Every semi needs fenders. Some may think of them as mere decorations, but they serve a valuable purpose – keeping your tires from tossing road debris, water and dirt into the air. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with them, right? Before you go shopping, it’s wise to know your options. Practicality meets aesthetics in this quick guide to semi-truck fender materials. Keep reading for some useful info that can help you as you shop.
Aluminum truck fenders are a classic choice for many drivers. They’re corrosion-resistant, lightweight and come in a wide range of styles and finishes. If you want durable fenders that won’t pack on the pounds, aluminum is an excellent option.
The bright shine of a pristinely polished aluminum fender can add visual impact similar to chrome. If you want something a little more understated, you can opt for ribbed and diamond plate styles. Ribbed fenders sport lines, also called ribbing, across the surface. But they also serve a practical purpose – adding strength. Diamond plate aluminum sports raised diamond-shaped lines across its surface. Its chief advantages are easy cleaning and corrosion resistance.
When many people think of semi-trucks, they probably picture chrome fenders. Chrome has a characteristic gleam that adds eye-catching details to any rig. With chrome fenders, your truck will certainly turn heads.
Of course, chrome has its practical benefits as well. Chrome plating can guard against rust, so your fenders stay attractive looking for longer. Chrome is also super easy to clean – most dust and dirt will come off with a quick wipe-down or some soap and water. And like aluminum and poly, chrome comes in a wide range of colors or finishes. Chrome fenders are typically only available in quarter fender sizes. If you want the shine on a larger fender, like a half fender or full fender, opt for polished stainless steel.
Fiberglass is a less common choice for fenders, but it also has some great advantages. Crafted from fiber-reinforced plastic, fiberglass truck fenders deliver lightweight utility with rust resistance. Fiberglass also offers more color choices thanks to their exterior painted finishes. Many are OEM versions or OE direct replacements. If maintaining your truck’s factory look is an important goal, fiberglass fenders will help you achieve it.
Popular choice! Poly fenders are made from high-density polyurethane. They’re lightweight, flexible and easy to clean, but they offer some other great benefits. Many poly truck fenders are UV-resistant, but they can ward off most dents and scratches. They also offer impact resistance and aren’t likely to crack under stress.
Poly fenders offer the durability of metal without the rusting and corrosion. And black isn’t your only color choice. You’ll also find poly fenders in red, gray, blue and other shades.
Driver favorite! Stainless steel truck fenders are usually a little heavier. But they make up for their added weight with durability. Stainless steel can resist a wide range of damaging elements – road salt, chemicals and dirt, to name a few. And on rigs that need heavier duty protection, stainless steel is a sound choice.
Like chrome and aluminum, stainless steel fenders can come with a high-gloss shine. Stainless steel fenders are commonly available in 430 stainless (contains 0% nickel), or 304 stainless (contains 8-10.5% nickel) if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a premium product. 304 stainless tends to be pricier due to the fact that the metal is more corrosion resistant. Some models come with a polished matte finish, offering additional alternatives for your truck’s aesthetics. Keep in mind that stainless steel can be more expensive. However, you may find the benefits well worth the higher price tag.
A Few Final Shopping Tips
Now that you have more info about semi truck fenders, you can better understand your options. You’ll need to evaluate several factors – cost, expected lifetime, driving patterns and aesthetic value. No matter which type you want to buy, shopping at a reputable semi-truck accessories dealer is a wise move. You get better quality, value, service and convenience when purchasing your fenders.