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Written by Michael Bollinger | Photos: Dale Martin

The first line of defense in any operation is critical to its success. That initial strike can deliver the debilitating blow or create an impenetrable boundary to all that dare to oppose.

random images of ford f-150

Whether in legit combat situations or simply tackling tough terrain, off-road vehicles are only as formidable as their armor. In particular, a vehicle’s bumpers can make or break a rig’s ability to maintain its structure, ultimately protecting those in the cab.

close up image of rear bumper of ford f-150

Originating in Dallas, Texas, in 1999, Road Armor began as a company dedicated to constructing the industry’s best pound-for-pound bumpers. In 2007, the company pivoted their branding efforts and focused on highlighting their unrivaled quality and American pride. To further showcase their production prowess, Road Armor built a pair of purpose-built vehicles complete with military specs, incorporating equipment that would stand up to any mission.

rear external image of ford f-150

Road Armor’s most recent build is the Operator F-150, built in collaboration with the Green Beret Foundation and actual operators with legit field experience. In the planning phase of the build, the Road Armor team gave the brave soldiers full creative control of the build as they strived for authenticity. “We allowed them to be realistic,” explains Road Armor’s Creative Director, Andon Sawyer. “We wanted their input on what a vehicle would need for a realistic mission. What type of capabilities would it have?”

external image of ford f-150's gear

The F-150 was fortified with Road Armor Stealth front and rear winch bumpers and a custom roof-mounted assault rack built in-house by Road Armor. The one-off rack provides effective mounting solutions for the tools and accessories a true operator would require while deployed. The recovery accessories are attached via Road Armor’s Otis clamps, a sheet metal-style clamp that attaches to the tube. Starwood Motors assisted the build significantly, completely wiring the vehicle and installing most of the equipment. Starwood also coated the Ford in Kevlar to further protect the rig from the harsh elements. It’s worth noting that the bumpers, although stout, are not as heavy as you would imagine and that’s due to the unique manufacturing process. “We take a lot of time to process and adjust the bumper so it’s assembled with the fewest pieces possible,” Sawyer explains.

“Some of our competitors are welding together 30 different pieces to make a bumper, and ours is more like six with more complex geometry.”

Needless to say, adding such a considerable amount of equipment certainly adds weight, but this was equalized by virtue of a Whipple Twin Screw supercharger breathing through a MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust. With 500 horses under the hood, the F-150 certainly has the capability to deliver its occupants to safety.

The result of the Green Beret Foundation’s collaboration with Road Armor on this F-150 is a combat-ready vehicle that is equipped for battle and also pays homage to those brave men and women, who fight for Americans everywhere.

Another of Road Armor’s duty-focused utility vehicles is a Jeep that’s also inspired by the Green Berets. But this Wrangler Rubicon was built with a different purpose than the F-150. “This vehicle was inspired by the spirit of the Green Berets and what they said would be the ultimate Jeep for a light duty tactical mission,” Sawyer mentions. “This Jeep was built to get in between narrow spaces, over obstacles and up mountains to get to a lookout point.” This rugged Wrangler was fortified with a host of Road Armor products, including their signature rocker panel armor that actually bolts to the pinch seam as opposed to relying on holes drilled in sheet metal. This means that the addition of the armor literally adds a tactical advantage with enhanced overall strength to the body of the vehicle. In addition, Road Armor fenders and bumpers were incorporated in the build, and the exterior was finished in a Kevlar hue inspired by the Green Beret’s signature green tone.

random images of jeep wrangler rubicon

To provide the ultimate tactical advantage, a 6.4-liter Hemi engine was swapped into the Rubicon, providing it the ability to maneuver in and out of sticky situations in a hurry. Raceline 17” beadlock wheels wrapped in Maxxis 40” tires fit nicely under the Rubicon thanks to a TERAFLEX long arm suspension system with FOX Racing 2.0 coilovers. This setup also allows the Jeep to traverse terrain most vehicles would struggle with considerably. Of course, the Rubicon is equipped with all the necessary recovery gear to escape even the most dire of situations, including a WARN Zeon 10,000-lb winch. To keep the team on-course, a Lowrance HDS-7m GPS and Cobra CB radio were incorporate, too.

external from image of ford f-150 and jeep wrangler rubicon

With an initial objective to create vehicles that accurately represent the requirements of real life combat situations, Road Armor has certainly succeeded in their mission. In collaboration with the Green Beret Foundation and help from Starwood Motors, Road Armor has created a dynamic duo of tactical rigs that would be worthy of any operation.

Gear : 2015 Ford F-150 “Operator F-150”
    Wheels & Tires
  • 20X10 SOTA OFF ROAD R.E.P.R. Wheels
  • 35x12.50R20 Toyo Open Country M/T Tires

  • Suspension
  • BDS 4” Suspension
  • Air Lift Ride Control

  • Performance
  • Factory 5.0L V8
  • Whipple Twin Screw Supercharger
  • Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust

  • Exterior & Armor
  • Color: DuPont Kevlar Fiber
  • Road Armor Stealth Winch Bumpers (Lonestar Front)
  • Assault Rack by Road Armor

  • Recovery
  • WARN Xeon 12K (Front), WARN M8000 (Back)
  • Bubba Rope 7/8” x 20 Foot
  • Factor 55 ProLink
  • Pull-Pal Winch Anchor

  • Lighting
  • Rigid Industries Lighting

  • Accessories
  • Dillon Aero Turret Mount
  • CO2 Tanks
  • RotopaX Water, Fuel, Emergency/Storage Packs
  • Condition Zero Firearm Mounts
  • sPOD
  • TruckVault Extreme Series Storage

  • Interior
  • Ferrari Leather Interior

Road Armor | | Facebook : Roadarmorbumpers | Instagram : @road_armor

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