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Toyota Tacoma Front & Rear Bumper Types

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That stock front and rear bumpers leave a lot to be desired when building on off-roading and/or overlanding Tacoma. Fitting your truck with beefier bumpers not only adds durability in the case of crashing into an obstacle, but some off winch mounting locations as well as lighting to augment your Tacoma's factory setup.

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Since you have a Tacoma, there’s plenty of good reasons to begin modding it. These trucks are well equipped from the factory, and they are designed to satisfy the needs of mid-sized truck enthusiasts. That isn’t to say there aren’t areas where owners would like to make their own adjustments. Bumpers naturally take beatings, and the factory plastic cover is dressed for the showroom floor. Therefore, making the move from the factory equipment to a rugged bumper cut out for the intended lifestyle of these trucks isn’t an outlandish idea.

Why to Add an Aftermarket Bumper

The overall design of the Tacoma is very tasteful and some are satisfied with the appearance of the factory bumper. Whether it’s appearance driven or not, there are some major benefits to swapping to an aftermarket bumper.

For road use they may seem like a cumbersome concept when balanced with practical use, but they still bring plenty to the table. With that in mind, they also serve a wonderful purpose when wrapped into off-road packages.

The true trick to picking out the appropriate bumper for a Tacoma is by balancing the intended purpose of the truck with the aftermarkets bumper choices. It can be done purely for looks too which means the benefits of their design may not be as crucial during selection.

On-Road Use

A great big, heavy bumper on the front of the truck may not seem like a practical deal for on road use. They stress the suspension and can have negative effects on fuel economy and response considering its more weight for the truck to overcome. The negative impacts can be greatly outweighed by the positives though. Work trucks can take advantage of an aftermarket bumper considering they may take blasts that would otherwise cripple the stock bumper.

Also, there are the unfortunate accidents that may happen where the front of the truck comes in contact with an animal or an object. Of course, the added strength of the aftermarket bumper will help protect the front end or even rear end of the Tacoma.

If weight is of concern, tubular bumpers may be an option for street trucks too, but this would ultimately be more appearance and economy driven considering they leave a lot exposed.

Benefits of an Aftermarket Bumper on a Street Truck:

  • Added Protection on Job Site
  • Added Protection in an Accident

Off-Road Use

Off the beaten path, it makes a lot of sense to reach for an aftermarket bumper. The first thing to take into consideration is the relentless beating bumpers take off-road. Some impacts may be strong enough on their own to rip the plastic bumper cover off in one swoop.

Use of a large steel bumper can be used as a battering ram to blow right through these obstacles. Use of a tubular bumper or a low profile thick gauged bumper can help avoid the impact. The design of the bumpers can also be taken advantage of during rock crawling situations.

Whether it’s crawling upwards or in a departure angle, the design of the bumper will make it harder for the truck to get hung up on a rock and easier for the tires to roll over them. The aftermarket bumpers can also be fitted with aftermarket accessories ideal for off-road use.

Benefits of an Aftermarket Bumper Off-Road:

  • Added Protection during Impact
  • Added Clearance for Rock Crawling
  • Allows for Mounting of Aftermarket Equipment

Types of Aftermarket Bumpers

Just like all aftermarket product, there are variances in the styles of aftermarket bumpers. It is important to identify the intended use of your particular truck in order to select a practical aftermarket bumper. If you’re looking to crawl over obstacles freely, you don’t want a big heavy duty bumper that can get hung up on things. You also don’t want to subject your truck to the limitations of a small, tubular bumper if you intend to utilize the bashing capabilities or mount a winch in a protected area.

Heavy Duty: Heavy duty bumpers bring a lot to the table and are likely the most versatile choice. This type of bumper uses heavy gauge metal for construction making them a great choice for added protection. The metal used is usually metal or aluminum and budget will come into play when deciding between the two. These bumpers are typically designed to accept aftermarket lighting, tow hooks, and winches.

These options aren’t always present so you will have to pay attention while shopping. They can also feature additional protection with the use of built-in bull bars or grille guards. They may also be built as modular units so one can add on these features as desired.

Tubular: Tubular bumpers are excellent for applications where additional clearance is a must. Some heavy-duty bumpers can be designed to avoid obstacles but for the most clearance, tubular is the best choice.

These bumpers make it easy for Tacoma’s to crawl over obstacles considering the bumpers are tucked up toward the grille, leaving more of the tires exposed. With that said, they don’t always have as many mounting options for aftermarket parts like heavy duty bumpers may. There are always means of mounting winches to trucks though and lighting options for tubular bars with lighting is always abundant.

Weight Issues

With the use of a heavy duty bumper, the front end will sag due to the weight. This can prove to be a drawback considering the stance is thrown off and this isn’t an attractive look for many. Also, off-road, the loss of ground clearance is never a good thing. 

Countering Weight with Leveling KitsTo counter the sag, one doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. All that will be needed is a simple leveling kit to raise the front end back into position. This is nothing new considering leveling kits have been used on trucks to correct factory sag in the first place.

With a lift kit, the front end is typically raised more than the front in most cases meaning that one should be in good shape with the appropriate kit. Though, stiffer shocks may be of consideration as an additional measure to avoid this issue.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro