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  • Ewert Jooste
    Ewert JoosteMember

    As importers of the Rhino 4×4 bumper range, we would like to set the record straight on the facts presented in the recent Bull Bar Guide (SA4x4 June 2017), and the naming of our Evolution 3D bumper in the Gear section in the July issue.

    We are not happy with the description of the Rhino 4×4 bumper as a bikini-style bumper. Our bumper has always been marketed as a Rhino 4×4 Evolution bumper, and the newer model is the Rhino 4×4 Evolution 3D bumper, which is a registered trademark.

    Lynx 4×4 named their bumper the Bikini bumper; this was their own name for the bumper and has absolutely nothing to do with Rhino 4×4. They have since closed down, but we have a lawyer’s letter standing against them, as our bumper has an industrial design patent.

    With regard to the technical introduction section headed Approach Angle and Strength in the SA4x4 June edition, I quote: “When it comes to strength, welded bumpers are generally less likely to rattle loose than modular ones, simply because they have fewer components. So, if you’re doing thousands of kilometres of nasty Botswana corrugations, this may be something to consider.”

    Rhino 4×4 has close to 30 years’ experience in design and manufacturing for the racing as well as the leisure industry. Our designs are thoroughly tested and a lot of research and development goes into them before they are released into the market. It takes close to a year of development and testing before the end product is launched.

    Our patented three-piece design and unique mounting system has never failed us on any terrain or circumstance, no matter how tough or bad the roads are. We have clients, including tour operators, who have travelled more than 200 000km of bad African roads and who will vouch for the fact that a Rhino bumper never rattles loose.

    We have found that a onepiece bull bar design is more likely to rattle loose because it has a lot less flex than a Rhino 4×4 Evolution patented bumper. We do extensive shake, flex and stress tests.

    Since we started operations in South Africa five years ago, we’ve never had a warranty claim or issue with a bumper which has rattled loose. We have done extensive off-roading ourselves, including a trip to Angola in December 2016, during which the two vehicles fitted with Rhino 4×4 Evolution bumpers had no issues whatsoever. On the other hand, a vehicle fitted with a locally-manufactured copy of our bumper was forced to stick duct tape between the bumper and lights, as well as between the bumper and fender, to stop it from rattling and causing damage on the very rocky and corrugated roads we experienced.

    We would like to state that Rhino 4×4 bumpers cannot be compared to locally fabricated products that are built on the vehicle and are not subjected to extensive research and testing. Rhino 4×4 is an international brand that has supplied tens of thousands of bumpers to customers throughout the world, with no evidence of the bumpers rattling loose.

    Secondly, with regard to airbag compatibility and testing, it must be said that in order for a company to claim that a product is airbag-compatible, tests must be done to certify the claim.

    In your article, certain manufacturers claim that their products are compatible but not certified. In our view, if it’s not certified it’s not compatible. Just because the airbag sensors are not situated on the bumper does not mean that the product is compatible.

    Rhino 4×4 does dynamic crash testing on all our products in Australia to make sure that our products will allow the airbag to fire at the precise pulse rate as tested with the OE bumper crash tests. (Check the link below showing one of our bumpers being tested http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=584paE0UaB8.) According to our knowledge, no local manufacturers except for Onca 4×4 (who tested their Land Cruiser bumper in Australia), have done any tests of airbagcompatibility whatsoever.

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