The Shift Products Fender Story

The Shift Products Fender Story

Posted by David Dyck on on May 25, 2023, 2:02 pm

Shift Products is where form meets function. Our goal is to develop functional parts that also look good. We do this because the biggest show is always on the road. Throughout our development process, we think of innovative ways to make work trucks look great. Each and every part we create here at Shift Products does not only have to look great, but each part must be completely functional. This motto of ours drives everything we do as a company. Our fenders are built to be stronger and last longer than anything else found out on the market. How do we know this? Our fender creation process involves each style being thoroughly tested and tortured. We started out by taking composite hoods from Kenworth’s, Peterbilt’s, and Volvos, and then fiberglass fenders from other manufacturers and completely destroyed them. We wanted to see their strengths and weaknesses, so we smashed them, burnt them, pulled them apart. Then we moved to the lab and worked to create a fiberglass layup that was stronger and lighter than everything else on the market. For our latest design, we have now added an inner layer of foam and then smashed ball bearings through the fenders in the lab to determine the impact resistance and how much strength each fender could withhold per square inch. We continued the testing process by running the fenders on some of the worst highways in North America and in and out of farm yards pulling both heavy and light loads. Each load was then tested at an array of different speeds. This is all in an effort to create one of the strongest and longest lasting fenders in the market.

Along side the development process of our fenders, our team at Shift Products developed a bracket system that is known to be the simplest bracket system on the market. However, simple does not mean weak. Shift’s signature hidden bracket system utilizes 304 grade stainless steel internal supports. These brackets are bonded inside each fender and mated to 3/8” and ½” steel brackets that attach to the frame of the truck, slotting together for an easy installation. We put the strength where we need it without adding additional weight where we don’t. Shift’s brackets have been tested for millions of miles with our test fleets and even more miles on the road with our customers. It is a proven system that is designed to last for the long haul. This innovative bracket system reduces equipment down time and, saves you time and expenses in a shop. These brackets are great for shops, simply because they increase the throughput of a build and lowers SRT’s. The installation process for half fenders can take less than 2 hours and a full set of single axle fenders can be installed in 4-8 hours. Here at Shift, we think about the installer and the end user when designing each product. The hidden bracket system requires basic shop tools, some drilling, but zero welding and fabrication experience.

After 13 years of producing the same great fenders, we have disrupted the game with the first encapsulated liner made out of closed cell foam. This liner is built directly into the fender and reduces the impact from stones and debris that come off of the tires. The foam liner absorbs the impact and does not transfer through to the painted surface. Essentially, it acts as a built-in shock absorber for your paint and reduces stars and crazing in the paint. The foam lining process took years to develop and refine. We worked with experts and labs throughout North America to find the right foam to fiberglass ratio. You may be asking, why did we bother with all this? The answer to that question is simple, we wanted to create a fender that is stronger and looks better for the long haul.

Introducing for the first time in the industry, a fender that matches up with both the Peterbilt front fender and the Kenworth front fender was a goal of ours. On one side of the fender, we have a feature lip that is designed to match the feature lip on your Peterbilt front fender. If you spin the fender around, it can also be mounted with the smooth side out to match the smooth side of the Kenworth front fender. As always, these side profiles can be ordered in 3 different depths, which allow you to achieve the look you are wanting. The 1” lip fender allows for a low-profile fender on your truck or, you can build the fender up to 2” lip or 3” lip to close that gap on your tires. If there is an issue on the road, no one wants to take the fenders apart in order to fix their tire. Shift Products fenders always express that the 1” lip fenders have the added benefit of being able to remove the tire without removing the fender. Our true one-piece full fenders allow our customers to exhibit a clean and sleek look while on the road. We upgraded our full-fenders from our past two-piece design to one full fiberglass unit. The full fenders fit both a 52 and 54 axle spread. Shift fenders are now 36.5” from the ground to the top of the center of the fender. This is one of the deepest dropped fenders on the market.

Since the beginning of our creative process, we wanted to create a fender that was install ready. We were tired of the step-by-step process of getting in parts that required the endless hours of body work. Taking away the process of trying to match up the best two fenders and finding that all four fenders were made in different thicknesses, allowed us to develop a fender that is straight and true every single time. When our customers pull their Shift fenders out of the box and put them on the ground, they sit level and flat with no twisting or wobbling, every time. This allows you to save time and tons of frustration when it comes to fitting and mounting. Once the fenders are mounted, they do not flare out to the front and back of the tire, our fenders will go straight down. If you compare our Single Axle fenders to other fenders on the market, there is a noticeable difference between the two, simply because of the way the fender goes straight down without being on an angle. This is the care we have taken while building our tooling and developing our signature molds. To top off this process, our Shift fenders require no body work. They are scuff and paint ready to go with their signature grey gel coat. All these fenders require is a quick sanding to prepare for all of the colors you have been dreaming of.

All of these features have been built into each style of fender that we produce; Single Axle, Full and Half fenders. It is a process of innovation, testing, and hard work that make Shift Products fenders stand out from the rest. Shift Fenders are truly where form meets function.