Rock Sliders: Don’t Let Sticks and Stones Break Your 4WD’s Bones
Driving through rough terrain can be a lot of fun as long as your vehicle is equipped with the right off-roading equipment. You probably made sure you have the proper tyres that can withstand all the bumps in the road and invested in a suspension lift which is a given for overcoming obstacles. I’m sure you even have custom protective bumpers installed. But did you ever considered getting rock sliders? If you enjoy putting your 4WD to the test over some really rocky terrain, a set of of rock sliders can help protect your investment and make sure you are able to drive it for years to come.
At their most basic definition, rock sliders are strong metal protectors you can install on your truck’s undercarriage. They run the inside length of your vehicle, from one wheel to the other. Mounted this way, they can protect your doorsills and rocker panels from damage when driving over obstacles like logs or rocks that are taller than the clearance of the truck. Moreover, the rock sliders’ position also gives you a convenient place to step on when you’re working around your truck. Being a relatively cheap accessory, rock sliders sure pack a lot of potential.
No vehicle comes with pre-installed rock sliders and no vehicle manufacturer builds their own. This means the only way you can purchase them is as an aftermarket accessory. Luckily, the market for 4×4 aftermarket accessories is booming here in Australia and you can easily find a set of custom rock sliders. For instance, if you’re a proud owner of a Hilux, you’ll be able to find a wide range of rock sliders Hilux models. You only need to make sure the rock sliders Hilux set is compatible with the specific year of your vehicle.
Besides making sure the rock sliders fit your truck’s year and make, you should also consider some additional important things. For one, the material they’re made of. A set made of DOM or HREM carbon steel won’t provide as much resistance against frequent bumps and can dent and crush easily. On the other hand, there are aluminium rock sliders which might be a bit more expensive but are definitely much more durable and sturdier than carbon steel.
Although the material is very important for the toughness and durability of these 4×4 accessories, thickness also plays a huge role. The industry standard for quality is 50mm thickness, and you wouldn’t want anything below that near your vehicle. Luckily, most manufacturers today built their rock sliders according to this standard. If you want an additional layer of protection, you can always apply protective coating which can help preserve them and increase their longevity.
Most smart off-roading enthusiast will want to invest in some sturdy rock sliders, even if they avoid the super rough trails. It’s a cheap but effective protection against potential damage that could be harder and more expensive to repair after the fact. For anyone who is on the road all the time and pushing the limits of their vehicle, rock sliders can help reduce the wear and tear that comes with off-roading and protect your investment for years to come.