If I Say Work Load Limit and You Say Breaking Strength, Who’s Right?

When it comes to off-road recovery gear, there has always been a bit of a dispute when it comes to weight ratings and making sure you match the components in your gear bag to the potential use that they are lying in wait to fulfill.

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To begin to wrap our minds around the issue at hand, it’s vital to understand the terms and what they actually mean. If you went to buy a new car and the bold MPG numbers on the window sticker were in the single digits, you would be wise move along to some other dealership, wouldn’t you? But what if you thought that a lower number was actually preferred, like in a golf score? Could such confusion be the root of how our highways have become congested with massive fuel-guzzling SUV’s? We just didn’t know any better…right?

You will likely see two different terms commonly tossed around when shopping for shackles, straps and recovery appliances today. The first one is “Breaking Strength” which, admittedly, sounds about as cool as a term possibly can. Doesn’t it? This number is usually a gargantuan figure with tons of zeroes and it’s easy to be swept away by the size of the number when positioned next to a word like strength. The Breaking Strength can be defined as the average force at which any given product, in brand new condition, has been found to break when a constant and ever-increasing force is applied to it in a direct line and at a uniform rate of speed. Essentially, it’s a number arrived at in a testing laboratory under strict conditions; a number whose actual existence outside of that laboratory is highly unlikely.

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I like to think of the term Breaking Strength in a slightly different fashion that helps put its value in perspective. I’m reminded of a story I read once about a Soviet airman during World War II named Ivan Chisov. While embroiled in a heated and volatile air battle with German forces, Ivan’s bomber took on heavy damage. While disaster for the crew seemed imminent, Chisov knew that parachuting from the failing aircraft while in the midst of an intense aerial dogfight would give the German fighters a slowly descending target at which to take aim, making him an unwilling sitting duck. For that reason, Ivan exited the plane and rocketed towards earth, chute unopened, waiting until he was well-clear of the fray to deploy his chute and slow his descent. Ahhh…the beauty found in such a calculated plan!

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Contrary to his crafty plan, falling at nearly 150 miles per hour unfortunately caused Chisov to black out completely, making him a less-than-likely candidate to execute the timely pull of the ripcord, as his hastily-made plan required. Henceforth, falling from an altitude of more than 22,000 feet with nothing more to break his fall than the clothes he had on and the snowy bank resting below seemed a certain and fatal end. Somehow, despite insurmountable odds, Ivan Chisov survived the fall and lived to fly again, only months later, after recovering from his slew of injuries.

While Ivan’s story is pretty remarkable, it stands to show that amazing things can happen when the conditions are just right. It goes without saying that the Russian Air Force did not revise their training manuals based ON Ivan’s experience to show that a standard airman can survive a fall from 20,000 feet due to their incredible inherent breaking strength, although in certain scenarios under precise conditions it is somehow possible. It is certainly NOT the rule and to count on it as such would be a first step in the wrong direction.

That’s where the WLL, or Working Load Limit, comes into the picture. When defined, the WLL is the maximum load which should ever be applied to the product, even when the item is new, with uncompromised integrity and the load is uniformly applied. When the WLL is applied to any scenario, it introduces a factor of safety into the equation so that the margin for an accidental failure of equipment is virtually eliminated. For that reason, the WLL is usually 1/3 of the products breaking strength. This introduces a little bit of breathing room into the equation; accounting for things that are not as ideal as the laboratory conditions. Things like the resistance of the aired-down tires, the tree that is 25 degrees to the right of the vehicle instead of perfectly inline or the D-shackle that might have tumbled out of the tailgate a time or two in the past.

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Since the Working Load Limit is still founded on a straight line pull scenario, it is of vital importance that every effort is made to abide by this standard when rigging for vehicle recovery. This standard would make necessary a variety of items to suit the wide array of scenarios one would encounter on the trail: straps, shackles, pulleys, snatch blocks and the list goes on. Much like playing Red Rover in grade school, your recovery chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you are wheeling in a newer Wrangler JK Unlimited, you need to know the weight of the vehicle is around 5,000 pounds and then plan your gear accordingly.

