Accessorised 4x4s are looking better than ever before. With this, though, there is a growing number of vehicles where visual considerations trump practical choices. Prioritising aesthetics is a non-issue for those with no plans to travel remotely, but for those that do plan to travel, we’re more of the school of thought of choosing practicalities first.
In Australia in particular, wildlife, like roos, and stock frequently roam our country and outback roads. Driving in the daytime helps dramatically, and quality driving lights can help at night, but the reality is that someday most of us may run into something.
Psychologically knowing you have a robust full bar mounted, I believe that drivers are less likely to swerve and are more likely to brake aggressively and take the hit front on which is the safer option.
To speculate, I’m also of the belief that with a more upright full bull bar, as opposed to a winch bar, that whatever you hit is less likely to end up being pushed up on the bonnet and towards the windscreen.
While safely surviving the impact is the first hurdle, being stranded remotely can quickly become the next.
If you are travelling with no bull bar, or a winch only style bar, there is a reasonable chance a direct hit will damage your radiator and put the vehicle out of action.
A single hoop bar protects the vulnerable radiator. There is a good chance you still be able to drive your vehicle with a significant hit, if either corner is badly damaged so too may be critical components like the battery or air intake system.
Steel ARB Bull Bars
ARB make three bars for the 70 Series LandCruisers: the paired back Commercial Bar, the classic Deluxe Bar and the Large Tube Deluxe Bar.
On our LandCruiser 76 Series, we’ve opted for the Large Tube Deluxe Bar. The outer tubing is 60.3mm and the cross tube, below the lights, is 47.6mm.
While it’s a weighty bar, it’s incredibly strong. We have been weight conscious with our build but still think the extra kilograms are worth it in this instance. We have offset some of the mass of the bar by choosing a spectra winch line and opting not to mount a light bar or side scrub rails.
ARB bull bars are known worldwide as some of the best. If you ever get the chance to tour their Victorian factory do. Precision laser cutters prepare the flat sheet steel. The steel is then positioned in vehicle-specific jigs before highly skilled welders finish the job with incredible speed and accuracy.
If you speak to 4×4 fitters, the ARB bull bars are also some of the easiest to fit. This ease of fitment is a hidden detail, but it translates to less fitting errors, and it also makes for a more straightforward task if the bar needs to come off for winch or vehicle maintenance at any time.
Our ARB bull bar easily accommodates our WARN Zeon 10-S winch. It has sturdy tabs for mounting full-sized driving lights as well as mounts for two antennas without the need for brackets. We have 4G, and UHF antennas mounted.
A large radiator protector bolts neatly below and leaves the hefty ARB Recovery Point easily accessible. The ARB bull bar also has twin slots to accommodate a high lift jack.