Well, it’s finally here! After waiting 10 long, excruciating weeks, I finally received my Buckstop Classic III winch bumper. Along with the bumper, I installed two PIAA 520 ATP head lamps and a Warn 16.5ti heavy duty winch. With several choices in colors, I opted for the black, hammer tone finish. It looks pretty sweet if I do say so myself. This a Review of the Buckstop Modified Classic II Winch Bumper.
Being a hands-on kind of guy, I usually like to install things like this myself, but with the weight of the bumper (over 190 pounds) and the winch (138 pounds), I opted to have the folks at Desert Rat here in Mesa install it for me. The entire project took one guy eight hours to complete. I have to say I was pretty impressed with the quality and professionalism of the install. I was told that there were no problems with the installation and that the bumper and winch fit perfectly, like a glove. The guy who did my install removed the front two tires for more room on the backside, but I’m told by Buckstop this isn’t necessary. There’s plenty of room on the backside to install the bumper.
For those unfamiliar with Buckstop Truckware, the company is based out of Prineville, Oregon. Buckstop is a true American company. All of their bumpers are made in the USA. The company makes heavy duty front and rear bumpers for large and small trucks of all makes, including Ford, Chevy, Dodge, GMC, Nissan, and Toyota. As the name implies, Buckstop bumpers are meant to stop a large buck from damaging the front end of your truck. Their winch bumpers come with an impressive array of standard features including a heavy duty brush guard, a fully enclosed winch area with a winch access cover door, two Frenched light buckets, a 2-inch trailer receiver, two tow hooks, and a license plate bracket. The Classic III (Modified Classic II) is a new offering for 3/4- and one-ton trucks, and as of this writing, still isn’t listed on their website though it is for half-ton trucks. If you’re interested in buying one, talk to Dorian. He’ll get you set-up. Their current offerings for Ram trucks can be found by clicking here.
What really sold me on a Buckstop bumper is the quality construction. Their bumpers are made with 1/4-inch steel in the primary impact zone and winch center and 3/16-inch steel under the headlights. The 190 pound bumper is stout enough to house a winch with a rated line pull of 16,500 pounds with the standard 4.5-inch by 10-inch bolt pattern. This pattern will accommodate most winches available in the market today. The grill/brush guard is made of 2.5-inch circumference tubular steel to protect the front end from high impact strikes. Better yet, the grill/brush guard is removable, perfect for those times when you need to service the radiator or grill on the truck or the grill/brush guard on the bumper.
A key feature of the Buckstop winch bumper, and a big selling point for me, is the winch access door (you’d be surprised at how many winch bumpers don’t have one). This door protects the winch from the weather and elements and permits easy access to the winch controls for winching operations and maintenance. The door lifts up by first twisting the locking tab. The door is pretty heavy, too. It weighs a good 12 pounds.
As for the Warn 16.5ti heavy duty winch, it’s pretty sweet! It’s Warn’s highest capacity, most technologically advanced winch. The series-wound motor combined with a three-stage planetary gear-train delivers a whopping 16,500 pounds of pulling power. The aluminum control box coupled with the winch’s extreme-duty sealing helps protect the winch’s sensitive electronics from the outside elements. The remote control also features a thermometric indicator LED that provides operator feedback on motor temperature. The winch comes with 90 feet of 7/16-inch diameter wire rope, but I’ll be switching this out with synthetic rope in a few months. Like the Buckstop bumper, the Warn 16.5ti is made in the USA (unlike most of the winches being sold today). The winch is also backed by Warn’s limited lifetime warranty.
For those wondering about the logistics of this project, here are a few details. The original estimated time to manufacture and deliver my bumper was six weeks, but took 10. Evidently, the delay was due to Buckstop’s relocation to their new facility in July. Apparently, the delays associated with employing new workers, new equipment, and new sub-contractors took more time than anticipated. The ten week delay was disappointing, but for me quality is more important. I didn’t mind waiting as long as I received a quality product that was well packaged and shipped to my satisfaction. Oh, and speaking of the shipping, the company offers a flat rate fee of $75 if you ship with Buckstop’s preferred carrier, Old Dominion Freight Line, and pick it up yourself at a local warehouse (my shipment took three days to arrive from the factory in Prineville, Oregon to Old Dominion’s warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona). You can have your item shipped directly to your home, but it will cost you a lot more to do so. And for those who are wondering, I’m told that once the current backlog at Buckstop is cleared, the throughput for orders will only be two weeks.
Does my new Buckstop bumper now mean I’m immune to damage from deer and elk? No, but it does substantially reduce the chances of being disabled. If your truck is like mine, your front grill is made of plastic, not much protection for the radiator if you happen to hit a buck at 45 mph. The last thing I want happening on an outing is to be broke down in the boonies, beyond cell range. In that regard, my new Buckstop bumper offers me greater peace of mind knowing my radiator is protected from whatever may come my way. And with my new Warn winch, I now have the ability to help myself and others who may be stuck and beyond the call for help. What would I rate the Buckstop Modified Classic II Heavy-Duty Winch Bumper? On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest, without hesitation, I give the Buckstop Modified Classic II a full 5 stars.
Check out my video on my new Buckstop Classic III (Modified Classic II) bumper: