Isuzu D-Max

As unfortunate as it may sound, hitting an animal is not that uncommon when driving through rural Australia. Just last year, it was estimated that about 10 million animals were hit when driving in the Australian bush. So if you're planning on going on a road trip with your D-Max, you should consider equipping it with a bull bar to prevent potential front-end damage should you hit an animal, have airborne debris coming your way, or shrub. Basically, an Isuzu D Max bull bar will provide an extra layer of defence to your vehicle, protecting it from critical damage.

Now that you know why bull bars are important for driving around the Australian outback, it's time to get one for your Isuzu. But which one should you get? What types of Isuzu D Max bull bars are there? It may all seem overwhelming at first, but having so much choice is actually a good thing.

Browsing the range of aftermarket 4x4 accessories, you'll find there is an Isuzu D Max bull bar suitable for every model, make and year, ensuring a proper fit. To narrow down your search, there are three key things to consider when looking for these accessories across Australia's best 4x4 accessories suppliers:

  • Material
  • Style
  • Brand

The Level of Protection Will Depend on the Material You Choose

This is obviously the most important factor you'll need to consider. Varying materials provide varying levels of protection and have different weights. That being said, here are the most common materials Isuzu D Max bull bars for sale are made of.

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Steel

Steel bull bars are the strongest and most durable material. They're best suited for those riding in harsh environments, where coming face to face with an animal is very likely. Steel bull bars provide the best protection, and they're reasonably priced.

On the downside, steel is quite heavy, and the extra weight can alter driveability, simply because it can dampen your brakes, wear down the tyres and sag the suspension. These things considered, steel bull bars are best suited for larger vehicles, like the Isuzu D Max.

Aluminium

Aluminium, also known as alloy bull bars are second in terms of strength, but they have the added benefit of being much lighter than their steel counterparts. As a result, they won't wear down your vehicle's brakes, tyres and suspension. They also don't rust.

The only downside to these bull bars is their price. They are the most expensive on the market. However, keep in mind that the difference in price may be compensated by not having to deal with wear and tear on the other parts of your vehicle.

Plastic

Plastic bull bars are the cheapest and lightest available. They're mostly reserved for light use, as they're relatively weak when compared to the aforementioned two. Still, this doesn't mean they're completely useless.

Plastic bull bars still offer protection against debris and light brushing, and should you come across a kangaroo, they'll provide a crumple zone that reduces impact. While the bull bar itself will probably be ruined, your vehicle will suffer light damage. And since plastic bull bars are quite affordable, you can just get a new one.

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Style Affects Purpose

The style of the bull bar doesn't only impact how it looks, but also the purpose it serves. That being said, I'm a firm believer in purpose over style, and here are the most popular styles, listed from most durable to least durable.

Triple Hoop

These bull bars are the most durable, and are generally mounted onto the chassis of the Isuzu. Usually made from steel, triple hoop bullbars are a common sight on touring vehicles. As you can imagine, since they're the most durable, they offer the most protection, but they're also the heaviest and bulkiest.

Single Hoop

These bull bars are similar to triple hoop bull bars, except they end at the grill, so they don't cover the headlights of your Isuzu. However, they're still strong and offer great protection to the areas they do cover. They're commonly found on touring vehicles that don't cover extreme trails or vehicles that need to save on weight when driving on sand. Still, they're somewhat heavy and bulky.

Nudge Bars

These bars don't provide the same amount of protection as triple and single hoop bars, but providing protection isn't their main purpose anyway. Instead, they're designed to be lightweight and are typically used for clearing foliage and debris. They aren't attached to the chassis, and they won't offer much in case you hit an animal or heavy objects. On the upside, they're more affordable than other types of bull bars.

Competition Bull Bars

These bull bars are reserved for extreme 4x4ers who are into extreme 4x4ing. Competition bullbars provide the utmost protection, including under the front bumper. Furthermore, they provide higher clearance and are designed to be somewhat light. Competition bull bars look great, but they aren't suited for animal impacts. Most competition bull bars are made for specific models and makes of vehicles, and only well-stocked 4x4 accessories suppliers have them.

Bull Bar Brands to Be on the Lookout For

Fortunately for us Aussies, there are quite a few brands that manufacture amazing bull bars. As long as the brand is relatively known, their bull bar will certainly satisfy your needs. Most known brands like OCAM, ARB, TJM, ECB, Outback Steel, etc. offer lengthy warranties on their products, and the main difference between the quality will come from the quality of the installation.

This is especially important for bull bars that have to be installed on the chassis. Worst case scenario - the bull bar will be bolted onto the chassis rather than welded.

Additionally, if you want to ensure quality, make sure the bull bar you choose is ADR certified. You can also read reviews to get a better idea of what other people's experiences with a specific bull bar are. Regardless, all bull bars have to meet certain requirements, such as setting off the airbags in the event of an impact.