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Auto/Truck/Other Transportation If you use it to get from here to there, this is the place to talk about it and how to fix it.

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Old 11-18-2015, 11:32 AM
chrisser Male chrisser is offline
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Default Deer protection for pickup

Hit a deer last night. Second one in 8 months. This time I slammed into him squarely at around 45 as I was coming home with about 100 gallons of water on a trailer.

Pushed in the bumper, shattered the grille, all the headlights are out of alignment, and the hood's pushed in badly enough I can't open it. Suspect the radiator support is all tweaked.

Granted, it's an old truck and it's all fixable. Luckily we're unharmed and the truck is still driveable.

But given the stats, it's likely to happen again.

I'm thinking of not driving the "good" car during the most active deer hours when avoidable and using the truck exclusively when we have to travel at those times (which, unfortunately, is often unavoidable).

So I'm thinking about protection in the future once I get the truck patched up so I might minimize the damage on the next Bambi encounter.

What's available commercially seems awfully expensive and mostly cosmetic. Wondering if anyone has found something that's actually effective that can be bought or built something that works and might have some tips.

I'm thinking that ideally I could bolt something in place of the tow hooks at the front bumper, and potentially brace it against the radiator support where there are existing braces to the fenders, potentially beefing those up a bit and maybe adding a horizontal cross brace (this is an 00 Sierra 1500). Most of what I've seen commercially appears to just hook to where the tow hooks go, but would easily fold up on top and do more damage to the front of the truck than the deer.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:15 PM
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Same thing around here - just don't drive at dawn and dusk especially during the rut. Of course now that I am not working that is easy.

I've seen lots of deer hits. Those commercially available "brush guards" etc. aren't any good for deer. A lot of times the guard causes more damage than if you didn't have one.

The only way I've seen it done is one that is homemade - made of 2" or 2.5" pipe, and braced very well. When designing one you need to take into account that you will be hitting a 100#+ object at ~50mph. Takes a lot of steel with proper bracing to stop that.

With my comprehensive auto insurance it includes deer damage with a $50 deductible. As much as I hated the times that the front of my truck got smashed up I find it easier to pay the $50 (plus the minimal cost for comprehensive insurance).
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:20 PM
chrisser Male chrisser is offline
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Thanks for the advice. I think I'll look into comprehensive.

Right now I have liability only on the thing.

Besides the bracing, the other consideration I thought of is to try to keep the deer on the road - preventing it from getting over the hood and into the windshield. Rather run over it and let the suspension and skid plates deal with it than have it in my lap.

We got lucky this time as we hit him squarely and essentially pushed him sideways down the road, but if he had tried to leap out of the way, things could have been pretty messy.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:29 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Yes.. A "Brush/Bull Guard" is good equipment... Should not be a problem to find one new or used for a GM product..

In this area there have been a couple people killed by deer hits..
One case a semi truck hit a deer and launched it into the other lane of on coming traffic.. The other the deer ended up through the wind shield of a semi..

Last deer I hit was with my old 88? Chrysler Cordoba.. Head on, dead center, went under the car, made a noise like an earth quake... Blood, guts, hair, Bambi burger one end to the other on the underside.. Stunk for a long time..

Take care..
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:05 PM
wywhitewolf Male wywhitewolf is offline
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The impact energy has to be absorbed somewhere. Any bracing usually just moves the damage further back. So are you willing to also sacrifice the fenders if it doesn't work?

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Old 11-18-2015, 08:37 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Sorry for your accident, sucks Dude.

I know a couple of guys that have service territories in N. MN and N. Wi. They have either built or a local fab shop make some pretty heavy duty deer guards. These guys say they work pretty well. Course, these are on 3\4 trucks too.

These guards are monsters though, and if something like that was on a 1\2 ton or similar, probably would have to get hd front springs.

Butt ugly, and kind of look like a Mad Max thing.

I have a commercial heavy duty steel bumper on my Jeep - I think it would stand up well to a hit, but it doesn't cover the grill and lights.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:25 PM
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Yes... With a grill/brush/bull guard you are taking the chance of moving the damage back.. However it may take a larger animal than a deer to do that kind of damage..

I have seen, heard of people who hit cows, horses, elk, moose and that is a whole different issue... I saw a pickup that hit a sheep once.. Sheep insides wrapped around drive shaft and tore it completely out.. Sheep and shaft all jammed up under the truck... Ick...

Also have heard about people hitting adult hogs.. There lower stature and bulk make for a VERY different result on impact.. In my teenage years I was trading kisses with a girl for a while who hit a sow with her dads 57 Chevy... Hit it dead center, on a night that was as dark as the inside of a cow.. Pushed the transmission right up under the front seat next to her.. Radiator and fan were right up to where the fire wall started..

Different animals can make for very different outcomes..

