Skip to content
Off-Road Car on the Background of Autumn Trees

Bumper Battle: Ranch Hand vs Road Armor for Your Truck

This face-off between Ranch Hand and Road Armor aftermarket bumpers could hardly be decided in one round. The two brands are arguably the best replacement truck bumper manufacturers in the US, so they are quite similar in terms of quality and class.

However, if we were to offer an expert opinion based on years of experience, we would say that each brand absolutely rules in its own segment. 

  • Ranch Hand is the king of strong, tough, practical, get-work-done kind of bumpers. You will find them on farms, offroad trucks, and anywhere else trucks need uncompromising protection.
  • Road Armor bumpers are crazy-strong as well, but they are also built to be stylish and look cool. Designed to “define your truck’s true identity,” Road Armor bumpers are very popular on offroad trucks, Jeeps, and wherever else looks and protection matter.

This difference in design also means that Road Armor bumpers can be pricey due to their outrageous designs, while Road Armor bumpers are much more affordable

However, as we said, this is not a knockout round. Both Road Armor and Ranch Hand have a wide variety of bumpers for different applications. If we’re going to do them justice, we need to get down to the finer details of each brand.

Overview: Ranch Hand Bumpers

Ranch Hand FBC201BLR Legend Front Bumper 2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD-3500HD

Ranch Hand is one of the oldest brands of aftermarket truck replacement bumpers in the US. Established in 1983 in Boerne, Texas, Ranch Hand set out to create one of the very first aftermarket steel bumper brands at the time.

Decades later, Ranch Hand has established itself as the go-to brand for the toughest, no-nonsense style of bumpers, grille guards, running steps, and various other accessories. This happy customer’s feedback below reflects the sentiment of thousands of other Ranch Hand fans.

Customer feedback showing how Clint loved the aggressive looks and easy installation of his Ranch Hand bumper

Ranch Hand bumpers are designed to suit all kinds of trucks and SUVs, including bumpers for Jeeps. The company has a variety of bumpers designed for different applications.

Main Types of Ranch Hand Bumpers

The table below summarises the four types of Ranch Hand bumpers and their main features.

Bumper Series Bumper Features Example
Ranch Hand Legend
  • Built for ¾ ton trucks or bigger
  • Made of schedule 40 pipe and diamond-plate steel
  • Designed to offer full protection and maximum strength
  • Available with grille guard or bullnose
  • Heavy-duty rear bumpers are also available
  • Accommodates recovery equipment and accessory lights
Ranch Hand Legend bumper for 2020-2021 GMC 2500HD/3500HD
Ranch Hand Midnight
  • Designed as a full form-fitting bumper made of 3/16” smooth steel
  • Lightweight design, weighing approx. 175 lbs
  • Very sleek and attractive
  • Accommodates sensors and cameras
Ranch Hand Midnight front bumper with grille guard
Ranch Hand Sport
  • Winch-compatible bumpers designed as a light-weight alternative to the
  • Legend Series
  • Accommodates up to a 16,500 winch
  • Made of formed channel and diamond plate steel
Ranch Hand Sport front bumper for 2011-2014 GMC 2500HD/3500HD
Ranch Hand Summit
  • An alternative style to the Legend Series with similar functionality
  • Made of diamond plate steel but with reduced weight
  • Available with grille guard or bullnose
Ranch Hand Summit Bullnose Front Bumper for 2015-2017 Ford F150

One of the most unique features of Ranch Hand’s grille guards is the use of punched grille inserts—that’s the mesh plate covering the front. Each one has a unique pattern matched to every vehicle model and carries Ranch Hand’s famous logo.

Just by looking at these bumpers, you can tell that Ranch Hand is all about beefy bumpers for ruggedness, durability, and utility. 

Testimonial from Sacha

Overview: Road Armor Bumpers

Road Armor prides itself on designing bumpers that “follow, complement, and accentuate the body lines of your vehicle.” That’s true, because the company makes some of the most beautiful yet aggressive front bumpers we have seen on the market.

Road Armor was founded in 2000 with a strong military background. Some of the brand’s founders are military veterans who continue to infuse strong military ties through partnerships with the army as well as charities that support veterans. 

As a product, Road Armor bumpers are made of heavy-duty smooth steel and are forged not just for style, but for ultimate strength as well. 

The company uses exceptional attention to detail with things like weld quality, internal structure, and even has a proprietary 5-stage powder-coating process as shown in the video below. 

Road Armor is a Dallas, TX-based company with a wide range of tactical and off-road bumpers for all kinds of applications. We don’t use the word “tactical” lightly either—Road Armor partners with the US Army to armor tactical vehicles deployed overseas.

Main Road Armor Bumper Series

The table below showcases the main product Series that Road Armor has to offer.

Series Name Features and Specifications Example
Road Armor Vaquero
  • Designed for ultimate durability and strength
  • Made of schedule 40 pipe and 12-gauge plate steel
  • No-frills design can accommodate recovery equipment and factory lights
  • Compatible with factory sensors
Road Armor Vaquero front non-winch bumper with full grille guard
Road Armor Stealth
  • Designed for style, the Stealth Series is the original smooth steel bumper
  • One-piece welded design
  • Made of heavy-duty 3/16” steel Has multiple accessory light mounting options
  • Compatible with factory sensors
  • With and without winch mounts
Road Armor Spartan
  • Lightweight and nimble bumpers for maximum performance
  • Made of 11-gauge smooth steel for strength and durability
  • Multiple light and accessory light mounting options, including an 8” accent light kit
Road Armor Spartan front bumper for 2019-2021 Chevy 1500
Road Armor Identity
  • Clean and contoured design
  • Modular and highly customizable design
  • Make your choice of center sections, shackles, end pods, etc when ordering
Road Armor Identity front bumpers and configurations available

Thanks to Road Armor’s highly innovative designs, most of the brand’s bumpers are compatible with factory sensors and cameras, which is a big plus. 