In the same breath, don’t outfit your recovery gear for your JK 4-Door and then think you can safely snatch a stray ditch-bound semi out on the way home. You’ll need some superhero-grade powers or an advanced Engineering degree…or both. Even if your snatch strap is rated for 10 million tons, the trailer hitch you hook it to is not even close to being up to the task. The importance of sizing up the task and assembling appropriate gear to accomplish it safely is critical; otherwise, we don’t jump out of the plane.5Bottom line? Consider a products breaking strength as a “good to know” while keeping the WLL as the number to count on. Prepare for any possibility, plan for every situation but always make sure safety is the tool you rely on most often. Keeping all your recovery gear in good working order is as important as selecting the right gear that is rated adequately for the job at hand will help insure a safe and rewarding wheeling experience. OlllllllO2106b4ca367891a36776fcdb10f2edd9

The Name’s Bessie…With a Little Heart Over the ‘I’

I’ve noticed an alarming trend over the past few years. It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with “it” but, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, it’s a fad that bothers me more deeply than I should admit to. What is the popular trend that I’m referencing, you ask? It’s the practice of naming your Jeep. There! I said it!!

1One of my earliest automotive memories was of my dear mother calling our car by name. Not talking to it like a member of the family or even an acquaintance as that might be insane. I can only remember her resorting to vehicular name-calling when things weren’t going pleasingly. When the turn of the ignition was met by labored sounds of a dying battery, she would mutter “C’mon Bessie” between consecutive pulses of the throttle pedal chased by turns of the key. Always calm as if coaxing Bessie to life hinged on this very personal utterance.

 

I can’t remember her ever referring to the car by name on any other sort of occasions. Never did I hear say “Go get in Bessie, kids! We’re going to the package store”- never…not once. She would, however, cheer on Bessie enthusiastically whenever climbing a steep grade that proved burdensome. Never did she comment to my Dad that Bessie was filthy and due a good cleaning. “Bessie” was only used in second-person dialog exclusively and always somewhat impersonally. In fact, I’m fairly certain that my mom used the same moniker of Bessie regardless of what car she was addressing. Whether it was the old VW Beetle, the ’84 Bonneville or any of my father’s vast collection of pickups he owned over the years- the name Bessie was always a constant. One could argue that a classic German model like the old Volkswagen might be more appropriately named with a label that points to its …maybe Ingrid or Helga. While a crude pickup might pass for a “Big Red” or “Ol’ Blue”. And yet Bessie still prevailed.

So what purpose does someone have in naming their vehicles today? I have a strong feeling that cars or, more importantly, Jeeps are given names as a means of expressing a close relationship between driver and carriage. I’ll admit that it does make sense to me that a person would desire to apply a name to an object that occupies so much of their life that it becomes a part of the family. Add to that the fact that I strongly object to calling a Jeep merely an object and I find myself pondering the possibility of beginning a search for a suitable name for my own Jeep. But not really.

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I do think that it would be cool to have a nickname for a car at those times when you take the vehicle in for service. Filling out the shop’s paperwork with only the Jeeps nickname and then requesting you be paged when it’s ready could be quite entertaining, especially if you choose the name carefully. Watching the looks on fellow customers faces as the intercom shamelessly announces “’Nobody’s Business’, Your car is ready” ranks fairly high on the fun scale. Maybe not as fun as having the neighborhood kids help search for your lost dog, who just happens to be named “Poopie”, but still pretty fun.

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We’ve established a questionably firm foundation for giving your beloved Jeep a name but that only brings me to another problem that is not so easily overcome. Why would anyone go on a public forum, such as social media venue like Facebook, and plead with a group of total strangers to assist with the naming of their own Jeep? How is it that this makes any sort of sense?? A creative consensus has never been reached before this day, which means you’re really just volunteering to be endlessly bombarded with horrible name suggestions, everything from nursery rhyme references to obscure movie taglines and everything in between. Nothing original or fitting, at least not in the eyes of those who have fully evolved.

