Are you ready for an education? Raceline’s Greg Mulkey has more knowledge about tires and wheels than anyone we know. Take a trip down memory lane with Greg and Rich as they share some rad knowledge about the industry. It’s impressive
2:29 – Greg as a little whippersnapper
3:23 – selling a box of tear-offs got me a job
7:09 – I was on a mission
12:33 – a beadlock just on the right rear tire
14:30 – I got a meeting with Bill Franz Jr. at NASCAR
21:24 – getting started at Raceline
28:55– working with the Germans
34:14 – stumbling across the OG race
38:19 – it’s a serious business
57:03 – Hutchison and the military
1:08:15 – calculating ET
1:14:02 – dirt track racing with the old man, Don Campbell
1:18:29 –double beadlocks on Ian’s UTV
1:26:35 – showing Steve Kinzer how they worked
1:35:29 – I never intended to be a racecar driver
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Are you ready for an education? Raceline’s Greg Mulkey has more knowledge about tires and wheels than anyone we know. Take a trip down memory lane with Greg and Rich as they share some rad knowledge about the industry. It’s impressive
2:29 – Greg as a little whippersnapper
3:23 – selling a box of tear-offs got me a job
7:09 – I was on a mission
12:33 – a beadlock just on the right rear tire
14:30 – I got a meeting with Bill Franz Jr. at NASCAR
21:24 – getting started at Raceline
28:55– working with the Germans
34:14 – stumbling across the OG race
38:19 – it’s a serious business
57:03 – Hutchison and the military
1:08:15 – calculating ET
1:14:02 – dirt track racing with the old man, Don Campbell
1:18:29 –double beadlocks on Ian’s UTV
1:26:35 – showing Steve Kinzer how they worked
1:35:29 – I never intended to be a racecar driver
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.
Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
The transcript is prepared using AI technology, because our industry is specialized, many of the words are not easily identifiable. Please forgive any errors.
Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation. Whether you're crawling the Red Rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability four wheels or two Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work or play for fun or competition Maxxis tires deliver Choose Maxxis, tread victoriously.
Why should you read 4Low magazine, because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the Four-Wheel Drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4Low on a newsstand rack. So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.
[00:01:20.510] - Big Rich Klein
All right, on today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Greg Mulkey, I'm going to call Greg Mulkey.At least in off road, the godfather of bead lock rims. All right, there may be some military application or something else down the road that I don't know about, but we're going to find out about all about rim's and Greg's life and off road and before that big, extensive history in circle track racing and all sorts of racing. So let's talk to Greg. Hey, Greg, thank you for coming on board today with conversations with Big Rich.I know that everybody's going to be very interested in hearing what you have to say. So thank you for coming on board.
[00:02:04.950] - Greg Mulkey
Hey, it's great to be here, Rich, and I know the history of the beadlocks and wheels and Greg Mulkey and racing goes back quite a ways. So this is going to be an interesting conversation.
[00:02:16.560] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, I agree 100 percent. So let's get started a little bit about where you grew up and what kind of influences you had as a youth that might have gotten you into what you're doing.
[00:02:29.160] - Greg Mulkey
Well, in younger years, I guess my first big race experience that I remember is watching the Daytona 500 live on TV, on ESPN. I believe it might have been CBS or one of those channels back then. But I mean, I was a little whippersnapper and I can remember kind of a house party and everybody watching the NASCAR, five hundred and Daytona.
And so from then on, I was kind of hooked on the stuff. One of the classmates that I went to school with, his father was named Lyle Marsh, and they had what was called marsh racing tires.
And I knew a little bit about it as we went on that at about age 14, I got invited to go to a dirt track race in Van Buren, Arkansas, and I got to meet Lyle Marsh. And at that time, they were just selling tires and recapped tires, they were the big re-capped tire company in the US.
And I just kept hanging around there. It was just interesting how everything worked over there racing, how everybody was going over there to see what he was doing. And so I bugged him, and bugged him, if I could help him do something. And finally, he gave me a box of tear-offs, which or thin lenses that were stacked upon each other that you stacked on your face, shield your helmet and dirt track race. And, of course, the dirt coming off the racetrack would get on your face and you couldn't see and you'd rip these lenses off.
Well, I sold every one he had on the trailer that night and going around to the racers. And I mean, I had a blast. I thought I was on top of the world. And so he kind of got a kick out of it. So he started toting me to race is when I was 14. And then, you know, they always had to sneak me in the pits because I was pretty young. And so I went from that to where I started working on the weekends and during the summers I would go to the races and to the shows, and I was the kid in the back that was always busting down the tires and back before beadlocks.
You know, you had inner tubes and you had a duckbill hammer and a couple of spoons. And that's how you changed the tire and wheel. There weren't tire machines. And so back then it was all done by hand. So that's what I would do at most dirt track races.But man, I paid attention to, a lot of things going on and learned a lot about wheels and tires. You know, Lyle, he was the guy that would read between the lines and the gray areas, the racers would call it where their ain’t a rule.
But you can do something in that area and you as a promoter, deal with it all the time. I know. Yeah, and so that was Lyle.
So we were always trying to figure out how to make things faster. And back in those days when the recapping we manufactured our own rubber, we would buy a pure raw rubber, really. And we had a meal and we would mix things into it to make the rubber soft. And we had to make it last so long and so many laps. And it was a lot of little fine things you had to pay attention to and. Do all of that, learning those five things and making tires and stuff, when we really started getting into building wheels, because once we were popular tires, wheels were the next best thing.
So we used to build wheels the old fashioned way of stamping them out, blowing them out with a torch the center and drilling the holes and sticking them in the wheels. Well, once we start getting all that going, wheels and tires start getting cars hooked up. And that was back in the days when a sprint car was called a modified right in these modified six cylinders and they would try to run DOT tires or truck tires to get as many miles or laps out of them holes in the stuff.
So then we would take those tires and we would recap and we made them where they would hook the cars up really good. With the the problem arose, right, yeah, with the softer rubber, where it really getting pretty dicey was because once hooked the tire up really hard on the wheel and run lower pressure, as we know in off road industry, we would take the wheel off of the bead of the wheel and you'd have a flat and then the tire would dig in and we would dig it in the track and you would lose control of the car.
A lot of times you spin out in front of 14 or 15 other guys behind you and it would just pile all the cars up. So something had to help. So the guys went through the screws like we do in drag racing still today. And the guerrillas, not glue and sandpaper glued on and all kinds of types of things. And it came a time to where, Lyle kind of pulled all of us together and said, you know, we got to do something.
And so he set us all up on a mission to build a way of keeping the tire retained on the wheel. OK. Well, I went and got me a bunch of nuts and got me a wheel and drilled a hole in the valley of the wheel on the outside edge about where the valve stem is, that's really the safety bead bump on the inside wheel that the tire has to pop up over. And so I knew the tire bead would be up past that bump.
So I drilled holes about every six inches and welded a net. And then got a bolt and silicone and ran that bolt, then shut down behind the back of the bead of the tire. Worked really well. Problem was they would get dirt and stuff in between the bolts and it would leak air and one of the guys is last name was Jensen, he's no longer with us, but he came up with a device that is, as we see today, which was a ring welded to the wheel and an outer ring and then the bolts that go just inside the idea, the bead of the tire, so that we could smash them and make them part of the wheel.
And once we did that in the dirt track deal, we just had heydays, couldn't build them fast enough and really the off road industry really wasn't like it was now it was just mainly Deerwood stuff. I mean, they still were having Baja and all the stuff out on the West Coast from the desert back here on the East Coast, we were all still in the Deerwood and one guy challenging the other guy with the four wheel drive to see if you get a free pass to turn it over on side.
Right. It's just stuff like that. So once we built the Beadlock and started racing these cars on the dirt track, we agrest a lot and learned a lot about beadlocks and back then they were pretty primitive, basically like dusty steel rings that people try to get away with today, like, weld on beadlocks. Right. It was something similar to that. And then we learned that it was really tough on the bead to the tire. So there had to be some kind of contour to the rings.
And so at that time, we started sand casting and I don't know how many people know about sand casting, but it was an art that in the old days where you took for the best I can describe it, a can with a lid and you would open this can sit on top of a flame and you would open up the lid and it was full of sand and a type of stuff to hold the sand together. And once you heated up to a certain temperature, we had a oak wood outer beadlock rim that we had carved out a little bit.
