When upgrading a factory bumper, knowing what you want and expect from an aftermarket bumper can make the decision easier. The thickness of the steel used is usually a major consideration for purchase. You may be trying to determine exactly how thick the plate steel should be, and what is too thick or too thin for off-road use. After all, the main reason for concern about bumper thickness is the level of protection and strength it will provide.
What Things Matter Besides Thickness?
There is more to consider than thickness when deciding on a bumper purchase. Several things affect the strength and durability of an off-road bumper besides the thickness of the steel, including:
- Quality Of The Welds: The strength of a bumper is only as good as the quality of the welds holding it together. While thickness is important, a thinner bumper with strong welds will be stronger than a thicker bumper with weak welds.
- Strength Of Internal Supports: How the bumper is supported internally and mounted to the vehicle is also critical. Strength doesn’t only come from thick steel and weld quality. The internal supports of the bumper affect force distribution and the performance of mounted accessories such as winches, skid plates, and recovery points.
- Protection From Corrosion: While thick steel is strong, it still needs to be properly protected from the elements to avoid corrosion. Once corrosion sets in, it can be hard to stop and the bumper will weaken over time. Quality rust inhibitors and paint finish will ensure long service life.
How Thick Should A Steel Bumper Be?
In order for a steel bumper to provide the best protection, it should be between 3/16” and 1/4” thick. Some parts of the bumper need to be thicker than other parts. One part of the bumper may only need to provide impact or cosmetic protection. Another part of the bumper may serve as a recovery point or be load-bearing, such as a winch mount. At Throttle Down Kustoms, we use an ideal combination of 3/16″ and 1/4″ plate steel to craft the shell of our bumpers. The shackle mounts are made from 3/4″ steel.
Why Should You Purchase A TDK Steel Bumper?
When it comes to making a high-quality bumper, steel is the least expensive component. Most of the expense comes from experienced welders and fabricators who make the bumper. Fabricating and welding multiple internal supports adds even more cost. All of the skilled labor involved is the biggest cost factor in building a quality bumper, not the steel. However, to minimize cost, some manufacturers do as little welding and fabricating as possible. Instead, they market their bumpers on the thickness of the steel, downplaying the importance of quality construction.
At Throttle Down Kustoms, we value quality and safety above all else. If you’re looking for a high-quality steel off-road bumper, look no further than TDK steel bumpers. Our rugged bumpers are among the best on the market because:
- We work with high-quality PNO steel plates that are CNC laser cut for precise fitment.
- Our team of certified welders makes high-quality welds that ensure maximum strength.
- All our bumpers come with rugged internal supports built to reinforce the bumper in a collision.
- All our bumpers are treated with superior rust protection.
- We make our bumpers in the USA with USA-sourced materials.
- We proudly back our products with a lifetime warranty on structural defects.