Larry Trim and his bride, Lois, set themselves up for success. Follow their journey through hard work and consistency to success and freedom to travel and race in this episode of Conversations with Big Rich. It’s a great story of mindset and commitment. Congrats, Larry on a job well-done!
4:30 – the start of my dirt addiction
11:49 – that’s when I discovered I didn’t have four-wheel drive
21:10 – 2.5% unemployment meant that about 2% were working against their will
26:32 – it had a manual transmission that Lois either wouldn’t or couldn’t drive
32:25 – RSI is still the primary business I have today
37:09 – that’s where Trail Ready came from
47:46 – I’m one of those Dust to Glory inspired people
55:12 – and that’s how a guy like me can have a trophy truck
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
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[00:00:06.370] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to Conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talked to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes, and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call offroad.
[00:00:53.790] - Advertisement
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[00:01:20.290] - Advertisement
Have you seen 4low magazine yet? 4low magazine is a high quality, well written, four wheel drive focused magazine for the enthusiast market. If you still love the idea of a printed magazine, something to save and read at any time, 4Low is the magazine for you. 4Low cannot be found in stores, but you can have it delivered to your home or place of business. Visit 4lowmagazine.com to order your subscription.
[00:01:45.690] - Big Rich Klein
Today on today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Larry Trim. Larry Trim is from Trail Ready. That's where most everybody's going to know him from. He's an old time rock crawling addict. You might say he was one of the original competitors back in two thousands. And he got into desert racing and left the world of go slow to go fast. And Larry, it's really good to have you on and having this conversation with us. So thank you very much.
[00:02:17.410] - Larry Trim
I'm glad to be here, Rich, and I appreciate you inviting me.
[00:02:20.950] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, so we've known each other a really long time, it seems. I'd say it's got to be 22, 23 plus years. But let's start at the very beginning and that's going back to your very beginning. Where were you born and raised?
[00:02:38.950] - Larry Trim
Well, I was born in Seattle and I was raised in Eastern Washington.
[00:02:45.250] - Big Rich Klein
When was that time? You were born in Seattle and then went to Eastern Washington? Was that like right after birth?
[00:02:52.630] - Larry Trim
Well, there was a gap, there was a little bit of a delay there. So I was born in 61 and I was an orphan starting out as an orphan for the first year or so before the family decided that they needed to take me home. And that home ended up being the method valley of Eastern Washington. So it's central Washington and I grew up in the medhow there until I was 18 years old.
[00:03:22.880] - Big Rich Klein
Wow, okay. I had no clue. No idea. That was nobody's ever asked. Yeah, I mean, that's the first time I've gotten that answer. So, yeah, that is awesome that you are able to find a family like that. I just met this week well, I just found out this week one of our drivers, their stepfather, adopted seven children from the same family when they became orphans, I guess. And I was blown away by that. He and his wife took seven children and from that family and actually a couple of more from another family. So it blew me away that that happened. And now you mention it, it's awesome that there's people out there that do that.
[00:04:30.750] - Larry Trim
Yes, that is awesome. And I think by and large, those are success stories. However, mine was different. My family experience wasn't great, as a matter of fact, and it really kind of leads into my dirt addiction, because growing up there, I spent as much time as I could outside of what was kind of a chaotic home situation. The first, say, 18 years of my life is really about escape. And escape for me was anything that I could get under me to put some distance between me and the house in what was a pretty cool place to grow up, where we were surrounded by either state or federal land that was just had roads everywhere. And I've really been making as much dust as I can since.
[00:05:32.010] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, that you have. So let's talk about some of those early years. I don't want to dwell too much into the negative at all, but growing up in a fairly rural area, what was it like for getting to school or all of that?
[00:06:00.610] - Larry Trim
I grew up in Method proper, which was a town of 47 people, and I went to school in Pateris, which is on highway 97. And you're familiar with that because of your time you spend in Goldendale. So we're a few hundred miles north and just one paved road in my entire youth going right through town, and then everything else was dirt. From the time I was ten, I was getting wheels under me, starting with like, a Briggs and Stratton mini bike and then just progressing from there as I could fund it, first with lawnmower money and then working in the local orchards, which I started when I was 13. And as the pay went up, and I think the pay was probably $2 an hour back at the beginning, then the motorcycle sizes went up and then I was able to cover more ground. And I think I had my first enduro bike at 13. And actually getting to school meant getting on a bus and riding for 30 minutes on the school bus into town. But I found that if I took the long way on my dirt bike, I could get there faster.
[00:07:31.260] - Larry Trim
So that used to be kind of a thing of mine. When I was 13, 1415 was racing the school bus to school on a 14 miles dirt road.
[00:07:41.040] - Big Rich Klein
14 miles dirt road. That's awesome. And hopefully you didn't crash too many times.
[00:07:49.070] - Larry Trim
Not early on, but I think the next bike, when I was 15, I got a TT 500, Yamaha, and pretty much everybody knows that no 15 year old should be riding one of those big heavy bike with about four inches of suspension. And I definitely got off that one, the hardwood a couple of times.
[00:08:08.030] - Big Rich Klein
But you're still alive and all in one piece.
[00:08:11.570] - Larry Trim
I am. And that experience, for better or worse, convinced me that my kids should not have dirt bikes until they were older because I had a few near death experiences, for sure.
[00:08:25.850] - Big Rich Klein
So then when you were in school, I would imagine school was all about getting through it and then getting out. Or did you play sports or was that even available at a school, a small school like that?
[00:08:43.130] - Larry Trim
Yeah, they had pretty good sports programs there. And again, I did everything I could to spend as little time as long as possible. So I played little league baseball for several years growing up. I played into high school baseball, and then I also played basketball. I really actually enjoyed playing sport. I wasn't a great athlete, but I enjoyed it a lot, had good friends at school. That school, by the way, grades nine to twelve in high school, with a total of 80 kids when I was there. So there was about 20 kids in each grade level. So it was very small for basketball. I think we probably had eight or nine guys to have a five man team.
[00:09:39.840] - Big Rich Klein
So everybody played.
[00:09:41.700] - Larry Trim
Everybody played, for sure.
[00:09:43.540] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. I mean, that's good for the opportunity to be able to play without sometimes you go to huge schools and there's just I remember my freshman year of high school, I think we had like 100 kids show up to play football, and 100 kids, they didn't even have enough uniforms for everybody. So it was first couple of weeks of practice, it was who didn't show up the next day, somebody else in line got their uniform in their gear.
[00:10:19.620] - Larry Trim
That would be tough. That was totally different than our experience. In fact, I think not too many years after I graduated and was gone, the school actually was forced to go to, I think, what do they call it? A B eight classification, where they couldn't put an eleven men on a football team. So they had so few people. So I think they played eight man football after that.
[00:10:47.800] - Big Rich Klein
Right. So then what was your interest? And besides sports, was there anything school wise that captivated you?
[00:10:58.830] - Larry Trim
No, not a thing. My favorite, the class I appreciated the most was the shop class. So obviously we took the basics and then we also, because we are in an agriculture area, we're compelled to take anything related to like FHA or agriculture classes. I guess they thought we were all going to be Apple inspectors or something. Someday. But we did have a cool shop class, and so we learned to weld and do a little bit of fabrication and work on cars. So that was pretty much my favorite class. That's the one class I excelled in school.
[00:11:42.370] - Big Rich Klein
And I know you said you had motorcycles. Did you have a car at any point in that time?
[00:11:49.240] - Larry Trim
Oh, yeah, I had lots of cars. Rich, what was your first? I think I probably had something like 20 cars before I was 18 or 19. Wow. Because the ones that weren't like a primary project or something, I would buy anything I could find and flip it, fix it up a little bit and flip it. My first car was a 67 Kaiser Jeep Wagone here. I'd obviously put fat tires on it and did whatever I could afford to do with that thing. I remember when I first got it, I immediately took it to the kind of trails areas that I would be on my bike for the last four or five years. And I got it kind of crossed up in a little bar ditch and had two wheels off the ground which were spinning in the air and discovered that I didn't really have a four wheel drive. So there was some disappointment there. And then later, after that, of course, we learned how to weld up spider gears and things like that. By the way, there was no money in my dirt. Poor is a phrase, but we were definitely dirt poor. It was all dirt, and there was no money.
[00:13:06.300] - Larry Trim
So everything came from hours in the orchards, and I worked every hour that I was either allowed to or by the folks or that the local orchards that I worked for would give me. And that meant every day after school and all weekends and then all summer. So always working to try to get money for the next car or the next improvement to the car, that's telling.
[00:13:37.830] - Big Rich Klein
In what it did to make you who you are as a business owner and being able to put in that kind of work ethic to make a business work.
[00:13:49.290] - Larry Trim
Yeah. Definitely transitioned into business when I started in business, and the same rule carried me through to, I want to say, the year 2000. Just put in the hours. Some people look at business owners and wonder what the difference is. And the difference probably is in the hours, they work two or three times as many hours as somebody that's just putting in 40 hours a week.
[00:14:22.210] - Big Rich Klein
[00:14:22.520] - Larry Trim
And everybody thinks you definitely got an early start.
[00:14:25.190] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Everybody thinks you're making thousands of dollars in those hours.
[00:14:28.610] - Larry Trim
And when you break out, you're just putting in more.
[00:14:32.970] - Big Rich Klein
When you break all those hours out, it's a lot less per hour than what people think.
[00:14:38.500] - Larry Trim
That's right. And you know that as well as I do.
[00:14:41.000] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. So then, in those early years, were you the only nonborn family member in the family. Was that the case, or was it a family that had taken in other kids?
[00:15:03.250] - Larry Trim
There was five of us that were adopted, and there was probably ten more, like, foster kids, and that just added to the chaos. It was always a lot. Yeah. Trying too hard to help people, I guess, and they weren't really well suited for it in every way, I should say in some ways they were, but in some ways they weren't. But yeah, I don't really dwell on that period very much. The minute I turned 18, I pretty much left and really didn't look back much, but, yeah, I have two brothers and two sisters, which were pretty close. The five of us are okay.
[00:15:58.850] - Big Rich Klein
And so that means you're still in contact with them and everything.
[00:16:02.470] - Larry Trim
[00:16:02.890] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, good. Okay, so then what happened? Well, before we jump into those, after 18 years in a small school like that, I would imagine there was probably some pretty tight friendships, or was that not the case?
[00:16:21.350] - Larry Trim
There was a few for then there wasn't too many people to choose from, but, yeah, I had a couple of good friends, a couple of which I stayed in touch with over the years. But when I left, I actually went to college for two years over here in Bellevue and Seattle. But then after that, I went to Oklahoma. I think the unemployment rate in Washington in 1981 was, like, 14%. One thing that happened in high school that's a highlight is that's where I met my wife Lois, and, you know Lois, and she's been around ever since then. And after a couple of years of college, we decided to get married, and I left college and went to Oklahoma to kind of start building the foundation of some real finances so that we could take that next step. Well, that's kind of lost touch with everybody from the past. And honestly, like I said, I kind of left that area and really didn't look back and just kind of move forward.
[00:17:36.630] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. And Lois was the same area than if she was the high school sweetheart. Okay.
[00:17:42.820] - Larry Trim
Yeah, she was there for a few years. She was from Everett, Washington, but she was over in Eastern Washington for a few years. We met there, stayed in touch after she moved back to Everett, and then we got married in 1982.
[00:17:56.850] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, nice. All right, then you go to Bellevue for two years chasing an AA, or did you have a goal in mind?
[00:18:10.890] - Larry Trim
Yeah, well, the goal when I was in high school, I worked for a couple of different gentlemen. One had apple orchard and a successful orchard operation, actually. And then the other one had the local service station, full service gas station. I worked in the orchard from 13 to about 15, so three or four years. And then I worked for this service station owner another couple of years before I went to college. And both of those guys were a real influence on me and beyond their integrity and those kind of personality trait things. I also really decided then that I was going to be self employed, I was going to have my own business. So I went to Velvet Community College just to get the two year degree in business management and that kind of thing. And so I focused on those kind of classes while I was there, and I didn't get a degree. I left early, but everything I learned there, obviously I put to work as soon as I was able.
[00:19:30.150] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. And then at that point, after those two years, or close to two years, you jumped to Oklahoma. Was that chasing a job? And did Lois go with you, or did she follow later?
[00:19:44.370] - Larry Trim
She followed later. So we got engaged, and I moved out there. I think I left town with a credit card and $80 in my pocket in my 1980 Chevy Love four x four that I had bought, bought new. And I had an uncle, actually, he was a kind of a second cousin, is probably what he really was established. He was from Washington State as well, but he had gone out there for work and he was established, and he invited me to come out and said I could crash at their house until I found something to do, which was, by the way, the afternoon that I arrived, I think I rolled into Yukon, Oklahoma, like, at 06:00 a.m.. And by dinnertime, I already had one or two job offers. What happened is that coming out of that oil embargo and all that, they were drilling like crazy for gas production. So if you were an able bodied male walking down the street in Oklahoma, they would come out of their businesses and try to lure you into a job. That's how it worked there. I think the unemployment rate was like two and a half percent.