And we would press that into that sand cast and put the lid down, get our feeling and then quickly open it, pull that out, drop it back down. And we had a Mullinville set aside that would be cast aluminum ingots, and we would pour that in and we would make one ring at a time. Back then, heat treating, you know, because if he just made a cast, you could throw it on the floor and he would just shatter.
Right. And so in contact like there was in dirt track racing to everybody's turning left and smashing into the, you know, the left hand side of your car. So the right hand side would hit the wall, hit everything to berm and if the bead lock ring didn't hold up. The system didn't work. And so we started heat treating with a powder coat. So trust me, there's a lot more technical ways everything is done nowadays. Code that you can't use it.
Was it a powder coat or was it really an oven? It was a powder coat.
It was a powder coat. And so he would run the temperature up and we got into the up into the three hundreds. And so the best we could do back then, I could take a ring that would shatter on the floor during that would not shatter on the floor.
And so that made it, you know, the kneeling and and hardening and all that. It made it it just took the brittleness out of it, so to speak. And it was never right because it was you know, casting nowadays is done in a manner where it's mostly low pressure. So instead of auger it up into just raw stuff and dumping it down into a dye, which is basically what we were doing. And having a consistency of like 80 grit sandpaper, you know, you could break it apart and look at the grit, right.
And that would tell you. And so nowadays, with the low pressure, you actually suck the total air out of the dye and it would turn from 80 grit sandpaper to one hundred and eighty grit sandpaper. So that's basically kind of the short differences between 60, 61 and cast and yielders tests cast has came a long ways now.
So with all that going on, we applied for a patent. And patent was pending for years until the patent was turned down because of a snap ring on a semi wheel, the wheel that killed lots of people because one hundred and fifteen pounds of air pressure in a big tire in that ring would pop off in your face. Right. So they they did not give us a patent in that kind of opened the flood doors for everybody else. I remember the first race that we went to was a big sprint car race, and I believe it is a Sleepy Trip that was driving the car.
And we'd put a beadlock on his right rear and he would end its track record saying, oh, man, over two seconds. And of course, everybody, this is a USAC. Race, a sanctioned USAC race. And so everybody was like, oh, he's motor cheating, he's cheating. There's no way. And so they literally tore his car apart. And didn't find anything wrong. And one of the techs was they were all getting ready to walk off and call the race good, and they looked down and they ask where all the bolts were doing in the outside of the wheel.
And they told him it was Lyle had told him it was a safety device to keep the tires coming off the wheels and having such violent wrecks, which was killing a lot of people, suck the tire off the right rear at 80 miles an hour. In the corner you're going for a rice. I mean, the dirty side going up many times before it stops. Yeah. And so. USAC disqualified Trip and disqualified the time because it wasn't an approved USAC device.
Although the following year it was a mandatory right rear. Product, you had to have a right rear beadlock to race USAC the following year. And so that ignited a whole bunch of beadlock sales and so it was on, we had trouble keeping up with capturing him one one at a time.
Well, by then we had stepped it up OK, and we were stamping him out of steel. Because as you said, it was so hard to build a one at a time fast like that, we just couldn't do it. We actually went and got into evolved into injecting molding plastics and we built injection molded plastic rings. Which led to plastic wheels, which get into a little bit later, but, you know, the dirt track wheels and beadlocks, so here the beadlock starts to evolve.
And you have sanctioning bodies like NASCAR and IMCA, which is still a big sanctioning body and dirt track race, but you had NASCAR and we wanted to get beadlocks legal in NASCAR. And so we have I approached them at a big NASCAR race and actually got a meeting with Bill Frantz, Jr, and had a discussion with him for a little bit and made the comment to him that, you know, the races won't be over till two, 30 or three o'clock in the morning.
And he's like, no, that's no. We run a really tight ship. And I go, OK. He says, Why do you think that'll happen? I said, Because everybody knocks the tires off the right rear and they crash all the cars. He thought about it for a second and he actually invited me to sit in the grandstands with him that night and in the grandstands, the first race rolled out there was, I think, 18 cars. I told him less than 10 would finish the race and he just kind of laughed sniffled.
It was about nine or 10 cars finished the race. It was about three o'clock in the morning when we left the race track and his comment to me when we left the racetrack. So this Beadlock device that you showed me today earlier, this will actually take care of that problem. I said, yes, sir, I will. And he says, How many do you have with you? And I said, I brought enough of them for every car here and I can have more brought up.
So they made an announcement. That night and then all that next morning and I spent that whole next morning and day, me and my partner, we mounted one hundred and twenty six beadlocks and had another truck come up with other beadlocks. And so NASCAR from then on was legal beadlocks on the right rear. So then that opened up the floodgates to even more beadlocks, and so it's really, really rock and roll and now we're rolling. So. We decided to expand into other markets and that comes into the plastic wheels, and so we had good luck with the plastic outerring.
Putting it on our steel wheels, how thick a plastic did it have to be? Well, back then and I know you've seen some of them because there was some of them still in rock crawling. They just we never got to finish it to where it was a product fit to do the type stuff that you were doing back then, let alone what they're doing nowadays.
OK, and so. But in dirt track racing, the cars were constantly smacking the wall or hitting each other, and that would break the suspensions because they tried to make everything so lightweight, make the car fast, right. So we designed a plastic wheel beadlock that would absorb the energy of those crashes instead of a suspension in the cars getting tore up so the guys could literally crash into the wall and wad the wheel and not tear their car, totally come in, put another set of wheels and tires on and go out and finish the race.
Well, a guy works all week to race on the weekend, he don't want to be crashed in the heat races and not be able to run the big race, so it became a big advantage. And not only that technology of saving cars and races, but injuring of the drivers, but also we built such a perfectly turning straight wheel. You might not think about it, but a wheel turning 100 miles an hour, let's say that was three ounces, four ounces out of weight.
I mean, how far we could sometimes be nowadays with these big things, right. If you imagine that turning in 100 miles an hour and you're trying to drive down the road. And it's vibrating so bad that your vision is blurred. And a really great example of that is not to drag racer who's Race to the Top fuel dragster and they run to lower air pressure in the car, just shakes violently. And you can see him, you know, you slow down the speed of it, the drag car running, you can see that tire winding and you can see the car, the whole entire car start to shake.
And it either blows tires off or the guy is let off the throttle because he can't see the drive down the track. So now we have these race cars that are racing on these big half mile racetracks and they're running a hundred hundred and twenty miles an hour. And that vibration would cause the tires to wear irregularly, heat up regularly, the brake from the brakes would transfer heat through. I know people have seen in NASCAR where they claim they drove the brakes so much that they melted the beads of the tires.
Right. Well. In dirt track racing, we the entire because it's dirt track racing, soft rubber, you know, you're trying to keep the heat at a certain temperature so you don't actually wear the tire. Well, the heat from the brakes would transfer right through the steering wheel, just like it did to the stars into the racing wheels. And with the carbon fiber injection molded wheels that we their marsch never had that problem. The heat would not transfer through that wheel at all.
The tires are run at least 20 percent cooler. So they got more laps. They got more control over their car and over their suspensions because everything was a lot more intense and. So raising the whole deal about racing was evolving. It's been a a ride on a train all the way across the country over 40 years of this. And the dirt track was first twenty three years. And, you know, toward the end of March when the original Lyle Marsh ended up selling the company.
And of course, you know how that goes when the original owner leaves and things start to go right. I put in twenty three years there and it was time for me to change. Even though we had won short track NASCAR track championships with Larry Phillips and World of outlaw championships, and it was a really great experience in the dirt track. And before we mark, it kind of went down. We started into the off road racing, which led me into meeting you at one of the ARCA events in, what, the late 90s?
Yep. And, you know, so our relationship has been forever. And and back then we were building steel wheels and competing in all the ARCAs and back in the SuperCrawll and. There's wheels have yep, it's just gone so far from where we were, I mean, from strapping the ice chest down in the back of the car, and that was legal for competing to, you know, the two hundred thousand dollar race cars that we see today built today to compete at KOH here in just a few weeks.
Exactly. So, you know, as my progression through all that, we had developed relationships with a company in California that was a stamping facility and a rimrolling facility because we didn't have that here in Arkansas. We had. You know, did the best we could, Jerry, rig everything up until that point that we needed to get into major manufacturing. And so we went out there and made contracts with that name was called NCI, which is the backing for Allied.
