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Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

Written by  Scott J. Hunt
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Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

In a competitive industry where profit and productivity often supersede innovative design, it can be difficult to find a company willing to risk pushing the cookie cutter molds aside, to build a truly unique and high quality product. As it turns out, the City of Colorado Springs is home to one such company; Hefty Fabworks. Chris and Dan Hefty have been building innovative armor solutions for Toyota trucks and SUVs for 9 years now, and their popularity is growing like wildfire. While lead times can be a little long, they are definitely worth the wait, as these men and their highly skilled crew put profit margins by the wayside and quality engineering to the forefront. I’ ve personally been 4 wheeling with these guys, and trust me when I say they are willing to push the envelope to find any improvements that need to be made before final products are released to their customers. Their newest and ongoing project truck, a 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road, is no exception of the creativity and skill they possess.

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

Unless you’ ve spent your entire life under a rock or in a grass hut, the venerable Toyota Tacoma needs no introduction and is revered around the globe as the most dependable and capable midsize truck on the planet. The 3.5 liter Atkinson-cycle engine now available in this, the third generation of Tacoma, has more power than it’ s predecessor, as well as a slight increase in fuel economy. Combine this with Multi-terrain Select, Crawl Control, and selectable rear locking differential, and you have an extremely capable rig even in stock form.

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

When it was time to choose a proven and reliable suspension system for the Tacoma, Hefty naturally chose Toytec Lifts who provided the new Boss 2.5 Remote Reservoir System and SPC upper control arms. When asked, Chris had this to say about the system, “The ride and handling of this suspension are simply amazing. It is smooth on the road and feels far better than the stock suspension, but where it really shines is in the dirt. Steady and stable through the rocks and at speed... It’ s amazingly smooth on rough terrain. There is no question that Toytec is a great company with a great product.” Having used many of their products myself, I completely agree.

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

The Hefty Fabworks front aluminum winch bumper is simply fantastic. The design of these trucks from the factory leaves much to be desired with their massive chrome grill and low hanging bumper valance, but keeping the factory design elements is something that Hefty Fabworks pushes to maintain. “We want it to look like the truck should have come this way from the factory,” said Chris Hefty, Co-owner of Hefty Fab. The bumper certainly improves dramatically on the factory looks with the recessed Rigid Industries Flush mount amber D2 fogs and the new custom grill with a 30” amber Rigid Radiance light bar that matches the 40”Radiance bar fitted in between the factory roof rack. But is this bumper strong enough, being built from aluminum? The design incorporates a 1/4” thick bumper shell, wrapped around their 3/8” backbone mounting system with ¾” thick, sleeved recovery points, boxed sections in the wings and a reinforced winch mount, This bumper may look subtle and weigh less than 60 lbs total, but it is all about strength with their designs. Strength and durability are not an issue here. Did I mention it’ s Aluminum, and strong? Tough as nails, and proven as such. Ever hit a Buffalo at speed, and not total the vehicle? One of Hefty’ s bumpers have, and I’ ve seen the photos.

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma
Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

Probably the most noticeable feature of the Tacoma is the two toned chase rack design. The rack incorporates a sleek design that has a hint of ‘ Back To The Future’ with a modern persona. The lightweight aluminum rack system incorporates a pair of Rigid Industries Duallys facing towards the rear and a modular design that will allow future customizations and accessories.

The rock sliders fit tight to the body and kick out just slightly. The integrated step plates provide a functional step without compromising strength. Hefty Fabworks only uses top quality materials in their sliders including DOM outer rails. At Hefty Fabworks, cutting corners is never an option.

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

Hefty Fabworks 3rd Gen Tacoma

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    Last modified on %PM, %09 %081 %2018 %17:%Jan