Do you like to take your truck or SUV off-road for the occasional rock crawling adventure? Are you worried about those jagged rocks and boulders scraping up the underside of your truck or SUV? Well then, you could probably benefit from installing a pair of rock sliders on your rig. But what are they and how do they help?
What are rock sliders?
Rock sliders are bars, similar to side steps, that attach onto the sides of your truck or SUV in order to protect the underside area from rocks and stumps. In addition to providing protection, rock sliders also make a handy pivot point when getting around certain obstacles and they even provide a handy step for getting in and out of your truck or SUV.
The benefits of using rock sliders
Essentially, rock sliders are more rugged versions of the factory side steps, however, since they can be bolted on or welded to the frame of your vehicle, they provide a sturdier solution. Other than looking cool, rock sliders also provide a few other benefits to your 4×4 rig, including:
- Body protection: They protect the underside of your rig when driving over rocks.
- Kickout: A kick out is a bump in the back of the slider that pushes your truck or SUV away from an obstacle or rock, further protecting the body of the vehicle.
- Pivot Point: As we mentioned before, you can use a rock slider as a pivot point for tight turns.
- Recovery point: Rock sliders can also act as an attachment point for when you need to flip your rig back over.
- Ingress/egress step: Just like a side step, but better.
What are rock sliders made of?
Most rock sliders are made of two different types of material:
- 1020 DOM Steel
- 1020 HREW Steel
HREW stands for “Hot Rolled Electric Resistance Welded” and is the type of tubing that’s used in many 4×4 parts on the market. On the other hand, DOM stands for “Drawn Over Mandrel” and is stronger than HREW steel. Basically, DOM steel is HREW that’s been cold worked through a die and over a mandrel, which improves the molecular structure of the steel.
You can either bolt-on or weld-on your rock sliders
As far as attaching rock sliders to your rig, you have two choices: bolt them on or weld them on. Bolting them on still requires you to drill holes into the frame of the truck, however, you can easily install and remove them if you do it this way. Conversely, if you want a more custom installation, then you can have them welded on, but remember that if you do, they will be there forever. Or until you decide to cut them off.
How much do rock sliders cost?
Since you can have a shop custom build, design, and install rock sliders onto your rig, there’s not really any set price. However, some companies, like RCI Off-Road, have a set of rock sliders that you can slightly customize for your application, but they are still technically custom made. For a set of those, you can expect to pay between $725 and $1,175 depending on your design and application.