Keep safe...
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisser View Post
Thanks for the advice. I think I'll look into comprehensive.

Right now I have liability only on the thing.

Besides the bracing, the other consideration I thought of is to try to keep the deer on the road - preventing it from getting over the hood and into the windshield. Rather run over it and let the suspension and skid plates deal with it than have it in my lap.

We got lucky this time as we hit him squarely and essentially pushed him sideways down the road, but if he had tried to leap out of the way, things could have been pretty messy.
What I have observed over the years is that "usually" the deer is running - most of the time full out - when coming across the road. When in gallop mode like that their backs are a lot closer to the ground. I've run over them but never had one come up over. Usually it goes like it did with you and they skid down the road in front of me. So the actual height of the deer when running is probably 1/3 of what you see when it is standing still.

Which brings another point - this is one reason I only drive a full size pickup. What happens when these little puddle jumpers hit a deer - since they are more or less designed like a wedge for fuel economy (low and narrow in the front) - if hit dead broadside the deer will likely come up and a lot of cases into and/or through the windshield.

We also have elk and bear here - another reason I just opt for the comprehensive insurance vs. a rack on the front of the truck. And the biggest problem with our elk is they just don't move - they have no predators here and aren't afraid of anything. If you come upon one on the road be ready for the hit if you can't stop in time.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:08 PM
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check out the older military trucks ,like the m37 s or and older gmc deuce and halfs
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:48 AM
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Funny in a way..... Not funny in a way...

Tonight I talked to a neighbor with a 19yr old college daughter who hit an 8 point buck sometime last weekend.. Dark as the inside of a cow when she hit it.. Went under the car.. Stuck under the car and drug it along until she could stop safely in a safe place... Ick...

They had to use a roll on truck to pick up the car.. Estimates are $4,000 damages...

Ouch...
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:17 AM
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Twenty yrs ago, we used to play baseball in a fall league. And without fail our centerfielder Biscuit Butt, who lived 20 miles outside of town and had to drive thru the forest preserve to get home, would wind up hitting at least one deer every year.

Waiting in line at Menards one time, I picked up a "deer whistle" sitting on that rack of cheap junk they always entice you with as you're waiting in line. I bought it for him as a joke-- they don't work. A deer can hear you heart beat at 100 yds. They KNOW you're there. They just don't know what to do about you.

Anyways, when I got home I just tossed it on the table. The very blonde wife asked what it was. I explained. With a puzzled look on her face she asked, "But doesn't it get cold driving with the window down and sticking your head out to blow on it?"

See what I gotta put up with?
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:41 AM
wywhitewolf Male wywhitewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc View Post
Twenty yrs ago, we used to play baseball in a fall league. And without fail our centerfielder Biscuit Butt, who lived 20 miles outside of town and had to drive thru the forest preserve to get home, would wind up hitting at least one deer every year.

Waiting in line at Menards one time, I picked up a "deer whistle" sitting on that rack of cheap junk they always entice you with as you're waiting in line. I bought it for him as a joke-- they don't work. A deer can hear you heart beat at 100 yds. They KNOW you're there. They just don't know what to do about you.

Anyways, when I got home I just tossed it on the table. The very blonde wife asked what it was. I explained. With a puzzled look on her face she asked, "But doesn't it get cold driving with the window down and sticking your head out to blow on it?"

See what I gotta put up with?
Well, You chose her!

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Old 11-19-2015, 09:12 PM
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Been there and done that, so I can certainly feel you disappointment over the encounter. New or old vehicle, down time for repairs, haggling with the insurance companies, it is all discouraging and unpleasant.

We have had five encounters with deer while driving in the past. Two were in fairly rural areas, while the other three were probably less than ten miles from home, and one was just right on the outskirts of town. It was a doe, a big doe too, that came right out of a monument establishments display of tombstones to cross a four lane divided highway right in front of us.

She took out the entire front grill section (radiator included) and did not even bend either front fender. $6,500.00 in damages nearly 20 years ago. Fortunately she was the last of the five, and I hope to never hit another deer as long as I live. They can do some serious damage to a vehicle, and three of the five did just that to the vehicles involved in the encounter.

To be more correct, I have hit two deer, killing both of them. I was driving when two other deer just flat out ran into the side of the vehicle committing suicide more or less, and the wife was driving when one jumped a ditch and struck the passenger side fender. She stopped and the deer got up and ran off from that encounter, and very little damage was did to the fender, so at most, that deer was probably just stunned a little.

The grandson also hit & killed a deer just a quarter mile from the house, give or take a few yards, and that one was attempting to also cross the same four lane highway as the doe I killed coming out of the tombstone exhibit.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:08 AM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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"Head out window, blowing whistle"
"See what I put up with"

Like my big brother always said...
This what you put up with when you want to see them naked.....


I've done a bunch of that kind of thinking...
Will do it again if I get the chance...
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