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A Grille Guard by Any Other Name Is Still a Grille Guard

The grille guards we sell to truck drivers are based on an idea that has been around for decades. In other words, grille guards are not new technology. But today they constitute one of the hottest trends among American truckers. Larger numbers of truckers are sporting grille guards to protect the front ends of their trucks and make them look better at the same time.

Did you know that the term ‘grille guard’ is not the only term used to describe these devices? There are other terms as well, used interchangeably around the country. We will look at some of those names in this post. If you are looking for a grille guard for your truck, we invite you to check out our inventory. We may have just what you’re looking for.

Grille Guards

The name ‘grille guard’ has really become a generic term that covers all the different kinds of guards you could mount on the front of a truck. This is what causes some confusion among consumers. Technically speaking, a grille guard is any kind of guard that covers the grill area of a four wheeled vehicle. However, the existence of some of the other names for this product has led to ‘grille guard’ being a bit more specific.

A grille guard, as opposed to a bull or cow guard, tends to go across the entire front area of the truck. It protects the grill, bumper, and front lights.

Bull and Cow Guards

Two other names for the grille guard are bull and cow guard. No one knows for sure where these names came from, but many speculate they come from ranching. The idea here is that you put a guard on the front of your truck to protect it against minor collisions with bulls and cows in the field. Given that pickup trucks have replaced horses on many modern ranches, this makes a lot of sense.

The one thing to note about bull and cow guards is that they may not cover the entire front area of the truck. Smaller guards cover only the grill area. Some even come with skid plates that protect the underside of the truck from things like rocks and tree stumps.

Brush Guards

The term ‘brush guard’ is another with unknown origins. It is believed that the term originated as a way to describe a piece of equipment that would protect the front of the vehicle as it moves through tall grass and brush. A brush guard may or may not cover the entire front of the vehicle on which it is mounted.

The Name Doesn’t Really Matter

At the end of the day, the name of the guard you choose doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your grille guard fits your truck properly and provides the kind of protection you want. To that end, note that grille guards do not require cutting or drilling to install.

Grille guards are designed for specific makes and models of vehicles. As such, a guard manufactured for one type of truck may not easily mount on another without modification. That’s why we recommend only buying a grille guard manufactured for your make and model.

If you have any questions about our grille guards, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you find a guard for your truck. And while we’re here, we would like to offer you a full selection of truck tarps, rigging supplies, towing supplies, and more. We are your one-stop shop for all your cargo control needs.


The Differences Between a Bull Bar and Grille Guard

You may run across bull bars in your search for a good grille guard for your truck. Note that bull bars and grille guards are not the same thing. Furthermore, bull bars are hard to find for big rigs because they really aren’t appropriate for large, commercial vehicles.

We want you to be familiar with the differences between bull bars and grille guards so that you don’t buy the wrong thing for your truck. If you are in the market for grille guard, we have several models for you to choose from. Please take a few minutes and check out our inventory.

The Basics of Bull Bars

We are not quite sure where the name of ‘bull bar’ came from, but it really doesn’t matter in the context of this discussion. A bull bar is generally an A-shaped guard the affixes to a vehicle via the front of the frame. It has an outer frame, a single crossbar, and a skid plate at the bottom.

Bull bars are relatively small in comparison to the vehicles they are fitted to. They are intended only to protect the immediate front and center of the vehicle during a collision with an animal. A bull bar will protect the radiator, grille, and front bumper, but little else.

The biggest difference between a bull bar and grille guard is the fact that the former does very little to protect beyond the immediate center of the front end. There is no protection for headlights or turn signals. In the event of an off-center collision, a bull bar is rendered practically useless.

Their small size and lack of full protection makes a bull bar inappropriate for commercial vehicles. They are fine for pickup trucks and SUVs where owners are looking for minimal protection against damage from animal collisions.

The Basics of Grille Guards

Where bull bars are normally found only on SUVs and pickups, grille guards are found on trucks of all sizes. Big rigs fitted with grille guards are more readily seen these days, thanks to growing popularity within the trucking industry.

A good grille guard provides full coverage across the lower half of a truck’s grille area. The smallest of guards fully protects the front bumper and the truck’s grille and radiator. Larger guards extend fully upward to protect lights as well.

Made from tough, tubular stainless steel, a grille guard is intended to provide maximum protection during collisions with either animals or other vehicles. A good grille guard can leave a truck virtually unscathed following an accident.