[00:21:10.990] - Larry Trim
Two and a half percent unemployment rate means that there's about 2% of the population that's working against their will. So it was fast and furious. I got a job the same day. I think I traded it in for a better job in a week, and I don't know, within a week, I was working on a makeover rig in the oil patch, meaning the drilling rig comes in, drills a hole, and then a smaller rig comes in and turns it into a production well. And I worked that work for a year and a half, probably about a year and a half worked in the oil field. And I went from maybe 450 an hour in the orchard, or $5 an hour orchard to $13 an hour in Oklahoma overnight. Obviously there was a lot of people moving to Oklahoma, and then because of that, the construction industry as far as, like, track houses, just was on fire because there was no place for anybody to live. So they were building apartments and houses as fast as they could. I worked in oil field for a year and a half, and then I transitioned into construction because it was steady there's.
[00:22:37.500] - Larry Trim
Rain or shine, year round, the oil, the makeover rig could be a little bit spotty as far as staying busy. So when I wasn't working that, I was trying to do construction and eventually I got a chance to get into construction, higher levels of the work and started kind of on a construction management path at that time. And that would have been like, okay.
[00:23:04.970] - Big Rich Klein
Yukon, Oklahoma. I know, I've heard it. I've probably driven through it, but what part of the state is that in?
[00:23:13.870] - Larry Trim
So that is just a bedroom community of Oklahoma City. Just west of Oklahoma City.
[00:23:20.490] - Big Rich Klein
That's why I know. Okay.
[00:23:22.130] - Larry Trim
Yeah, it's right there. It's a pretty popular town. I think Garth Brooks was in high school when I lived there. He's from UK, Oklahoma.
[00:23:30.120] - Big Rich Klein
[00:23:31.530] - Larry Trim
[00:23:32.790] - Big Rich Klein
Did he have a name then or did you find that out later?
[00:23:35.630] - Larry Trim
[00:23:35.990] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. That was later and about that time within that first year and a half when you're in the oil field is when Lois came out.
[00:23:45.210] - Larry Trim
Yup, she came out six months later. I flew home to get married and went back to work the next Monday, and that's how we started. And it was just the two of us by ourselves. We didn't know anybody out there, really, except for this distant uncle that gave us a chance to really establish ourselves, our own relationship, and then really focus on whatever the future was going to be. We worked hard. We were out there for three years. I didn't like Oklahoma at all. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, it was just a lot different. It was hot or cold, and it was extreme weather swings and big bugs. So we worked really hard to kind of get a nest egg built up so we would have some options in front of us whenever the next opportunity came up, which was the fall of 84. I got a job back then there was obviously no internet, so I had, I think, my father in law who really wanted his daughter back in town, meaning Everett, Washington. He would mail me, like, the local job listings, the one end from Seattle Everett area every week. So we had that resource.
[00:25:16.480] - Larry Trim
And then I got a job working for a roofing and sheet metal company in Everett area in 1984. And then we moved back to Everett.
[00:25:33.260] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. Was Lois working when she moved back to the west side to finish school and they were in the Everett area? Did she go on to college as well for a time or?
[00:25:49.330] - Larry Trim
She did, she did before we went to Oklahoma. She went to Northwest in Kirkland for a while before we got married. And then in Oklahoma, she worked in kind of like a steakhouse restaurant, did some hospitality type stuff which she continued, I think, briefly, when we got back to Everett, and then she got a job with the school district, local school district. And she was there for the next five years or so until our first daughter came along.
[00:26:21.650] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, and once you got back to Everett, did you still have the Chevy Love, or did you know?
[00:26:32.070] - Larry Trim
I didn't keep cars very long in those days, rich it sounded like it, yeah. I kind of went from the 67 wageoneer when I was 15. I got that, and by the time I was 17, I had a Blazer, all of which got not babied, but really not babied. I took them out. We were in the dirt, up in the woods, doing trails or mud bogs or whatever, pretty consistently. And then I got the Chevy Love four X four, which was the right car to travel out to Oklahoma and that kind of a thing. I actually sold that to my brother while I was in Oklahoma, and I traded him for a 55 Chevy that was actually a pretty nice car that had a manual in it that Lois wouldn't or couldn't drive. We're still arguing about that. We traded that for a car for her, and there was a series of unfortunate cars. I just thought, I'm done playing with these cars that are losing money or not running. If I'm going to have a car like that, let's get something that at least will hold its value. So she ended up out there in Oklahoma with a 76 Corvette, and that turned out to be a nice car.
[00:28:02.960] - Larry Trim
She liked it, and it ran, and it didn't lose money. So they kind of started a pattern of a couple of I think we had three Corvettes over the next probably 15 years that we had. Well, it was not 15 years because it was 15 years. There was three Corvettes over 15 years, one of which we had after Rachel, my daughter oldest, was born. And that kind of put it into all the Corvettes at that time when we started our family.
[00:28:36.910] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, because you can't get two adults in a car seat that's right into a Corvette unless you put screws through the fiberglass.
[00:28:49.840] - Larry Trim
Yeah. The second Corvette was we came back to Washington, she got a Camaro or something. And so I sold her 76 Corvette, which, as you know, was a real horsepower monster with 180. Bought a Corvette for me, which was a 71 lt one roadster. And that was a nice car. And I kept that up until 89. After five years of working in construction for others. In 89 is when I started my first business, and I sold the Corvette to fund that kind of start up. So that was the end of the Corvettes. I think I had one later after that was like an autocross Corvette much later. But 88, my daughter was born, 89, I started my business, and after that, it got pretty boring for a while as far as cars go. We were really focused on family and career, and we had some rental houses, so we were focused on real estate, fixing up houses and stuff, and all the automotive and the hot rods. Everything got put on hold for the next 15 years or so.
[00:30:10.160] - Big Rich Klein
Right. So you get married in 81, you're in Oklahoma, you stay there for approximately three years. You come back to Washington Everett area, and then within five years later, you're starting your business or there about but you already have rental properties. That's pretty darn good.
[00:30:36.110] - Larry Trim
Yeah, well, it's not like it is today, that's for sure. We had some rental properties and owned our own home and all by the time I started my business in 89. So I was 28 years old. And we made a decision when we got married because we got married really young. I think I was 20, Lois was 19. And we decided we wouldn't start a family until we were establishing a career and we owned our own home, so we put all those things in place first. And I think when you don't have three kids running around, it's easier to focus on that kind of stuff. Right. And I think that worked out well. Yeah, so my daughter not only was my I was kind of established in my trade, but within a year of my daughter being born, we had started our own business too. So it was good times for sure. And like I said, we weren't playing back then. We were buckled down. I really worked six days a week for 20 years and that's kind of what it took.
[00:31:48.930] - Big Rich Klein
Right, well, that's good. So what was the business, the first business she.
[00:31:56.910] - Larry Trim
Started, I was working for a roofing and sheet metal company, and I started the same roofing and sheet metal, which within two years we stopped doing kind of general construction and general roofing, and we focused on architectural sheet metal, so really just became all sheet metal, roofing, siding, that kind of thing. And that was 89. And then by 91, we had started another business that was designed to be just a fabrication shop. And I started it as a separate business because I got an opportunity to actually make sheet metal products for the people that I was competing against in construction. So I wanted to have a different name. And that company is what is RSI, which has been my primary business since 89, was the contracting. But by 91 I started RSI, which is the business I still have today.
[00:33:02.440] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, and so that with that business, you're still doing fab work and metal work for other companies.
[00:33:11.490] - Larry Trim
Correct. We have a facility, 20,000 sqft where we make kind of high end architectural sheet metal products and sell to a pretty select group of customers. It's all negotiated work. Now we don't get anything. And after what, 30 years, we've got it figured out pretty well. And actually I have a partner in that business. He's a general manager. My role here is pretty limited now as I'm kind of stepping away and doing more travel and stuff. Okay, so that one's been here since 91.
[00:33:48.140] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, very good. So then that explains like, the bumper business to me.
[00:33:55.250] - Larry Trim
[00:33:56.050] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. That whole tie in makes more sense then. So then in all this, did you get back into off road?
[00:34:08.490] - Larry Trim
So I got back into offroad about business was good, and started to have a little bit of time to dream about getting into Jeeps again. Really? It was jeeps when I started my very first car, and I think I had a couple of Jeeps in the meantime that I just were daily drivers. So about 92, one of my employees had 81 CJ Seven that he was trying to unload. And I looked at that and thought I could make something out of that thing. So I bought this CJ Seven and over the next two years, I made it prime. I put everything into it. The stuff that you did in the 80s, like two bumpers, and I put a winch on it and we painted it, and in our shop we cut out and made all the diamond plate body armor stuff that was popular back then. Lift kit, tires, wheels, new top. And so we started going, taking it to all the local trails with my very young kids. I'd have three kids in that little tiny back seat, all wearing bicycle helmets because they were crashing into each other back there. But we had a great time with that thing for five or six years.
[00:35:36.310] - Larry Trim
You may know that I'm a motor home traveler, right? I've always had motor homes. I think we bought our first motorhome about the same time. My work truck, we put a siding camper on it, a big twelve foot camper, got a tow bar, and we drag that Jeep everywhere, and that was our first RV everywhere, kind of in the Pacific Northwest and all the local trails and did that all the way up until 99, I guess. I had lockers in it and we would go out with all the local friends and guys that showed up at the trails. And honestly, the Jeep was performed so well that it was kind of getting a little boring after five years of that because it would just go anywhere and it wasn't as fun as it was with open disks and a manual transmission, but we took that everywhere. We drove it all the way down to Tau, New Mexico, to do a Jeep jambury one time and then hit all those national parks on the way back and had some really great trips with dragging that jeep around. So that was kind of my return to Jeeping.
[00:36:54.170] - Larry Trim
Yeah. When the kids were young.
[00:36:56.290] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. So you were doing your own body armor with like diamond flight and you said and stuff, did you guys turn that into a business as well?
[00:37:09.590] - Larry Trim
Well, that's where Trail Ready started. We had this shop, but pretty elaborate, we could make a lot of stuff. And really the only thing we were making then was the diamond plate body armor pieces, which was everybody was doing those. But in 97 I wanted to get off the local trails and do some destination wheeling. Jeep Jamborees are the ones that I knew of from kind of reading magazines and stuff. And of course everything was in print back then. And we'd see all these stories about the Rubicon and Fordice and Moab, which we did go to Moab one time during that time. But in 97 I registered Trail rate.com and that's when that part of this thing started. I decided I needed another revenue stream to fund destination Jeeping. By this time I had a business partner in that business and he had a Jeep, pretty nice Jeep too. So we started making parts, we bought some ads in some print magazines and started seeing what we could sell to. And then we put stickers to put our logo on the Jeep and we'd go to these Jeep Jamborees and see if we could make some sales.
[00:38:35.340] - Larry Trim
And really kind of it was a tax scheme too. We could expense all of our travel as a marketing expense. And that's kind of what the idea behind Trail Ready was. It was always about funding motorsports and these destination wheeling adventures that we wanted to do. So that's how Trail really started in 97 was for that reason. And I did that for a couple of years and did some good stuff. And then all of sudden A, I saw something to 99 about competition, rock crawling, sports in the rough, I think it was, right?
[00:39:13.510] - Big Rich Klein
[00:39:15.380] - Larry Trim
And so I'm like, okay, I got this Jeep, it goes anywhere I want to go. And then nobody else that I dealt with is really got their set up the same way. And so we're limited, why don't we go compete? We did some more work to that 81 CJ Seven in the winter of 99 and signed up for the first Arca Rock crawl in Phoenix.
[00:39:45.040] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, so you were down there in Phoenix, that was on the woodpecker trails, upper and lower right? And you were in the CJ Seven?
[00:40:00.850] - Larry Trim
In the CJ Seven. And we built some bumpers for it. And the winter of 99, I knew I needed bead locks because all those guys in the pictures had them. I'd never seen one, I'd never seen the inside of one, but I knew what that function was accomplishing. So I just cut some stuff out on the plasma cutter or whatever we had back then. I'm not sure we had a plasma cutter in 1999, but anyway, we cut up some wheels, put some bead locks on them and put some bumpers on the Jeep and put our name on the side and showed up and ran that whole series in 2000. Ran the whole year with the Jeep set up that way and had a great time.
[00:40:48.850] - Big Rich Klein
So you came out to Cedar City, then that first big event there, that's where I got really hooked into it. I was there at the Phoenix event, right. And then we helped Ranch get there in coming out to Cedar City and helped get all the judges and all that kind of stuff.
[00:41:10.990] - Larry Trim
Yeah, I remember that event well, too, because a whole bunch of my whole family came to that one. And my business partner Brent, he had family come to that one, too. I remember that. Yeah, that one we did archive in that Jeep. Thousand one, two years in that Jeep.
[00:41:32.530] - Big Rich Klein
[00:41:36.710] - Larry Trim
The next step for Trail Ready then was Grant came up with and I don't know if he was dueling on the computer or what, but after that season of 2000, he made the first aluminum rock ring, which was kind of an iconic ring that we did in 2000. And we had those on the Jeep in time for a couple of fall events after I think the season was largely over because I ran the whole year with the steel bead lock wheels that we kind of hand made. But then we showed up, we had an event in the Northwest called Northwest Rock Crawl that a local guy put on, and we had those wheels on there for that. And then we went up to the Island Rock Crawl on Vancouver Island, had them there. We did little those were our first two shows as well. And we set up a display and then, of course, 2001 showed up to Arca again with those new aluminum rings that were bolted to a steel wheel and it just went crazy. Everybody was asking for that wheel. And then, as you know, the print media declared this the fastest growing motorsport in the USA.
[00:42:54.490] - Larry Trim
And it was all over the pages and Trail Ready just got on that wave and rode it. And the wheel business really took off. And we were making bumpers at the same time. But it was the wheels that really were kind of the exciting product for us, right?
[00:43:09.470] - Big Rich Klein
Well, yeah, because the bumpers are only on the tow vehicles, truly.
[00:43:14.370] - Larry Trim
Right. We have some Jeep products, too, but really, we had a pretty fast line of growing line of truck winch bumpers. And along with the wheels, these two kind of different lines. And Trail was supposed to be just funding our hobby, but it was taking a life of its own for sure. In 20 00 20 01 20 02.
[00:43:40.800] - Big Rich Klein
During those times, I just looked at the website today, your website, and I went, Oh, Dodge, because, well, I had that 91 and a half Dodge, and lo and behold, there was the front end of my truck, the bumper and the lights and the winch and the dodge grille.
[00:44:04.410] - Larry Trim
It's still on there.
[00:44:05.880] - Big Rich Klein
It's still on the website.
[00:44:07.890] - Larry Trim
That's awesome. And do you still have that truck?
[00:44:11.450] - Big Rich Klein
I do not. I so wish I did.
[00:44:14.250] - Larry Trim
[00:44:15.180] - Big Rich Klein
Now I had to get something with more seating.
[00:44:19.470] - Larry Trim
[00:44:20.260] - Big Rich Klein
So we ended up with a 6500 top kick, four door. I still wish I had that truck, though. That truck was definitely a classic.
[00:44:31.510] - Larry Trim
Yes. And now that you mention it, I kind of remember that. I remember that you had that on there. To this day, trail ready is the only company that really makes winch bumpers for the early generation trucks of all the different brands.
[00:44:46.510] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's good to hear. So everybody out there, if you're looking for a good bumper for your early model chevy ford dodge, check out trail ready because they got some great stuff. I mean, that bumper of mine took some hits. I know that, being out at the race tracks all the time. So then where did the autocross? And I know you did some other things besides rock crawling. How about sharing some of that?
[00:45:20.450] - Larry Trim
Well, during that time, really, I focused on rock crawling. From 2000 to 2005, I had an autocross corvette, but I didn't really play with that much. It sat in the garage. I think I took it out a couple of times, but I didn't even compete with it. So it was a car of opportunity. I think it actually came on a trailer I really wanted, and it came with it. So it's not in my garage for five years. I had a few things like that. In fact, I still do. A garage fall is full of vehicles that I have a plan for that doesn't necessarily always come to fruition.
[00:46:04.410] - Big Rich Klein
I got to buy the car, too.
[00:46:06.750] - Larry Trim
It's pretty much how it went. It was a package deal. You had to take both. But I focused on the rock crawling up until five. During that time, I had the CJ for 2000, 2001, and then I built my first two chassis buggy for the 2002 season two wheel steer car. And I ran that one in 2002 and 2003, when I decided that there's no way I could compete unless I had a moon buggy with four wheel steering. And I actually sold the 2002 car. I sold it to a guy named mel wade. Might have heard of him. He was just starting evolution offroad. So I got to meet him at the very beginning. So that would have been 2003 and kind of use that money to build. Charlie meltzer had this new car that you probably remember. It was skunkworks fab. That thing looked like a lamborghini. It was so low and so cool. And so I got a hold of the guy that built that, which was skunkworks fab, dave Kimner from, I think, pennsylvania, and I ordered a chassis from him. But then ranch at arca, they changed some rules about I think they saw Charlie's car and they said, that's too low, your helmet is too close to the ceiling.
[00:47:46.250] - Larry Trim
They changed rules. So my car looked a little bit different than his, but it was a great little four wheel steer moon buggy. And we had that one for 2004. Five and six. And then super crawl was my last event doing rock crawling. So I did it from 2000 to 2006 and then what? He had a great time then. So 2006, actually, I'll tell you what happened is I'm one of these dust to glory inspired people.
[00:48:28.370] - Big Rich Klein
2003 came out in 2005, right, and.
[00:48:32.550] - Larry Trim
Somebody invited me to the premiere. I think it happened while I was down there for like off road expo or something. Of course we were doing all the shows by then and I went and saw the premiere in the theater, which is the best way to see it, of course. And I'm like, this is where we need to go. Because we had about 45% of the market in rock crawling. And of course that meant that our market share in just trail jeeps in general was growing really fast. I mean, we're talking 20% to 30% growth year over year in the wheel segment. And so I was looking for a new market anyway, and I'm like, I need to go do that. I was sponsored by Mickey Thompson tires at the time and they put me in touch with a guy that had a desert truck that was looking for wheels to go with his Mickey Thompson tires. And this fella had a 7200 truck and we had a few conversations and I told him not only would I give him some wheels, but I would keep him in wheels if he let me drive that truck.
[00:49:47.860] - Larry Trim
And he agreed. So I became a sponsor of a 7200 desert truck in 2006, was racing in Snore and I showed up and put some miles on it and rode with him and kind of got a feel for desert racing in 2006. And then we took that truck and started racing full time in 2007, invest in the desert. And that was when I got in. That was the beginning of desert racing for me, was 607 and well, rock crawling. I was midfield guy, 15th place out of 55 cars. There were so many cars back then. I don't know that I ever craft the top ten. I just didn't have the seat time in that kind of terrain. Because up here in the northwest, all we have is slimy roots in the woods and it's difficult to get an understanding of what those cars can do on slick rock and granite and stuff like that. But desert racing suited me. We won our first race and I drove that 7200 truck through the middle of 2009 and we had a 26% winning percentage on that truck. So yeah, it was a whole different ball game. One of the problems with rock crawling.
[00:51:10.080] - Larry Trim
For me, being all the way up in Seattle area was I would drive, especially as the sport progressed and it became a 14 minutes time limit for a course. It was four minutes. And the courses became kind of a point and shoot type thing. Not so much a rock crawling thing at that time with arca and euroc. So I would drive 24 hours for 24 minutes of seat time. And to me, the ratio was terrible. Right when I got in a desert truck, I would drive that same 24 hours. But I might have 11 hours of seat time more than I wanted. 250 or 300 miles in a desert truck. And anybody wants out for the most part when the fatigue, the kind of mental fatigue starts to set in. So, yeah, it was a whole different experience, and it was way more enjoyable for me to be in a desert truck and do an endurance racing as opposed to the rock crawling. So it was a great transition. And I drove that truck, like I said, until the middle of 2009.
[00:52:19.870] - Big Rich Klein
And then after that after that, I.
