In the old days, when trucks were driven by farmers, contractors, and construction workers, and the rest of us drove cars, mud flaps were seen as one of the most utilitarian of accessories. When a plumber with a new pickup truck wanted to minimize how much slush splashed up on the sides of his new ride, he drove to the local car parts store, bought a set of universal mud flaps, drilled holes into his new fenders, and bolted them on. Perhaps they fit. He was lucky if they lasted more than a few winters. How times have changed.
Today, 50% of Americans drive some kind of 'truck' (pickup, minivan, or SUV) as a daily driver. Mud flaps still have their functionality, but, most of them are custom-fit to a particular year, make and model truck, and some can be installed without drilling. While most of them are manufactured using a long-lasting plastic or rubber compound, some can be painted to match the vehicle's exterior color. There are even custom mud flaps made partially or completely of stainless steel. Mud flaps are an accessory that add good looks as well as provide function.
When you are ready to begin the purchase process for mud flaps, you can choose from such well-known and reliable manufacturers as Weather Tech, Putco, Husky Liners, RBP, and Dee Zee. Let's look in greater detail at some of the incredible options you have when selecting mud flaps for your truck.
Mud Flaps Options
As an initial step, think about whether you want or need mud flaps for just the front wheels, just the rear wheels, or for all four. Many of the mud flap suppliers give you a choice. You also have a choice between a black mud flap (made from a modern material like a rubberized plastic) and a shiny stainless steel one. The stainless flaps provide a little brightwork in a location where you normally would not expect to see it.
Installation for an item like a mud flap is quite easy. Most provide a template for drilling a few holes along the fender edge where they would not be noticed. To bring it to its simplest solution, take a good look at Weather Tech's mud flaps. Weather Tech is so proud of this feature that they have named their product the "Digital Fit No-Drill Mud Flaps". When you key in your specific year, make and model, be certain to pay attention to Fitment Notes! (Fitment Notes call attention to seemingly minor vehicle differences which could affect whether the selected product will work for your vehicle.) For example, here are some of Weather Tech's Fitment Notes:
- Does not fit with 22 inch wheels.
- Fits models with power steps.
- Fits models with OE fender flares
- Fits Dually models
- Fits models with factory running boards
The good news is that by making the correct selections, you are guaranteed a set of mud flaps that will perfectly fit on your truck.
Husky Liners, a company known for its floor mats, not only does an excellent job with its Mud Guards, it gives you a choice between a classic black Custom Molded Mud Guard and a Stainless Mud Guard. The Stainless Guard features a strip of stainless steel where you can attach a logo showing your support of your favorite school, team, or sport. You can also leave it as-is, adding a dash of shine to your truck's lower regions. The Molded Mud Guards, like the Stainless ones, are custom-fit to your specific vehicle. Husky goes so far as to state that the black molded guards can be painted to match your vehicle's color. If that is the route you take, be sure to use an adhesion promotor especially made for plastic, as well as a paint with a flexible agent in it, such as a paint designed for plastic.
Dee Zee mud flaps are an affordable way to obtain a set of custom-fit mud flaps for your truck. Made from a composite plastic, these mud flaps will withstand abuse dished out at them from the elements. The Dee Zees are available in sets for front or rear. Even though these are among the most value-priced mud flaps we carry, they still have a limited lifetime warranty.
RBP (Rolling Big Power) mud flaps are for the big boys driving the big rigs. These are as heavy-duty a set of mud flaps as you'll find anywhere. You can choose the RBP logo on a black background or stainless steel background. If you are an off-roader who needs mud flaps that will stand up to the harshest conditions your sport can dish out, RBP is the brand to consider first.
If you've added chrome to other areas of your truck, such as the grille, door handles, outside mirrors, and headlamp surrounds, then Putco Form Fitted Mud Skins should be on your shopping list. Available in pairs for either the front or rear of your truck (or buy both for full coverage), the mirror finish stainless steel will make your ride stand out like no other. Designed to fit your specific vehicle, this is an accessory that will fit like it came from the factory. Your mud flaps will be as shiny bright as your pillar posts!
Fifty years ago, the typical mud flap customer drove a truck and needed something to keep the truck's big tires from dirtying the sides of the vehicle. So while lots of things have changed over the past 50 years, some things have not. Mud flaps will still perform their basic function for you, and they will do it day in and day out, without complaint. What has changed is the variety of choices open to you, the truck driver who values style as much as substance. Custom-fit mud flaps, in black, stainless, or body color, all of them easy to install (and some installable without drilling) means that there is no longer any reason to not get a set of mud flaps for your truck.