Utes are the most popular vehicle type sold in Australia in 2020, with the Ford Ranger topping sales lists in April 2021, according to recent studies. Utes are popular because of their versatility, providing just the right amount of passenger space, with the added functionality of large cargo bays. And they’re not just bought by tradies. With their added ruggedness and go-anywhere looks, utes appeal to a wide range of different customers.
And with so many utes around, manufacturers and retailers are stepping up their range of accessories to meet growing customer needs. No matter if you have a single or dual-cabin ute, you can maximise your storage space by installing a simple product – the roof rack.
Benefits of Roof Racks
Having an installed top-quality roof rack for Ford Ranger, or any other ute for that matter, greatly increases your vehicle’s storage capacity. This translates into the following additional benefits:
● extra overall storage
● increased interior space and legroom
● ability to safely transport large items
● avoid unwanted damage to the interior
● the ability for add-on accessories
● improved driving safety and overall vehicle appearance
Besides beefing up the appearance of your car, roof racks provide ample additional space, freeing up space inside the cabin for added passenger comfort. Your roof rack for Ford Ranger will also allow you to carry large items like ladders, bikes or surfboards that otherwise don’t fit in the cabin. These units can also be used as mounting points for additional extras, like lights or awning rails, great when going off-road or camping. And they provide you with the peace of mind that the interior of your ute won’t get damaged or scraped by unwieldy or hazardous items.
Roof racks also improve overall visibility and vehicle stability, allowing you to better organise your cargo, while evenly redistributing weight. This is especially important when tackling tough terrain, like river crossings, and improves safety for you, and other drivers when on the tarmac.
Fitting a Roof Rack to Your Ford Ranger
To mount roof racks onto your Ford Ranger, Ford has supplied your car with mounting points in the roofline, onto which crossbars and different types of racks are fitted. Depending on the model type, different mounts can be used. The most common types are fixed point mounts, raised roof rails, and track mounts.
Fixed point mounts require studs threaded into the mounting points. They give your car a neater appearance and reasonable carrying capacity but are at a fixed point, so the attached racks cannot be moved.
Raised roof rails fit factory-fitted rails on your Ranger. These give you the choice as to where you want to fit your racks, especially important with heavier objects and weight distribution. Raised rails also keep that expensive paint intact.
Track mounts bolt onto the factory fitted tracks or aftermarket tracks which need to be drilled in the roofline. These give you added flexibility to positioning the crossbars, onto which the rack is fitted. It might be a good idea to get your aftermarket tracks fitted professionally, as there is some work involved.
If your vehicle doesn’t come with factory crossbars, there are aftermarket variants that suit most vehicles, including the Ranger. Look for models with locking systems to secure your cargo.
Factory Fitted Combinations
When buying a new Ford Ranger, you can spec it according to your intended use. There are racks, bars and accessories for just about anything you want to carry. Whether it’s skis, snowboards, luggage boxes, bikes, kayaks, surfboards, you’ll find the combination you want. Though as with everything that leaves the showroom, be prepared to pay the premium.
Roof Racks for Your Single/ Dual Cabin Ford Ranger
Depending on the model of your Ford Ranger, you can find the roof rack that best suits your needs. Single cabin and single cabin extra space models take smaller racks, up to 850mm in length. These can be either flat barracks, or raised racks with additional mounting points and rails, for larger items, like awning rails or bike rack mounts. These are especially handy, as they provide the convenience of transporting larger items safely without compromising on driving dynamics.
Dual cabin roof racks also come as flat bar mesh or platform models, and models offering additional mounting rails. They are longer, generally up to 1350mm, with the same width of 1250mm as the single cab variants. Though a bit heavier, they provide up to six mounting rails, giving extra support for your load, which means more space and added security for particularly large objects, like kayaks, or larger ladders.
You can find aftermarket racks, complete with supplied rails or crossbars, additional mounts and the tools needed if you’re mounting them yourself. When buying a roof rack for your Ford Ranger take in mind that dual-cabin racks may not fit if your model is a single cabin or single extra space model due to different mounting points.
Other Things to Consider
We’ve mentioned the different cabin types of the Ranger, and the different racks that fit each. Consider also the loading weight capacity of the roof rack you’re intending to use. Most roof rack models exceed the loading capacity of the roof, so this should ease your mind at too how much they can carry. Though it’s wise not to take things overboard. Literally.
Roof racks also come as either steel or aluminium alloy, with the aluminium variants as the generally more durable option. Combinations of brushed aluminium crossbars and racks look exceptionally nice, giving your Ranger a rugged, go-anywhere look.
Buying Roof Racks for Ford Ranger
Roof racks and roof rack accessories are manufactured by many companies, some headquartered in Australia. You can find racks from expensive brand names, Ford’s own accessory line-up, and cheaper third-party makes to suit most vehicles, including the Ranger. The latter is sold in stores specialising in aftermarket 4WD equipment. If you need additional stuff for your Ranger, specialised stores are your go-to choice. Some even offer onsite installation or are partnered with other companies.
If you’re comfortable fitting the roof rack yourself, there’s always the choice of shopping online. Especially if you’re short on time. You order is shipped within a business day, setting you up for your next job, or 4WD adventure where a roof rack is a necessity.