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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was helping a buddy today, needed to pick up some stuff for a remodeling job at home hell hole.

So we drove down to their local store, 40 miles away. During the ride we saw all these newer trucks with these plastic bumpers.

He was saying how with all the equipment/tools we have between the 2 of us we should make custom truck bumpers. I had told him about one I had made years ago for a friend that wanted an air tank built in the bumper. The entire rear bumper looked like the regular step and tow bumper for his truck but was built to hold air with a quick release coupling for your standard air hose.

The guy I built this for had converted his air conditioning compressor to make air for filling tires but it took so long to fill a tire he wanted something that he could fill so he had a reserve tank so to speak.

Well I built it out of 1/8” diamond plate steel top and step the rest was 1/8” flat steel. It was heavy and heavy duty to say the least. Looked similar to a standard step and tow bumper.

He could fill the tank at any air compressor or with his on board air compressor.

Now here is my question.

I know this guy loved his, but is there a market for something like this?

I think so, how about you guys who go off road?

Would this be something of interest to you guys?

I checked the LMC catalog and the factory bumper for my 94 Burb costs $399 for just the shell. Now add the filler $20. Then the step top pad $60. Bumper brace kit $60. Small center step pad $20. Impact strips left and right $40.

that’s $600 total to replace the factory bumper.

I haven’t checked the local steel prices yet but I bet I could make this for less than $100 in steel.

Now what would you rather have the factory bumper at $600 or something like what I am talking about for $750 or so.
 

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Your bumper. And I would pay to have a front one fabbed up to match. My friend has a huge air tank bumper on his bronco 2 and it looks great and took way more of a beating than a stock one ever would.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
At the moment I am just looking at the ups and down sides to the idea. But if you don’t live to far from me I would be happy to do something for you. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to ship something like these.

One point someone made on the other forum I have posted this question on was that the step and tow bumper would not have a large capacity.
 

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Hah! I love trucks and the auto world ... but I love business and the American spirit more!

Before you begin any business project you MUST start with marketing. This simply means that you look at what people want to buy and can you deliver what they want. "Find a need and meet it." You must determine their wants from their needs as well. People need food, but they want a hamburger.

Determine product. What are you selling? Do people want to buy this? Do you know that people want to buy this? How many can you sell? Is it unique? Can you get a patent? Is it safe? Maybe you want to create a line of products?

Determine price. How much can you get for one of these to help maximize your profit. Charge too much and sales go down, charge too little and you make less profit. Will you offer discounts? Coupons? Business-rate vs. one-time purchages?

Determine place. Will you ship it? Will people come to pick it up? Maybe you'll get an order for 50 going to specality truck shops and you'll let them resell them so you never have to deal with the end customer.

Determine promotion. How will you sell it? How will people even know you exist? Ads in trade journals, radio spots, a TV ad during the Superbowl?

Look at your competition. For a big company to make and sell 1,000 custom bumpers in a 5 year period is nothing, they don't want to do it becuase there aren't enough. A midsize company probably would do this, but I'm not sure if anyone is doing it. (200 a year - one per business day roughly) ... but for a small I'm not sure how many people would want something like this. But there is a market for custom-built products.

But, you're dealing with a small percentage of a huge market. There must be 25,000,000 trucks in the US. If you get get one sale for every 25,000 trucks, that 1000 units. Make a profit of $400/each and you have profit of $400,000. Do that over 5 years and you'll make $80,000/year profit.
 

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I think there is a market for your type of bumper. I see all the time 4X4's that are set up for serious off-roading. Not hugely lifted trucks, but the ones with bead-lock wheels, safari rack on the roof with extra gas, Hi-lift jack, shovel, axe, etc. I think those are the trucks that would use that type of bumper and there are a lot of them out there. I have a heavy-duty diamond plate winch bumper on my Blazer that also functions as a place to stand when working in the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have found a few people who have made a similar type of bumper for there own use, and have made those tube type ones for friends with jeeps.

But as someone on the other forum I posted mentioned there is a very small storage capacity in the step and tow type bumper. They also mentioned the hazards, explosion on impact, not meeting DOT standards, and more.

I need to post on more forums to be sure this is a worth wild venture before going at this full scale. One or 2 people a year will do me no real good other than to help out friends like here.

This is as close example of what I would like to do.

http://www.lunghd.com/Tech_Articles/Bumpers/Rear_Bumper.htm
 

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I would love to see and hear more about this bumper can you do one for the from that looks more like a big rig all chrome bumper? Because I might like one of those myself. I have a 89 GMC Suburban that I want to but airhorns on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Front or rear?

