• callimg 1800 632 000

The Best Ute Gear In OZ

Checklist

INTRODUCTION:

This Checklist is designed to provide you with a very brief overview of all the accessory options available for your Ute. We have included PRICES in this Checklist so that you can consider the impact on your pocket when checking the alternatives. If, instead of paying cash for the accessories, you were to add them to your vehicle lease, then you could expect to increase your monthly lease payments by a relatively small amount. We stress that all prices are approximations, included for general guidance only, and subject to verification by specific quotation before purchase.

 

TRAY PROTECTION:
The main functions of a tray protector include minimising tray damage, preventing movement of goods in transit, and preventing the noise and vibration of gear rattling around the back. The most common products are mats and drop-in Liners.
Read More

 

CANOPIES & OTHER UTE COVERS
Read More

 

 

CARRY RACKSThere is a wide range of racks available for many different applications.

Read More

 

BOX & LID
COMBO


Here’s a Ute that Bluey’s set up for a customer that
Read More

TABLE TOP SPACE SAVER

Like many customers, this one wanted “as much space” as he
Read More

DRESS IT UP BUT MAKE IT PRACTICAL

This customer needed a “big storage box” up front for his tools
Read More

GIMME A BAR WITH TIE DOWNS

This Rodeo driver wanted”somewhere to tie off to” as well as
Read More

I WANT TO CARRY VERY LONG LOADS

This Ute operator wanted to carry 6 metre conduit. Bluey’s added
Read More

I WANT HARD WEARING SIDE

No problem. Bluey’s installed a pair of aluminium
Read More

 

CHECKLIST

INTRODUCTION:

This Checklist is designed to provide you with a very brief overview of all the accessory options available for your Ute. We have included PRICES in this Checklist so that you can consider the impact on your pocket when checking the alternatives. If, instead of paying cash for the accessories, you were to add them to your vehicle lease, then you could expect to increase your monthly lease payments by a relatively small amount. We stress that all prices are approximations, included for general guidance only, and subject to verification by specific quotation before purchase.

• Bluey’s Sports Bars can be fitted with spotlight tabs, tie downs, rabbit ears, or anything else that you want.

TOP

REAR PROTECTION BARS:

Perhaps the most vulnerable area of most Aussie and Jap Utes is the REAR END, where there is no bumper, or at best a very flimsy bumper. And because many Utes tend to spend time around work areas, tips and building sites, it’s easy to reverse into a low pile of bricks or similar, without seeing it. A standard towbar can provide limited protection, but specially designed rear protection bars are the most effective. A good looking combination Rear Step Towbar costs around $560 and protects the Ute body as well as taillights etc.

TOP

FRONT PROTECTION BARS:

• The cheapest form of front protection is a Nudge Bar, typically comprising a single loop of polished aluminium alloy that goes up around the radiator. It can usually be used to mount driving lights, and Nudge Bars run from $350 (64mm dia polished alloy) to $625 (76mm alloy air bag rated).
• Steel bull bars, usually painted black, are the cheapest front bars starting from around $900. They tend to be the heaviest and worst looking, but require little maintenance.
• Polished aluminium alloy bull bars usually look the best, and commonly replace the existing bumper bar. Prices are around $1100, but to look good they need a metal polish periodically.
• Polyethylene Smart Bars are lighter than aluminium, come in black white and silver, and are said to outperform steel bars in a crash. Due to the fact they are moulded, they are styled to compliment the shape of modern Utes. Some models are airbag and/or winch compatible, and usually feature built-in blinkers, fog lights and sometimes driving lights. At around $1050 they are good value for money.
• 5 Poster (country style) bull bars are one product where “bigger is better”. Ranging from $1000 to $2000 ($24 to $48/month), with aerial and spotty tabs, they are built to look like the front of a freight train.
Tips:
• Many bull bars can be supplied “winch compatible” for off road use.
• Alloy bars can be kept looking good without constant polishing by installing the ERPS rust prevention system (it prevents the alloy from oxidising). See details under “rust prevention”)
• Rumours have circulated for years that the Government is going to ban bull bars. It’s an untrue rumour – providing your bar complies with ADR Rules you have nothing to fear.
• If your Ute is fitted with an air bag, you MUST only fit an air bag approved bull or nudge bar.
• It is illegal in all States to have any sharp object (eg fishing rod holders) protrude from the front of your bull bar.

