These days, SUVs and trucks are designed to offer optimum efficiency and strong performance. However, with some additional modifications, you can turn your vehicle into a powerful off-road crusher. It can be difficult to predict what you will encounter when you drive on beaten paths, but these off-road mods—along with a mindset for safe driving—will let you maximise your driving experience.
- Better Tires
Typically, you can expect an overall stronger carcass when you upgrade to tires that are more aggressive. With regards to places you can drive to, stock tires can limit your driving experience. There’s better traction with aggressive tires so you can definitely drive in beaten off-road areas. It would be best to choose wide and tall tires with beefier tread lugs.
You will even find tires with rock ejectors that offer self-cleaning tread features. If you choose a more aggressive design, even with the same tire size, you can significantly improve your vehicle’s off-highway capabilities.
Even if you are not planning to tow anything, it would be a good idea to install a hitch on your truck. It is ideal as a mounting point for a wide variety of accessories, including a spare tire carrier, a bike rack or even a BBQ. In the event that your vehicle has to be pulled out of a ditch, your hitch will provide a solid tow point. Unless you drive the same path over and over, you will never know for sure what you will encounter off-road.
- Suspension / Lift Kit
It is crucial to have sufficient ground clearance. Typically, truck suspensions are designed to provide more ground clearance than cars. However, due to reasons like fuel economy and handling, they are kept as low as possible. As such, the overall ground clearance, as well as the approach and departure angles, get adversely affected. Aside from those, it can get a bit difficult to try to fit bigger tires.Suspensions are sometimes associated with lift kits. However, when you replace your suspension kit with heavy-duty hardware, springs and bushings, you will be able to provide sufficient lift and strength to your vehicle. With a blown bushing or snapped bolt, you can get stranded. It goes without saying that it is a wise choice to invest in corrosion-proof, high-tensile-strength bolts.
- Skid Plate
Most of the time, stock rigs do not offer sufficient underbody protection. When you’re driving off-road, stumps, rocks and other hazards can reach up and get caught underneath your rig. This can be a big problem that may get you stranded. An even bigger issue would be an unprotected underbody that is vulnerable to damages caused by off-road objects. If a major component—like a transmission or oil pan—gets damaged, it can stop you cold.The rocker panels can also be vulnerable if left unprotected. Your vehicle’s sheet metal can get seriously damaged by protruding obstacles and rocks. You probably won’t get stranded, but this issue can leave you with costly repairs.
Even if you have a lifted truck, your unprotected underbody can get in contact with the terrain. So, it is essential to protect it with a high-quality, heavy-duty skid plate. Mounting this will allow you to protect your engine pan, radiator and drivetrain from damages caused by rocks and other protruding hazards.
- Bull Bar
You’d probably understand the principle of a bull bar if you’ve played contact sports before. You recognise the importance of having that extra padding of protection when you are about to be tackled by a defensive guard who weighs 350 pounds.Such is the case with your truck. Even though most trucks are built to be sturdy and tough, their front-end can still be fragile. If you do not have a bull bar, a boulder or a huge tree branch can punch straight through the front of your truck and cause significant damage.
Also referred to as a bumper guard or a grille guard, a bull par is a tubular structure that is fabricated to be strong and sturdy. It can be mounted to the front end of your vehicle. In the event that you would have to drive through shrubs or banks, you would be able to do so with confidence as your truck has the protective guard it needs. You can clear an off-road path without worrying about damaging your front end.
When you get in a sticky situation, you can be pulled out of it if you have a strong, reliable winch. It is also useful when you want to give a helping hand to fellow off-roaders.
If you are an adrenalin junkie who loves driving through sandstorms or wading through a foot or two of water, then it would be advisable that you install an intake snorkel. This is a useful modification that will keep your engine from sucking water or thick dust.
- Roof Rack
It is most likely that you will bring lots of extra gear with you. With a roof rack, you will be able to get the additional storage space to take everything you need, no matter how bulky the item is. If you are worried about the added weight of your vehicle, it would be better to opt for a custom aluminium roof rack. What’s great about this material is that it can withstand the harsh off-road conditions. It won’t rust and it is durable enough to last for a long time.
- Light Bar
Your truck’s stock headlights are sufficient enough for your nightly drives in the city. However, they do not perform well in off-road conditions. It is also important for you to have more than lights that face forward. You also have to see what’s lurking to the sides of your truck. Moreover, your factory backup lights wouldn’t suffice if you need to drive backwards. If you can’t see the obstacles, you would most likely hit them. Mounting light bars like stadium-grade LED lamps would be useful when you drive on beaten off-road paths.
On most vehicles, shock absorbers may be hidden out of sight. However, they play an important role in controlling the suspension on your truck. Instead of using stock shocks for your off-road drive, it would be better to opt for beefy aftermarket units. These tend to be bigger, featuring a larger piston and piston rod. Aside from that they efficiently dissipate heat.
The additional modifications we mentioned in this article will make a huge difference in your off-road driving experience. If you need customised truck accessories like bull bars or roof racks, contact KP Fabrication today! By giving us a call, you can get a FREE QUOTE!
10 Off-Road Mods for TrucksLouize Rose
- February 2018 (2)