Wheel Raceline and US Wheel. And so. Through the process of working at Marsh, we had developed centers, we had developed rimshells and developed outer beadlock rings and inner beadlock rings through NCI in California. And so when, unfortunately the marsh went down, I had I received a phone call from them saying, well, Greg, you need to come out here and let's let's fire up a racing division out here now. And so at the time, I was I had kind of got out of racing for a little bit because I've been in there a while and thought, well, let's hit.
California was never the place I wanted to be. And all the traveling I did for years and years, that just wasn't the place that I thought I'd ever end. Right. And even though I really haven't ended up there, my home is still Arkansas, where I talk to you today from. California was where I needed to go to stay in the industry, too, because I didn't have a college education. I grew up in a home that, you know, it was both parents were working all the time and, you know, it was tough.
So I didn't have that advantage. And so the racing was a door open for me at a young age that fired me up and pushed me to where I was at that point. So I thought, I can do this. I can go out there, I can start from scratch. And granted, this was in Off-Road Racing, which I hadn't been in very much yet.
So luckily, a few relationships that I had for Mark for sure with Big Rich and all the crawling events that you promote over the years, which I don't even know if you have an accurate number of just how many rockcrawling events that you have actually put on
between between the off road racing, the dirt riot style racing off road racing with a dirt riot racing, and then the rock crawls over the 20, 20 years plus one because of the one event, the first event we ever did.
I estimate that it's probably close to three hundred and fifty somewhere around there. I've never sat and tried to figure out exactly how many there are.
I don't know that you could. Yeah, people that people have asked me many times, how many races of shows have you been to? A lot, I know that you'd have to get a U-Haul truck to put all the badges and paper I got because I've been on dirt tracks from the East Coast to the West Coast through the 20 some years that I was at Marsh. And, you know, like we were talking I went out there in 2000.
And started Allied, we'll that's how we were the Allied will, they built trailer tires and wheels and they were just starting in just some gloom and stuff, so and so when I got out there. Go ahead.
And before we get too far into racing there, the marsh racing wheels is still was around in the early 2000s. Is that correct?
Wasn't there somebody, unfortunately, out of town, which is a good friend? I went to school mates. I mean, we all knew each other. We all grew up together. And at that time, the person who had bought the company from March wasn't very good manager and kind of drove it into the ground, unfortunately. So there was nothing I could do about it or Brant. Right. And I got the opportunity to go to California and during the transition of Marsh actually ended up with the helms of it and tried very hard.
But it just it just never went again, it just never. They built great wheels, but, you know, it got down to where Brant was doing stuff pretty much on his own. And that's her name. Yeah, it is. And unfortunately, he had what was called a Widowmaker. And I remember the phone call the, you know, hours after it happened. And just, you know, life moves on. The clock does not start ticking.
Now, we go on through this crazy time with coverage and everything, but the clock doesn't stop ticking. You know, what's so great about it immediately is the heart of the industry. You know, we've we've all been through this. I feel like stronger. We we've survived very well and we all have a lot to be thankful for. And I'm looking forward to whatever type of normalcy that we're going to end up with through all this stuff. And I hope it is this year.
I hope it is in March from now. But there's just a lot of unknowns. You know, I know your scheduling, your events, and I know you're scratching your head and you're making phone calls. And, you know, we're all trying to figure out what shows and and well, are they going to shut those shows down right now? I think they have Parker this weekend there. And I think K away is like two, three weekends after that and.
I hear all kinds of things, and I really don't know for sure, you know, we're trying to get all our plans lined out, but it's a different world that we're working in two thousand twenty one. Absolutely. With shows and I'm not sure. We have all been pushed indoors. And that is it helped us with the Internet sales and stuff like that, but as most of us that are hearing this or know us. Know that the heartbeat of this road industry is like it just can't be stifled, and he's right, polluters that we deal with day in, day out.
It doesn't matter what it is if there's a green flag or there's a challenge or dare. It's on. Let's go. And that's the great thing about this industry. And I guess it's why I've been in this industry alone, you know, and I ended up at Allied. Here I am with at that time, we had a million and a half square foot facility pulling and Raupach gene from one hand and shipping fully pallets, semi loaded meals out the other.
It was, wow, I couldn't believe what was before me and what I had abilities to do. However, everything changes and that change within the first year of being there, not only did the company change and had to downsize because of internal struggles, we had to we were still in the mall and trying to build up a aluminum type division for the company, which was named Raceline And in the beginning, it was just the two billett nice stuff that you see on show cards.
But then I started working with a German that was also the same German that was working with Walker Evans to build his castrato. And so. The Germans built the best low pressure casting machines in the world, and there were five of them sitting in Riverside, California. And so when I figured out what to try to build a cast wheel and then when I got there and met the engineers and. Found out that that was where Walker was building his wheel.
I thought, well, I'm ahead of the game, man. Did I not realize how much stuff was involved in casting news?
Was that was was was Walker building. He was his just getting started. But it was and it wasn't just for himself at that point, wasn't it.
It was kinda. But it's the wheel that he developed and sold and marketed. And the difference was that I was stuck in a 15min cage. And because Walker at that time was still hooked up with the tiger companies, he knew I was coming down the road. He knew the 17h tires were coming. You just knew it, and so he went right straight to a 17” wheel and I built a 15 by 10, which was the rock crusher, which was very successful, but just wasn't, you know, I my timing and being new to the industry, I missed that shot.
And so, of course, immediately I backed up and built 17” Monster in 2004, which is the wheel that we see nowadays. The original two thirty three is built the same way today as I learned how to do it from the Germans. This German engineer, which was know he was twice my age then, so he'd been cast in wheels all his life. And so he had taught me things like. Temperature of the material before it goes into the temperature of the mole, temperature of the material part comes out of the mold and what you're supposed to do with it while it's in that initial stage of setting.
And so what I mean by setting is like you sitting down and getting comfortable in your chair. Right. You sit down in your chair, you kind of walk around. Well, that's the way everything is that's cast when it comes out that mold. There are just so many fine little details that you have to pay attention to when you want the world to do a certain thing. Now, Dotti has learned that they can operate within these parameters every time and they can build a dot that passes the test.
And all we did was taking tweak those things. I don't know how much of it Walker did because I didn't transfer my notes and you know what I mean? They didn't transfer. I just paid attention. Mm hmm. And, of course, the the company was hired to build us the best deal they possibly could. I was just lucky to learn a lot and happened to be there when a lot of things were being figured out. So I learned a lot of things immediately, and then when I took the wheel to market, I learned even more things about it.
And so when unfortunately cars in the US kind of went down because everything was made overseas. That kind of took all the ability to hands on things and change things, so when push came to shove, racing was one of the last ones to take over just to have the wheels right. And one of the agreements we made with that company was to use the German machines because we'd already had really good success with them. And so they did, and that's where our whole line is built, mostly out of these type machines they've been up, we're talking about 15 years ago.
So it's the technology that has evolved so much. And in from my first emissions to testing to what it is now, I have personally been to China one time and seeing one of the casting and plants that test thirty thousand wheels a week GS. And so and the plant is two football fields wide and a half mile long. It's just crazy. I remember the feeling being much like it was when I first walked into Ally in 2000 and just in all of just the capability of what was could be done.
And so here we are now through the whole process at baseline and developing the first two, three, three. And you know as well as many people out there that are running the very first wheels we built and what a progression from there until the first KOKH race. Once they introduced speed to the off road guys, holy cow, it really kind of went nuts. I don't think anybody realized it. You know, I can remember being on Lake with the G 13.
I had ran into a. One of the racers is J.T. Taylor ran into him at the gas station at Apple Valley. What he's doing down here from Colorado and I guess I'm headed out to the hammer. We're going to. Go out there and talk about. A race or race at the Hamer's, and he said, yeah, and I go, all right, so I trilled out there, I'm coming back from some show that I was in.
So I went out there and got out there on the lake bed back. And you just it seemed like forever to get out to the middle of Lake because you hadn't been out there very many times, just like it wasn't it wasn't a great road like everybody bitches about the road.
Now, back then, the roads go in.
And I was like, what the heck? You just don't leave anything. Come on, man. And so we finally get out there and they're all sitting out there and there's a campfire and they're all sitting up there. And of course, they're drinking beer and talking trash. And, you know, they they got pretty good. They're arguing about who could be what and direct women. I mean, I'll say the beer cans went down and the guys got in their cars and turned the lights on and took off.
And I headed back to L.A. and a couple of weeks after that, Dave and and Jeff call me and say, hey, I think we're going to do this for you, man. And I'm like, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So that was the start. But, you know, before that, with all the crawling and all the stuff that you did and all the events and the progression of the vehicles is, you know, Jesse Haines and probably one of the most premier rock crawlers out there is, you know, Cody Wagner now.