There is also a Builder Series for those who want to buy the bumper components and do a DIY fabrication. This significantly cuts costs and allows you to make more extreme customizations.

Comparison: Ranch Hand vs Road Armor Bumpers

Having had a look at the main products and features of both Ranch Hand and Road Armor bumpers, it's time to do a detailed comparison of product features.

Bumper Feature Ranch Hand Bumpers Road Armor Bumpers
Overall design
  • Utilitarian, heavy-duty design. Designed for heavy and harsh use
  • Maximum protection with most having full-on grille guards
  • Made of schedule 40 piping and diamond plate steel
  • Best for off-road, rural, and other utilitarian applications
  • Designed for style and cool looks, but with exceptional protection
  • Thick, heavy-duty smooth plate steel components for maximum strength
  • Suited to various applications, including offroad and tactical
  • With the exception of the Midnight Series, mostly doesn’t accommodate extra accessories
  • Mostly not compatible with factory sensors and cameras
  • Takes heavy-duty winches and other recovery equipment
  • Compatible with factory lights
  • Fits both factory and extra accessories such as light pods and accent lights
  • Compatible with factory sensors and cameras
  • The Identity Series allows you to choose your choice of light and other accessories
  • Some are not winch-compatible; check before buying
Finishing Finished with a durable coat of black powder paint
  • Road Armor developed a unique powder coating process with DuPont
  • Road Armor’s powder coating has a polymer addition for maximum durability and a satin-smooth finish
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty Lifetime guarantee for structural integrity
Performance and durability
  • Excellent protection
  • Heavy bumpers might need spring upgrade
  • Might affect fuel economy
  • Lighter Sport and Midnight options for light trucks and applications
  • Heavy-duty protection and durability
  • Option of light or heavy bumpers depending on use
  • Heaviest bumpers might affect truck stance and fuel economy

Which One Is Better: Ranch Hand or Road Armor Bumpers?

Having gone into that much detail, it's time for the verdict. To reiterate our opinion;

  • Ranch Hand bumpers are the strongest and most durable bumpers out there. There’s no arguing with a bumper such as the Legend Series, but their looks are simple and utilitarian. Not for town folks or highway use unless you’re into that look.
  • Road Armor bumpers are some of the most innovative, coolest-looking bumpers. Go for these if you are looking for moderate to high protection with style. However, be prepared to pay top dollar.
  • Road Armor bumpers have superior finish and better rust and corrosion resistance.

There are many similarities between Ranch Hand and Road Armor. If you are worried about hitting deer on the road, both will do the job. If you’re looking for an intimidating front bumper, both brands will serve. And, if top-quality fabrication matters to you, both brands are top-notch.

Ranch hand Legend Front Bumper 2005 Ford Excursion Road Armor Identity front bumper for Chevy
This truck best displays Ranch Hand’s conservative but highly functional bumpers. The Identity Series from Road Armor best display the brand’s class, aesthetics, and modular design features.

However, the design philosophies of both brands are where they diverge. Ranch Hand is more of a workman’s brand with no-nonsense utility applications. Road Armor is the truck enthusiast’s dream with its cool styling yet strong construction.

At the end of the day, the winner of this bumper battle will be decided by you, the buyer. 

Price check

Where to Get Both Ranch Hand and Road Armor Bumpers

Talking about buying, the one place where you will get both Ranch Hand and Road Armor bumpers of all types is here at Royal Truck Accessories. We bring them to you at unbeatable prices and impeccable service, no matter where you are in the continental USA. 

Testimonia from Addison S
Testimonia from Addison S

Plus, we make sure that any bumper we stock, whether Road Armor or Ranch Hand, is of the best quality and finish. Make your order with us today and enjoy the ultimate in shipping and customer service experience courtesy of Royal Truck Accessories experts. 

Need expert advice

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ranch Hand better than Road Armor?

No, both Ranch Hand and Road Armor bumpers are equally capable. However, Road Armor has better and cooler styling, while Ranch Hand offers more front-end protection. Both are a great choice for rugged and heavy-duty use.

Which bumpers are compatible with truck sensors and cameras?

Both Ranch Hand and Road Armor have bumpers that are compatible with factory sensors and cameras. However, Road Armor is far more advanced in this respect, while very few Ranch Hand bumpers can accommodate these accessories. 

Price Match Guarantee

Is Road Armor a good brand?

Yes, Road Armor is one of the top American-made brands of aftermarket truck bumpers today. The company makes top-notch bumper designs that both look and perform well.

Is Ranch Hand a good brand?

Yes, Ranch Hand is one of the best brands of American-made brands in the US. The company makes ultra-strong and fully protective bumpers for uncompromising protection and strength.

Previous article An Enthusiast’s Buying Guide for the Tundra Front Bumper
Next article An Unbiased Review of American Built’s Bumpers

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields