Many drivers across Australia understand the importance of fitting a nudge bar to their vehicle. With the possibility of hitting wildlife, particularly the kangaroo, being so high across numerous parts of the country, it only makes sense to ensure that your vehicle can cope with the force of being struck, and nudge bars are vital for providing that kind of defence.

Since damage-resistance is the primary goal, many people think they should fit a stainless-steel nudge bar instead of an aluminium one. After all, steel is a lot tougher than aluminium. That might be true, but aluminium is still generally a superior material for your nudge bars.

The efficiency issue

The most important reason to fit an aluminium nudge bar to your vehicle is that aluminium is a lot lighter than steel. It is for just this reason that many auto manufacturers are using it more extensively across the bodies of their vehicles; if the materials used are lighter, less fuel will be burnt.

The performance issue

So, fitting an aluminium nudge bar instead of a stainless-steel nudge bar will certainly help you cut down on your fuel costs, but that isn't the only weight advantage. Having that added heft at the front of your vehicle will also impact performance. This is especially true of nudge bars. Unlike bull bars, which are almost always used on large 4x4 vehicles, nudge bars are often fitted to the fronts of smaller vehicles, such as sedans. Those smaller vehicles are less able to properly cope with the added weight up front; with more weight coming down on the front wheels, your ability to properly control the vehicle may diminish.

The installation issue

You might think that when it comes to actually installing nudge bars, all materials are created equal. However, this is not true at all. Aluminium is a lot easier to drill through than stainless-steel, and the fact that it is lighter means that it will not need to be as tightly anchored to your vehicle. If you prefer to take things into your own hands, you'll probably be able to fit your own nudge bar. If you ask a professional to handle the job, you'll probably end up paying less since less effort will be required.

Remember, a nudge bar isn't going to be used to mount a winch or to protect against rocks as you go across the backcountry. Ultimately, nudge bars just don't need the strength of stainless-steel as much as they need the lightness of aluminium.