Cab Spoiler Buyer’s Guide
- Spoilers were first used to reduce lift and stabilize race cars moving at high speeds.
- The spoiler was made into an accessory for regular consumer vehicles.
- Pickup truck spoilers come in two main configurations, which are the tailgate and cab spoilers.
- Depending on the design, truck cab spoilers offer other benefits in addition to allowing personalization, such as preventing water from seeping into the third brake light, improving visibility of the vehicle by adding lights or giving focus to the third brake light, protecting the rear edge of the passenger cab from long cargo, and redirecting wind from a pickup truck camper.
- Aside from the design, purpose, and fit, some other things to consider when getting a cab spoiler are its material, which could be ABS plastic, polyethylene, polyurethane, or fiberglass, and installation method, which are either with fasteners or adhesives.
- Cab spoilers are available in different finishes and some can be color-matched to the vehicle.
- Depending on the material, design, finish, and brand, the prices of cab spoilers can range from around $120 to $450.
Aside from offering unique designs and benefits, aftermarket equipment and automotive accessory manufacturers also ensure that their cab spoilers are of excellent quality to help them stand out from the competition.
Spoilers were first commonly used to help stabilize race cars moving at high speeds. This attachment reduced lift by disrupting or spoiling the airflow and pressure around the vehicle. Too much lift is dangerous for race cars as this reduces the grip and traction of their wheels. With the spoiler, the force of lift dissipates, giving race car drivers better control over their vehicles.
This fitment used by race cars made its way and was added to the design of high-performance sports cars, which are also capable of high speeds. Eventually, the spoiler made its way to regular consumer vehicles as an accessory. It was installed on vehicles more for the aesthetic element it provided rather than for its effects on aerodynamics.
Car spoilers are either mounted on the trunk or on the roof vehicles that lack a trunk, such as hatchbacks. Meanwhile, pickup truck spoilers come in two main configurations, which are the tailgate and cab spoilers.
What Does a Cab Spoiler Do?
A pickup truck roof spoiler or truck cab spoiler is an accessory attached to the rear of the passenger cabin’s roof. Depending on the design, cab spoilers can also provide other benefits in addition to allowing you to personalize your truck. Some cab spoilers for pickup trucks can prevent water from seeping into the third brake light mounted above the rear window. They can also help highlight the said brake light, making it easier for others to see your vehicle. There are also pickup truck cab spoilers that include additional lights, further improving the visibility of your truck, especially in dark roads at night. Other cab spoiler designs also protect the edge of the cab from long cargo. A truck cab spoiler could also help redirect wind away from a camper that is taller than the passenger cab.
Buying a Truck Cab Spoiler
With the number of types and styles of cab spoilers, choosing one for your pickup truck may seem overwhelming. Aside from the design, purpose, and fit, some other things to consider when getting a cab spoiler are its material and installation method:
Since cab spoilers are mounted on the roof of the passenger cabin, it is important to choose one that is made from durable materials that can weather the elements such as wind, rain, heat, and cold.
A lightweight, sturdy, and easy to shape material, many manufacturers use plastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene, and polyurethane in making truck cab spoilers.
ABS plastic combines the properties of plastic resins and a synthetic rubber or elastomer. The resins provide hardness, rigidity, and heat resistance to the material while the synthetic rubber improves impact strength. Due to its characteristics of being tough and resistant to heat, it is also used in other automotive interior parts. Other uses for ABS plastic include appliance housings, pipe fittings, helmets, and luggage.
Polyethylene is the most commonly used type of plastic due to its versatility. This synthetic resin can be turned into packaging films, food wrappers, houseware, automotive parts, and even bulletproof vests. It’s used in making spoilers because its properties include high impact strength, ductility, and chemical resistance.
Polyurethane can easily be customized according to needs because its properties are dependent on its molecular structure. This highly versatile polymer can be tailored to be strong, tough, rigid, or flexible. With its adjustable properties, it is used to create a wide range of products such as flexible foams for upholstery and cushions and rigid foams for insulation and airplane wing cores. In the automotive industry, it can be made into instrument and door panels, steering wheels, gaskets, bumpers, fenders, and spoilers.
Reinforcing plastic with glass fibers creates a durable and lightweight material called fiberglass that is often used in automobile and aircraft body parts and boat hulls. The strength of a fiberglass material can be set according to the number of layers and orientation of the glass fibers.
The two most common ways of mounting cab spoilers are with fasteners or with adhesive. In either method, what should be considered is how well the cab spoiler is secured to the vehicle. If the cab spoiler is not properly attached, it could come off. This would be dangerous especially if this happens while you are driving.
Holes will have to be drilled on the body of the truck to allow the installation of cab spoilers that require screws or bolts. The fasteners will ensure that the cab spoiler is fixed to the body of the pickup truck.
Heavy-duty double-sided tape and polyurethane glue are some ways that cab spoilers can be mounted to the vehicle using adhesive. Using adhesive provides ease of installation, as the double-sided tape keeps the cab spoiler in place while the polyurethane glue, which is also used in mounting the windshield, dries. In addition to making installation easy, it also ensures that there are no lasting changes to the body of the vehicle.
Some manufacturers offer cab spoilers that are easy to paint over so you can color match the accessory to your vehicle. You can also opt for a matte black cab spoiler to add some sort of detailing to your pickup truck. The finish of the cab spoiler should also be considered as this could help prevent the paint from fading.
Depending on the material, design, finish, and brand, the prices of cab spoilers can range from around $120 to $450.
With a better understanding of aerodynamics and its effect on driving stability and fuel economy, many vehicle manufacturers now incorporate spoiler-like features in the design of vehicles, especially on the tailgate of pickup trucks. It is rare for pickup truck manufacturers to produce and offer spoilers since it is already part of the truck’s body.
Most spoilers available in the market are made by aftermarket equipment and automotive accessory manufacturers. Aside from offering unique designs and benefits, these manufacturers also ensure that their products are of excellent quality to help them stand out from the competition.