That part in bold is the problem. You pay for quality. Go too cheap, and you basically have aluminum foil for a guard. Before you buy, go to a truck accessory shop and touch/feel the options.
I was looking for a guard for my 2013 F-150. I was reading reviews and such, and came across a review on a Westin model. Guy was from TX, and said he had hit 22 deer with his bumper, with no damage to his truck.
Now, first, the guy is an idiot, and needs to slow down. But, 22 deer? No damage? I am sold.
The cheaper ones will probably guard your actual grill area, but the 'wings' are gonna fold back and damage the truck.
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Play that I swerved to avoid hitting a deer tape a bit further.I hit 9 with my 2005 F150 (hit 1st 45 minutes after buying it). Only damage was to the hood and roof, where a buck flipped up, and the hooves and antlers scratched the paint. ( he landed in the bed).
On my 2017 F150, I had pretty serious damage to front end. But truck was driveable.
On my next one, will be going a little more “stouter” ( where factory bumper is replaced by new grill/bumper assembly) than the Westin on the last 2.
speed was not the factor.
I live in a semi rural area. Woods reach right up to the roadway. Additionally, I don’t swerve. If they jump out, they get hit straight on.( better than going off the road and striking a tree, or having a rollover from the ditch, or going into on coming traffic and a head on.)