Bull bars and Grille Guards, a staple of many pickups and over-the-road semi-trucks, are on the verge of becoming extinct. This is thanks to new and often mandatory safety equipment, questionable crash safety data, and new laws aimed at restricting their size and shape. Yet, they aren’t going away without controversy from owners who simply want to protect their investments.
Wyoming resident John Carey lives in a mostly rural part of the country. When he bought his new $50,000 2016 Ford F-150 XLT, he worried about protecting it, as most of us would.
“We have more hazards out here than just what’s on the road,” says Carey. “People hit deer, elk and loose cows all the time.”
As a result, Carey added a $989.99 Westin HDX bull bar to the front of his pickup truck. Yet, by adding this bull bar, Carey likely made his truck less safe in the event of a crash.
Read the rest of the story over at Ford-Trucks.com.
Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.
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Snuggly stowing valuables in a vehicle can be a risky and challenging endeavor — no matter what size the vehicle may be. Despite its hulking size, the Jeep Gladiator suffers from this same affliction, making for a common gripe amongst daily drivers and 4X4 enthusiasts alike. If only there were a way to lock up goods beneath the rear bench. Enter the mighty Jeep Gladiator Compact Underseat Lockbox from Tuffy. This locking, stealthily hidden storage box offers a perfect set of solutions for when stowing expensive and potentially dangerous gear is in the cards. Here are a few reasons why this rugged stow-away solution retains its spot as the top contender when it comes to seeking rear under-seat storage solutions for the 2020-2022 Jeep Gladiator. Designed with security, durability and easy access in mind One of the greatest things about this clever hideaway locker (outside of it being designed and built in North America) is its accessibility strengths. Rear seats lifted, Gladiator owners can easily access the contents of the lockbox, thanks to an exclusive “Pin-Lock” hinging system that’s been added for secure closure. With the lid fully extended open, users are rewarded with 42 7/8-inch by 7 ¼-inch accessible stow space and a strong all-around seal once closed. From a security standpoint, the closure of this all-steel structure comes reinforced with Tuffy’s own line of locking mechanisms. Affixed with dual 10 tumbler, and double-bitted security locks with built-in weather seals, the locking side of this under-seat stow container are top-tier in every way. There’s also Tuffy’s signature “Pry-Guard Locking System,” just in case someone decides to give your Gladiator the old “pry-n-pray” approach. “Our new full-width Underseat Lockbox for the Jeep Gladiator delivers secure storage for a wide range of items, keeping them organized and out of sight,” said Chip Olson, marketing manager, Tuffy Security Products. “The long dimension of this lockbox provides extra useful storage space in a design that doesn’t interfere with the Gladiator’s passenger foot room. The lockbox is an innovative product that will add to the enjoyment of this popular vehicle by keeping gear and other valuables close at hand, yet concealed from prying eyes.” Designed and produced in North America, Tuffy Security Products have been a leader in safeguarding valuable gear for decades, you can rest assured in knowing that all of the bases are covered so you can stow at ease and fear not for missing valuables. Lock it like its hot Stamped out of sturdy steel and measuring 43 3/8” long, 9” 3/8” wide, and 6 1/2” tall on the outside, this security lockbox encapsulates 2,000 cubic inches of storage volume. Discreetly stuffed beneath the rear seat, the OEM styling of the Jeep Gladiator is given ample room to be itself. Installation is made easy with supplied hardware and easy-to-follow assembly instructions, and due to merely requiring the use of a wrench, requires zero drilling or bracketry tomfoolery. Finished in a textured black powder coat finish, Tuffy Compact Underseat Lockbox for the Jeep Gladiator (Model 387-01) remains impervious to scuffs, mud, daily abuse, and even the occasional spilled juice box. There’s even a compact version of the Jeep Gladiator Lockbox (pictured below), which features many of the same performance and security perks, but with a far smaller footprint. Just note that the full-size storage version of this product from Tuffy Security Products is not compatible with Jeep’s OEM plastic under-seat fence, as it must be secure to the OEM Jeep Gladiator mounting points beneath the rear bench.