[00:52:26.600] - Larry Trim
Went into a shop in kingman, Arizona, where we did all of our prep. I had a little shop there. I've had a race shop down in kingman or henderson ever since to get a part made for that truck. And the guy that owned that machine shop was Tracy rubio, who had recently built a trophy truck. He was a truck builder, and he built himself a trophy truck. And he was looking for some help to get that truck into Vegas Torino, the three day event in 2009. And we had a conversation and I told him what it cost me to raise the sponsor and drive the 7200 truck. And he said, for that money, you could be driving this truck. And I said, done. So starting with Vegas Dorino 2009, I sponsored the number 18 trophy truck with Tracy rubio. And I drove that truck for a couple of years, and that was a whole different experience. And I immediately was scheming on how in the world does a guy like me get a trophy truck? But yeah, that lit a fire for sure. And of course, we were in the middle of a bad recession in 20 09 20 10 yes, we were banking thing.
[00:53:48.160] - Larry Trim
And so Tracy decided in mid 2010 he was going to park that truck. He needed to focus on business, or the lack of business is probably a better word for it. So that truck got parked in 2010. And the same, I should say the last race in the 7200 before I got into that trophy truck with Tracy rubio, another trophy truck guy had a transmission fire in the Las Vegas 250 or something. It was the best in the desert race. And while I was trying to figure out what my next move was in 2010, I found out that that individual would be willing to sell what was a hulk at the time from this transmission fire for $10,000, everything. And so we took a look at it. By this time, I had kind of a racing partner, John Coath, who is still with me today. We do everything together as far as desert racing. He preps the trucks and then I kind of pay the bills and we race together. He found out about this truck. We went and looked at it and we kind of cataloged it and figured out there was about $100,000 in parts there and bought it for $10,000.
[00:55:12.210] - Larry Trim
And that was the way a guy like me could have a trophy truck. Right. It was like, make a down payment and make payments for ten for four years while you put it together. And that's what we did. So, starting 2010, we bought that trophy truck and kind of settled in to really outfitting it 100%, spared no expense. Wiring, harness, tin, work, drive, train, everything. Everything was brand new in that truck. And we worked on that for the.
[00:55:44.400] - Big Rich Klein
Next four years, and then finally we're able to race it there in 2014.
[00:55:50.930] - Larry Trim
Yeah, 15. 2015 was our first race. And that in the meantime, I found a pro truck. I wasn't going to sit around for four years, really. In the meantime, I found a pro truck. And so we raced in the pro truck class. 2010, I got invited to race the Baja 1000 with the Ford factory EcoBoost team. It was a two truck team where they put EcoBoost motors in. F them was actually the first Raptor race truck. They took that motor out and put an EcoBoost in it. That was Mike McCarthy. And then Greg Fouts managed that thing. And I rode with Randy Merritt in his truck. And we had a pretty crazy Baja 1000 experience there. 2010, and then 2011, and twelve we raced the pro truck. In 2013, we started really getting into the final push on the trophy truck and buying motors and transmissions and stuff. That was expensive. So other racing slowed down a little bit. In 13, I raced Nora for the first time, and I've never missed one since.
[00:57:13.090] - Big Rich Klein
That's more of a stage race.
[00:57:15.790] - Larry Trim
Yeah, Nora is a stage race where it's five days and you race a couple of speed stages every day with some liaison stages in between. Typically about 1300 miles total to get from Ensenada down to the Cabo area. And that is my favorite race, by the way. That's awesome.
[00:57:34.750] - Big Rich Klein
It's on a bucket list for me.
[00:57:37.390] - Larry Trim
One of these days, it barely rises to that level. Just show up and I'll make sure you have a good time. It's my favorite race. So started that in 13, right in there. We sold the pro truck, and like I said, we were on the final push on the trophy truck. 2014 is the one year since in 22 years that I did not race, one race in 2014, just because we were focused on finishing the trophy truck. And then we raced it all the way till Covet hit pretty much all the best in the desert. We typically would show up at Rage at the river with that truck and then race it all the way through 19 and it's been parked since when COVID came along and races were being canceled, we needed to make an improvement to the front end of that truck. And so we cut the whole front end off and had a whole new front end design, which is just being finished right now.
[00:58:45.830] - Big Rich Klein
OK, and in the meantime, Trail Ready or RSI, correct? RSI, yeah, RSI.
[00:58:57.230] - Larry Trim
Let's back up just a little bit since you bring that up. RSI has always been my primary business. It's the business that I draw a salary on and supports my family. RSI started Trail Ready, so TrailReady was born out of the resources of RSI and eventually spun off onto its own company. During that time, there's been two or three other brands that we've started at RSI, spun them off or sold them. One was Road Armor. If anybody knows who Road Armor is, that was a company that was going into bankruptcy and we acquired it in like 2000 when we were making Jeep bumpers at the time. And that gave us a shortcut into kind of the light truck bumper market. So we kind of got that established and sold it in about 2002. I think that one's still going today. And then of course, Trail Ready was really two identities, trail Ready Bumpers and Tr Wheels. So by 2007, we realized that we weren't really making money on the bumpers and we needed to focus on the wheels because that was the business that was thriving. And we sold the bumper, the Trail Ready bumper business to some gentleman down in Oregon and they are making lots of bumpers.
[01:00:29.070] - Larry Trim
Trail Ready Bumpers, Buck Stop Bumpers, Renal Bumpers. All these are pretty common brands that are all under one roof today. Yeah, that's kind of how that progressed. We were able to, from 2007 on, just focus on the wheels, which is now its own company. So Trail Ready is its own company and I'm the sole owner of that up through last year. And then of course, I remain a partner in RSI with Brent.
[01:01:05.690] - Big Rich Klein
And is RSI then more like a job shop for other? Like you said, you got started because you were doing construction parts.
[01:01:17.730] - Larry Trim
Yes, it is a job shop. We do custom fabrication of what we call it. It's architectural metal, but more closely defined as building envelopes. So it's all building trades and it's essentially the outside of a building. But the kind of work we do is skyscraper exteriors, which are largely plate panel systems, aluminum plate where it's designed in CAD and it has relief cuts in it, folded up, welded, usually post painted with a high performance finished system as part of a building envelope. We do curtain wall framing systems where they're erected on a building, and then the glass is put in on site. So we do that kind of metal exteriors. Common jobs for us are hospitals, airports, stadiums, that kind of thing. And we've been doing that for 25 years or 30 years now. 91, so 31 years now. Time flies. Absolutely.
[01:02:25.910] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's interesting. The love of the motorsports was an offshoot. RSI created the ability to be able to get it to take the motorsports.