TOP

TOW BARS:

Towbars are rated in accordance with their towing capacity, and a Compliance Plate is attached to each towbar, stating capacity. A “one tonne” rated bar is suitable for pulling a typical box trailer, and costs around $250 plus fitting. A “heavy duty” towbar is usually rated at close to the Utes legal towing limit (typically 1600kg to 2300kg) and usually costs around $480 plus fitting.
• Your Ute handbook will tell you the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle.
• It’s important (safety-wise) not to try and tow with an under-capacity towbar
• It’s important not to try and tow a larger load than your vehicles rating allows (eg don’t tow a horse trailer with a Subaru Brumby)

TOP

SIDE STEPS & SIDE SKIRTS:

Side Steps are particularly useful on vehicles with high suspensions, such as 4WD’s.
• There is a large range of traditional Side Steps available, almost always made from aluminium extrusions, and mostly costing around $600 ($14/month).
• The new “Footlights” Side Steps offer the additional facility of TWO lights in each Step, which operate automatically when the doors are opened. These are very good value at night time, and they look good too. Price is about the same as traditional Side Steps.
• Side Skirts are stainless steel or aluminium checkerplate strips, about 120mm wide, which run along underneath the doorsills between the Utes wheels, and behind the back wheels. They prevent stone chips and cost around $195 + fitting.

TOP

SECURITY & STORAGE SOLUTIONS:

There are more styles of Ute storage boxes and drawers than there are Utes. Some of the main types are:
Tray Tops:
• Underbody Drawers are designed to run UNDERNEATH the tray on tray top Utes. They are typically 1800mm long, 750mm wide, and 160mm to 200mm deep. They cost around $1150 to $1400 and feature roller bearings, gal steel construction, and are water and dust proof.
• The largest Ute box manufacturer in the world is the American Delta Corp, and a range of their boxes is available at Bluey’s to fit most needs. These boxes are made from either polyethylene, powder coated steel, or bright aluminium “tread plate”, ranging in price from $120 to $900. Most have flush mounted keyed locks.

Utes:
• Cargo Drawers are an open top drawer that can be fitted into the tray of most Utes. They feature roller bearings, and safety stop mechanism, and cost around $1100 . A false floor can be built over the top, providing additional storage space, especially in small trays of Dual Cab Utes.
• Dual Cab Boxes are especially designed to minimise the space taken up in Dual Cab Ute trays. They are made from either gal steel $400, or checkerplate aluminium $600. They feature covered double hasp/staple padlock facilities.
• “Hunchback” boxes are designed specifically for XF-XH Falcon and Commodore Utes. They slide in underneath the area behind the cabin window, using up that space that is wasted with a traditional rectangular box. They are made from checkerplate aluminium ($600). They feature covered double hasp/staple padlock facilities.
• Delta boxes are also available for most Utes.
Tips:
• Quite often it is more effective, and sometimes cheaper, to fit a Ute Lid or a Roll Top rather than multiple boxes.

TOP

TIE DOWNS:

An important part of safe cartage is securing your load so that it will not move in transit. A wide range of tie downs is available, at minimal cost. Some handy items worth considering are:
Tray Tops:
• Recessed Anchor tie downs are installed in the floor of the Ute tray. The tie down ring lies flat, out of the way, when not in use, but swings up to accept a tie down or rope when needed. At around $15 each they are extremely cost effective and useful.
Utes:
• Cargo Bars are a telescopic bar with rubber feet both ends, and a ratchet mechanism in the middle. The Bar can be positioned at any point in the Utes tray by simply cranking the ratchet. The Bar then performs as a barrier to stop items moving in transit. At $45, they avoid the need to drill holes in the Ute.
Tips:
• If you can’t tie “truckies knots” then always carry a couple of “ratchet straps” or “rubber ropes” in your Ute. You’ll be surprised how many times they come in handy. Safe too!

TOP

SUMMARY:

If you have had the patience and dedication to read our “Setting up your New Ute Checklist”, then you are about to make the most informed buying decision possible when buying Ute accessories.

The above list is by no means exhaustive, and we know that there are many areas we haven’t covered.

We have, however, had over 20 years in providing “Ute solutions” to Aussie Ute owners, so if we haven’t addressed your questions in the above, then PLEASE feel free to contact us for more information.

