Things to look at when buying roof racks for your 4WD - Tradesman Roof Racks Australia

Things to look at when buying roof racks for your 4WD

May 11, 2023

Roof racks are a valuable accessory for 4WD vehicles, offering additional storage space when you’re running low. However, choosing the right 4WD roof rack or tradie rack can be overwhelming due to the variety of options available. In this guide, we will explore ten important factors to consider when purchasing roof racks for your 4WD.


1. Weight

The weight of the roof racks is crucial, as excessive weight on the roof can negatively impact vehicle handling, especially during off-road adventures. Light-duty roof bars may weigh just a few kilograms, while full-size steel roof baskets can weigh up to 70kg. The weight of the 4wd roof rack determines the amount of gear you can carry and affects your vehicle’s off-road performance and compliance with legal load limits.

2. Mounting Position

Depending on your vehicle type (e.g., ute or SUV), you can choose various mounting positions for your roof racks. Mounting options include the canopy for utes or the front section of the vehicle. Each configuration offers different benefits, and considerations such as aerodynamics and axle load should guide your decision.

3. Type and Size

Roof racks come in different types and sizes to suit specific requirements. From lightweight rails to full-sized roof cages, the choice depends on the intended use. For carrying a solar panel or a few fishing rods, smaller racks may be sufficient. However, if you plan to carry larger items like a tent, gas bottle, jerry can and camping equipment, a larger and more robust 4wd roof rack with proper support and spacing is essential.

4. Tie-Down Points

To ensure secure transport, proper tie-down points on the roof racks are crucial. When driving off-road, the gear on your tradie rack will experience additional forces, making sturdy attachment points necessary. Most roof racks have holes for hooking straps, while others feature sliding eye bolts or rails along the sides to facilitate tying down your load.

5. Material

Roof racks are commonly made of steel or aluminium. Steel roof racks, apart from being heavy, can rust over time, leading to potential issues. Aluminium roof racks, although pricier, offer durability, resistance to rust, and lighter weight. Tradesman offers robust aluminium 4wd roof racks that are both lightweight and visually appealing.

6. Durability

Opt for roof racks that are built to last. Poorly constructed roof racks, especially those with inadequate paint jobs or mesh bottoms, may rust or break over time due to wear and tear. Look for roof racks that are bare aluminium or properly powder coated for optimal durability.

7. Roof Mounting Attachments

Proper and secure mounting of roof racks is essential. While older 4WD vehicles had gutters for physical clamping, modern vehicles often require racks to be fixed directly to the roof. Mounting methods can vary, ranging from clamping around the roof or door shut area to using factory nutserts, rivets, or bolts. Heavy-duty versions typically involve bolts passing through the roof, requiring the roof liner to be temporarily removed.

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