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the dangers of slow trucks on the highway. And, no, we aren’t just talking about that rusty relic of a recalled pickup truck hobbling down the interstate with a filthy sofa and a treadmill poking out the back. We’re talking about the boss hogs of the highway here. Tractor-trailer semis with big old blind spots and a tendency to blow sideways during a sudden wind gust. Some say they are a major contributor to crashes, while others claim truck drivers are just being scapegoated due to being such an easy target. So, who is right? Both sides have a point, it just primarily depends upon the following factors. Why do trucks move so slowly? Trucks will often move slower than the posted speed limit due to carrying heavy loads, as well as the limitations of truck diesel engines. Occasionally, the law will even require trucks to drive below the speed limit when carrying a certain type of cargo, or a particular size. This can make it difficult for other drivers to pass and can cause traffic buildups behind slower semi-trailers, dump trucks, and other large transit vehicles. These traffic jams often lead to distracted driving and road rage, both of which are notorious for causing collisions. Impatient drivers will also attempt to maneuver around the trucks by weaving in and out of traffic. A dangerous driving act that tends to make everyone on the highway nervous. Dangers of trucks moving slower Slow trucks can be dangerous, especially when in the left lane in the U.S. As far as moving on the left lane goes, large trucks can make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through. Additionally, slow trucks can make it difficult for drivers to see what lies ahead, which over the years has been linked to a large number of crashes. Situations such as these are especially disconcerting when white-out snow storms and torrential rains impede vision and tire traction. Larger box trailers cast an even bigger shadow, as they form blind spots for drivers on both sides when cruising down the center of a multi-lane interstate. Why do trucks move more slowly than other vehicles? In most states, laws require that truck drivers maintain a certain distance between their vehicle and the automobile or motorcycle in front of them. This is because trucks weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles and therefore require more time to stop. Laws such as these also help reduce the risk of sudden truck braking, which in turn provides merging traffic and vehicles behind the truck an additional window of response time. Truck drivers also can’t afford to have the points on their license deducted, so they opt to drive slower than the posted speed limit. If truckers lose points on their licenses in a certain state, they may be required to take a defensive driving course. These courses are about as unexciting as it gets, as they are intended to provide CDL license holders with the basics of big rig operation all over again. Furthermore, combustion engines tend to consume a lot more fuel when speeds are increased, so operating a large rig while driving slowly can help save money if done properly. Kinds of crashes that can be caused by slow-moving trucks However, arguing that all large trucks should be required to drive slower than passenger vehicles to reduce collisions is a bit misaligned. Large trucks are involved in a very small percentage of crashes when compared to the number of crashes caused by passenger vehicles or road obstacles. That’s not to say that big rigs aren’t still at fault for certain kinds of crashes. Some of the common forms of large truck-related traffic incidents include: Rear-end collisions Sideswipe situations Low-speed passing crashes Rear-end collisions are of particular concern, as they can be particularly hazardous if a vehicle is pushed underneath the trailer of a truck. To avoid any of these dangerous scenarios, always leave plenty of space between you and any large trucks around you when possible. Remember, trucks and trailers are required to have a “Mansfield Bar” in the rear for a reason. These collision braces do not cover the sides though, so be wary of this fact. Speaking of which — in a sideswipe situation, a truck changing lanes can cause a vehicle in its blind spot to get stuffed underneath or squashed. Sideswipe crashes can be very dangerous because they can cause the smaller vehicle to spin out of control, and trailer trucks to jackknife. If you ever get involved in this kind of collision or any other crash listed here, be sure to contact a team of truck accident lawyers to help with your case. Finally, the large trucks are prone to flipping onto their side, which is technically considered a rollover incident. These situations are often caused by a sudden swerve or a truck hitting a large pothole or an obstacle in the road. Rollover crashes can be particularly dangerous if occupants are ejected from the vehicle. Conclusion While slow-moving trucks can be annoying, it is important to remember they are driving in such a manner for a reason. To avoid truck run-ins, it is vital to give trucks plenty of space and remain aware of their blind spots. In closing, it is important to avoid driving behind a slow-moving truck whenever possible to avoid being involved in a rear-end collision. If you are ever involved in a crash with a slow-moving truck, reaching out to an experienced investigative truck collision lawyer can spell the difference between fair compensation and pay for hospital bills.
It’s no secret that pickup truck are built with durability in mind. May they be massive pickups intended for towing, or tiny trucks built for around-town navigation, these beloved modes of transportation continue to be engineered with practicality and performance at the forefront. But for those who truly love their pickup truck, an additional level of care is required to keep them in top condition. And by that we mean both externally and internally. Which leads us to the following high-quality auto accessories. A fantastic dynamic duo that many of us see almost every day, but few stop to truly ponder. Together, the following two accessories can keep a truck’s interior and exterior properly protected, all while looking pretty nice in the process. Outdoor car covers If you are like most of us, chances are your pickup spends more time parked outside than it does in the garage. Trucks are tough, so it shouldn’t matter, right? Well, it does matter, because Mother Nature is one tough mama, and your pickup needs protecting. Sure, a drizzle or two will not require a visit to the body shop, but extended exposure to UV rays, hail, acid rain, microplastics, and corrosion-causing road salt slush can do a real number on even the toughest truck. An outdoor car cover is one of those pickup truck accessories that protect both the belongings in the bed of your truck as well as the vehicle’s exterior. Easy to install, and even easier to transport due to their foldable, roll-up nature, car covers provide an extra layer of protection that cannot be underestimated. So do your research, find the ideal truck cover, and don’t hesitate to slap it on that rig anytime you park it outdoors for more than a day. Pickup truck floor mats Protecting the exterior of your truck is really important, but so too is the interior. Work trucks and 4×4 SUV machines are particularly prone to filthy interiors. No one enjoys sitting inside a disgusting car or truck cabin. Removing dust, mud, sand, and any other unsavory contaminants that have been accumulating within a vehicle’s carpet is never any fun either. In order to ensure that your vehicle’s interior stays as pristine as possible, opt for truck floor mats that cover as much of the cabin floor as possible. All that rainwater or snow from your boots or wet sand on your sneakers is just going to embed into the carpet and start smelling rank after a while. The significance of quality truck floor mats cannot be underestimated, especially if you are the outdoorsy type. Rubberized all-season floor mats in particular are quite good at keeping cleaning day as effortless as possible, which in turn guarantees that your truck or SUV’s carpeted flooring is preserved for years to come. Keep moisture, mildew, and mold out of your rig’s carpet and flooring materials, by going with waterproof floor mats. Perhaps then you will realize precisely how much more enjoyable driving can be. For when you keep your pickup truck’s interior smelling fresh, and a protective cover over its exterior, cleanliness and preventative care become easily obtainable.
There are a lot of different pickup trucks on the market these days, and each area of the world benefits from its own buying options. For those who live in Australia, this sort of automotive purchase can be even more of a challenge. Sure, certain full-size American pickup trucks may not be so prevalent down under, but options still abound, and there are quite a few of them to which the American market has zero access. This blog post will discuss the top five pickup trucks worth considering if you are in the market for a new rig, live in Australia and are in search of a truck with 5 years of warranty coverage or more. Here, we’ll look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each model so you can make an informed decision about which truck is right for you, your daily driving and 4×4 needs and your wallet. Top 5 pickups for the Australian market So, you’ve decided that a pickup truck is right for you. Congrats, and welcome to the club! We think you’re going to like it here. But truck buyer confusion runs rampant. Overall initial quality and the number of makes and models being brought to market each year can be downright intimidating for the first-time pickup truck buyer. This is precisely why we opted to keep things simple, and put together this cheat sheet focusing on the top five best options for Australian truck buyers. 1. Nissan Navara The Navara is a great pickup truck to consider if you’re looking for something reliable and affordable. It has a 5-Star ANCAP rating and a five-year warranty, making it a great choice for those looking for a long-term investment. Nissan’s Navara also has great fuel efficiency, ranging from 7-8 kilometers per liter. A great first choice for those looking for a pickup truck that won’t break the bank. 2. Ford Ranger The Ford Ranger is a great option for those looking for durability and reliability within a pickup truck. Engineered to last, even those living in Australia’s toughest terrain will appreciate this truck’s unstoppable strengths. Practically packaged and undeniably capable off-road, the Ford Ranger earns its spot on this list for good reason. It also comes with a 5-year warranty and can be outfitted with Ford Performance parts straight from the factory. 3. Toyota Hilux Toyota’s Hilux has to be one of the most reliable pickup trucks ever produced. Proven performance and impressive reliability ratings make this Japanese pickup a favorite for those looking for a truck that just won’t quit. At a considerably lower price point than many other trucks on this list, the Hilux’s $24,225 starting price and fantastic fuel efficiency average of 11.0L/100KM. In addition, Toyota’s iconic pickup packs a 5-Star ANCAP rating and comes complete with a 5-year warranty. 