Protecting Your Truck

Any desire to protect the front end of your truck should be met with a grille guard rather than a bull bar. Even if you can find a cheaper bull bar for your rig, it is not worth the investment. Bull bars might be great for pickups and SUVs, but they are a waste of money for big rigs.

Buy a grille guard and get maximum protection at the same time. Note that grille guards and trucks do have compatibility issues, so you need to make sure that the guard you buy will fit your truck. Also note that you should be able to purchase a guard that doesn’t require any drilling or welding. It should attach to the front of your truck very easily with the appropriate brackets.

Mytee Products carries several different models of grille guards at this time. If you don’t see what you need, please give us a call anyway. We still might be able to help you find and acquire the right grille guard for your truck.


What to Look for in a Grille Guard

Take a good look around and you will probably notice more truck drivers installing grille guards on the fronts of their tractors. Grille guards are one of the hottest items in the trucking industry right now. Why? Because they are functional, affordable, and aesthetically attractive.

A well-built guard can mean the difference between preserving the front of your rig and having to pay thousands of dollars to repair it after a collision with an animal. A grille guard also minimizes damage in collisions with other vehicles, and it makes your rig look better at the same time.

Are you in the market for one? If so, here’s what to look for as you shop:

1. Grille Coverage

The number one reason for installing a grille guard is to protect the front of your truck. So grille coverage is really the first priority. You have to ask yourself how much of the front of your rig do you want to protect with the guard. Then consider the actual size of your tractor in relation to the amount of area you need to protect.

The largest trucks will not get much coverage with a small guard. The other side of that coin are large grille guards that would be too big for smaller trucks. You can have too much of a good thing, especially if a grille guard is wider than the front of your rig.

2. Strength and Durability

Stainless steel is the go-to material for manufacturing high quality grille guards. Do not settle for anything less. You want something that is strong and durable, something that will last for as long as you keep driving.

Look for a grill guard manufactured with heavy-duty steel; 14-gauge steel should be sufficient for most needs. Also check to make sure the guard is of tubular construction. Geometry dictates that tubes are a lot stronger for this kind of application than rectangular shapes.

3. Compatibility

You ideally want a grille guard that attaches easily without any modification on your part. Guaranteeing that is a matter of buying a guard that is compatible with your particular truck. Yes, there are compatibility issues.

Each of the grille guards we carry has its own dedicated page on our website. On each page you will find a product description that includes compatibility information. If you cannot locate your truck model and year on the compatibility list of a particular guard, please contact us before purchase. We would rather help you find the right grill guard than have you buy one only to find out it will not work.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Finally, we wouldn’t think about explaining what to look for in a grille guard without talking about aesthetic appeal. As a professional truck driver, you take great pride in your rig. We get that. We wouldn’t want you to settle for something that makes your truck look less than appealing.

The reality is that a good grill guard can truly enhance the looks of your rig. We trust this is important to you even if you never enter your truck in competition. And if you are a show competitor, it goes without saying that not just any grill guard will do. You want one that fits correctly, provides an appropriate amount of coverage, and looks spectacular when cleaned and polished.

Grille guards are all the rage right now. If you are in the market for one, we hope you’ll consider the Mytee Products inventory. And while you’re here, feel free to take a look at all the other cargo control and general trucking products we carry.


How Headache Racks Save Lives

A good-looking headache rack polished to brilliant perfection can make any tractor look like a million dollars. After all, what’s more attractive on a truck than lots of clean and polished chrome? That said, headache racks are not really intended to be showpieces. They provide a vital function. Indeed, headache racks save lives.

No one is really sure where the term ‘headache rack’ comes from. Some say it is so named because it prevents head injuries to flatbed drivers should cargo break loose and slam into the back of the tractor. Others say the name comes from the tendency of truck drivers to hit their heads on the racks when hooking and unhooking trailers.

Regardless of the origins of the name, the point of the headache rack is to protect the back of the tractor from shifting cargo. A headache rack can be nothing more than a steel plate welded to the frame of the truck in just the right position. However, it can also be much more. Headache racks can include cabinets and hooks that increase a tractor’s storage capacity.

Death Mere Inches Away

Neither federal nor state law requires tractors to be fitted with headache racks. Drivers are free to use trailer bulkheads or extra tiedown straps to secure cargo in the absence of a headache rack. Still, a headache rack is a very good idea for any tractor the tows flatbed trailers.

