Trucks are workhorses suited for even the most demanding and punishing conditions, and this is what makes them perfect for off-roading or hunting trips. Because most of the places you might want to visit are far off into the depths of forests, private ranches, or national parks, you need to ensure your truck is capable of traversing the terrain and getting you to where you need to go. Because trucks typically leave the showroom inadequately equipped to deal with these conditions, truck owners who want to take theirs off-roading or hunting should consider upgrading them. Here are five upgrades to help with that.
Wheels and Tires
Once you are off the tarmac, traction is very important, and this is why one of the first upgrades you should do is to install new wheels and tires. There are hundreds of off-road tires on the market, so you should know what you need. Think about how you will use your truck, and which tires will be right for both before you purchase some; these wheels and tires are typically very expensive for a set.
For most truck owners, all-terrain tires will work very well. All-terrain tires last longer when driving on the tarmac and provide a comfortable and quiet ride. However, they lack the capability of specialized off-road tires such as those built for traversing mud or rocky road patches. They are still capable of providing enough traction on trails that are not too demanding, though.
If you are thinking of switching to large tires, you need to think about the cost and whether they will fit in your vehicle. Lots of trucks have wheel wells that do not allow larger tires unless you modify the vehicle itself.
Additionally, installing larger tires will require that you visit your mechanic's shop so they can calibrate your speedometer as well as other components.
Suspension and Body Lift Kits
How high your truck is off the ground is an important consideration when taking it off-roading since the roads will likely be very rough and unforgiving. You do not want the bottom scraping on rocks and hard mud because that will damage some of the parts underneath the truck.
Although they are applied to different parts of the truck, suspension and body lift kits both increase the gap between the vehicle’s body and the ground. Suspension lift kits are especially important for off-roaders because they include superior suspension that ensures improved comfort even on more difficult terrain.
Body lift kits can work with or without suspension lift kits. If you opt not to get the suspension lift kit, companies like TCS Uplifting can install the body kit without having to realign the suspension. You still get the improved right height, though. They do have other accessories, and you can learn more about off-road truck accessories and upgrades available for different trucks on their website.
An added advantage of getting a body lift kit is that it makes it possible and easier to fit larger off-roading tires.
Grille Guard or Bull Bar
Traversing the outdoors can take a significant toll on your truck’s front end. Because of this, you need to install protection against brush, touch terrains and other environmental elements.
A bull bar is a minimal option that is easy to install and that provides adequate protection for trucks not being put through too much punishment. A bull bar consists of a U-shaped piece of metal that wraps in front of the bumper and stops just below the grille.
Many bull bar options also come with a skid plate that protects the truck's underside from rock and particle impact. If you traverse terrain with rocky paths without much brush or lots of trees, a bull bar with a skid plate is a great option.
For truckers going off-roading in places where they encounter a lot of trees, animals and brush, a grille guard is a great option. Such a guard replaces the U bar used in bull bars and instead uses two bars attached to the frame and wrapping over the hood. Crossbars are then attached between the two bars for added protection, and some models even feature a mesh that protects without limiting airflow to the radiator.
It is quite common for your headlights to be covered in mud when off-roading or hunting. When this happens, your headlights become useless until you can clean them. Off-road lighting helps alleviate these problems by giving you an alternative you can use when your headlights are no longer usable.
Truck owners can install auxiliary lights above the headlights, with light bars being a possible option. It is important to have separate switches for these lights because you do not want them on when driving on the road. Because of how powerful they typically are, you risk causing an accident by blinding other drivers when you use them on the road.
You might be surprised at how useful a winch can be when you are stuck alone in a muddy patch in the woods. As long as you can find a strong enough tree or somewhere to anchor the winch, you can get out of most situations.
Apart from the winch, your vehicle might also need D-ring recovery shackles and recovery hooks. It is important to consider whether you will need a new bumper when shopping for and before installing the winch. While some trucks will accommodate the winch just fine, some require modifications or new bumpers.
Nerf Bars, Running Boards, and Step Boards
All these accessories make climbing into the truck easier, especially if you have a body or suspension lift kit. They do serve another purpose, though, in that they help protect the sides of the vehicle. This is because they are installed on either side right below the doors.
Their placement can help you know if your vehicle is too low or even take a hit if your vehicle passes over some rough terrain.
Most trucks are not capable of traversing the harsh terrain and environment you will encounter when hunting or off-roading. Because of this, you might need to prepare them by modifying them and installing some after-market accessories. These accessories and upgrades protect your vehicle while also making your trip a lot more accommodating.