I wrestle with the warped ideals of a person who entertains the thought of bestowing the privilege of choosing a proper nickname for their Jeep to a total unknown, possibly even the likes of a transient or no-account drifter. Is this the type of individual who would also toy with the thought of allowing their own human offspring to be so titled by strangers, Tweeting out from tense confines of the labor & delivery room asking for sir name suggestions for Junior? Is this how we end up with kids named Moon-Unit or Glitter?? Seems pretty likely to me. Who else would find it acceptable to name their children after compass coordinates?

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I would encourage anyone who fancies the idea of giving their Jeep a name to give the concept its due diligence and don’t just resort to soliciting the absurd input of outsiders. If you are unable to compile a list of at least a handful of potential candidates from which to choose, based on color or appearance, then maybe referring to your Jeep as just a Jeep seems a reasonable alternative; at least until the perfect name reveals itself to you in a fever dream or through an other-worldly voice speaking to you from beyond. It’s then and only then that you will know the perfect name for your beloved Jeep.

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And with such supernatural powers combining to reveal that perfect name to you, you’ll want to have special vinyl graphics crafted and tastefully installed on your hood and/or windshield; possibly even have your local tag office stamp your pride & joy a special vanity plate for all to see, so long as your chosen tagline is not considered potty-talk. The clerk at the tag office might not catch it but you can bet that your local peace officers will. Having your Jeeps name proudly displayed will help other motorists gain some sense of the admiration you hold for your Jeep. I can almost hear them muttering it as you drive by them in all your grandeur. “Hey…Look! There goes Dirty Girl!!” OlllllllO

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Kris & Lisa Lavery’s 2008 Wrangler JK RuBARKon

Our newest Jeep to be named an official Rugged Rigs honoree is a 2008 Wrangler X that belongs to the Lavery family of Old Forge, PA. It’s far from stock and since its painted Detonator Yellow, it’s pretty hard to hide in.

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If you’re wondering about the name RuBARKon, you’ll probably be happy to know that name comes from the Lavery’s two adorable kids who happen to be quite the Jeep enthusiasts themselves, Albie & Santina.  Boxers love to get out in the great outdoors and RuBARKon enables them to see places they never would have imagined.

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When Kris, Lisa and the kids bought the Jeep used back in 2016, it was basically stock. A short two years later and this rig is anything but. The addition of a vented hood, bumpers, tire carrier, GRID GD4 wheels, tube doors, snorkel, Hurricane flares, rails and an Exo-Top Roof Rack make this JK more than capable of stopping traffic.

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A full compliment of LED lighting is on board to melt the darkness while a winch recessed into the bumper stands by just in case things go off the rails.  Since Kris has fitted the front and rear diffs with 4.88 gears and armored covers, it seems like he’s kinda hoping things do go a little wrong so he can show his stuff.

20170819_141038_Film1It’s great to see a Jeep family getting out there and using their rig for what it was built for. And when the adventure develops into a full-blown expedition, you can always alter your Jeep to suit your needs. Great Job, Lavery family! Now, roll over and I’ll rub your belly.  OlllllllO

“Seems Like There Is Always a Hitch”

There are a handful of television program on any one of the hundreds of semi-useless channels on your satellite or cable lineup that fail to deliver on their given title. “Finding Bigfoot”, however entertaining it might be, has never actually seen a legitimate sasquatch, much less had any deeper level of engagement with one that c1ould be deemed as “finding”. They’ve certainly never coaxed one into the bed of the rust-stricken dually and toted it home to show the better half. Heck, the entire premise of “Dancing with the Stars” would lead a viewer to believe that the old soft-shoe would be glamorously displayed for us by actual identifiable superstars, rather than some lesser breed of reality show outcast or Hollywood ne’er-do-well breathing heavily and sweating profusely. It seems as though the title is quite commonly not an accurate description of what one can expect to observe.

