One important aspect of any outdoor adventure is the ability to make it home safely. Animal strikes are one of the leading causes of vehicle damage when traveling in rural and remote areas, especially at night. As anybody who travels the highways knows, here in the Pacific Northwest, we have our share of animal strikes. The most common you see along the side of the road are deer. I have also seen collisions with elk, cattle and horses. Our friends to the North in British Columbia frequently witness collisions with moose.
In a full head-on animal strike, at a minimum, you will most likely damage your radiator, which can totally incapacitate your vehicle. Hopefully, the collision will be a glancing blow, minimizing the damage. I’ve seen pickup trucks where a 60 mph collision with a deer caused damage to the entire front end including the bumper, grill, radiator, core support, hood and both front fenders. The loss of your vehicle far from home is the last thing a person wants on an adventure.
After during my research, I found that by most opinions, ARB makes the best aftermarket bumper that protects against animal strikes. Most bumpers are for clearance for wheeling and do not offer substantial protection. The ARB Bull Bar offers a very secure location to mount a winch plus it also enhances the look of any vehicle (my opinion of course). And of course, any bumper that protects against animal strikes is going to offer a great increase in safety if involved in a collision with another vehicle.
The following outlines the installation of an ARB Bull Bar on my Jeep YJ Wrangler.
The installation was straight forward and can be completed in only a few hours with basic mechanical skills. As usual, you will need a few more tools than the instructions call for.
Of course, such a bumper will add more weight to the front of your vehicle, so a heavier spring rate may be required for your vehicle.
Now all I need to do is mount a winch and I’ll be ready for even more adventures.