When buying a bumper for your 4×4 vehicle, there are two elements that are incredibly important to a potential customer. The first is the design of the bumper, and the second (and equally important) is the quality of the bumper.
Design in general is a personal preference and what appeals to one person might not necessarily appeal to another. The shape, the colour, and the profile of a bumper might add to the overall look of the vehicle, but it mostly still boils down to personal preference of the customer as to which looks better.
However, when it comes to the quality of the product, people are far more objective, and the facts need to speak for themselves. Bumpers are required to protect the occupants of the vehicle and the vehicle itself, to ensure that all of the vehicle’s safety mechanisms (like the airbags and sensors) are unhindered, and to also have no rattles when driving over and through rough terrain.
The material used for the bumper’s construction, the manufacturing process, the research and development, and the testing of the product are all vitally important to ensure that a product of exceptional quality is delivered.
Modular Bumpers versus Welded Bumpers
During an article published in the June 2017 edition of SA 4×4, it was stated that welded bumpers are generally less likely to rattle loose than modular ones, simply because they have fewer components. Although some people may believe that this is true, we have found the contrary to be a better reflection of the truth.
Rhino 4×4 makes use of a patented three-piece design and mounting system which allows the bumper to have more “flex” than a one-piece welded bumper. The result of this is that a modular bumper therefore is far less likely to rattle than a one-piece bumper, since a one-piece bumper has far less flex than a modular one.
Our personal experience further supports this belief. Rhino 4×4 has to date not had one warranty claim relating to a bumper which has rattled loose or failed during very rocky or corrugated terrain. In fact, this has become a point of differentiation for the Rhino 4×4 brand compared to some of its competitors over the last few years.
With close to 30 years’ experience in design and manufacturing for both the racing and leisure industries, the Rhino 4×4 designs are thoroughly tested with a lot of research and development going into them before they are released into the market. It takes close to a year of development and testing before the end product is launched to the consumer.
All Rhino 4×4 products sold in South Africa go through a strict, dynamic crash testing process in Australia to ensure that our products will allow the airbag to fire at the precise pulse rate as tested with the OE bumper crash tests. All of the Rhino 4×4 bumpers are therefore airbag tested and certified. It is important to note that many manufacturers claim that their replacement bumpers are “airbag compatible”, but a replacement bumper can only be deemed compatible if it has been tested and certified.
Take a look at how one of the Rhino 4×4 tests is conducted.
Do Your Homework
The next time that you are in the market to buy a bumper for your 4×4, take a little bit of time to do the necessary homework, and find out about the products which you are considering fitting to your vehicle. Speak to other people who have had replacement bumpers fitted to their vehicles and get them to share their personal experiences relating to those bumpers.
At the end of the day, always make sure that your new bumper answers the following three questions: Is it strong enough to protect you and your vehicle? Will it allow your airbags and sensors to operate as normal? Does it have enough flex and buffering to prevent noise or damage when driving through any rough terrain?