4. Mitsubishi Triton The Mitsubishi Triton blends the best aspirations from the brand’s rally car history and then packs in a ton of pickup truck practicality to fill in the gaps. Offered with Mitsubishi’s potent turbo motors, buckets of 4×4 and overlanding perks, and restyled looks that are quite sinister, the Mitsubishi Triton Athlete edition is a clear frontrunner in the lineup. Honored for earning top safety scores across the board, the Triton is one of those trucks that many other countries want, but only Australia and a few others can enjoy. 5. Isuzu D-Max Closing things out is the stoic Isuzu D-Max. Long considered to be one of Australia’s top pickup truck choices, this odd little Ute can handle almost any job you throw at it, especially when outfitted with fleet-specific OE upgrades. This latest generation of D-Max receives an all-new suspension with body roll, ride comfort, and payload in mind. It also comes loaded with under-plate armor, so definitely a solid worksite consideration. The D-Max is a diesel sipper and is made available in single, double and crew cab body styles, with pricing starting at $32,200. One intriguing closing note on this pickup is the fact that while it also comes with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating, it is the only option on this list that is offered with a six-year warranty. The benefits and drawbacks of owning a pickup truck But before diving headlong into any of these five pickup truck options, a few factors must first be taken into consideration. Benefits: Pickup trucks can tow and haul heavy loads and tow trailers, but every vehicle on today’s list can also fly through 4×4 terrain. The days of the slow pickup are over. Name the 4×4 upgrade or camping gear that’s needed, and chances are either there’s an aftermarket option or the dealer has an option. Pickup trucks continue to retain a shockingly high resale value. Drawbacks: Pickup trucks tend to be not nearly as fuel efficient as other vehicle options. Parking and maneuvering in tight spaces can be a real challenge at times. Comfort and quiet are often sacrificed in favor of performance and practicality. However, even with all of these cons considered, owning a pickup truck can be a great option, especially if towing and outdoor activities are in the cards on a routine basis. So, if you live in Australia, and think a pickup truck is the right vehicle for you, please take the time to do some research, and test drives a few different platforms before deciding on a certain chassis. Hopefully, you will consider this top five pickup truck cheat sheet as a solid starting point ahead of a successful vehicle buy. We sure did.
Some people see buying a used RV as a way to save money, which makes complete sense in states with insane housing prices. Case in point: Ever seen the news piece about Google employees living in the parking lot? Regardless of whether you are loaded and looking for a gently used cruiser cabin or are merely trying to avoid a mortgage in something makeshift, you should consider one more thing: Which state is cheapest to buy a used RV. This article will provide give you the top five states in which you can get the best deal on a used RV, taking into consideration annual taxes, fees and registration charges for each state. Top states for buying a used RV 1. New Hampshire New Hampshire is a popular RV state, which isn’t surprising since it’s so beautiful and has excellent camping and RV parks. Additionally, New Hampshire doesn’t tax RVs based on weight, so you don’t have to worry about extra maintenance or modification because the load capacity isn’t high enough. Even though the state doesn’t charge much for registration, it’s still important to remember there are fees attached to owning an RV, and those fees may still end up being more than your registration cost alone. 2. Wyoming Lots of people buy new RVs in Wyoming because the tax on RVs here is less than $100 — and it’s just a great place to go camping. Plus, the state doesn’t require tags on your RV if it’s less than 3,500 pounds. There are zero registration fees in Wyoming as well. Just be sure to check out the state’s website to make sure other laws do not apply to the rig you have in mind. 3. Montana Montana is another great state with great RVs for camping, and purchasing one there can save you a ton of money. However, if you’re looking to buy a used RV there, you’ll have to register it either through the DMV or via the local city/county, depending on whether it’s subject to registration fees. Registration costs are around $60 per year, and annual taxes for the trailer itself tend to run about $200. Montana’s state-run RV website, where you can find free manuals and schematics for all forms of recreational vehicles. 4. Iowa Iowa is full of opportunities when it comes to buying used RVs. It has a pretty good selection of campsites and RV parks in the state as well, so finding one that will fit your travel plans shouldn’t be difficult. The state has plenty of single sites and hookups for RVs, which can come in handy if you’re planning on staying in one spot for longer than a weekend or two. Most vehicles in Iowa are not subject to registration fees, so you don’t have to worry about paying them if you need help with your trailer. 5. Missouri Missouri also has a good selection of RV rentals and parks, so the world is your oyster in this state. The state is also known for its outdoor activities, with RV enthusiasts benefitting the greatest. Registration fees run about $100 a year, depending on the particular trailer you are hauling. The bottom line So whether you are really into the RV lifestyle or are looking to upgrade your old rig and are searching online for catchphrases like “I accept cash for my junk RV today,” then it might be time to head out of state for that big purchase.
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