Have you ever noticed that just about every Jeep you see is equipped with a trailer hitch? Even if not so equipped from the factory, the price of an aftermarket hitch is so minimal that adding one is a virtual no-brainer. Yet, how many of these Jeeps are ever tasked with towing a trailer? I would guess-timate less than 25% of the hitches mounted on Jeeps are ever used for pulling a trailer of any type, maybe even less. Two-door Jeep’s short wheelbase makes pulling a trailer a hair-raising venture at highway speeds while four-door models are often too under-powered for pulling any significant weight, especially on a grade. So what’s the payoff for hauling around the extra weight of a sturdy steel hitch, enduring the reduced departure angles and the constant threat to your tender shins?

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As it turns out, there are plenty of valid purposes for that rear-mounted hitch outside the confines of pulling a trailer. One that I have used on numerous occasions is to increase your Jeeps cargo carrying capacity with the addition of a cargo rack. In seconds, you can add a couple of hundred pounds of payload without sacrificing precious interior space. It’s a must-have for almost any outdoor excursion or a run to the home improvement store. http://www.omix-ada.com/receiver-rack-20-inches-x-60-inches.html

3Another practical use of a trailer hitch is to equip it to serve as a recovery point with the addition of a D-Shackle. While this might not appeal as much to a Jeep owner who stays primarily on the paved roads, the uses can extend well beyond those off-road scenarios. Using the hitch to pull shrubs out of the ground and other landscaping jobs are tailor-made for such a set-up. And then there’s an all-too-often ignored art form called
“Brute Force Lumberjacking” that begs for further exploration. Plus, it just looks cool! http://www.omix-ada.com/receiver-hitch-d-shackle-assembly.html

Maybe the practical and understated is not what you’re all about. If so, consider making a real visual spectacle with a Giga Hook. It has all the same pulling practicality as the D-shackle mount without any of the subtlety. It’s big. It’s strong. It’s a friggin’ gigantic hook. See for yourself- http://www.ruggedridge.com/giga-hook-black-2-inch-receiver-11237-20.html

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If your rig is one that actually spends any time on the trails, your hitch could really stand for a handy upgrade like this one. While there is no replacement for being resourceful when you go off-roading, it sure is nice to have the equipment on hand that makes the inevitable mechanical misfortune more manageable. If you have ever tried to replace a broken universal joint on the trail like a caveman, with stones and sockets, you can truly value the worth of having a press while in such a situation. But a press is in a shop or garage…definitely not on a Jeep. Hence the rocks and bloody knuckles.

That’s where the Mac’s Trail D-Vise proves invaluable. A simple and sturdy hitch-mounted vise provides the ability to press bearing caps, clamp suspension components for welding and any other mechanical wizardry you can muster.

Its simple design doesn’t incorporate a lot of excess materials or bulk, for overall lighter weight, and includes an onboard handle suitable for smaller jobs. For those major repairs, the vise works with standard sockets or a tire tool for greater leverage and maximum grip. Rumor has it that there is even a bottle opener built into the design- seems as though they’ve thought of almost everything. Check it out at http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/product/TrailD-Vise/trail-d-vise

   Depending on your particular pastime of choice, there are any number of attachments and accessories for trailer hitches that can suit your needs; for everything from hauling bicycles to stowing snow skis. Putting that dormant trailer hitch to good use will help you get the most from your Jeep and help prepare you for that next adventure. OlllllllO

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Rugged Ridge announces releases of Elite Billet Style Aluminum Fire Extinguisher Holder

New Trail-Ready Design Incorporates Secure Containment & Quick Access

Suwanee, Ga. (April 3, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of its new Elite Billet Style Aluminum Fire Extinguisher Holder for Jeeps and various on and off road applications. Constructed of stunning cast aluminum, the Elite Billet Style Aluminum Fire Extinguisher Holder is designed to provide a secure extinguisher mount on any flat surface with the included hardware.

Rugged Ridge’s Elite Billet Style Fire Extinguisher Holder features a smooth quick release mechanism for one- handed access. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge’s Elite Billet Style Fire Extinguisher Holder features a smooth quick release mechanism for one- handed access.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

The Elite Billet Style Aluminum Fire Extinguisher Holder is engineered with an internal spring loaded release mechanism fashioned from 316 Stainless Steel, enabling quick one-handed access to the extinguisher if the need arises. Designed to work with standard 2.5 lb extinguishers (not included), the Elite Billet Fire Extinguisher Holder is a highly-functional addition to any vehicle’s safety preparedness package.

