Obviously the whole point of 4×4 is that you use them off road, to the back of beyond, and let’s face it- where you’re going, you don’t need (paved) roads! That said, just throwing your 4×4 out into the wilderness without a few extra safety features might not be the best idea. Going off road means rocks, stumps and other obstacles and the best way to manage around those is by equipping rock sliders.
Let’s say you’re heading over ruts and rocks, your Ford Ranger rock sliders give you a handy pivot point to get around or over them to keep you on the move and your vehicle safe. Or maybe you’re 4WDing and the ground clearance is going to cause problems, your Hilux rock sliders give you some protection for your vehicle. They are made of thick material and a good manufacturing grade because they need to hold the weight of your rig. They also sometimes come with a kickout that pushes your vehicle away from obstacles, and well-built ones are a good attachment point to help flip you back over if you happen to have a bit of an accident!
Rock sliders often look like side steps, and can be used as such, but unlike actual side steps they will protect the underneath of the vehicle. There are a lot of delicate parts underneath your 4×4 that you don’t want to damage, like your sills and lower panels which are expensive to repair, but with rock sliders installed those delicate parts are provided with an extra layer of protection.
When you’re considering buying rock sliders for your vehicle, make sure you get ones made to fit your specific vehicle. Whether its Ford Ranger rock sliders, or Hilux rock sliders, they’re not all made the same so it’s best to make sure you check out reviews and talk to someone in the know to get advice. The material is important too, ideally high tensile, reinforced steel like the Ford Ranger rock sliders. The finish is also something to consider, for example some of the Hilux rock sliders come finished in black power coat. There are also some types of rock sliders that double as side steps so you can get the best of both worlds!
Finally, of course you want to make sure they’re installed correctly so you can get the full benefit, and so nothing important falls off your 4×4 when you’re driving! This means getting your rock sliders installed by a professional unless you have the know-how (and help) to do it yourself. A company that’s experienced in 4×4 modifications and performance upgrades like PPD Performance would be able to give solid advice when it comes to rock slider installation.