Yep. The vehicles that these cats build in and bring to your events and get them the positions that they get in. I stood there and watched people in awe. Just how can that thing do that and then wonder. And I wonder what mine will do, which is just ignited everybody knowing that JK came on the market. So everything you just blew up, I mean, everything blew up on the GAO can come on the market because we came out with the Tea 30 to narrow it up and got the bad space right for you to put up to 35 or thirty seven on the JK that a lot of suspension's that.
And so that just went crazy nuts and which has opened up a lot of other doors that, quite frankly, I never thought I'd have to go through. You might ask, well, what does that mean exactly? Well. We're taking will, that is not DOT approved. And we are running it on a car on the highway with family. At 75 miles an hour, go to the Wal-Mart. Because everybody's got to have a bead lock, because that's what the that's what's happening in compitition is just the same.
And I guarantee you, John would have told you the same thing in his interview, that right about in there, everything just went nuts as far as the Off-Road industry when that JK came on board, I mean, just the aftermarket industry, everything just went nuts. And it opened up a can of worms for all of us because we were all used to just going out and beating up our junk and taking it home, putting it in the garage and then working on it during the week and getting ready next week.
It wasn't something that we drove every day, right? And so now we have cars that we drive every day, so that brings in a lot of problems with beadlocks and I work in this industry so long. I have unfortunately witnessed bad events. And it is something that is stuck in my mind, in my heart and my soul so much. That anything and everything that we do that I'm involved in and company to take seriously, because they've got to experience some things at races and rock crawling events
And so it's serious business to make sure that people don't have problems because of our product. And so I. There's not a person on the planet that I think could say they've seen more broken wheels than me and I don't care whose company will it is if I hear of a wheel breaking failing. I just want to go look, because without looking, you just don't learn. Right. And a lot of people sit on their hands or their phones and never go to the races and really see the nuts and bolts of what is going on.
And that's something that I learned right from the get go with Lyle Marsh. It's an attribute that will be with me the rest of my life. And the other aspect of my life is to pay attention to the details and always make sure that whatever you do is one the best you can do it. The two is a safe. That your objective is for everybody to arrive safely. And so we've gone through a lot of changes with just little fine details to turn the wheels in so that.
The materials that we sell that run up and down the road is astonishing to me. People ask, well, what's the big deal, you know, about DOT and why the beadlock's legal?
And I go, well, I personally have never seen a law that says a B law is illegal.
I have seen the law state that any wheel operating on a publicly funded road must conform to DOT. Ramsdale shape configuration. You can tell I've said that a lot because I got all were pretty bad. That is the law. And so we're the largest cross. There are the Dotti, which is one of the most unregulated things there is until there's some major catastrophe. Luckily, everybody has kind of got it together to where we haven't had. That with beadlocks.
Fortunately, and knocking on wood, because, you know, we build it is best for a consumer to install himself without problems as probably anybody in the industry, I'd agree.
We I mean, it's amazing, you know, through this Covid, you know, the company went through changes just like everybody has and we all have found ourselves, me sitting on my couch, steering wheels and doing emails, being bored to death, to buy a bird feeder, to keep me entertained.
So I can't stand watching TV all day. It's just nonsense. And so, you know, it's an adjustment for all of us. And we had to change our marketing strategies. And, you know, through the whole life of the 20 years of Raceline now, which is our name brand, there's been a lot of changes. You know, Raceline is, of course, all the fame from KOH, and King of the Hammers and WE Rock. And, you know, working with a lot of organizations, Raceline has been around a while that we've got some really good partnerships out there.
I love the fact of you and I have been together. I don't want to say how many years because it gives away our age. But I remember your son being a little whippersnapper and now him, he still is a power in the industry and is got things going in the right direction for the industry in an area that wasn't real strong but had so much to offer. Sand Hollow is becoming one of my favorite places. You know, there's a lot of places that it's funny that the West Coast guys never get to see and the guys that travels WE Rock it experience it firsthand.
And that's that's one of the cool things about your program now, is how WE Rock expands across the states. And so you have guys that get to tell stories now on one coast, in the other coast. And yeah, I tell you what, you come back here and you try to ask the other ones and that makes it so much fun and. It seems to me with everything going on that everything is on the upswing for the rockcrawling, I know that when the speed got introduced, it pulled a lot of our big name guys out of Rock crawling and got them into the racing, which is expanded into so many other things.
But the rock crawling is starting to come back. And I hear people all the time calling me and tell me about all of the events and I need to have some of them put on our event, not just the race time program is good for the company has grown so big that it is it just become a handful for me personally, you know, to discuss everything.
We change our processes and we actually, for the first time, started retailing wheels and giving discounts to Warehouse. Because it just it just seems that everybody sitting on their couches and so the program has been very successful and we've done really well and it amazes me the questions that I get and it amazes me. And it goes both ways, it amazes me the questions that I get sometimes from the beginners and it amazes me the questions sometimes from the guys in the forever.
And the difference sometimes is not so much. And that tells me that people are doing the same thing, like the trail riding. You know, gosh, is that going big, you know, these overnight travel writing, the stuff that we get involved with. We have been involved in several programs all up through the West Coast, the. We take a three day, a seven day a week, whatever you want to do. You know, there's awesome things out there like Jamboree that we've been involved with, and they do an awesome job with the people in Kittrell writing.
Yeah. And, you know, racing through the whole thing has been involved in all those programs. And one of the things I've always pushed is to make sure that they had knowledge about what they were doing with our product and with tires because of my experience working with dirt track racing. I learned a lot about how to make off road tires, hook up and work real well, too. And so that's been a great pleasure to help the guys figure out that.
Zero pounds of air pressure don't mean is going to hook up there right here.
So, you know, and I tell everybody, you know, it's it's a fine line to run on top of the fence. And if you can ever get the balance on that fence, you're going to have a good time. And so that's what you have to work for. And don't get too radical too fast. Don't lean one way too fast or the other way too fast and take a progression. And, you know, because there first people were just tailing off and stuff.
And you just, you know, I had people calling me mountain tires over their outer ring and entering I the inside of the wheel and then wonder why their bad luck wouldn't work. Yeah. So it's been a progression.
It's know guys like me and you, we can sit around a fire and tell stories all night long and just laugh and carry on. It's the same same for the Cowboys. I mean, all the way back to senior, unfortunately no longer with us. But golly, the stories of senior, I mean that does give our age away.
So, so true, so let's talk a little bit about alternative types of tire bead adhesion or retention, retention, that's the word retention
Yeah, hard work for me. It's got a lot of letters in it.
So, yeah, they're, you know, probably the most famous Hutchison. Right. You know, other than just the true Beadlock of what you see now, which, you know, nobody really knows the story and I only know it as I know it. You know what I mean? Because I experienced what I experienced that I know that I watched all the other Beadlock companies come online well after I was building my first class ring. Oh, yeah.
They just raised reinjured, reversed in well, basically some of them got some of them got ahead of us, to be honest about it, when I was at Marsch, you know what I mean? Right.
Is the West Coast Guard, if I had been in the West Coast when I was 14, there's no telling what I can do it. There's no doubt that the West Coast give gave me the ability to have access to. A lot of instruments that I never had in Arkansas. I mean, when we were in Arkansas, we're down there in the shop with a welder and a grinder and a big pry bar.
You know, and trying to develop stuff, I mean, I can remember one time when I was working with the IMCA, which is an organization of racecars, I don't know, 7000 cars deep that race all the way across the United States. And it's the same rules everywhere for that one class. And so they wouldn't allow us to run beadlocks even after I went to NASCAR and got NASCAR to do it. I cannot get them and I see them happy.
And so. We hear 7000 cars that we need to figure out a way to dominate, like keeping the tire on the wheel. So we're out in the plant and Lyle is drilling holes and sticking valvestems, I don't know, you know, back to my idea where I had drilled the holes and pulled up the nets. He thought he could install those milestones after he put that outside be mounted, it dismantled it up the back beat up. Stick your hand in your buttons, Bausman.
And that would keep the tire on and it wasn't a Beadlock. But it took me all day to write and I'm like, wow, why don't we just stretch the safety beat up? Why don't we just go down there and let's make a deal and make the safety, you know, a little bump for the tire pops over? Yep. Heels. OK, I think he figured it out, so we spend the next two days on lathe machining parts, we buy a what they call them, a bead roller, aluminum bead roller.