[01:02:41.720] - Larry Trim
Yeah. And I told you earlier that we started that revenue stream to fund destination motorsports, really? Jeeping at the beginning, but it has blossomed, obviously. It's grown generally double digits. And it's allowed our motorsports aspirations to grow with it. So it's funded all the way from taking the jeep on the jeep jamboree to putting a trophy truck in the mint 400. As most of your listeners know, that is not cheap. I tell people that you don't even walk too close to that truck. Because it'll suck the money right out of your wallet. So, yeah, we've been very fortunate to be able to do that. And there have been times where I've had to hit the reset button. Where I started trail, ready to fund my own motorsports dreams. And sometimes we'll get involved with helping other teams with wheels or something. And suddenly I'll realize that I'm missing a race. Because I'm giving product support to other teams to the level that now I have to stay home and manage that or there's not enough money left for me to go. And so then I have to be like, okay, I didn't start this business to help those guys.
[01:04:09.530] - Larry Trim
I started it to fund my own racing. And if there's still an opportunity to support the other teams, and we've done a lot of that, then that's awesome. But I got to get in the dirt. So sometimes I have to hit the reset button and make sure that I'm putting my own truck together and not sitting on the sidelines Watching my friends race.
[01:04:33.210] - Big Rich Klein
So now that we're basically out of the COVID, when is the trophy truck going to make its reappearance?
[01:04:41.250] - Larry Trim
Well, it should be done in time for we're going to race it in the snore series now. There's so much of a shake up in all these organizations.
[01:04:49.780] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, there is.
[01:04:51.150] - Larry Trim
Yeah. I was pretty good friends with casey folks. Actually, the shop that I have, where we do all of our prep in henderson, I've rent from him and now from his estate. But he and I were I just wanted to support him. So we did best in the desert exclusively. But that's kind of changed. That dynamic has changed. And my racing partner John and his family, they're pretty close. Tied in with snore. Snore fits the budget a little bit better. It also kind of fits my truck a little bit better. My truck is a pretty good sprint truck. It's mid engine, it carries one spare, so it's better suited for these kind of shorter races as opposed to, say, Vegas reno. Certainly we don't have the budget for Baja, but with the trophy truck. So we're going to race and snore, and I'm hoping it's done in time for the Midnight Special coming up next month.
[01:05:51.480] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, good. Okay.
[01:05:52.730] - Larry Trim
It's really close.
[01:05:55.110] - Big Rich Klein
And what's on the horizon? What's the future look like for Larry and racing, at least?
[01:06:03.690] - Larry Trim
Well, racing primarily because you may or may not know that I actually sold the wheel line in 2021. The same fellows that bought the bumper line from us and Seven had always had a desire to buy the whole thing and kind of rejoin the two Trail Ready and the Tr back together. And they have thrived in the bumper business and in fact, have kind of got into the wheel business, too, because they make these single rear wheel conversion kits for F Ram 5500 and trucks like that. So they're making, with my involvement, they're making super single wheels for those applications. Nice. And I turned 60 last year and decided that I needed to start paying attention to my wife a little bit more in her desire to broaden our travel horizons. I've always been tied pretty close to the office and she'd like to get overseas a little bit when things open back up. So they were ready to buy it and we were ready to sell it. That took place in April of 21. My involvement with Trail Ready now is I'm still doing some marketing, I still do a little bit of their social media, and we do the events, the off road events.
[01:07:29.070] - Larry Trim
I'm obligated to do the off road shows through 2023, which was easy because I enjoy those. That's my favorite part of the business, is going to the shows or going to the races. Right. So I'm not showing up in an office every day anymore. I am kind of focusing on getting my, I should say, keeping my race cars prepped and ready to go. We have a couple of Nora cars. We have the 69 Rambler that people are familiar with that I raced down to Cabo three times and I just last year got a I'm a Jeep guy. In fact, I'm a Grand Cherokee guy, and I found a 93 Grand Cherokee that won the 93 Baja 1000. It was built by Kurt La Duke for Donovan Jeep, which was a factory Jeep racing team back in the we just did the 2022 Norma 1000 in that Jeep and have an absolute blast with that thing. It goes a lot faster than the Rambler, by the way, so the smiles just get bigger. So we're doing the vintage racing. We've got the trophy truck that will be back on track this year. And I just have this weird desire to chase down a couple more kind of iconic ZJ Grand Cherokees that were raced in the 90s.
[01:08:55.870] - Larry Trim
There's two that I know of that are sitting in barns, one in Northern California and one in Australia, and I'm trying to talk those owners out of those Jeeps right now and kind of finish my ZJ collection. So that's kind of what I'm working on right now. Other than that, we're building a new prep shop in Henderson. That's a project I'm working on right now. I've been renting forever, and I bought a piece of property to put a prep shop on. And, yeah, we're just going to travel.
[01:09:30.400] - Big Rich Klein
[01:09:31.170] - Larry Trim
That's the plan. Yeah.
[01:09:32.530] - Big Rich Klein
And what kind of locations are on the list for traveling?
[01:09:38.430] - Larry Trim
For me, it's a race track, and for Lois, it's way beyond that. It's Europe, Australia, things like that. I just do my best to try to talk her into having us arrive during a race we wanted to do. A bucket list item for me is dakar. It's way out of my price range, but they have a new class, the car called the classic class, where people are bringing old car type vehicles or rally raid vehicles from the showing up to do that. The prices, I think it's a little bit more affordable if you do it that way. If that race ever comes back to South America, I definitely will try to be ready to go with one of these cars and go down and do that. So, yeah, if Lois wants to go to Chile, then we need to go during the Dakar rally. If she wants to go to the Mediterranean or the French river, I want to be there when there's a formula one race going on or something like that, that will interest me for sure. But, yeah, that's the kind of thing we want to do. I'd like to race five times a year, six times a year minimum, and I'm going to try to do that as much as I can.
[01:11:01.950] - Big Rich Klein
Awesome. Just a word of wisdom. If you go to Australia, make sure you have, like and it's going to cut into your racing schedule, but you need, like, three to six months.
[01:11:17.190] - Larry Trim
Yeah, I think that's the way to do it, isn't it? You go down there and rent a little RV and just travel wherever you want to go. I don't know. I've talked to a few people that have done it.
[01:11:28.890] - Big Rich Klein
We did 18 days, and it was not near enough. We were traveling way too much, too quickly to really absorb everything and trying to do the route that we wanted to do, and we didn't even come close. We had to turn and head back to Sydney at that point, but we rented a Land Rover with a rooftop tent and a pull out kitchen and everything, and all we had to do is bring our clothes and buy food. They had the ceiling bags, pillows, everything, and it was awesome.
[01:12:09.680] - Larry Trim
That sounds like the way to do it for sure.
[01:12:11.720] - Big Rich Klein
I think I'll do it. I'll get in touch with some friends over there by purchase a ute and have it outfitted and then come in and then either sell it afterwards or keep it around and try to get friends in the US to rent it when they go over there. Something like that.