Each Elite Billet Style Fire Extinguisher Holder is finished in a premium matte black textured powder coat to provide an attractive appearance for years of service in the harshest of conditions.

The Rugged Ridge Elite Fire Extinguisher Holder is backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty and is available online and through select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP of $66.99.

For more information about the new Elite Billet Style Fire Extinguisher Holder, or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an approved retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
11238.40 Elite, Billet Fire Extinguisher Holder, 76-17 Wrangler $66.99

Rugged Ridge expands line of cargo area protection products for 2007-2018 Wrangler JK

New C3 Interior Tailgate Protection Cover and C4 Canine Containment Cube Offer Greater Function & Versatility While Preserving Interior Surfaces

Suwanee, Ga. (March 20, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truc

The C3 Interior tailgate Protection guards the entire tailgate surface from damage while adding valuable storage space. The C4 Canine Cube gives four-legged Jeepers a secure and stable area all their own. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

The C3 Interior tailgate Protection guards the entire tailgate surface from damage while adding valuable storage space. The C4 Canine Cube gives four-legged Jeepers a secure and stable area all their own.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

k and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the addition of its new C3 Interior Tailgate Protection Cover and C4 Canine Containment Cube to its line of interior protection products for 2007- 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK models. 

The C3 Interior Tailgate Cover is constructed of heavyweight ballistic-weave nylon with sturdy reinforced seams. It incorporates a spacious storage pouch and multiple tool loops for added utility. A built-in mesh screen maintains proper air flow through the factory tailgate vent. Installation is simplified with the included hook and loop fasteners for all 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK models.

The new C4 Canine Containment Cube’s innovative design utilizes the Jeep Wrangler’s sport bar as a means of suspending a self-contained compartment for transporting pets safely & securely while preserving the rear cargo area, protecting it from damage from claws and accidental stains.

Made from a sturdy ballistic weave material, the C4 Canine Cube is lighter than most conventional pet carriers and has durable mesh-screened walls for better air flow and greater visibility. The integrated anchor system keeps the cube firmly in place while its soft-side construction allows it to fold flat when not in use. Plastic reinforced floor panels add an extra layer of interior protection.

The Rugged Ridge C3 Interior Tailgate Cover and C4 Canine Cube are backed by an industry-leading five- year limited warranty and are available online and through select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP of $66.99 and $199.99 respectively.

For more information on these or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find and approved retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com

Part Number Description MSRP
13260.09 C3 Tailgate Cover, 07-18 Wrangler JK $66.99
13260.20 C4 Canine Cube $199.99

 

 

Justin Howling and his 2014 JK Unlimited #souperwulf

Our very first official Rugged Rig inductee hails from way up north in Windsor, Ontario. Justin began his Jeep journey as innocently as the rest of us. He bought a Jeep because he thought it would make a pretty cool daily driver but with the added bonus of being able to strip the roof and the doors if the mood were to strike. What Justin never counted on was that he was embarking on a whole new way of life.

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Justin has developed an acronym for his beloved Jeep JK that perfectly explains the difference that being a Jeeper has made in his life- Just Enjoy Every Possibility. Whether it’s trail riding, camping,  or exploring the majestic outdoors with any one of several different groups he rides with, Justin has learned the true value of owning a vehicle with no limits.

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“My Jeep gets me to work everyday, it gets me up the side of that mountain and it gets me through the roughest times in life.”…  well-said, Justin Howling, well-said.

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While the internet is full of well-built Jeeps that are shined and polished to perfection, I really prefer to see a Jeep in it’s natural habitat; getting used & abused in the manner for which it was designed. Justin seems to agree with me and he is really familiar with that filthy process. You can even check out his YouTube channel dedicated to his exploits where he lets you ride along on some of his wheeling adventures and see for yourself. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCBoXZyL9GLTmH1jvEIlH1g

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Justin is a great example of what the Jeep lifestyle is all about. There’s something about buying a new car and having it be a life-changing event that may only register with another Jeep owner. Coming to the realization that it’s Your Jeep. Your Adventure. and making the best of every opportunity you can to get out there and experience life is what it’s all about.

Submit your Jeep to be considered for the title of an official Rugged Rigs by emailing photos, details and even your Jeep story to us at ruggedrigs@omix-ada.com and we’ll send you a cool decal for your troubles. Be sure to follow the Jeep lifestyle with us at www.ruggedridge.com/blog 

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We’ll see you all out there!! OlllllllO

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The Top 10 Reasons to Observe May 19, 2018- Jeep “Go Topless Day®”

1The 11th Annual Go Topless Day® is swiftly approaching; a day set aside to celebrate our beloved Jeep in the best way we know how…by removing our tops and driving around with reckless abandon (within the strict confines of your local laws and ordinances, of course). Even better, this year’s event is sponsored by the Jeep fanatics at Rugged Ridge! As if any pure-blooded Jeeper needed an excuse to take their Jeeps out and enjoy a gorgeous spring day on the open road; we’ve come up with ten, count them, TEN reasons why you should get those Jeeps out and expose the world to a little peek into what it’s like to be a diehard Jeeper:

#1Jeep is an American Icon – Very much like our countries stars and stripes, the revered Jeep deserves to be on public display for everyone to see, appreciate and enjoy. When darkness sets in, fret not; Jeeps are equipped with their own onboard illumination systems so that you can still see and be seen with the press of a button or pull of a knob (depending on your particular model). It is absolutely revolutionary!

2#2 Gasoline Prices Are Going Up – While this seems like more of a ‘con’ than a ‘pro’, just think about it for a minute. Driving the wheels off the old Jeep is gonna be cheaper on this day than it will be on any given day in June OR July. Consider, if you will, the kind-hearted folks of Finland who are paying in excess of $5.00 a gallon for petrol! With gas prices like those, you can very well imagine that, even if those poor Finns were lucky enough to have Jeeps, before “Go Topless Day” even got started, it would be Finnished. So fill those fuel tanks up to over-flowing and wheel those Jeeps like there’s no tomorrow. Do it for our Jeep-less friends on the other side of the pond.

#3 – This IS the 11th Anniversary of Go Topless Day® – Just think about it…this tops-off celebration is in its second decade of existence and it’s getting bigger every year. And it’s not just the western hemisphere, folks. We’ve got topless bashes as far away as Australia making Go Topless Day® a true global phenomenon.

#4 – Kids LOVE Jeeps! – I am not insinuating that you need to go out and adopt kids for “Go Topless” Day, if you don’t currently have any of your own. I am simply stating one of the simplest truths that exists today, and that is: if you take a kid for a ride in your Jeep, smiles will be sure to follow. Smiles so genuine that they can only be enhanced by the likes of ice cream and amusement parks- they’re that good. If admission to your rig is strictly limited to adults only, at least take the time to wave and smile at kids when you see them out on the road. You’re in a Jeep, so you can bet they will already be looking at you. You’ve gotta let them know how much fun it really is!

#5 – It’s Saturday!! – I would understand your hesitance to venture out too far from the house on a weekday school night but “Go Topless Day®” falls on the weekend, so any and all excuses fail. Get out there and enjoy a care-free ride knowing you’ll have all day on Sunday to recover.

4#6 – ‘Jeep Hair’ Looks Outstanding on Almost Everyone – With the exception of completely bald individuals, looking somewhat frazzled like you just came off a rollercoaster is a good look – crazy, but good. Case in point… Go to ANY dating website and browse through the hundreds upon hundreds of profile pictures. Every one of these hapless romantics is well-groomed with their hair perfectly in place and yet they are hopelessly single. What could they be missing?? You might try sacrificing those hairdos to the wind gods, jump into a Jeep and live a little. You won’t be sorry! If you just can’t take the risk with those precious locks, may we suggest a ball cap? Follow the link and you’ll see it’s really just a win / win situation.

https://www.allthingsjeep.com/jeephats.html

5#7 – You Get to Relive the ‘Good Old Days’ – Do you remember when you were just a kid and your neighborhood friends would come knock on your front door and ask your parents if you could come out and play? Well, your Jeep friends are going to be out playing on May 19th and we want you to come out and play too! The Jeep community is a family; a brother and sisterhood of people who share in the same enjoyment of the outdoors and an undying passion for Jeeps. You’ll see them out there, so make sure you wave and don’t worry about being home before the streetlights come on.