Take the 2014 case of a truck carrying steel girders through Tualatin, Oregon. The truck was cut off by another tractor-trailer, forcing the driver to slam on the brakes. At that very moment, he heard the sound of screeching metal. Knowing what was about to happen, the driver ducked down and hoped he would live to tell the story.

Thankfully, he did. A steel girder crashed through the right side of the cab, missing the driver by mere inches. The truck was not equipped with a headache rack. For that driver, death was just inches away; just a few inches to the left side and that would have been it.

A Headache Rack for Every Truck

One of the best things about headache racks is that there is one for every truck. The racks Mytee Products sells are standard sizes and can be fitted to almost any tractor. But even if none of the models work for your truck, you’re not out of luck. You could have a custom headache rack built just for your rig. You could buy one of our racks and have it modified to meet your needs.

Here’s something else to consider: not all headache racks are designed only to protect the back of the truck. There are cab-over models that can protect the occupants in the event of a rollover. You don’t see these kinds of headache racks on tractor trailers, but they are common for utility vehicles.

A case in point is a truck operated by firefighters fighting a blaze in Colorado earlier this year. The truck was essentially a heavy-duty pickup truck with specialized equipment mounted on the back. Its headache rack covered both the back of the cab and the top of the truck.

While traveling a mountain road thick with smoke, one of the front tires left the roadway and sent the truck plunging down a ravine. Though the vehicle was all but totaled, both driver and passengers walked away from the accident with only minor scrapes, scratches, and bruises.

Headache racks sure do look fine when cleaned and polished. But they also save lives. Which is more important in the long run?

 


Cab Rack or Headache Rack: Does the Name Really Matter?

Truck drivers who come to the Mytee Products website looking for a shiny metal rack to mount to the backs of their cabs will find what they’re looking for under the ‘headache racks’ section of our website. Yes, we call them headache racks. Others call them cab racks. Does the name really matter? That depends on who you ask.

No one really knows how the headache rack got its name. We can only surmise that the name comes from the rack’s ability to protect a driver from cargo that shifts forward during transit. But that’s assuming the headache rack name first applied to the racks on 18 wheelers. But maybe that is not the case.

At any rate, the point is that we all know what headache racks do regardless of what they are called. The name is only important if you draw a distinction between pickup truck and 18-wheeler models. Some people do see a difference.

Big Rigs vs. Pickup Trucks

Say the word ‘truck’ among a group of people and those around you will not necessarily know if you are talking about a big rig or a pickup. The word is rather generic. As such, differences between trucks have given rise to different opinions about headache racks and cab racks.

For those who see a difference, the headache rack applies to a pickup truck while a cab rack applies to a big rig. Why? Once again, no one knows for sure. One possible explanation is that manufacturers of aftermarket parts for pickup trucks have co-opted the headache rack term. Not wishing to be associated with pickup trucks, manufacturers of big rig racks have settled on the cab rack name.

Let us assume such a distinction is worth maintaining. That would suggest a significant difference in the two kinds of racks. A headache rack made for a pickup truck is going to be much smaller – and that is just for starters. It is also not going to be capable of withstanding as much force. You wouldn’t expect it to, given the comparably light loads pickup trucks carry.

On the other hand, a cab rack on the back of an 18-wheeler is going to be a lot bigger and stronger. It has to be able to withstand the force of thousands of pounds of cargo being slammed against it. But there is another difference too: a big rig’s cab rack also has to offer some storage functionality as well.

A Place for Those Chains and Straps

Tractor trailers are limited in terms of their total allowable weight. So if you’re adding a headache rack to the back of your Peterbilt, for example, you have to account for the weight of the rack when calculating the total weight of the rig. You want to keep the weight as low as possible in order to maximize the amount of cargo you can carry. As such, you expect your headache rack to do dual duty.

There are some tractor-trailer racks that are nothing more than steel plates with a couple of hooks for hanging chains and straps. But there are others with built-in storage space for everything from chains and straps to ratchets and winches. Some have storage compartments large enough to accommodate truck tarps. You will not find that kind of storage in a pickup truck model.

In the end, the name doesn’t really matter as long as you get what you need. Mytee Products has what you are looking for. We invite you to browse our selection of headache racks and toolboxes.