How you roll the bead in aluminum. Right. And put the aluminum up in there. We went and bought one of those and we modified it and we put a semi steering wheel on the top of it so we could get leverage to turn it down. And we would we had a dye. We made it on the top and a dye we made on the bottom, just like a regular bead roller has. But these are made to stretch the beat of that wheel.
Up and put a sharp edge on it, so the tire had edge that it had to you had to shove it over basically a lock edge, right?
It is basically.
That's right. Like we put it in an aluminum wheels nowadays that we machine in and from the factory. We call it a double hitch our wheels so that it hitches the Fenby diet and hitches the tires. So you don't have that rocking purging of air. Every time the tire rolls around, it's the ground and some of. So a lot of interesting things develop through all that stuff. And, you know. Once we stretched that safety bump out, you know, it took like it took 70 or 70 pounds of air to pump it out on there.
So it wasn't it wasn't a you know, it wasn't a game. You know, it's serious business. I mean, I don't know if a person realizes it or not, but when they talk about PSI, that is pounds per square inch. So think of the size of an ice cube, old style ice cube like you and I are used to that we used to pour in with the water. Right. You know, I scooped a one inch by one.
That's a square inch. Imagine how many of those are in your tire. And then imagine that 30 BPCI, how fast those would come out at you. If that tire released. It's like a bomb. I don't know if anybody ever drove down the freeway as many miles, I've had that in me several times, but I assume I lose a tire. Have you ever lost power on your rig? Oh, yes. Boom. You think the friggin bomb just went off, had one in Mexico?
That that surprised me. He was going the opposite direction. We were heading out of Ensenada toward Tecate and we're on a hill. And I was climbing the hill and he was coming down the hill. And that tire blew right when it was next to the to the window of the jeep. And I had the window down and Shelley and I both jumped. I swear it was like we were trying to climb into the back seat, like like we just driven by a grenade or something going off.
It was crazy.
So you can you can only imagine the percussion of that hitting something. And so that's why, you know, when we developed that wheel, we put stickers on the wheell that said metal wheels in cages, wheels can kill you, graveyard dead and put it right on the wheel. That's how worried we were about people doing stupid things. We never had a problem. We we dominated because in IMCA I don't care how good a wheel deal you had with the competitor, you had a right rear marsh wheel on there.
I was called a stage two wheel. How did you how many wheels they gave you? You'd buy our stage two wheel for every right we were. You put on that thing. Because they would not come off. And then, of course, our competitors try to copy us and them not knowing what Lyle knew as far as those little details, you know, and paying attention to things and just thinking that we can do that and just go knock it off.
I think a lot of people hurt so bad that the association banned that wheel and they'd be like, hmm. So, you know, I can remember that the carbon fiber wheel, I was curious, I wanted to know what that thing would take in air pressure. And I mean, so, you know, back then, we we we we both towers because we recap towers.
So we would have this real fine rubber dust. And so I go when I get a wheel and a man on the tire and I set it up on the ground and that tires and I put a bunch of rubber dust on a piece of cardboard on top of this assembly. And I get me about one hundred and fifty foot heroes. You know, in a compressor with one hundred and sixty pounds air pressure, and I started on this thing and I get it up to about 95 and it finally lets go.
And when he does it look like a mushroom cloud, like a nuclear bomb? I cannot believe it. It made such an impression on me at an average four hours at one time. The guys were out there. And I know you've done it and I know I've done it. The spring either get a tower to pop out on a wheel.
Oh, yeah. And they were doing it inside their trailer and I'm like, man, guys, I'll catch you later. I'm glad they didn't get it the first time. So they doused it up the second time. Well, they just got the bullshit in too much. And when they left, that's when it killed 10 foot off the top of that trailer.
Just the percussion of that is the percussion of that thing letting go pilled the top of that trailer off 10 feet back.
So, you know, that's the kind of people don't realize about PSI and of course, off-roading in such low air pressure, we're not too much worried about it.
But, you know, it comes into perspective when you start thinking about driving down the interstate at 70 miles, 80 miles an hour, and you don't realize that it's when you hit a chuckle or anything like that where that instance of compression low to the vehicle hitting that hole and all that stacking up, you can spike air pressure.
30, 40 percent. And so those are just things people don't realize that when they, you know, being designed for low air pressure, people always ask me why we put a safety precaution, Dillinger's says 25 I-Max. That gives you about 10 pounds or I don't know, I don't know. I've never blown up one of the wheels I put as much as our compressors would take, which I think is around 160 pounds with underneath the trailer, with 100 foot hose at Roseline and everybody looking at me like I'm some kind of yo yo.
But I never all I ever got it to do was pull the ring back and leak air. You know, and so at about one hundred and twenty PSI somewhere right in there, it would start leaking here, I wouldn't go out there and see exactly what it did. It is afraid to trade or might end up with a dirty side down. But, you know, that's that's how I am, though, I want to know extreme, so I have an idea of what you know, because, like, I've seen people in the field catch a one ton truck, this guy leg on it, and they want to go out in the dunes.
They want to pull the trailers out there. They want to get better traction and they want to lower their pressure. And so they want to put a block on this big, heavy truck. And I always try to tell them the basic rule of thumb for blocks is six thousand pounds, twenty five psi. When you get above those, you start work, you start working the head of the bolts, more than a five 16 bolt do. Now we put we have for sure figured a safety factor.
OK, so I don't have a problem with guys running thirty five and, you know, keep their cars and trucks from going out, which most of them don't do nowadays because they can reprogram. And so they've got to worry about running thirty five and we all drop down to like twenty nine because we like the ride better.
Yep. And so, you know, but that that's part of the problems you get when you your earlier question about other types of tire retention did write that word retention a and symbols.
And I was doing that was probably the most famous.
And it's because of the military.
And so with Hutchison, what happened was the military to handle the weight of the monster heavy vehicles, I mean, we're talking tonnage now, they had to come up with a bead package and an ability to change them in the arena wherever they might be, OK?
And so that's why most of the military stuff you see is all 16 five. They asked, well, what's the difference between five and 16 or 17? What's the beat angle, if you'll notice, on a and those are that are listening can check this out. Got a 16 five wheel. It has a 15 degree angle, which is the same angle as your kids slide almost in the backyard. So the tire slides up out there using slides, obviously, and so that's why there's no safety bump on the 16 five.
Well, why is there no safety bump on the 69? Well, because 65 was developed for 60 plus all the way to one hundred and forty percent. And that's for the military. Well, all right, now we got the time to hold the military vehicles above the ground. We got, you know, the wheels are holding up, but now we get a flat tire comes out and they can change the tires easily now because the wheels are toothpicks.
Right. So how do we keep the tire up on there? And then Hutchison comes up with the sleeve first, I think was metal and then now it's rubber and it's just basically a rubber. Think of it as a remarkable. Inside the tire, pushing against the inside of the beams of the tire, pushing them against the outside the of the tire against the outside edge of the wheel. Interesting inside pushing outward, yes, instead of what we're doing with the block, we're just planting the outside beat, we're just making it part of the deal, whereas an internal log like Hutchinson.
Is with a rubber piece that fits in over the sleeve of the wheel, and so you throw the tire down on the back sleeve, you put the rubber in their sleeve on your bolt, it all down, smashes it all together now at lower pressure or a flat tire, at least it wouldn't come off. And they're still changeable in the field. Right, that's Atcheson. And so they've made you know, it's a big deal what they've done, especially those materials, heavier vehicle matching wheels.
Oh, yeah, yeah. When you put 40 down or whatever, some of that stuff weighs correctly. And so, you know, that's not something that we ever did, because what our problem is, is that if we just run like that one, that we would be so freaking heavy take to.
Right. OK, I'm gearing, you know, that's how they do all that. I mean, the top is top speed on some of those vehicles. It may be 40 miles per hour. You know, because it's just a massive weight trying to move and stop and earn and all those kind of things, so, you know, with other products that are out there today, the one the most famous is the one from Australia that was called Stollen, which went out of business.
And a gentleman by the name Harry, who we all know real well, turned it into a coyote. And he produces these things and sell them. And that is an awesome alternative. Two people who are. Really conscious about DOT. But it lies in the same problem as that, just as far as us guys that really go out and beat on our stuff. Because the outside edges of the ringlets are just not designed to take what we're doing to them, whereas when we have that Beadlock ring on the outside edge, we have a lot more to be done that can be replaced.
