NOJA

Basic Essential gear for your next wheeling trip:

Whether your going on a cross country excursion or just a day of wheeling with some friends there are few items you should make sure you have with you to ensure you dont end up in a bad situation. First off; Never wheel alone! It sucks when you cant find anyone to wheel with but it sucks even more being stuck somewhere with no help. If there is no cell service you may have to walk yourself out of the bush. ¬†Not my idea of a good time. Fuel is also very important, and yes it does happen. You might think 1/2 tank should suffice since your only doing maybe 20 miles over the course of an afternoon. But wheeling in 4low eats up fuel as well as idiling. So always start the day with a full tank, and maybe even an aux can for your buddy who didnt top his off ūüôā Now that you have your buddy and Fuel its time to head our on the trails right?¬†not quite yet. Tools are also very important to ensure you get home safe should you break something. Everyone knows that one guy who says you wont break anything if you know how to wheel….Well stuff happens and it may be something simple like a broken shock or something a little more serious like a broken axle shaft. Either way a good set of tools (sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, etc) can be the difference between getting home and leaving your rig on the trail. Harbor Freight is a good spot to pick up a set of trail tools, they have a 301 piece set for usually around $150-$200 that will have most of what you need to get the job done. ¬†A fire extinguisher is also a very important staple in your arsenal of equipment for reasons I think everyone should know. First Aid kits can also be picked up pretty cheap and one kit per group should be adequate for minor injuries. If your going to be hitting the trails for an extended period of time, have someone load up a cooler with drinks and water maybe some snacks to much on while you watch your buddy struggle in a mud pit. ¬†On the subject of getting stuck because it happens to all of us; It is important to have the proper equipment to assist you on getting unstuck. Winches work great but not everyone can afford them. A good quality tow strap ( no metal ends/hooks)(and not one from Harbor Freight) can be attached to your recovery points and with the help of another rig get you out. ¬†And one last thing, ¬†remember to secure your gear! You dont want to be crushed by your tools and such if you happen to put the rubber wrong side up, bungie cords dont cut it. Most ratched straps come in sets of 4 and should be more than enough¬†to make sure your cargo stays with you.¬†That about wraps it up for some of the basic gear you will need so ensure your next wheeling expierience doesnt turn out to be a bad one. Stay safe out there and as always Have Fun!

Stuck Bolt?

It always seems like its the last bolt to a project that decides it¬†doesnt want to loosen¬†up. We have all been there; most likely using a breaker/cheater bar and eventually snapping said bolt causing even more grief. A good rule of thumb I always tell people I do work for is to pre-soak any bolt I will be putting a wrench to quite often for about a week. A good penetrating oil like “PB Blaster” works wonders; along with other quality brands. HEAT is also important and makes a night and day difference especially with leaf spring and shackle bolts. The bolt itself likes to sieze right to the rubber bushings and fight you every step of the way. Most people dont have access to a set of torches, but a good and cheaper alternative is a benzo torch which can be picked up at most hardware/auto stores. It does not burn as hot as a set of oxy/ace torches but will still help get the job done. Always wear the appropriate protection as bolts will stay hot long after they have been heated, also falling chunks¬†of rust can cause pretty bad burns too. I usually like to use a breaker bar with the top section of a jack handle ( insert the breaker bar into the top of the handle so it wont wallow out the section that combines with the bottom handle attached to the jack) This way you can gradually increase pressure as oppposed to an air tool which can cause bolts to snap and or bolt heads to strip with a sudden increase in torque.

Gereral rules of the trail:

– Always tread Lightly
-Never go out alone
-Never tresspass
-Never Bushwack
-Always carry in and carry out
-Never leave anyone behind
-Always be prepared
-Secure/tie down your gear
-Seatbelts!
-Dont drink and drive
-Practice Safe recovery techniques
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