Life Before the STDK
We are confident that ANYONE can install our train horn kits on their own. All you need is some basic hand tools and some 12-volt knowledge. That being said, for a full train horn kit, the installation process can be time-consuming when doing it on your own. If you are mounting everything directly to the vehicle, you have to figure out where everything is going to be mounted, drill holes for everything, mount your horns, tank and compressor and wire and plumb everything. Nothing that you would need any special tools or certifications for, but it really is no surprise that customers were asking for a simpler solution.
On top of that, it can be challenging to ensure that the components like your compressor are installed correctly. While many of the pros could install everything properly and have a clean professional look, your average Joe may only get everything on where he can find room and unfortunately a lot of installs could end up just looking thrown together. This entire process was done under the truck, so unless you have an air-conditioned garage you were doing your install out in the elements.
Searching for a Solution
It wasn’t long before people started looking into ways to make installation a little easier by either taking their vehicle to a shop to have it professionally installed and having them make custom brackets for their kits or putting something together themselves. While these two options definitely freed up time for the customer or made their kit look more professional, not everyone had the budget to pay for an 8+ hour install if they were making brackets as well and not everyone has welding skills.
The problem with custom brackets is they are custom made for that specific vehicle. If you wanted to upgrade your ride you had to get all new brackets made, having to go through the installation process all over again. As a company that takes pride in the fact that the majority of our kits are universal and fit most vehicles, we were determined to find a universal solution for customers installing our kits.
Spare No Details
Long before anyone was building brackets for our kits, customers had been using the room underneath their truck where their spare tire would be for years. That area tends to have to most room out of anywhere on most newer trucks, so naturally, when brackets were starting to be made, that was the most common spot to install your kit. It makes all the sense in the world because most truck guys ( like us) would quickly upgrade their tires to something bigger, rendering their spare tire useless. We knew that this would be the best spot for our bracket, but developing a universal bracket that bolts directly to the frame is impossible due to different style frame rails on different trucks.
Then we had the idea: What if you could crank up your entire kit, just like you did with the spare tire? We started researching how to make this work and we finally came up with the bracket you see before you today. Of course, there were challenges along the way. Some of our horns were way too large or heavy to be able to fit on a bracket that would crank up in place. Luckily, our flagship horns, the Shocker XL Train Horns, are incredibly light and mounted individually. It was almost as if our Shocker XL horns were made to go on our bracket. After testing a few different methods of fitting the compressor and tank with enough room for the bracket to lock in tightly against the Spare Tire rack rails, our Spare Tire Delete Bracket was ready to meet the world.