#8 – You Can Throw the Map Right Out the Window – Actually, if you don’t have a roof you are probably deprived of doors, as well. So the map kinda throws itself out with no help from you. Nonetheless, Go Topless Day® is all about the journey you’re on and not any given destination, so set out for the great unknown. You’ll never know what you might find when you chart a course for nowhere. Set out with a friend to find a new trail to hike, take in a handful of a postcard-perfect views or a new out-of-the-way restaurant to experience. This adventure is not scripted so you can make it up as you go. Most importantly, set out to see as much of the world around you as you can, from the best seat available.

6#9 – Man’s Best Friend Will Likely Lick You– The only characters that seem to love a Jeep ride more than Jeep owners are the Jeep owner’s dogs. When canines go for a ride in a normal car, they have to poke their heads out of the lowered window, which requires standing on all fours for a vast majority of the time, equating to much more work than dogs usually prefer. The well-known cliché “lazy as a dog” is somewhat unfair in that dogs actually prefer to exhaust their energies in more thrilling pursuits, such as chasing balls or Frisbees, scavenging for people food, disassembling consumer textiles and intently sleeping on pricey furniture. For this reason, Jeeps are the ideal method of getting around for dogs. They are able to be completely surrounded by refreshing breezes while enjoying a much more comfortable reclined position; so take your four-legged friends along with you BUT don’t forget a leash or lanyard so your pooch can stay safe & secure in the cab.

7#10 – Taking the first step is super easy!! – You can get an unbelievably FREE Go Topless Day® decal from All Things Jeep.com by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope (US addresses only) to the address below. Every request is opened by a living, breathing human so feel free to include a friendly note. We hope to see you out on May 19th! OlllllllO

All Things Jeep

GTD 2018 Bumper Sticker Request

20 Mill Street, Suite 136

Pepperell, MA 01463

For more information on AllThingsJeep.com’s 11th Annual Go Topless Day® 2018 sponsored by Rugged Ridge, please visit https://www.allthingsjeep.com/go-topless-day.html.  

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Living High on the Hog in Hand-Me-Downs

Growing up the youngest kid in a five child family has its benefits. Sure, I struggle with producing any particular benefits right now but, nonetheless, I’m sure they exist. Have all four of your siblings happen to be females and the difficulty in that question increases greatly. Take for example, having an older sister come to your rescue from the fury of the playground bully can work wonders on a prepubescent boys’ self-esteem. And then there’s the age-old prospect of hand-me-downs…you know, the old clothes your parents carelessly add to your childhood wardrobe to avoid spending money on new clothes? Do they have no care or concern for their lone male offspring? It’s a real challenge feeling secure about yourself, at what is likely the most awkward phase of your life, when you have to spend so much time making sure your shirts are buttoning from the right side! That jungle gym bully is really gonna have his way and then some with a timid twelve-year-old crossdresser riding a girls Scwinn bike with a basket.

1Being the benefactor of hand-me-downs takes on a whole new countenance according to the pages of LIFE Magazine, circa January 3, 1944. It turns out that, while the Second World War was still in full swing in 1943, some of the Jeeps that had been deployed to action were becoming tired and less than fit for such a rigorous detail. The Willys and Ford GP jeeps of that day were exposed to extremely cruel operating conditions, often suffering broken frames and catastrophic engine damage in as few as 5,000 miles. For that reason, units that were deemed as “used-up” were sent back stateside to be stripped of any serviceable parts.

