To badge or debadge. That is the question.
Well, it is on a lot of truck forums anyway.
So, what should you do? Do you leave the factory badges on or do you debadge your truck completely?
Ultimately whether or not you debadge your truck is completely your decision. Some truck owners swear by it, other like to leave them on.
I spent some time questioning other truck owners I know, and below you can see some of their reasons as to why it’s a good idea, and also some reasons to not debadge, just to keep things nice and balanced out.
Before I get into those different reasons to keep the badges on or to remove them completely, I asked 100 truck owners on some of the leading truck modification forums what they prefer, and here’s what they said.
As you can see, the guys who love to mod and style their trucks are overwhelmingly in favor of taking the badges off.
But rather than following the crowd, I want to give you a bit more detail on why they said you should debadge your truck or not… and below you can see the top 17 reasons for either doing it, or not doing it, starting off with the guys who said yes.
Reasons to Debadge Your Truck
#1: It Can Look Sleeker and Cleaner
I’ve personally done it on my truck, and I love the way it looks. Lots of my buddies have done exactly the same too and just prefer the way it looks.
#2: It Can Look More Exclusive
Again, this is completely down to personal preference, but many truck and pickup owners believe that having no badges actually makes their ride look more exclusive and less cheap.
#3: Makes It Easier to Clean and Wax
Once the badges are off it’s actually a lot easier to clean and wax your truck. You can wax all day long and not catch wax into the badge or snag your clothes into the 3D badging.
#4: Chrome Badging Can Look Out of Date
Many trucks pre-2007 seemed to go way over the top with chrome badging, and it can look a little old-fashioned these days. Just like you wouldn’t wear tight luminous jogging shorts from the 1980s these days (or maybe you would?) why let your truck look like a fashion victim from a bygone era?
#5: New Badges Can Look Ugly
It’s not just the older badges that can look ugly, sometimes even the more modern ones can. For example, newer Dodge owners might prefer the old classic 1987 era stand-up Ram’s head versus some of the new badging that has recently been used.
#6: Badges Can Clutter Up the Bodywork
Even if your truck’s badges do look modern and funky, too many of them can also create a cluttered look. We all know those people who go overboard with the jewellery, and wear way too much. The only person who gets away with that is Mr T.
#7: Caving in to Peer Pressure
All the guys in your neighborhood have taken their badges off. Do you want to be the only one who hasn’t? I don’t cave in to peer pressure myself, but it could be important to you if you do want to follow the crowd.
#8: You Can Replace with Custom Badges
Why have a manufacturer’s badge on your truck, when you could instead go full custom with something totally uniquely designed that means something personal to you? Or perhaps you just buy a skull or Transformers badge and slap that on instead if you fancy yourself a bit of a maverick?
#9: Why Advertise the Manufacturer?
You might not want to be a billboard for your truck’s manufacturer. One of the guys I spoke to who has debadged his Dodge was very clear about why he took the badges off. He said he wasn’t receiving a check from Dodge to advertise their product!
Reasons to Keep the Badges on Your Truck
#10: Leave Them on and Color Match Them
You could leave them on and then do a color match to suit your truck. Painting over the chrome to give more of a transparent color match can also work to make the truck look meaner and more aggressive.
#11: Why Not Just Move Them Around?
I recently saw a 2010 Dodge RAM where the RAM and Hemi engine badges had been moved to the bottom of the tailgate on either side. It looked awesome if I’m honest. Again though, that’s a completely personal point of view.
#12: The Next Owner Might Want Them On
You might not give two shits about the what the next owner thinks, but if you are going to be selling your truck on in the near future, it might be worth keeping them on just in case.
#13: Are You Hiding Something?
Many of the guys who keep their badges on seem to think that “the debadgers” are hiding something, and perhaps don’t have as good a truck as they are trying to make out. For example, they might ask “what expensive trim package or engine upgrade did they not get”. Hmmm…
#14: You Want People to Know What You’ve Got
If you spent all that extra money on the super sports package, expensive trim, or upgraded engine then the manufacturer might stick a special little badge on there. And perhaps you want people to know that this isn’t just the standard basic version. If so, leave them on and bask in the glory of everyone knowing you have money to burn.
#15: Bad Debadging Can Leave a Mark
If you get it wrong and don’t take the badges off correctly then you could damage the paintwork, or even start to see fading occur as the paint gets older.
And finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without a tongue in cheek and more humorous response, so here’s numbers 16 and 17 in the reasons I found.
#16: Debadge to Confuse the Cops
One of the owners I spoke to said that he debadged his truck to make the local traffic cops scratch their heads when they pulled him over… which apparently happens to him a lot!
#17: Debadge and Kid Yourself You’re Not Poor
Another guy said that by debadging you can kid yourself into thinking you’ve got something better than you actually have.
He said something along the lines of that if you’re poor you debadge, and you can then stand there looking at your low horsepower truck wishing you had chosen something a little bit more exciting.
Handy Hint: If you now want to do this yourself, read this guide on how to debadge your truck easily and cleanly, leaving no mess or marks in 4 simple steps.
Ultimately, it’s your baby and your choice on whether or not you should debadge your truck.
If you do decide to debadge and don’t like the way it looks, it’s simple and easy enough to buy replacements and fit them back on again, so you really have nothing to lose apart from a little bit of time in removing them and polishing the bodywork up.