All our staff are always happy to have the opportunity to “talk ute”…..

John Bryant (Founder) Bluey’s Ute World © Bluey’s Ute World 2002

TOP

WHICH UTE ??

Before you set up your Ute for work or play, you need to decide which Ute is best for you. Bluey’s gets lots of questions from customers about this topic. Based on our experience, here are a few thoughts to help your thinking processes when it comes to deciding WHICH UTE to buy:

Bluey say “Plumber with 4WD on wet building site save lots of shovel time compared to silly optimist in 2WD”. When you operate a Ute, anything that saves you time on (or between) jobs is money in the pocket.

Bluey say “Builder with tiny Dual Cab Ute have big problem removing wheel arches to make extra space. Maybe cab chassis with enormous alloy tray better prospect”. If you really want a Dual Cab, maybe you should consider removing the body and fitting a tray. You can always pop the brand new tray back on at resale time and enjoy the extra returns.

Bluey say “Interstate Ute driving Man maybe better with factory gas than unleaded motor”. Motor manufacturers are becoming more adventurous with fuel options. Check petrol versus diesel versus LPG options. While up-front purchase price is important, your fuel bill over the Ute’s operational life could be anywhere from 50% to 100% of Ute investment.

Bluey say “Ute Man must stand with mouth open long time before roast duck fly in. Therefore smart thing to consider resale value before rushing into favourite Ute brand”. Just like sedans, SOME Utes will give you a far better return on resale than others. This can mean literally thousands of dollars in (or out) of your pocket during your Ute ownership. Check historical resale values!

Bluey say “When low garage ceiling fight roof racks on Ute, ceiling usually win”. Take a quick measurement BEFORE you get stuck with the wrong Utes, and make allowance for racks or any tall loads that you’ll be carrying.

Bluey say “Ute driver’s swag usually surrounded by thieves”. Consider “security” of both vehicle and contents in relation to where the Ute will be garaged. Anything from an ignition cutout to sophisticated electronic alarm may be cost justified.

TOP

SETTING UP THE UTE FOR WORK

(Please see examples & photos at end of this section)

There are some suppliers and motor dealers that can offer a particular Ute accessory (such as a protection mat, or a canopy or whatever) but it’s EXTREMELY important that a tradesman’s Ute accessories be INTEGRATED. That is, everything has to work together to produce economy and efficiency on the job. All too often customers come into Bluey’s having already bought one component (such as carry bars or storage boxes) only to find that other items wont integrate with other accessories to perform the required tasks.

The challenge faced by most tradesmen is to achieve the following objectives when setting up their work Ute:

  • Maximise storage capacity on/under the Ute tray
  • Maximise accessibility of tools and supplies
  • Protect valuables (tools etc) from weather and theft
  • Install carry bars appropriate to the loads and materials being carried
  • Incorporate tie down facilities on bars or in tray relevant to loads
  • Position carry racks to minimise wastage of tray space
  • Enhance the appearance of the Ute when finally ready for work
  • Minimise damage to Ute when installing accessories (fewer drill holes the better)
  • Protect the Utes resale value, especially when considering protection products
  • Minimise Ute accessory set up costs

While no Ute operator ever achieves all the above objectives, the challenge is to reach the most efficient and cost effective compromise. The best way a tradesman can do this is to be aware of what is available in the market place, and discuss his individual operating needs with a Ute Accessory expert, such as the staff at Bluey’s. A little careful planning and expert advice can save a lot of wasted time and effort over the life of a working Ute.

Some of the recent developments in Ute accessories that are helping tradesmen achieve higher standard of “Ute user satisfaction” include:

  • Trundle storage trays that can be retro-fitted UNDER existing aluminium and steel table top trays, providing ultra secure additional storage capacity
  • Specially designed tool boxes that take into account the unique shapes of individual Utes (eg “hunchback” boxes for Commodore and Falcon Utes that utilise the dead space under the rear of the cabin window, new designs in Dual Cab boxes etc)
  • Lifting and loading devices are capable of lifting generators and mixers on and off Ute trays manually, preventing and saving “bad backs” !
  • Sliding canopies that concertina open to allow the Ute to be used normally, or slid shut when weather proofing of the tray is required
  • Carry racks that mount on the side rails of Utes to avoid having to cut holes into Ute Liners, and eliminate the wasted space taken up in the trays by traditional racks
  • Locking fibreglass rigid Ute covers that keep out thieves as well as bad weather, but which can be removed in 15 seconds to facilitate carriage of high loads
  • Roll Top Ute security covers that integrate with ladder racks and provide extremely impressive flexibility on the job