2One particular dealership, a Berg’s Truck & Parts in Chicago, Illinois was able to acquire some of these old soldiers, ones that still showed signs of promise and give them a new life; saving them from a certain fate at the hands of the scrapper. Making repairs to all the critical mechanical systems and then making them available for sale to the general public, years before the civilian version was even a reality! While this doesn’t seem like a big deal by today’s standards, consider the fact that a Jeep was a bit of a rarity to most Americans. Unless you lived near a military base, you had likely never seen a jeep in person. They lived only on the pages of newspapers, periodicals and on the silver screen.

   The article details one such recipient of a military hand-me-down was Mayor Fred Heine of Lucas, Kansas. The farmer turned Mayor was able to purchase a 1941 Ford GP for the sum of $750 and put it to work around the property of his Midwestern farm. Of course a jeep of any kind made quite spectacle in a small town like Lucas. Cars were such an essential part of the American way of life in the 1940’s. People still impatiently waited for that special September day when the new models would hit the dealership floor, clamoring in droves to see what secrets the latest model might hold. With most cars of the day looking much the same, the jeep was certainly something entirely different visually; a vehicle with a storied past and an uncertain future.

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It was not hard to find all sorts of ways to put the little 4-wheel drive utility to work around the farm. Whether it was feeding the cows or pulling a wagon or plow, the Ford GP could have easily paid for itself in a short time. Of course, only a select class of folks would have had an extra $750 cash at their quick disposal for something other than shelter or primary transportation. The old Mayor must have been one of those fortunate select.

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Whatever you do, don’t surrender to the illusion that this new addition to the Heine Family Farm’s fleet is just for slinging feed or plowing a field, Oh no! With 8-inches of snow on the ground, it’s a perfect time for Mom, little Freddie Anne and Aunt Ethel to jump in the doorless & roofless jeep to do a little grocery shopping; maybe even pick-up another Douglas Fir for the guest bath. I’ve driven an early jeep but never in high heels, mind you, and the actual practice can be quite intricate at times. While I hope that this picture was possibly staged for the benefit of the magazine article, it is kinda cool to see the familiar face peeking out of the grocery bag from the front of a Cream-of-Wheat box. A warm bowl or two should have your insides thawed out by New Years.

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Given such a personal glimpse into what may have been the very first civilian jeep makes yours truly feel all warm inside too, if I say so myself. Having such a wholesome subject occupy two whole pages of a nationally recognized magazine reminds me of how far in the wrong direction we’ve come today. Sure…you can probably still find a Jeep for $750 but having your wife drive it around in the winter may only get your name in the newpapers (in the back where they list all the legal proceedings). Somebody should probably track down Farmer Heine’s jeep and store it away for future generations to see and enjoy. Turns out someone has already done that! The Ford GP is on display at the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville, AL for all to view. See! Aren’t hand-me downs great? OlllllllO

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Rugged Ridge announces new Recovery Tool Rack for various Jeep applications

Versatile & Accessible Storage Mounts to Rear-Mounted Spare Tire

Suwanee, Ga. (March 6, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of its new Recovery Tool Rack for various Jeep applications.

The Rugged Ridge Recovery Tool Rack is engineered for the Jeep owner who wants to equip their vehicle for off-roading or any outdoor adventure. The design focuses on practical and convenient storage of tools while not sacrif

Rugged Ridge’s new Recovery Tool Rack mounts off-road implements outside the cab for easy access. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge’s new Recovery Tool Rack mounts off-road implements outside the cab for easy access.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

icing interior
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The Recovery Tool Rack is stamped from durable steel plating and is finished with a resilient black powder coat, protecting the body of the rack from rust and corrosion while giving it an attractive appearance. The rack is fitted with three individual slots in which a variety of tools can be mounted for transport, with the tool handle secured via the included retention straps for a rattle-free ride.

The Rugged Ridge Recovery Tool Rack utilizes a built-in plate that attaches directly behind the rear-mounted spare tire. With a universal mounting bolt pattern, the rack is able to mount to any Jeep wheel bolt circles, making it compatible with any Jeep with a spare tire carrier, regardless of year.

The Rugged Ridge Recovery Tool Rack is backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty and is available online and through select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP of $199.99.

For more information about the new Recovery Tool rack, or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high- quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an authorized retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770- 614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
13551.63 Recovery Tool Rack $199.99