Now having it chromed might be a problem.
 

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I'd bet if you looked around you'll find theres a couple chrome shops in your area you never noticed. I found 5 within 30 miles of me that I didnt know existed, and chroming isnt really that expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update, I called a friend yesterday who I knew had some spare sheets of steel plate laying around in his shop that I could pick up for a song, and I can’t sing.

Problem was the stuff he has is ¼” way to thick for what I want. But he did come up with an alternative to the steel plate. Box tubing, he doesn’t have any the size I need but it does sound promising. It is available in all sorts of shapes, sizes, thicknesses.

So now I am in the process of calling around to see what this stuff will cost and what sizes are available.

Wish me luck.
 

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All I gotta say is name a price, and I'll pay it. :) I was planning on spending $1300 on a front bumper from buckstop.biz..... I'd love to have a more "custom" bumper/grill guard and a rear to match. Shipping would cost a fortune to Louisiana, but I don't care, I'd pay it to support a fellow GMTC member. I'm looking for a fairly long front bumper that I can stick a winch in and mount multiple off-road lights on. I really like the fire truck bumpers which is where I got my inspiration from.
 

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84fiero look on ebay in the business and industrial section at the metal thats on there. i wanna see how yours works out and about how much it cost you to build yours.
 

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I just ran the numbers on shipping... for a 300lb bumper shipped from Maine to Louisiana via R+L Carriers would be about $375, not entirely unreasonable. I'm sure shipping from any other mail-order or net bought bumper would come close to that, so it's worth it from that aspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the support and info on shipping Chris.
I have as of yet to find a local supplier who has some in stock, at least what I want to make this look like the original step and tow.

I need to build one to find out just exactly what the weight will be.

I have gotten a lot of good info, help here from you guys from Steve on down and will keep all informed as I progress.

As far as the front bumper that looks like an 18 wheelers bumper now that can be easier.

One note to you Chris, if you want to mount lights on the front bumper I may have to make it with a mount bar on top as if it has the air tank in and you drill holes in the tank to mount lights, well there goes your air tank.

I am headed over to my buddies today to get some more phone numbers for more local steel suppliers.

Will keep all posted.
 

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One note to you Chris, if you want to mount lights on the front bumper I may have to make it with a mount bar on top as if it has the air tank in and you drill holes in the tank to mount lights, well there goes your air tank.
I wasn't even thinking about the air tank. I mainly want a bumper/grill guard solution that sticks out 6-8 inches, enough that you could sit on it, and fit a winch in it and provide some space to mount/hang lights. However, if, persay, there were air tanks in the bumper closer to the truck and not extending the whole depth to give me space to mount a winch and lights, I'd absolutley love that. I still need to put an air compressor and tank on my truck, and this would be an elegant solution to al least give me a little more air capacity. When I get the chance, I guess I should somewhat sketch up what I'd want in a bumper. However, I'll sit here patiently until you find out more info for this endeavor... :great:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Chris after looking at the site at buckstop.biz I think I understand a little better just what you are looking for. If you could give mw a link to the page for the particular bumper that you are interested in and then I can tell you better just what we can do with it.

From what you have said I think this is the bumper you have in mind.



If not please try to post a picture or drawing that will better describe what you have in mind.
 

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The "Classic" bumper is what I like, I don't like the other styles they offer. http://www.buckstop.biz/chevy-gmc_80s.html is a link to the main page, I only like the style that's on the old-school burb in the pics, not the pickups. This picture [media]http://www.buckstop.biz/Images/chevygm/pre99/Chevy_mid80_tight4_l.jpg[/media] really illustrates my favorite points about the bumper. Ideally, I think I'd like it 3 or 4 inches longer than it is, but once I saw the bumper, I knew that was the style I wanted. If I were in the Maine area, I'd come and help you, but I unfortunatley live too far away to justify the trip. Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We got another 8” of snow this morning and I have a horse trailer full of hay to get into the barn so I will try to get back to you later this evening. But no guaranties.

When you say 3 to 4” longer do you mean in the front? In other words 3 or 4” more of the bumper forward of the grill?
 

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Yup, I was referring to 3-4" longer running forward from the from of the truck away from the truck. That should definitley give enough space to put a decent split air tank (so that the winch can fit), give me space to mount my lighting goodies, a winch, and have air on hand...
 
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