And so that's kind of a difference between one and the other. And, of course, you know, in the old days it was all steel wheels, which are really hard to balance. And people always ask me, well, why are steel wheels so hard to balance? And it's it's because you have a multiple assembled wheel And what I mean by that is you have a removable center, an inner ring and outerring on a beadlock. And to produce those parts, they all start out as a flat plate piece of steel.
And so the Rimshell is cut in slit and to a certain with and a certain length rolled into what is called a hoop, and then it goes into a spinning machine and spinning machine can either be a lathe or it can be a massive rolling, spinning machine. Like wheels have been produced massively for ages. And it basically is a stage spinning machine, and this thing is as tall as a semi-trailer and probably as long as a semi-trailer, and it has all different variances or spinning parts and dies all the way through.
And it just kicks hoo[ From one end to the other and comes out as rimshell and the other. With a safety bead, bumps in the rim shell nickel, I mean, it's quite amazing to watch it work. And so in L.A., they take that same hoop and they managed to lay on what's called a mandrel, and then Lathe as we all know, has tools but come out fingerstyle and they come out and each tool does a different thing to that.
hoop could make it into a Rimshell? Not that it is by no means a faster operation, maybe a little more accurate on the pluses and minuses, which is the point that I'm trying to get to you about steel wheels. So you have a rim shell that is rolled in either two ways and it has a plus or minus between the inside bead of the wheel and the outside of the wheel. To be perfectly rolling so the wheel doesn't hop and hobble and the tire run irregularly down the road and cause vibration drops and the car is just off a little bit, is going to create that hobble
Yeah, that's exactly right, that everybody's seen it. So somebody get upset at RIM. Yeah.
You have a plus or minus on it. So when they actually manufacture OK, now you take the center plate which on still centers goes through probably five or six different stamping operations. So want to hit piece of metal and want to hit it and you want to hit it and pop the windows, want to hit it and pop the Lugnut Legos. That piece has a plus or minus. Now, when you take it over to the factory and you press that center into the rimshell she'll.
And you line it, yeah, plus or minus in DOt, it's 15 thousands. That's what a dot regulations, 15 thousands and so most steel wheels are trying to be built to that 15 thousands. Now they entered the block. Now we're getting off the outer ring lip and we're trying to weld the inner ring on the beadlock plus or minus. And then now you're going to take the outer ring and bolt it down and there's a plus or minus and with steel wheels, you can add up all those plus or minus.
And guess what? You might balance a square block, but it ain't going to roll across the floor.
Very good. True enough. OK, so, you know, that's why cast wheels have just literally took over the market. Is because we can produce it in a matrix and then we can take it out and put it in a machine to a tolerances. I'd like to see the tolerances down in the five thousand. Because then I know if the customer is off a little bit with the tire or the plus minus is off on the tire bead. Because trust me, everything in this world has plus or minus.
I'll give a what it is. Oh, yeah. You know, and so, you know, all that stuff stacks up to be able to run down the highway.
And so, you know, Raceline took a lot of we we have mess with a lot of tires and wheels to get to a formula that is, as I said in the beginning, of interviewed user friendly. And for the most part, I truly believe we do the best job in the industry, and I know that the plant and everybody that I work with, that they all strive for that and the things that we learn from racing, we have built into our wheels that we run on our Off-Road trucks that are off road trucks.
It's just the truck that you drive everyday to the grocery store, but it has a wheel on it that has things that we've learned from off roading so that if you're down there and you want to go hit the duness or you want to go up the trail a little ways you don't got to worry about, breaking wheel, bending the wheel. Not to say that that can't be done because racers are racers in every right footer always has a problem with breaking something at one time or another just just happens.
And even on the street, we all know how many transportation. You know, there's not a that's not a highway department anywhere that can get a nice, smooth road for more than a week.
Well, Rich, you know, you drive as many miles as I do and you're in a big rig and I'm like in a you know, a team three fifty that I call Circus One. And it's the roads, the and they are working on them and they are getting better.
But like, man, is it rough to run up and down Interstate 40 anymore or you know, I have been up on 70, but you know as many miles as all of us travel, I wish they the they would apply a little more bondo to the road, try to northern Louisiana going, you know, across there, I think it's, what, 30?
And we all have our spot where the 20. We just literally had yeah, yeah, we'll have it so bad that we'll put it off forever and then we'll finally go down and go, wow, they fix this.
Exactly. So. So, yeah. You know, with the Raceline, you know, from the days of allied steel wheels to where Raceline is today, the official wheels of SCORE.
And you know, we work with so many race teams and so many organizations and, you know, we've won championships all over the world on Raceline wheels.
We sell monster beadlocks to 23 different countries aplenty. Notice I sell and everybody builds it overseas. It's the worst thing I never wanted to do because I wanted to teach them what we know because those guys are never going to learn. You know, we got some pretty bad mojo guys that off-road from China and Japan and all the way over there. But the problem is they're all set up about making money and they're quality and they're so much better than they used to be.
But I would just much rather do things here, and I don't know that we'll ever get back to that. But, you know, people ask me questions, well, why ET on everything? Why do we always got to figure out ET?
Well, it's because China is on the metric system. And so when you go to buy wheels, which most wheels are built overseas, you know. They have ET on them and they don't tell you what the backspaces and it's off-road guys backspaces, like what? Backspacer you run into different backspace You never hear the guys talk about Off center, ahh, you need a plus 40 on that thing. Now, you might go to some of the the I call a nice Barnegat in their pocket, but just as hardcore guys out there running Chevies and Boards and Mopar and we want to what backspaces.
And that's the back edge of the wheel to the back of the center. And that never changes, no matter how thick the bead of the tires, and that's what makes the ET so complicated. Is because you put an ET on a wheel. Well, it's set up for a half inch bead tire. I mean, people I don't know if they realized that to get ET or offset, you have to go by the total width of the wheel and that's outside edge to outside edge.
And so let's say we have let's just say we have a nine inch wide wheel. It says it's a 17 by 9. Kind of got to add an inch because of the rim thickness. Say that 17 by nine, measures 10’ so in ET or offset, that would be zero, would be dead center in the middle. Right. Correct. OK. And negative would push the will out away from the car and positive would suck it in toward the car.
So a negative 12 pushes it out, almost a half inch because there's twenty five point four millimeters in an inch, right? It's a number you got to live with nowadays and you just will get used to it. I fought it forever, but it just makes it complicated. And so when you're addressing all these wheel problems, you know, ET on a beadlock is very difficult because like I said, if you set it up for a half inch BTR, which is used to be the norm.
Now they're putting e rated tires on our off road rigs, the beat thicknesses are well over a half inch right. And so that would change your ET And so that's why figuring it is going to get you in trouble. Because your changes to the tire thickness on a beadlock wheel. backspace never changes. So, you know, I get questions that one all the time, you know, as soon as it's a new team, how do you know it's a 3x3/4?
Because it's based on how well I'm running. I'm going to be running an Interco Swamper, that’s a one inch bead tire. Well, that is proves your offset. The move could have Haines. Right. OK. You're all set, but you're backspace didn't change. Because the back edge of the wheel to the back of this center did not change. Whereas on the outside, because of thicker bead of the tire, the outside of the wheel is now wider. That add up, yep, that adds up.
Yeah, so those are just some of the questions that I get asked, you know, and and I'm happy to help with the information and podcast and stuff because I love people being informed, because last thing I want somebody doing is sitting there shop and lord, it not be a race nine will and it just not be the right. We'll fit in the car because he was not informed. Right. And so I'd like to make as much information and that's why I make myself so accessible.
Raceland I mean, you can call race line wheels and you can ask for Greg in most of the time you can reach me. Um. The first part of the week is a little tougher because everybody wants me or the doctor stuff on the weekend, they want to have it for next Friday so I can make it again next week.
That's the reason. Yeah, I 40, I started 14, I turned 60, so that's just forty six years. For a long time, it's a lot of races, 46 wheel industry, they tell me that I averaged in the 20 years of race on average from twenty five and twenty nine shows a year for 20 years. So, yeah, it's it's a lot of miles and you know it, too, because you've been doing it just, you know, I mean, you've been in this game digging in the trenches as long as I have.
You know, it's a it's really fun to sit back and kind of watch.
Kids that were that that were kids when I met them, that are now racers, that, you know, like the it with xhis boys, I can remember Kurt. I think it was one of my know one of the races that crying and hollering at Todd in the RB. I got a race.
