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All About Dodge Ram Bull Bars

Written By: Connor MC

Shop Ram Bull Bars

Bull bars are an iconic truck item and for good reason. Bull bars add a level of aggressiveness to your Ram as well as protection from off-road and on-road debris. Whether you live in deer country or fancy exploring the great outdoors from the comfort of your truck, a bull bar is a solid investment.

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A bull bar, or sometimes referred to as a push bar or nudge bar, presents a sleek and easy way to protect the front of your Ram pickup truck from minor collisions. Secured directly to the frame, a bull bar typically extends out from the lower air dam and up halfway to the front grille of the truck. Most feature a rounded, trapezoidal shape. They do not protect the upper portion of the front grille, nor the headlights. Instead, their prime objective (apart from looking good) is to minimize the front end damage that regularly occurs while driving the busy streets or a rural highway.

Protects Against Both City and Rural Cows

Made in either 3” or 3.5” diameter tubing, bull bars are excellent for protecting the front of your Ram from the mild bumps and scrapes that are oft to happen driving in and around the city (there is always that one guy that doesn’t look behind him before backing out of his parking space!). The majority of bull bars also come with an integrated skid plate at the bottom, which works well for protecting the lower bumper fascia from small bumps and rocks when traversing off-road - just don’t expect the skid plate to survive a major impact with a large boulder. That isn’t their purpose.

When driving outside the confines of the city or on a rural or backcountry road, a bull bar can also greatly mitigate any damage if an unfortunate encounter does occur between truck and animal. In the event of a collision with a small animal, a bull bar will help absorb some of the energy involved and transfer it to the frame, which often makes the difference in saving the front grille and radiator. In fact, this is where the term bull bar is derived from, as their initial application was to full-size semis that ran routes where there were large amounts of cattle.

Easy Auxiliary Off-Road Lighting

Furthermore, most bull bars also come with pre-drilled mounting locations for aftermarket lighting systems. You can expect to throw on a couple round off-road lamps, or one rectangular LED light bar, with relative ease (and either option looks absolutely fantastic, not to mention super useful on dark roads).

Even better, select Ram bull bars come with an LED bar already integrated into their lower cross-brace. This keeps a streamlined profile upfront yet has all the advantages of LED auxiliary lighting – which is a bright and powerful spread-beam light that comes with a very low electrical draw. Being mounted in a bull bar means the LED bar will of course be exposed to all sorts of weather and debris, thus they will carry at least an IP67 (if not IP68) rating that makes them impervious to water and dust intrusion under most on and off-road conditions. An IP67 rating means the light is capable of withstanding submersion up to 1 meter deep and an IP68 rating goes beyond that, as specified by the manufacturer.

Mild or Stainless Steel

Bull bars come constructed of either mild steel or stainless steel. Mild steel bull bars are always painted with a protective black coating whereas the stainless steel bars are left natural for a natural polished look. The edge goes to the stainless steel in terms of overall ease of maintenance, longevity and corrosion resistance. The black painted mild steel bull bars are durable; however they require slightly more maintenance over the years to keep them rust free. If the paint chips or cracks, the metal underneath will be exposed and can oxidize quite quickly. It may be necessary to touch the paint up or completely repaint a mild steel bull bar after several years depending on the climate and road conditions it is exposed to. Due to this property, mild steel bull bars are cheaper to buy. However, by no means is it safe to say that all black bull bars are made of mild steel. There are plenty of bull bar manufacturers’ that produce a stainless steel bull bar and have it coated black, which is the ideal choice for a Ram owner that prefers a blacked out aesthetic and top material quality.

Can I Install a Ram Bull Bar Myself?

Ram bull bars are made to be (and look) strong and beefy – a matching representation of the truck they are being installed on. Outfitting either a third generation (2002-2008 half ton) or fourth generation (2009-2018) Ram with a bull bar is actually quite easy and can be accomplished at home using basic hand tools. All mounting hardware is supplied with the bull bar, and the brackets will either secure to the tow hook mount (if equipped) or to the lower bumper support (for trucks without factory tow hooks). Realistically speaking, the most annoying part is having to trim the plastic splash guard in order to accommodate the bull bar mounting brackets. Once installed, a neat trick in order to prolong the shine and help protect the finish is to actually wax the bar using a non-abrasive wax.

Fitment includes: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT10, SLT, ST, Laramie, Sport, SXT, TRX, TRX4, RT, LaramieLonghorn, Tradesman, Express, HFE, Rebel, Longhorn, LoneStar, Outdoorsman, Limited, Bighorn