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Best Gear of 2018: AFN Bullbar, Ironman Bullbar, ARB raw bar

By Justin Walker, 01 Jan 2019 Gear

Best Gear of 2018 AFN Bullbar Ironman Bullbar ARB raw bar feature

Need protection? Here are the best bars to come out in 2018.

Aside from adding a touch of machismo, bullbars serve an essential purpose in improving safety, especially for those who plan on using their 4x4s on the tracks. 

More than just simple aesthetics, serious engineering work goes into a bullbar's design to ensure that it is ADR-compliant and able to meet the myriad of requirements for safety features on today's 4x4s. Furthermore as many bullbars are used as a mounting point for other 4x4 gear such as driving lights and winches, the engineering challenges are further increased.

Of the many bullbars that were released in 2018, these are the few that has impressed us thus far. 

AFN 4x4 bullbar: D-MAX (2017-onwards)

The team at AFN have been busy, and the result is this new bullbar for Isuzu’s D-Max (2017-onwards). One of AFN’s new-gen bar designs, this unit fits the vehicle with fully moulded rubber joining panels (older-gen bars used pinch-mould rubbers that needed to be cut to fit).

The new mouldings fit the front fender and headlight areas. The bar mount system has been tweaked to offer better adjustment, plus there’s a new bash plate design as well as integrated fog lights and indicators. There is also provision for fitment of driving lights and radio aerial. The fit and finish indicates the AFN team is looking to improve them all the time – a win-win for D-Max.

Website:  www.afn4x4.com.au

Ironman 4x4 Amarok bullbars (TDV6)

Ironman 4x4 has released two new bullbars for VW’s popular Amarok TDV6 (11/2016-onwards). The two bars – Commercial Deluxe and No Loop models – include all the expected goodies from the company, including full ADR compliance, airbag compatibility and the option(s) of a single or triple loop kit that includes replacement rubber over-riders and all fitting hardware.

The bars are created using premium-grade materials for optimum durability and maximum corrosion resistance. The designs feature triple folded edges, inset LED parking lights, fog lights, indicators, high-lift jack points, a winch mount, and provision for fitment of an aerial and spotties.

The Commercial bar offers increased protection for your vehicle’s grille and lights, etc., while the No Loop model provides great frontal protection with a more minimalist appearance.

Website:  www.ironman4x4.com

ARB Summit raw bar 

This rear bar from ARB is a stripped-back, tough and protective accessory ideal for dual-cab utes destined for off-road work. The Summit Raw features a 60.3mm black powdercoated tube and is situated lower down along the side of the tub than ARB’s Summit rear step tow bar.

The Summit Raw is engineered to tow 3.5 tonnes and has provision for trailer plug wiring, compressor, trailer camera, 50amp Anderson plug and parking sensors. The Summit Raw sits between a standard tow bar and the top-end Summit rear step tow bar, and is available for Ford Ranger PX and PXII, Mazda BT-50 and Toyota Hilux.

Website:  www.arb.com.au