Those chrome tubes that extend from the sides of the large truck's front fenders are what you call bumper guides. These guides help truck drivers spot the front corners of the vehicle from inside the cab, making it much easier for them to maneuver their way through the garage, parking spot, and tight spaces. By using a bumper guide on each side of the vehicle, accidents and any untoward incident can be avoided. The guide is used with lights so that you can see the corners of the vehicle at night and so that the truck can be easily spotted as well. A lamp on the guide is powered through a connection made to the vehicle's lighting.
What to consider when searching for a bumper guide
- Fit. Bumper guides are available as a direct fit to your vehicle or as a universal bumper component. Universal bumper guides fit a wide range of vehicles but may not be specific to a particular model and may require a bit of modification. In some instances, drilling may be required when installing the guide. This component may be sold as a kit, complete with clamps, clips, guides, and connectors. Some bumper guides even come with truck-specific brackets for fast and easy installation.
- Construction. The best bumper guides are manufactured from top-quality materials such as 304 stainless steel or other non-corrosive materials. The tubes may be polished for a smooth, glossy finish. These bumper accessories may come with standard lighting or amber LEDs. LEDs give out bright lights, last up to 10x longer, and provide better energy efficiency. Bumper guides may be designed as an OE-comparable item.
How to install a bumper guide and wire the guide light
What you'll need:
- Bumper guide kit (this includes guides, clamps, wiring clips, and connectors)
- Wrench (for tightening the clamping bolts)
- Wire cutter (for the wires that have to be trimmed and adjusted)
- A pair of pliers (for securing the Skotchlok connectors)
- Electrical tape (for the wire connection to keep out moisture and prevent corrosion)
Step 1: Slip the guide's tube into the clamp at the bumper end's top and bottom.
Step 2: Tighten the bolt against the bumper's inside surface to push the guide against the bumper and secure it.
Step 3: Secure the wire, which runs along the front bumper's inside, to the bumper using the clips from the kit. Make sure that the wire is near the wiring harness for the marker lights.
Step 4: Use a test light for probing the wires to the market lights. See to it that the vehicle lights are switched on. The wire is supposed to have power when the lights are turned on.
Step 5: Make a connection between the wire from the bumper guide light and the wire that's been probed. Use the Skotchlok connector from the kit. When connecting the wires, retain some slack to accommodate some movements as the lights tilt with the truck nose.
Step 6: Wrap the connection with electrical tape to keep it safe from moisture and corrosion.