The main message for even the most experienced tradesmen is “check out what’s available”. Even though your last Ute may have worked well for you, there are a host of new Ute Accessories continually entering the Aussie market place that will make your job that much easier. While motor dealers may be able to help you decide upon the right Ute, their knowledge of Ute accessories and their operation is usually very limited. Don’t buy the first accessories (if any!) that the motor dealer offers, check out the market to make sure you’ve got all the facts. (Go to the Bluey’s Accessories section of this web site for a detailed run down on “what’s available”.)

If you plan and research your accessories as well as you research the “best Ute to buy”, you’ll end up with a winning combination!”

TOP

BOX & LID COMBO:

Here’s a Ute that Bluey’s set up for a customer that wanted an unusal
combination of storage options. First of all we fitted a Ute Liner to
protect the entire tray. Then we fitted a Delta security box at the front
of the tray, together with a Hard Lid on the rear of the tray. This combo
gave the customer the following advantages:

  • He could still use the entire length of the tray, because the front
  • Delta box sat on the top rails, with storage space underneath.
  • The Hard Lid secured the rear of the tray where large tools could be safely secured and stored.
  • The Delta box allowed the driver to quickly access small items which he frequently needed “on the job”, without having to go to the back of the vehicle to unlock his Hard Lid.
  • The whole package is secure and weather proof.

TABLE TOP SPACE SAVER:

Like many customers, this one wanted “as much space” as he could get on his Ute tray. The Bluey’s Underbody Drawer gave him 1800x750x200mm (external dimensions) of drawer space UNDERNEATH his tray, where he could lock up a heap of smaller items that would otherwise rattle around in his tray, exposed to the weather and unsecured. Note also the rear Step Towbar, which allows the driver to jump up into the tray without having to risk slipping on the side rails.

“DRESS IT UP BUT MAKE IT PRACTICAL”:

This customer needed a “big storage box” up front for his tools, but also wanted to make his Ute look really good. Bluey’s had a polished alloy carry rack made up, complete with Rabbits Ears, where he could tie his ladders. We added our mammoth Delta P/N 937000 aluminium box. This box has a special lacquer coating which helps prevent oxidisation; it’ll stay looking good for ages, and of course it compliments the bars. To top if off we installed one of our super gripper Bodyguard woven rubber tray mats. These mats prevent goods sliding around – stopping damage to the tray sides and box.

The following photo shows a similar bar installed at the front of a different Ute, this time with Ladder Pegs instead of Rabbit Ears. Note the extra reinforcing at the base, which helps brace the load when stopping hard and all the weight on the bars pushes forward.

TOP

“GIMME A BAR WITH TIE DOWNS”

This Rodeo driver wanted “somewhere to tie off to” as well as a “good lookin’ bar”. He ended up with one of Bluey’s Deluxe Sports Bars which features a hooded brake light in the centre. The Maloo-style bracing between the bars were at the right height for tying off his load too. Maybe it was an expensive wayto get some tie downs, but man it looked good as he drove out of Bluey’s workshop!

“I WANT TO CARRY VERY LONG LOADS”

This Ute operator wanted to carry 6 metre conduit. Bluey’s added roof racks to the cabin, then made up a pair of Ladder Racks that came up to the same height, giving the operator an easy six metre load area…..

“I WANT HARD WEARING SIDE STEPS – NOT A SET OF THOSE FANCY MODELS…”

No problem. Bluey’s installed a pair of aluminium checkerplate Side Steps that were practical, but also looked great.

NONE OF THE TRAYS IN THE MARKET SUIT ME!

Fussy huh? OK, why not do what other Bluey’s customers have done, and design your own. The one shown below was for a concreting contractor, who had special operational requirements. Made from checkerplate aluminium, it not only looked good, but was strong, secure and functional.

If you'd like to purchase any Bluey's product you can call us on FREE CALL 1800 632 000 or E-mail Us at bluey@blueys.com.au