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Does my ranch truck need an aftermarket bumper?

Towing With Aftermarket Bumpers

Even a truck with a lot of horsepower might not be able to tow more than a few hundred pounds when it rolls off the dealership lot. The truck's bumper may not be strong enough to pull heavy loads. A strong aftermarket bumper could actually boost your truck's towing capacity.

Not all aftermarket bumpers are good for towing. You'll need a well-built bumper capable of withstanding strong forces while distributing the load to the rest of your truck. There are two factors you need to take into consideration: tongue weight and towing capacity.

Tongue weight refers to the amount of vertical force the bumper will experience when you hook the tongue of a trailer to your truck's trailer hitch. Towing capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight the manufacturer recommends you tow with that bumper. Most aftermarket bumpers have a much higher towing capacity rating than tongue weight capacity -- sometimes up to 10 times as much.

Towing with an aftermarket bumper is essentially the same as towing with a normal bumper. Depending upon the bumper you choose, you may have to secure a new trailer hitch to the bumper, too. Then, it's just a simple matter of hooking your trailer up to your truck using the trailer hitch and safety chains. While you'll be able to tow heavier loads using an aftermarket bumper, you should still avoid exceeding the maximum towing capacity of your truck or bumper -- whichever is lower.

It's a good idea to follow all safety guidelines and proper driving techniques while towing using an aftermarket bumper, particularly if you have to drive over uneven terrain.