And just I mean, I see those boys, you know, one of them taking off signing contracts with you to take off. And he races all over the world and the other one dominating. And Kirk, still a bad to the bone racer himself. Absolutely. And so, you know, the progression of WE Rock colors, like I was talking about with the candles is now married and pregnant.
I can't even. Oh, I go back.
I go back farther than that, Don. The boy's father, Shannon Poppit. I raised dirt tracks and won championships with him hanging left.
I mean, several years in a row, he was he was bad, very bad, and so the first time I met a person, I had rock on a bit down and come up to me and said, hey, my son is gone now. Of course, I remember Sharon when he was little Renkin on the dirt car and working in the shop. And he comes up and says, Hey, my son's got a girl here. Don is convinced that Shannon is going to win.
She says, I don't know. But she did win that event. And we sponsor Shannon for years. But that was in that transitional time between steel and aluminum. And I was just dragging my feet about going overseas once I lost the the the Germans out in Riverside and couldn't produce it in the state anymore. I just wasn't ready to you know, I'm a little bit old fashioned from Arkansas, so I'm a little more old fashioned of keeping my secrets and, you know, got a little matchbox that I pull out with the Beatles to tell the weather.
You know, though, you know, it's a great ride and, you know, I'm getting toward the end, I mean, I don't know how many more years I can keep it up. I still love it. I wish I had time for the ability to build wheels that I have in my mind. Luckily, with the initiative that was putting me at a young age through Li'l Marsch and. And just so lucky and blessed to have got to with such awesome and intelligent people in the industry that not only told me, but showed me.
And you're sure when you're told and then showed. You should know, and I've learned so much from so many smart people in the industry. The sad thing about it is, you know, some of them are, you know, at our age, we're losing them every day. We lost people. Now, if you're an old dirt track guy, you're going to remember Tom Pressley. We lost him last week, lost him to coverage. D'Anna and.
That man does a lot of a lot of park slaughter, wields a lot of steel wheels for a lot of people in the country, going all the way back to the. So it's a sure change trying and I know we'll be back to racing, because once I smell that fuel, you know, you just get that warm, fuzzy feeling and you just want to head for the starting line or a place where you can see it happen and that come and we're going to get to do it again.
And it keeps me driving hard, even though I have to sit here on the couch and kind of close the rest of the world off for. A small part of my life, it's pretty much all by phone right now and. I don't know, I know your schedules and schedules and we're all scheduling schedules and we're all hoping for the best. Yeah, all you can do is plan at this point, you know. Yeah, Raceland this year.
Well, actually, last year we introduced a couple of new wheels, you know, double blocks and new TVs that have adjustable back spaces. Just the wheel where you can have you. There are two and three quarter Backspacer or a five inch Maxxis and they're double Beilock. And people say, well, why would you run double blocks? Well. They're a little bit more expensive, but you think about it, how many times you break the back half on the wheel because you're running low air pressure and you just hit stuff so hard that you bottom the tire out against the wheel, against whatever it is you hit.
And that's how will get broke. Right. Is they they just get collapsed from running low air pressure and just taking impact. That is so hard. It's like smashing a solo cup. If you take a solar company, smash it, you'll see where your very first spark smashes. It's real wide. But where it goes in toward the wheel or that force is generated and settles in toward the center, it can still point. And that point is right where it drops into the valley on all wheels.
It's not just our wheel. We push it to the max because you have to have the valley in the wheel to be able to mount the tire on a single bila. On a double Beilock, you lose a little bit of the clearance over the breaks because of the idea of the orbital system, but you gain a world of strength and you gain more control over the tire, even more so than a single block. Because if you can imagine and this has happened, there's a video that Ian did when he was back hosting a TV show where he ran a TV on these double blocks.
He pulls it off the trailer and pulls it onto the trail and jabs a stump or something right to the side of all the dire. Well, now they're out there and they're all got the film crews and they're trying to film this vehicle that he built. He calls Maxxis what I did, I said, will you run it? What do you mean when you stand on the gas? The tire is going to expand to heaven and hell because it will force and it's going to inflate itself.
And when you stop, you're going to have just a moment. Time is going to be inflated that you crawl over something and then you it again. They filmed the whole crew. They did their whole film that day, he said. He said he'd be out on the deal and running hard and that tiger just inflate the car would be just like it always felt the same as he get in the rocks. He's been tied up and then you crawl over the rock and spin the tire all over the rock.
He said he couldn't believe he made it through the whole day.
I can't believe you didn't break that one of them.
He just you know, you had that control over that tire. And like I say, desert guys that are racing, you know, when they pop a tire and the tire buckles, moves to the inside and starts winding up, it creates heat. It's like taking your hands and rubbing your hands together and creates heat. Well, that's what rubber does and that's what disintegrates. It also makes it very hard to steer, turn it or accelerate. That's why we all spent a lot of time making the inside beat bumps where they retain the tires will well and for most applications in 17 inch at this time, a double BEILOCK bits, bits only maybe 70 percent because of the size of the brakes.
OK, but you jump up to the 20 inch, which I think is where the market's going because everybody's releasing new 40 inches, two tires and so on, these new jails with all the clearance that they put on the inside of the jails.
Now we can put a great big monster tire and wheel in there with that. A lot of modifications. And so a lot of them are jumping up to the 40s and putting them on the 10 inch wheels. Well, AWB locked in a 20 inch, we have no brake problems and for the guys racing. Which is we're building double blocks for Lawn Healy's car to race the 40 desecrates right now. That was a secret. I just let that out.
I can. I can tell by the time missing, by the time this, they won't have our name on it. I hope he wins the race.
At any rate, you know, he's seen the advantage of having a double blocked where like if you're out on the deck and you're holding home, but you just came off the rocks, he pushed the whole entire boat out on the desert when you're up to speed at 60, 80. I even heard him out there qualifying it over one hundred and twenty four miles now. Yeah.
So when you're at that speed, that tyre is sent to heaven and hell massively. And so it inflates.
It'll actually inflate up to I don't know, I would mess with it a couple of times.
And it's hard because it depends on the size of the whole. To see how long once she stopped telling Erin. Of course, it depends on the size of the hole. If it's a small hole, helium played up and you'll stay fairly inflated up. Those guys just hold burns across the desert near, you know that a flat. Right.
So, you know, we developed a couple of different blocks, wanted to achieve, that's working really well, there'll be a bunch of cars on them this year and then we built this forged heavy duty double BEILOCK that enables people to have custom backspaces on these new custom buggies that, you know, Mickey Thompson just just released a brand new 58. It released 50 years and 20s and so all those guys, I think it's called the Outcaste in Moab, built by Joe Riley and its WE Rock buggy.
I don't know what you what moderation you would call it, but are bad to the extreme. You remember how he used after winch up a proper Elderado? This guy just pulls up and his idol's up. It it just it's just gnarly what they can do nowadays with stuff, but natural that will be like comes in effect for him. Also, he's running them great big tires. It just secures the tire and this gives them a lot more control.
Right. I know, like the bouncers were were running with the 17h. Yeah, but they were running.
Some of the guys didn't even put valve stems in their tires. Exactly, but that's mostly because they were running like the intercoastal, if that's so, you know, you could put a regular truck on it, let the air out of it and it wouldn't hurt. It looked like it had a flat tire. Exactly. You know, I tell the guys all the time, once you get those men and take them out of Gore, out, go out in the field, the cow field, and drive them without any hearing until you get them up to about two hundred and fifty degrees.
And then Arima. To where you're going to race and let them set. And what that does, it it stretches everything out and just makes a tire work a little bit better. So they can get away with that, but yeah, I've seen a lot of it. Al Gore is starting line and just stand on the throttle, but he can't really do that. Like you couldn't do that with The BFG because they're just not sidewall. Right. So true enough.
But you can't run you can't run Enerco a 120 mile an hour thing.
Not if you want to be able to see afterwards. Yeah, yeah, so, you know, I don't know how many people have experienced a bad vibration in a car that vibrated you so bad that you can't see the, you know, out over the front hood. Yeah, I used to run Big Bias plays on a Chevy pickup truck that I ran in the snow and those big BIA's pies, there were 40 inch by supplies and they were. But this was back in the 80s, and it was they were they weren't balanced, but nobody could balance them.
We tried to bubble balance them and they were just. They were unbalances. I mean, you have 12 inches or 12 ounces of weight on, you know, on one side and, you know, just well, it's like I said, you could you can balance the square block, but it's not going to roll across the floor very well.
