With a great pickup truck comes great responsibility. Large trucks like the Ford Raptor may dominate the market and the road, but safety and handling are some considerations every owner should make when driving on or off the road. While factory-ready Ford trucks are already incredibly safe, here are some additional Ford truck accessories that help improve driver safety for both on and off-road driving.
While cleverly added to certain Ford vehicles to add impressive style and performance, not every Ford truck comes with all-terrain tires. In fact, the Ford Ranger, and certain trims on the F-150 come factory-ready with all-season tires. While universally road-safe, all-season tires do not handle traction or uneven road conditions that all-terrain tires can. For comparison, all-season tires are tires that do not need to be switched out between seasons. The tread can handle road conditions in both hot and cold months. They are relatively low-cost and have both a long warranty and tread wear; still, they simply do not compare to all-terrain tires. All-terrain tires are designed for high traction both on and off the road. With an open-tread design, they can ride over pavement, gravel, sand, mud, and snow with relative ease. Similar to all-season tires, all-terrain tires do not need to be switched out between changing seasons. All-terrain tires also tend to be reinforced with extra rubber materials, which means greater efficiency for heavier trucks. Not to mention, they provide a tough aesthetic look to the vehicle.
RACING SHOCKS OR SHOCK ABSORBERS
Shock absorbers are one of many suspension parts that help a vehicle absorb bumps, jolts, and vibrations on or off the road. The Raptor’s Fox Racin Shocks, for instance, provide it the smoothness it needs to handle any and all rough travels. Still, even with a Ford Ranger or a Ford F-150, you should prioritize your suspension. Consider aftermarket shock absorbers to give your truck the added suspension it needs for safety and reliability over original equipment. For instance, on the 2021 Ford Raptor, the 3.1 Live Valve system offers smooth driving even on the most uneven surfaces. You maintain control of the truck at low or high speeds for a comfortable ride experience. Since the Fox Live Valve system is a semi-active electronic suspension system, it gathers and inputs real-time data to then adjust the shocks’ damping power. Depending on your speed and aggressiveness with the truck’s throttle, the Live Valve shock absorbers predict and adjust their damping power and support accordingly. Ultimately, while this is just one example, it proves how a good suspension system keeps you safe behind the wheel.
Cold-air intakes are used as an engine accessory to provide cool air throughout the engine’s internal combustion. Cold-air intakes come factory-installed today, but if your truck doesn’t have this, then it’s definitely something to consider. Cold-air intakes work by regulating the temperature of incoming air in the engine’s intake track. It keeps the engine cold even if warm air enters the intake track. In doing so, the engine can maximize performance, fuel economy, and powertrain. Since cold air has a higher density than warm air, more oxygen feeds into the engine, thus allowing for more efficient performance.
This one’s mainly for off-road enthusiasts, but suspension lifts do more than provide a “jacked up” look to your pickup. Ultimately, a suspension lift raises the ground clearance on a factory-installed vehicle. It allows the pickup steeper approach, departure, and breakover angles along with higher ground clearance. With a suspension lift, you can also install larger wheels and tires for greater performance. Although some factory-ready trucks designed for off-roading do not need suspension lifts, those who want a more off-road capable vehicle but perhaps own a basic truck should consider a suspension lift for greater customization.
LED LIGHTS AND LIGHT BARS
Pretty much all Ford trucks come factory-ready with LED headlights, but light bars can take this illumination to the next level. LED light bars provide an intense bright ray of light to illumine wherever you go. Though it might annoy other drivers on the road, light bars come exceptionally handy on off-road adventures over OEM parts. Your headlights and fog lamps might not be enough to traverse the rough landscape ahead, but a light bar can easily show you where you want to go. LED light bars come in a wide array of colors, like yellow, white, blue, or red, among other variations for personal flair. You can also choose specific beams for your vehicle. Whether it’s a short, wide beam or long, narrow beam, you’ll find the right light bar for you to increase safety and responsibility on and off the road in any weather condition.
SKID PLATE AND GRILLE GUARD
Skid plates and grille guards are two other aftermarket safety accessories that improve safety on your truck. Skid plates are abrasion-resistant underside coverings that prevent damage to that area of your vehicle. They primarily help with off-road driving as rocks or other road debris could damage your underside. Given that, skid plates additionally help protect the engine from debris, thereby increasing your truck’s longevity.
Grille guards act similarly. They not only protect your truck from front-end collisions or debris, but they also add that tough performance look to the front of the vehicle. Grille guards increase safety during off-roading as they’re easy to attach to tow hooks. You can also add a light bar behind your grille guard to illuminate the area around you. If you find yourself in a minor accident, grille guards help protect your truck from damages.
TONNEAU BED COVER
Tonneau bed covers are the final accessory on this list that every truck owner should consider for their safety. While the bed cover itself does not protect the driver, it helps protect other drivers on the road. Tonneau bed covers do a great job of keeping your cargo in a tight, secure location. Regardless of whether you’re driving on or off-road, tonneau covers ensure your cargo remains in your truck bed during the whole ride. Since these covers handle a lot of handling, consider getting a hard cover rather than a soft one when shopping for Ford truck bed products. You’ll find that a hard cover protects your cargo and truck from potential damage.
Fortunately, we take great pride in having the best selection of F-150 LED light bars and other F-150, Raptor, and Roush accessories here at Specialty Performance Parts. Browse our selection of must-have accessories for your Ford, including Baja, Rigid, or other top industrial lights for bumper, grille, or mount light bar options. If you have any questions about our selection, contact one of our team members, and we’ll be happy to assist you.