On the trail:
The first thing we noticed as we headed out to the trails was the
number of comments we got from people about how much they liked
the new rocker protection. I must admit they have a very industrial
look, which I like. These bars are all business with nothing
hanging down or protruding where it shouldn’t.
The first trail we tackled was littered with rocks so we started
trying harder lines. The first thing we found was that compared
to the previous rocker solution that had been on our truck, these
provided much greater ground clearance. In fact, in many places
where we used to scrape we had enough clearance to place our hand
completely under the vehicle (though we wouldn't recommend doing that). On occasions when we did scrape, the Jeep simply slid right over.
This particular line was used to scrape
our previous rocker guards
This time we passed with inches to spare
As you can see, the external bars provided a great surface to
pivot on rocks with and are angled up just enough on the rocker
panels that they don’t interfere with rocks passing by below
or sliding on the rocker themselves.
Bars are correctly positioned to use
as pivot points
Looking down from the driver's seat I
have confidence that I am protected
No fear when sliding over rocks
The bars are also positioned to
be out of the way and above the bottom of the sliders themselves
After several months of running these bars on trails from Las Cruces, NM
to Clayton, OK we have almost nothing more than superficial damage.
The very leading edge just behind the front wheel has a slight
bend from an unknown obstacle but it is only minor and I only
mention it to show that you can bend anything given enough opportunity. We can only imagine the damage our rocker would have sustained had we not had the ShrockBars!
Normal scratches from use
Nothing I wouldn't have expected
I was concerned at first with the fact that these sliders (much
like 98% of the other sliders on the market) don’t actually
cover 100% of the rocker panel. They don’t extend all the
way to the rear of the front fender. While I expected this to
be a problem I have not taken any damage in that area. I have,
however, seen two vehicles on trails pick up large boulders that
traveled around their tires and damaged that very leading edge
of their rockers. In talking with various people making these
they say that this is not usually a concern and that in many cases
they keep the front short so that customers who choose to can trim
their own fenders or modify the front without worrying about the
sliders themselves. I know that rocks can damage pretty much anything
that’s not plated, but since I have not experience this
problem myself I can’t make any more comments on whether
this is truly an issue or not.
The sliders clean up well and with a blast of air from a compressor
I can easily clean out underneath them. While I think that I probably
loose a quarter of an inch in ground clearance at the edge of
the rocker I think the ability to clean out behind them and the
design allows the entire area to be flat to the frame overrides
that tiny loss.
The underside is now smooth all the way to the frame
The ShrockBars were easy to install, are useable as a step for my wife to get in the Jeep, or as a perch for me to stand on when the trail is moving
too slow. They offer above-average protection from the harshest things I can throw at them
and they keep my Jeep's rocker panels safe from harm.
I have seen these installed on various CJ’s and
Samurais and they simply look awesome. I think they will provide
as much, if not more, protection than any other product on the market.
In addition, they are usable with virtually any type of suspension or body lift,
they allow for front wheel well modification and they can go with
your Jeep as it changes from stock to extreme. The rockers they protect will be
well-kept and in one piece, which of course, is the goal in the first place.
It appears to me that Shrockworks takes an approach to their
products based on years of four-wheeling and the needs created for their
own vehicles. These bars are solid, well thought out and probably
even a little overkill. Based on the stress and strain we put on our
vehicles, though, overkill just seems appropriate now, doesn't it.
On a personal note, I like the Shrockbars a lot. They are cleaner and "more" functional then the bars I have owned previously. I have used them and hammered on them. The only negative I see is the same negative trend that has been coming from many manufacturers these days. This trend is laser cutting the company's name or logo into their products. In this writer's opinion, companies would be better off knowing that if they build a good solid product their customers will pass on who and where they got it from when asked. For the price this "free" advertising costs to produce, they could reduce the cost of the parts by shipping them without the name cut into them. They might just find out how loyal their customers are and could lower the price of their products due to lower manufacturing costs. If the owners want to show their labels, they can use decals.
Late-breaking Note: The Shrockbars that I have use one support from the Rocker Guard to the side tube. Shrockworks now sells their TJ Bars with two tubes for what most call a more pleasing aesthetic view and I would agree.
For most up-to-date information and photos of these please visit Shrockworks' website.