There are numerous makers of bull bars in Australia, ranging from small businesses selling bars they make themselves through to the professional and practical range of bars manufactured by ARB 4x4 accessories.
While other manufacturers, such as TJM and ECB also provide an extensive range of bull bars I refer to those manufactured by ARB as this company is amongst Australia's oldest, and most respected, manufacturing bull bars of excellence. They have led the field in innovation, especially in respect to bar mounting systems as well as pioneering design aerodynamics and tackling the tricky task of airbag compatible bars.
A bull bar falls under the essential protection category, and in the case of ARB is a practical and functional piece of equipment that is backed by years of experience, research and ongoing testing. One of the strong points of ARB bars is the knowledge that each bull bar is designed and engineered specifically to suit specific make and model four-wheel drives. When considering buying a bull bar ask yourself has this bar been designed to suit my vehicle, as a 'one design' bar does not fit all vehicles, and will offer inferior protection.
Second only to the design of the bull bar is its mounting system. After all it's of little value having a big, strong bar that is fixed to the vehicle by a couple of bolts to chassis rails. In this instance a low impact will be sufficient to push the bar back, or even snap it off, causing damage to your vehicle. ARB developed a mounting system that is an integral part of the bull bar design and is generally recognised as the best available. The real strength of a bull bar comes from its mounting system. All ARB bars are fully chassis mounted and in effect are an extension of the vehicle's chassis. Their bars are mounted along the chassis rails and are braced to redistribute and absorb impact across a wide area, thus maximising protection to the vehicle and occupants.
ARB pioneered the modern bull bar and all their bars meet three simple aims. Firstly it is designed for no compromise front-end protection. It will absorb substantial impact against other objects which otherwise will damage your vehicle or occupants. Secondly ARB bull bars are manufactured with consideration for future accessories you may wish to add to the front end of your vehicle. Whether, driving lights, winch or radio aerials, their deluxe and winch specific bars make provision for accessories.
Finally ARB bars are designed and finished to enhance your vehicle. They tend to appear as an extension of the vehicle with tapered wings, compatible bonnet height, and can be finished in matching body colours for total aesthetic as well as practical enhancement. One of the big chestnuts is choosing between steel, alloy or other material for your bull bar. Through my experience steel offers the best protection as put simply, steel is stronger than aluminium, which is a soft metal, hence it offers a higher stress yield.
As with all quality 4x4 accessories, you need the best and should never compromise your protection for a lower price.