Bull bars and tow hooks both have different purposes on your truck.
Some people mistakenly use push bumper to tow their vehicle because they think the holes present on the bull bars are recovery points.
Can You Use Bull Bar as Tow Hooks? You can use bull bars as tow hooks if they have rated recovery points and winch mounting frames. Do not use ordinary bumpers for towing as they have less tensile strength and can break easily. Instead, attach tow straps with rated recovery points to pull a vehicle from a stuck position. It is better to remove the tow hooks to install bull bars.
Bull bars provide mild protection to pick up, and tow hooks are used for pulling the truck from one place to another.
Difference between the bull bar and tow hooks
Bull bars are also called push bumpers that are present on the front side of the truck. These solid tubing acts as a shield to protect the pickup front.
In addition, they act as a barrier to prevent damage to the vehicle frame due to colliding with walls, animals, or other solid objects.
They protect the front side from scratches and dents by forming a barrier between the vehicle’s front and other solid objects.
They are available in different types, and each type differs in style and size. They are usually made from steel, aluminum, plastic, or molded polycarbonate.
Tow hooks are used to pull the truck from one place to another. They are also used for recovering a vehicle from a struck position.
The tow hooks are available in different types, and they serve as an attachment site for towing chains and straps.
Mostly the tow hooks are present on the front side of the vehicle.D ring tow hooks, grab hooks, and pintle hooks are some of the types of these towing hooks.
Is it possible to use the bull bar as tow hooks?
Using bull bars for towing depends upon the type of bull bar you have on your truck.
Mostly the push bumpers are not suitable for towing or pulling any pickup. You should not use ordinary bull bars for towing any pickup.
Some push bars are available in the market with rated recovery points for pulling a vehicle from a stuck position.
These bars have rated recovery points on them to tow a pickup. The rated recovery points can handle an excess load on them.
The load pulling capacities of these points are mentioned on them. They are tested for pulling different vehicles and heavy objects.
These bull bars are strong and have high tensile strength bolts on them. Manufacturers install a winch mounting frame on these bars to serve as a towing point.
This winch mounting frame allows for added recovery or towing points on the push bumper tubing.
In addition, these plates have high tensile strength and pull the vehicle without uneven distribution of load.
So whenever you think of using the bull bar as tow hooks, look for these features in your push bumper.
Why you should not use bull bars for towing?
There are several reasons we should not use bull bars as towing points.
Can break easily
The bull bars are not for towing or pulling vehicles. When we use them for towing, the steel tubing cannot withstand the force or pull.
They break and rip off from their position due to extreme pressure. In addition, the force of pulling the truck can bend the steel tubes and deform the front side of the pickup.
They are manufactured to handle mild pressure and collision. However, the aluminum push bumpers are lightweight and are prone to breakage due to pulling of excessive load.
Low tensile strength
Towing a vehicle will require high tensile strength to pull it from different angles.
The material of the ordinary push bumpers has low tensile strength. Therefore, minor stress can deform the tubing of the bull bars.
The brackets holding them in their respective position are not strong enough to resist breakage.
The plastic-based bars are the lightest and have the lowest tensile strength. Such materials are prone to breakage due to low tensile strength.
You should check the weight-bearing and other specs before using them for pulling a vehicle.
Uneven distribution of load
When you use push bumpers to pull a truck, it can cause an uneven load distribution. Towing a struck truck requires pulling it from different angles.
When we apply force in a different direction, the vehicle can not maintain its even and upright position.
Uneven distribution of weight will damage the pickup frame and its other parts. Ordinary bars cannot distribute the pull force equally along with all the parts of the pickup.
For decorative purposes only
The plastic bull bars are not for protecting the front of the truck. They are installed just for decorative purposes.
In racing, they are present only to enhance the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.
Such pickups should have separate tow hooks for pulling them. Using them for towing will harm the bumper and damage the truck suspension.
How can you pull the vehicle with bull bars?
Ensure that the push bumper of your truck has rated recovery points to attach tow straps with it.
Then you can take a tow strap chain or rope to pull it. Check the tensile strength and weight-bearing capacities of the bumper and recovery points.
Tow straps have hooks on each side of the strap. Attach one of them to the recovery point of the truck you are going to pull.
Next, attach another hook to the other truck that will pull the other pickup. Ensure both trucks have rated recovery points or winch mounting plate on them.
Then pull the vehicle by driving the other pickup forward. It is a difficult task as you have to apply force to pull the truck.
Can you use bull bars along with the tow hooks?
This question comes to mind when you need both push bumpers and tow hooks together.
Both are essential when you drive the vehicle in rough or muddy areas more often.
Most trucks have factory tow hooks installed on the front side of the pickup. But when you want to add a protective shield, you should remove the tow hooks.
You cannot install a bull bar along with tow hooks on the same vehicle. Both are installed in the same position and will not fit together.
So when the bumper is only for decorative purposes, remove them to install tow hooks. But there are some exceptions; some manufacturers allow the installation of the tow hooks with push bumpers.
You can install tow hooks in between the gap of bumper tubing. You have to change the direction of hooks from a horizontal to a vertical position.
When you need a bull bar and tow hooks, install a bumper with rated recovery points on your truck.
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