Bull Bar Validation

Bull Bar (Frontal Vehicle Protection System) Testing

At the APV Tech Centre we offer various types of tests for Frontal Vehicle Protection Systems (FVPS).

Sled Test Method 

We have developed a sled test method to assist manufacturers of Frontal Vehicle Protection Systems(FVPS), or bull bars and nudge bars, to assess the effects of their FVPS system on a vehicle structure during a crash event. This method of testing is a highly effective and low cost alternative to performing full vehicle crash tests.

The intended purpose is to allow manufacturers to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable precautions and due care in the design of their FVPS to ensure that it will not affect the vehicle crash performance significantly from its original condition when the vehicle compliance was achieved.

Using real vehicle mass, test velocities and deforming elements, the sled simulates the vehicle structure and stiffness. The bull bar performance uses sled accelerometer data to evaluate the ‘crash pulse’ (vehicle deceleration/time graph) of the original vehicle structure to the crash pulse of the structure with an FVPS fitted. High speed video analysis is also used to evaluate the bull bar.

Bull bar manufacturers can use this new low cost method for product development and to demonstrate ‘due care’ in terms of airbag compatibility and ADR compliance.

Full Vehicle Test Method

A full vehicle crash test demonstrates that the alterations to the vehicle structure have not affected the original compliance of the vehicle.

Using our accredited full vehicle crash test facility, bull bar manufacturers can test to:

  1. Airbag compatibility, where airbags ‘must fire’ at a threshold velocity of around 16km/h
  2. Original vehicle ADR 69 full frontal Compliance at 48km/h

Manufacturers can also test to different load cases such as low speed airbag ‘must not fire’ velocity, ADR 73 offset frontal 56km/h an additional ADR compliance test for class M vehicles only and ANCAP 64km/h offset frontal consumer test.

Frontal Impact Test Method

We can also perform crash tests to simulate hitting large animal (80kg) and small animal (23kg). This can be done so that bull bar manufacturers can investigate the subsequent performance of their product.


Test can be setup, using sand bags as animal equivalents and massed to simulate the required animal type. The effects of both central and offset impacts can be investigated at velocities of up to 80km/h depending on customer requirements.

Please contact us with enquiries.