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Ranch Hand Legend Series or Westin Sportsman grille guard

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by agbofortsi, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Feb 24, 2020 at 5:19 AM
    #1
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hello Taco Brothers and Sisters:

    Decision time and I need your expert opinions. I would like to install a grille/brush guard on my 2015 Crew Cab Tacoma SR5, 28K miles. I am torn between Westin and Ranch Hand although I am leaning towards the latter.
    The truck will be used predominantly for on-road duties and I need a guard that is robust enough to withstand the bruises and bumps from crazy city drivers.

    Here is what they look like. These are just snapshots I took from the Internet - not my Taco although my color is Blue Ribbon just like the first picture.

    Westin

    upload_2020-2-24_8-2-10.jpg

    Ranch Hand

    upload_2020-2-24_8-2-48.jpg

    I am looking for form, function, ruggedness, durability and some good looks. I believe the Westin weighs about 58 lbs while the Ranch Hand sits at 89 lbs.

    Note: I have decided against a front bumper replacement because it's an overkill for my use case.

    Your input will be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    agbofortsi
     
  2. Feb 24, 2020 at 5:27 AM
    #2
    ThatOneGator

    ThatOneGator Active Member

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    I've got the Ranch Hand, and I've had it for about 5 years now. It's pretty solid and I like it, but I had some trouble with one bolt continuously loosening up from rattling on forest roads (solved with a lock nut). Also, there was some trouble with the powder coat on one weld, so there's some rust. I haven't hit anything with it thankfully, although I've had a couple close calls, but it's really durable. If you've got any specific questions about it, I can do my best to answer them.
     
  3. Feb 24, 2020 at 6:26 AM
    #3
    splash07s

    splash07s Well-Known Member

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    Ranch Hand(s down)
     
  4. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:09 AM
    #4
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks John for your input. I read about Ranch Hand's rust issue. On Amazon, a Taco owner reported rust after two months although he loves the grille guard. He is a Taco owner from the South. You just confirmed his observation! I am in NY. I called Ranch Hand and they told me rust may be a problem in northern wintry states and is usually an exception. But the the rust complaints I have read so far are from guys in the South! I am just wondering if Ranch Hand's coating process is flawed.
     
  5. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:11 AM
    #5
    EdinCincinnati

    EdinCincinnati Old Enough To Know Better

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    Welcome to TW!!!
     
  6. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:28 AM
    #6
    ThatOneGator

    ThatOneGator Active Member

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    The rust isn’t very noticeable and it doesn’t appear to have spread very much since I first noticed it, but it is there. My suspicion is that it is due to not getting enough powder coat, since the rust is in one corner.
     
  7. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:32 AM
    #7
    25ot6

    25ot6 Well-Known Member

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    Well you're asking for opinions so I'll give min . Brush guards offer no real protection unless you hit something the size of a cat. Personally, I think they're ugly as sin too. My advice is save your money and apply it to a real heavy duty front bumper . Looks better and offers real protection.
     
  8. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:34 AM
    #8
    ryfox0276

    ryfox0276 Well-Known Member

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    I would pick the ranch hand as it is more durable than the Westin. That being said, these often do the opposite of protecting you and your truck in the event of an accident when a real bull bar will.
     
    Grey 2015 and 25ot6 like this.
  9. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:59 AM
    #9
    MattCowsmasher

    MattCowsmasher ( -_・)ᡕᠵ᠊ᡃ່࡚ࠢ࠘⸝່ࠡࠣ᠊߯᠆ࠣ࠘ᡁࠣ࠘᠊᠊ࠢ࠘

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  10. Feb 24, 2020 at 8:24 AM
    #10
    Sold My Subaru

    Sold My Subaru 6MT AC TRD OR 1GR-FE FTMFW

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    Brush Guard: Damage multiplier w/ out any real “protection”
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
    REDdawn6 likes this.
  11. Feb 24, 2020 at 9:49 AM
    #11
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your constructive contributions, especially John. I have decisively decided to pull the trigger for Fab Fours front and rear premium bumper. This is the front bumper I am going for:

    upload_2020-2-24_12-47-46.jpg

    Again, thanks y'all.
     
  12. Feb 24, 2020 at 9:55 AM
    #12
    25ot6

    25ot6 Well-Known Member

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    Wise decision.
     
  13. Feb 24, 2020 at 10:03 AM
    #13
    Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Well-Known Member

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    Ranch Hand will actually hold up to an impact. Westin is more of a cosmetic piece.
     
  14. Feb 24, 2020 at 10:25 AM
    #14
    Sold My Subaru

    Sold My Subaru 6MT AC TRD OR 1GR-FE FTMFW

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    Nice pick! Out of curiosity why did you go with the Fab Fours as opposed to ARB or anyone else?
     
  15. Feb 24, 2020 at 10:45 AM
    #15
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Actually, my wife thinks the Fab Fours premium bumpers are "cute". Will you dispute that? :) I have done a lot of research on the other after-market bumpers including ARB but gave the node to Fab Fours because their bumper graces my Tacoma beautifully and sleekly. Function, form and grace. Honestly, I think the ARB bumpers look pretty ugly although they may be very functional.
     
  16. Feb 24, 2020 at 10:46 AM
    #16
    Sold My Subaru

    Sold My Subaru 6MT AC TRD OR 1GR-FE FTMFW

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    Hey it's your truck, and your old lady so you better be happy with both I suppose. Welcome to TW! Post some photos of the truck once your new steel have graced its presence.
     
  17. Feb 24, 2020 at 11:39 AM
    #17
    25ot6

    25ot6 Well-Known Member

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    Can you get that bumper without the brush guard part or is it all o e piece? I like the bumper just not the guard part
     
  18. Feb 24, 2020 at 11:49 AM
    #18
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    25ot6 likes this.
  19. Feb 24, 2020 at 1:12 PM
    #19
    MAG GRY TACO15

    MAG GRY TACO15 Well-Known Member

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    Same crap everyone else got
    For less than those options if you want to look into the low profile bumper option, us off road is doing a group buy right now. Check it out if intersted.
    Group Buy - Tacoma Winch Mounts!

    edit, just saw you bought the fab fours. Maybe this can help someone else looking.
     
  20. Mar 2, 2020 at 8:38 AM
    #20
    agbofortsi

    agbofortsi [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This message is for Sold My Subaru. I didn't go for the ARB (Part #: 3423140), which is a better-engineered product even though it is not cute, because of weight concerns. I called ARB USA and they informed me that the installed weight of the bumper, including brackets and hardware, is 210 Ibs. This is a lot and will require a suspension upgrade.
     

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