install heavier-duty bull bars on certain police vehicles. This is so they can "push" their way through during emergencies.
Are Bull Bars Safe?
Bull bars are banned in many European countries. The European Union barred most bull bar styles in 2007, only allowing lightweight aluminum bull bars that crumple on impact. The reason for the ban is that bull bars will significantly increase the damage done to anything that it hits.
A full-sized bull bar will not give, causing whatever it hits to deflect at great force away from the front end of the vehicle. While a bull bar protects the vehicle at lower speeds, it poses a great danger to any pedestrian or cyclist who might be struck by it.
For this reason, some states are discussing bull bar regulations in the United States. As of this writing, full-sized bull bars are still legal in all 48 contiguous states.
Do Bull Bars Affect A Vehicle's Airbags?
When a vehicle crumples from impact, it will cause the airbags to deploy. This crumpling will activate a sensor, which in turn will activate and inflate the airbags.
You install a bull bar in front of the crumple zone of your vehicle. When severe impact occurs, this bull bar will delay any crumpling. Doing so will cause a delay in the airbags deploying.
Failure of an airbag to deploy on time can lead to serious injury or death. Consider all of the risks involved if you are wanting to install a full-sized bull bar on a vehicle that you drive primarily on a highway.
Bull bars come in a variety of styles and materials, which all impact how much the bull bar will weigh. Smaller bull bars will crumple into the frame and are used more for additional light rigging and small animal deflection. A full-sized bull bar will protect your vehicle from lower-speed impacts from larger animals. Drive safe!
We hope this post on bull bars answered all of your questions. For additional information on bull bars, we recommend reading the following posts: