If you have ever heard a warning on TV or radio about high winds, then you have likely heard about that high-profile vehicles need to drive safely. But you may not know what a high-profile vehicle is or what separates them from other cars on the road.
High-Profile vehicles are any car, truck, or hybrid that has a large vertical profile or sits high off the ground. Essentially they are large vehicles with broad-flat sides that give them a higher profile than other cars. Some examples of high-profile vehicles would include SUVs, panel vans, and flatbed trucks.
This article will discuss all the traits that make a vehicle high-profile and some of the tradeoffs a high-profile vehicle entails.
What is a High Profile Vehicle?
There are a number of qualities that define high-profile vehicles, from physical traits to risks, which can be found in nearly every example of a high-profile car.
Qualities of High Profile Vehicles
There are many common traits found across high-profile vehicles, some of which are easy to spot while others are more subtle. In either case, these traits either help mark a vehicle as high-profile or help compensate for some of the weaknesses associated with high-profile cars.
Broad side profile. The most important trait of a high-profile car is broad sides that give the vehicle a lot of surface area. Most high-profile cars look like boxes on wheels, being vertically and horizontally big on all sides. This also gives them a lot of internal storage space and usually means they are installed with large doors.
High ground clearance. To go along with their size, and the weight that comes from their size, high-profile vehicles often have a lot of ground clearance. They sit up higher off the ground due to having larger wheels and stronger suspension systems to compensate for their bulk.
Large mirrors and windows. Given how many blind spots a high-profile vehicle can have, they are always given large windows and mirrors to help the driver navigate. This will usually include special side mirrors that can cover their blind spots more easily and see cars that are close to the sides and back of the vehicle.
Examples of High Profile Vehicles
Given the characteristics listed above, there are many examples of high-profile vehicles on the road. These are generally large, box-shaped vehicles used for delivering large amounts of cargo or people across long distances, since the bulky shape of a high-profile vehicle offers more storage space.
Pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs. Generally speaking any vehicle where you need a runner or a step to climb inside will count as high-profile. Most vehicles with a truck bed, like pickups, are large and broad enough to count as high-profile, as are boxy SUV type vehicles and panel vans used for moving people or materials.
Box and delivery trucks. Whether they are a single vehicle or a vehicle with a massive trailer, any truck used to deliver goods in bulk will be considered high-profile. Company vans, USPS trucks, and long-haul trailers all fit into this category of high-profile delivery vehicle. Even without a trailer, most long-haul trucks are large enough on their own to count as high-profile.
Buses, RVs, and mobile homes. Short of a major tractor-trailer, these are probably the most high-profile vehicles on the road given that they have to accommodate a group of people living inside them. These vehicles often tower over other cars on the road both vertically and horizontally, marking them as high-profile.
Common Problems for High Profile Vehicles
Due to their massive size, high-profile vehicles tend to suffer from a lot of unique problems that new car owners should be aware of. While many high-profile vehicles have features in place to help deal with these issues, they are still noticeable problems for any vehicle owner.
Being a massive target. The sheer size of a high-profile vehicle makes it an easy target for flying debris and high winds, both of which can cause serious damage. Anyone driving a high-profile vehicle should be conscious of weather conditions as well as where they stop or park, in order to keep their vehicle safe.
Difficulty maneuvering. A high-profile car’s bulk can also make it hard to maneuver as it needs to take wider turns and the tail end of the vehicle swings out more while turning. Also, simple maneuvers like parking or changing lanes are made harder by the fact that high-profile vehicles take up more space.
A large amount of blind spots. High-profile vehicles often suffer from blind spots given how high the driver sits off the ground and how many angles are blocked by the vehicle itself. Thankfully, many high-profile vehicles come with special mirrors, and some modern trucks and vans come with cameras to make detecting nearby dangers easier.
High-profile vehicles are marked by their massive size, which can present problems but also makes them great for carrying a lot of people or cargo long distances.
How to Drive Safely in High Winds
A large, high-profile vehicle is often more at risk in high winds or stormy conditions than other vehicles, if only because it makes a larger target for debris. If you have or are looking to buy a high profile vehicle you should keep the following tips in mind to help you drive safely in windy weather:
- Watch for weather advisories or warnings to see where the most dangerous areas are.
- Drive more slowly to avoid being pushed in any direction by the wind. If you have to, plan your trips to take longer than usual.
- Wear your seatbelt and secure any loose objects in the car.
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially high-profile vehicles like trucks, RVs, and buses.
- Make sure your headlights and high beams are working in case of low visibility.
- Look out for loose debris or potential hazards like swaying trees and powerlines that might fall in high winds.
- Park somewhere safe and secure away from anything that might fall onto or blow into your car, like tree limbs.
- Avoid any obstacles that have fallen into the road, especially fallen power lines. Even if they look harmless you can never tell if they are still electrified.
Depending on how strong the wind is, you may have to cancel any driving plans and stay home, since a high-profile truck is an easy target for strong gusts of wind and flying debris. If you do plan on staying home make sure your car is parked in your garage or is parked away from any potential hazards like power or phone lines, trees, and basketball nets.
How to Increase Vehicle Height
If you already own a car that is not high-profile but want to enjoy the high-profile style, there are some ways to increase the height and ground clearance of your vehicle. Keep in mind that these methods won’t produce the same extreme height as a regular high-profile vehicle and some might void your car’s warranty.
Buy bigger tires. The simplest way to increase the height of your vehicle is to install a larger set of tires. This will make your car higher off the ground, but will have a negative impact on your traction and handling so be careful when driving with bigger tires. Also, before you buy larger tires, make sure they will line up with the bolts on your wheels and fit properly.
Get a suspension mod. Tools like spacers and assisters work be preventing your suspension from pressing past a certain point, keeping your suspension coils extended and making your car slightly larger. However, using one of these is likely to void your warranty and may damage your suspension, since the coils won’t be able to fully compress from the weight of your vehicle.
Install stronger suspension coils. If you are worried about your warranty or the safety of your suspension system, then buy stronger coils for your suspension. This has the same effect as a spacer or assister with less risk of damage to your vehicle. Just be aware that over time these springs will start to compress and you will lose some of your height gains.
Are High-Profile Vehicles Rollover Hazards?
Yes, high-profile vehicles are more at risk of rolling over because their larger profiles make them more top heavy and easier for the wind to pick up or push over. This can be counteracted somewhat by weighing down the vehicle with heavy items, but the sheer size of a high-profile vehicle will always leave it at risk.
High-profile vehicles are generally bulky vehicles with large, broad frames that give them a lot of internal space but make them harder to handle and more likely to get hit by debris or high winds. If you have any questions about high-profile vehicles, comment with them below.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.