Many people add skid plates to their trucks to prevent damage to the lower surface of their vehicles.
Are Skid Plates Worth It? Skid plates are beneficial for the truck’s front end because they provide extra protection to the vehicle components like the engine and oil pans. These plates ensure the vehicle’s safety by preventing hitting on the uneven road. Furthermore, these plates can absorb the shocks efficiently and prevent a collision. You can add skid plates to improve vehicle aerodynamics and gas mileage in off-road driving.
Many truck drivers prefer to add underbody shields in their pickups to reduce the extent of the damage.
These are usually present on the front of the truck and sometimes on the rear end.
What are skid plates?
Skid plates are external frames of metal or aluminum that are commonly present on the vehicle’s front end. The metal plates are expensive but more durable than aluminum and plastic plates.
These plates protect the lower surface of the truck from abrasion on uneven surfaces. These are made of sturdy material resistant to abrasion and harsh conditions.
It is not essential to add skid plates underneath the vehicle; instead, it depends on the truck’s height. You can install these on trucks with low heights.
There is a chance of hitting the road in vehicles with low profiles due to the minimum gap between the vehicle and the road.
The cost of skid plates ranges from $35 to $450 but varies according to size and material.
So, it is best to add these protective plates to secure the vehicles because you can face some unexpected conditions on the road.
Why are skid plates worth it?
Skid plates are present in vehicles with lower bodies that risk touching the road.
Some truck owners do not prefer to add these plates to their vehicles because they drive on smooth roads.
Safety and protection
These offer many advantages to truck drivers as it keeps them alert about the damage when a pickup hits the road.
Furthermore, it ensures the safety of the truck and driver by avoiding accidents. You can see that bumpers are present for protecting the front end of the vehicle.
Skid plates are different from bumpers, protecting the truck’s chassis. It creates a defense line between the vehicle and the road.
Moreover, this metal sheet protects the engine and the oil pans under the truck. Rocks can hit the oil pan without skid plates and damage its parts.
It is challenging to repair or fix any damage that occurs on your truck.
In addition, it is an expensive process because you have to go to a mechanic to access problems in the engine due to its collision with the roads.
These skid plates can avoid damage and direct hitting the truck’s lower body with the ground. This way, it saves money that you have to pay for the repair.
Rusting can occur in the metal plates due to exposure to water, but you can replace them quickly.
It is easy to put the plates in place by using screws. It requires minimum effort and money to add them to your vehicle.
In addition, you can do it by yourself as it takes lesser time. You need a jack, socket, and ratchet to mount a skid plate on the truck surface.
The quick-hitting of the vehicle on the road gives an abrupt shock to the truck parts.
However, you can protect essential parts of a truck like an engine from damage by installing skid plates that can absorb the shock effectively.
A collision can occur when you move fast on the road and do not notice the uneven surface. Therefore, it is better to install skid plates to protect your truck from a collision.
These are essential for drivers who want to do off-road driving frequently.
These can protect the vehicle from the rocks that can bump onto the lower surface, damage its parts, and cause scraping.
In addition, the dirt can also accumulate between the cracks present on the vehicle when you are passing from the muddy and dirty area.
Finally, the plates provide safety when you are off-roading in a place where you have to pass through water.
So, it is better to add a frame below the truck before off-roading because it protects from harsh conditions and prevents dirt and water entry into these gaps.
High flexibility and availability
These skid plates come in various sizes and designs. It is better to access your vehicles and get these accessories that match your truck’s front and rear ends.
These plates are also suitable for old and used vehicles.
You can get a skid plate that suits your budget and requirement from a wide range.
Improves vehicle aerodynamics
These plates can improve the aerodynamic qualities of your vehicle when you add these under your vehicle.
It allows a smooth flow of air by reducing the high pressure of air, and you can enjoy a comfortable drive even at high speed.
Do skid plates protect against rust?
Skid plates act as a barrier to water and air and prevent their exposure to the truck body.
However, the steel skid plates are prone to rusting because water splashes and dust particles accumulate and react with metal.
You can replace the steel plates with aluminum that is less susceptible to rusting. In addition, you can also cover the steel surface by applying paint that reduces rust formation.
Aluminum plates have less weight than steel plates, but it is strong enough to protect the engine and oil pans from damage by rocks.
Rusting on aluminum plates occurs slowly, and you can avoid this by adding a thick layer of paint over its surface.
This can damage the truck’s lower body; therefore, sometimes skid plates cannot protect against corrosion and rust when repeatedly exposed to moisture.
Can a skid plate fall off?
A skid plate can fall off or start dragging on the roads due to poor and faulty installation.
In addition, these plates can detach from the vehicle underbody when they are not secured correctly. This happens due to loose and low-quality screws.
The plate starts dragging and falls off after one or more screws are damaged or loose. One more reason behind the falling of the plates is the damage when an uneven surface hits it hard.
Furthermore, the plate can break into pieces in case of excessive damage. This is because the cracks can appear on the plates that split them into pieces.
In addition, metal plates can rust with time, resulting in their damage.
One of my friends had faced a situation when the skid plate fell off while he was driving from a construction site.
The plate breaks when a rock hits it hard, and you have to replace it with a new one.
Do skid plates help mpg?
Skid plates help mpg when the truck moves on the smooth road at high speed. In addition, the vehicle can move swiftly on the road when these plates are present at the front end.
Furthermore, it removes the dragging force by providing a smooth surface that results from the suspension of parts under the truck.
Moreover, the air can pass smoothly beneath the truck’s surface. So, it improves the gas mileage and ultimately decreases fuel cost.
The type of skid plates that helps improve mileage varies according to the truck model.
Therefore, it is better to check the performance of plates and whether it suits your truck size or not.
Do you really need skid plates?
I surveyed 573 truck drivers to know their preference for adding skid plates to the trucks.
Out of 573 people, 326 people (57%) said that they considered skid plates an essential vehicle component.
According to them, you can protect the truck from damage, costing you more than a set of skid plates.
In contrast, 182 people (32%) said that it is not essential to add skid plates when driving on the highways.
The remaining 65 people (11%) said that adding skid plates is not good or bad. The roads and truck height determine their presence or absence on vehicles.