[01:12:34.150] - Larry Trim
Sounds great and we're looking forward to doing something like that for sure.
[01:12:38.480] - Big Rich Klein
And how old are your kids now?
[01:12:41.230] - Larry Trim
My kids are 27, 30 and 33.
[01:12:47.350] - Big Rich Klein
[01:12:50.590] - Larry Trim
I got two granddaughters, six and eleven that are awesome and they live close by. They're only 45 minutes away so we get to see them a lot.
[01:13:00.930] - Big Rich Klein
[01:13:03.470] - Larry Trim
[01:13:04.400] - Big Rich Klein
Great. It sounds like you're on the path that you want to be on.
[01:13:10.850] - Larry Trim
Yeah, I would have to say so. We've been pretty blessed. We're planners and I think a person likes to plan way ahead and even when things don't go according to plan, the farther ahead that you've kind of tried to lay things out, the more control you have over managing the hiccups. So far so good. 25 years with TrailReady has been a really great experience and I'm excited for the guys that have it now as they try to take it in to whether it's a new direction or just a better way to do things than we were. Now I think that it's going to be in good hands for sure. These guys are not racing fanatics like I was. So I think Trail Ready is going to morph a little bit. They are really into Overland which is probably kind of an activity that we'll get more involved in now too that we're not having to show up to work every day and I mean it's a very fast growing segment of offroad right now is the whole Overland thing. Absolutely. So I think they're really kind of keying on that at the right time and I think that's going to be good for Trail Ready.
[01:14:36.060] - Larry Trim
So we've enjoyed it for 25 years and we're kind of excited to see what they do with it and hopefully there's enough money left over for us to raise as much as we want to.
[01:14:46.760] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. The Overlanding, you're absolutely correct on that. It is a big market and people want experiences. Now the racing is cool but not everybody can go out and race or rock crawl or be competitive. But everybody can find a campsite.
[01:15:11.270] - Larry Trim
Yes, for sure.
[01:15:13.390] - Big Rich Klein
And so many of those people want to be taken out and that's the direction I hope to go in. So that's the plan there too. Cool.
[01:15:25.830] - Larry Trim
[01:15:27.350] - Big Rich Klein
So is there anything that we've that we've missed that we haven't talked about?
[01:15:33.230] - Larry Trim
Oh, there's plenty to talk about but nothing more significant than I think you covered it pretty well.
[01:15:41.270] - Big Rich Klein
So let's throw some names out there. That who is the one driver back in the early days of rock crawling or maybe not just one, but who is it that you looked at and said, man, that guy has got talent?
[01:15:59.030] - Larry Trim
Well, there's two people. Ken Choupe, I think, blew some minds early on. I remember one time at Farmington that there was a climb that was really giving people trouble and he crawled up that thing and then just to piss everybody off, he looked around, smiled, and then he backed halfway down it and then crawled up it again. And other people couldn't get up with momentum. And I'm not sure if that was the first when the stickies first came out or what, but that guy had some stuff figured out. He was put on quite a show. And then of course, Tracy Jordan, who we supported with wheels for pretty much his entire career, that guy was very talented with the different cars that he had as well. So as far as drivers just on the rock crawling, those two guys are the standouts in my memory. But another thing that made an impression on me was my very first sanctioned professional competition event was also Phoenix in 2000. It was also the first rock crawl event for Walker Evans. And Walker Evans wasn't always the best guy on rocks. But that guy, if you spent any time with him, you learned about what a competitive nature looked like.
[01:17:35.520] - Larry Trim
And it was a little bit frightening sometimes when he put his helmet on because his personality changed and that's why he's so successful in every discipline of racing he's done, because when he puts his helmet on, nothing matters except winning. He was a great guy to talk to on the sidelines when we were waiting for our turn. But I learned a few things talking to him about competing in the mindset that you need to have when you're trying to win, whether it's that course or that race or even in business. I'm sure he's probably not much different and he's been very successful there too. So those are some things I remember about personalities and rock crawling.
[01:18:28.650] - Big Rich Klein
And what about on the desert race side?
[01:18:32.310] - Larry Trim
Well, desert race, I did so much better desert racing that I didn't pay attention to anybody else. I just tried to beat them. And for having such a tiny budget, we had a lot of success as a comparison early on especially, I knew when I got into a trophy truck that was going to change. But in 7200, we were running in the top three anytime we were running and got our share of wins. The very first trophy truck race was the 2009 Vegas, the Long Ray, which was a three day race. And I think there was probably 25 trophy trucks entered in that race. Nothing like today, much smaller numbers than today. But at the end of day two, we were the fourth truck on the road. And compared to the wireix and some of the other guys, Jesse Jones was up there. We had no money compared to those guys. We were on such a tight budget and with a little rag tag of volunteers and not all the right stuff to be great in the pits, but we were fourth on the road out of 25 trucks after two thirds of that race before the motor expired, and we were trying to win every time we got in a desert car in that pro truck, we had a pro truck that did not have all the upgrades that they had just put through, meaning everybody else had a bigger tires, bigger motor, a different shock package, and we didn't have any of that stuff because it was just a budget thing we were doing, and we were second pretty much every race to Troy vest, who had all the best stuff on his truck.
[01:20:26.300] - Larry Trim
So desert racing suited me very well, and nowadays, there are some great people doing that, and their trucks are $750,000 and up. And our goal with our truck, our little $10,000 truck, is to see if we can crack the top ten. And we've done it in qualifying a couple of times. I think we've raised that thing investment about 15 times, and we've qualified well a few times, and we've had some finishes where we surprise ourselves and got 12th in vegas to reno, and I think we got a 9th in a shorter race. So it's a great way to race and challenge yourself, and we just, like, going fast now.
[01:21:21.950] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Well, I want to say, larry, thank you so much for coming on board and spending some time and discussing your life with us. I learned a lot, and that's always a good thing.
[01:21:37.610] - Larry Trim
Yeah. Glad to be on the show, rich, it's been a pleasure, for sure, and it's been nice knowing you for these past 22 years or so. Honestly, I don't remember the very first time I probably met you, but it was definitely back in, say, 20 00 20 01 absolutely.
[01:21:56.390] - Big Rich Klein
Well, like I said, thank you for coming on board, and when I'm ready to spend some time and go down to Nora, I'll give you a call.
[01:22:05.990] - Larry Trim
Absolutely. We'll be waiting.
[01:22:07.560] - Big Rich Klein
All right. Sounds good. Thank you.
[01:22:10.130] - Larry Trim
Okay, goodbye. Thank you, rich.
[01:22:12.470] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's another episode of conversations with big rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happened to be listening on or send us an email or text message or facebook message and let me know any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest, please forward the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.