Aluminium or steel? Advice for your next fabricated roof rack - Tradesman Roof Racks Austalia

Aluminium or steel? Advice for your next fabricated roof rack.

August 7, 2018

The aluminium or steel debate has existed in the roof rack industry since the beginning. Hardcore weekend warriors swear by steel’s strength and reliability and the touring community point to the reduced weight and long-term rust resistance of aluminium.
With the market for roof racks ever-increasing, we can give you a few pointers to help you decide on your next roof rack material.


Although not as strong as steel, aluminium is great for off-road vehicles as they help to keep your overall weight down while maintaining a great level of strength and practicality. A quick breakdown:

  1. Aluminium is the lightest roof rack material available in the Australian roof rack market helping to keep your overall weight down.
  2. Due to the combination of metals used in its manufacture, aluminium has a high level of resistance to corrosion.
  1. More expensive to produce, due to higher raw material cost and labour involved.
  2. Not as durable – unlike steel which warps and bends, aluminium under extreme loading can fracture due to fatigue.


Steel is the tried and proven solution. It’s very strong and durable with our zinc plating process added, it is both a cost-effective and viable roof rack solution for your vehicle. Weighing it up:

  1. Very strong and can take the stress of long, corrugated trips such as the Canning Stock Route.
  2. Zinc-plated and powder coated to reduce the chance of rust – a proven method of surface protection.
  1. Can rust if the roof rack is heavily scratched.
  2. Heavier and can quickly use up your vehicle’s factory roof rating.

The Verdict

With so many options and variations available, it really depends on your own unique situation! Our advice? – with car roofs coming from the factory with ever reducing load ratings, the aluminium rack will help you salvage every last kilogram from the load ratings while giving you the added rust protection.
Questions? Give us a call!

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