Correct. So, you know, it's an interesting concept, like to say, you know, that's why the know back in the March days with the carbon fiber wheel, we just dominated so much stuff. You know, we went from dirt track racing into mud bog racing. And I don't I don't remember all the heyday of the mud patrol and, you know, when comments as an animal truck used in a mud car and we dominated that stuff because, you know, they had to generate so much wheel speed so fast, just like a tractor, that if the tire and wheel assembly didn't turn real good.
That it would cause such a vibration that they didn't know if they were heading straight down the track or hit for the other side. You know, I mean, other than other than the feel of your butt in the car, you know what I mean? You talk about driving by the seat of your pants. Yeah. That was a sport where you drove by the seat of your pants because it was over so fast.
You know, second half, you know, two seconds, light the fire, kick the tire and hang on because it was on and the carbon fiber wheels. I remember an incident where I was at Steve Kinzer's shop. Most people, mostly kids, are from the world of outlaws.
And if anybody's a racer, they know Steve.
He was like and they all called me Mark because, you know, it's like now they call me Mr. Raceland because I'm the only person they see for that. Just travel. I just want to get there and meet people and try to get things figured out.
So he's like, So, Marsh, why would I go to your wheel? And, you know, like them, because you like us, you like seriously, and I'm like, well. I guess the easiest way is just to demonstrate. What do I need to do? Well. I need your best we'll the best brand new wheel out of the box you got our mentioned is where it came from and he brings it over in that car up on the jack stand right there.
And I said this mount that wheel on there.
And I pulled me up a couple pieces of blocks of wood. He had their stick me a pin on the end of it with a deal on it and turned that wheel trying to tip the trueness.
We're talking about a wheel. It's 14 inches wide. And not the right off and so did not help the poor showing that outside it, this feels like it's off half the. And I said, what do you think that's like it will be when you sit back and got to thinking human and both, right? Well, you're right. You know, I said, so you're your little better than that. And I go, let's see, you will out of the box live on there.
But the pin up on there and never touch the pin. And I go, that's the difference now in the scope of the scale over the scale. We wait. There will only wait. Are we'll? I'm six pounds lighter. Well, it's another interesting concept, a lighter will most hardcore researchers realize that the lighter assembly is you can dial in better than have your suspension, right?
So we'll wait in the dirt track days, we we went to a Chassy diner where we locked the car down and put Beilock on the right rear, ran the diner, took the WE Rock wheel off. Same size, tire, everything, make sure everything was dialed in but nondeductible. And we quickly realize that the ratio was about 10 to one. So what that means? For every pound of weight that is on a spinning axle. And we're generally talking about race cars and our everyday driving cars.
Every pound of weight makes the car think it's 10 pounds heavier as far as accelerating, braking or even turning. And they can understand about the weight taking horsepower to turn. And the break taking a break to stop it and what they don't realize about the term. I'm not just paying attention when that guy came to your high school and gave you that demonstration of the bicycle wheel and he spun that bicycle wheel up really fast, and then he held it with both fingers, and then he pulled one finger out and the tire just sat there and spun.
But it could change the direction very easy. And it is because of the amount of weight spinning in a certain direction takes a certain amount of power to change that direction. So now you have for every pound away, it's 10 pounds as far as accelerating, that's pushing on the gas pedal and you're going faster, putting your foot on the brake and stopping and turning the wheel, which turns easier. And that's called unsprung wait. In the dirt track days, these guys were anal about it so far, they would go and drill their axles, right?
So it looked like a gun barrel. To get the weight off the axle now that's at the center of the rotating mass. Can you imagine what the weight ratio is when you get out to a forty two inches, which is twenty one inches from the center? Yeah, it changes. You know, another thing that changes people doesn't realize is low rating. You go to the tire shop and you buy your wheels, you flip it over on the back.
You want to see what the wheel lodrick. Let's just take a look, for instance, you flip it over the back and some are on the back, it's going to say anywhere from thirty two to thirty six hundred pound liveried. Oh, man, I just wasted six thousand pounds the trailer. I'm not going to be anywhere close to that. But I'm going to 40 to on. Hmm, see that make any difference? Absolutely not. Yeah.
Now you've got a bigger wedge on the tire, on the wheels. And so. Is best, I is best, we've been able to come to testing with, like standard laboratories, with the companies that we work for work with in China, where we test everything over there and we make them test it regularly, probably more so than most people do.
Especially on this blog. So that makes a difference when you when you start calculating the height of the tire versus every wheel that is built overseas until we started this new program.
Was only tested to thirty five minutes total time, Max, for the OEM is thirty one. So OEM dot text is thirty one and has forever because of the one trucks biggest tower you'll see on them, maybe a twenty nine, maybe thirty thirty one. So with that low rating. Is that that high tire? Now you just up to tire, 10 inches taller. And you have to know that for every inch of height, you lose a couple of percentages, Lovering.
That's the news that we can tell, and I know they're still trying to study it, and I know that's why, like with our 40 hour brand new 20 inch of Venger WE Rock that we just released last year, by the way, we are selling the heck out of. And I know you've seen a bunch of them in the WE Rock Collingdale. Absolutely. They were tested to a forty nine inch tall tire. We had them completely develop a whole new program to test a forty nine inch total tire because I felt like low ratings were going to be so effected with these greater, bigger tires that I didn't want.
The last thing a manufacturer wants to happen is the Senate on the right. That is just me and them. And that is the biggest pet peeve I have, is never lose a Senate. People complain that I build them too heavy, sometimes I go, well, you'll thank me when you don't knock it out of there.
You know, Racer's, it's always funny because Racer's Appraiser's made the rules.
And you know this as well as I do. We all be in left field all the way out there by the wall where we can see nothing or know what was going on because they all got their own opinions and they all want it to be best to them.
Don't blame them, not do the same thing. It's that gray area we were talking about earlier.
Yeah. And so I to operate in the gray area, I've got lots of things that operate in the gray area. Some we got away with, some you don't. That's parturition. You know, like I say, I was blessed to have gotten to learn from some very smart people early in my career, and the biggest thing that that I would want people to take away is detail and safety detail. And safety will keep you from having problems through about anything that you work on is just information, which is what I refer to as details and then safety by all means.
So you're saying safety first, not the rock crawler, safety third?
Well, you know, we the guys build rigs to do what they do it.
In the old days, we were really lucky.
We didn't get a lot more people hurt. And I know you've been there just as much as I've been there. Cars rolling down hills and just literally emptying everything out of the car and learning, hey, you shouldn't put stuff in the car when you're going Rockall and Burstall, you know, stuff flying out and hitting spectators. I mean, we learned a lot. Safety is something that we don't take it for granted. And if I get them, people don't wear gloves.
What would you do if something happened, your hands got burnt and you had to use the bathroom for the rest of your life?
Yeah, all because you don't want to put gloves on. What if a rock or anything, you know, I mean, because, you know, they safety equipment nowadays to handle most things, we're doing a it's impossible to be totally prepared 100 percent that, you know, your objective should be as best you can to be prepared for everything.
And so, you know, little things like that. I mean, when I raise the hammer, I've never got I've never raced to race in my life in the whole career. I've done I rode in a race car. I had a lot of awesome experiences in race cars, but never, ever wanted to race. And in 2013, conflicts came on board. And the Hilderbrand built a 2012 Jaquet that we took to college in 2013. And we didn't really take it there to finish the race because the last two valleys would have destroyed the cars outer part of it.
Only one car finished the race that year that we took out and ran it through the courses and raised. And we're running way up there really good. The car was super fast. I think they ended up with 12 or 13 inches travel on the front and 14 in the back. And, you know, with the twin shocks and rebellion, everybody down in this two door, short wheelbase jeep in, you know, it's like this at one hundred one across the back a little bit.
Wow. So it was I know that when I got out of that car, I was really just physically or mentally or out and thought to myself. I'm not a race car driver. I'll stick to building the wheels and going inside my motor home and took a shower, come back out, turned on all the microphones. And that was the year we had the volunteer party where you were in the taco eating contest against the Coles.
Yeah, yeah. I yeah. That was the same day I said I raced to their main challenge and then took a shower and got in my car and change clothes and went out and put on that and just had a absolute blast. I've seen some videos and stuff I think you can go to. What is it the is it called demo vehicle? VML, some video. Yeah. And Tenpin off road. What was it called, offroad?
I can't remember what the guy called it off road, simply something, and you can see all those videos, you know, even back to the the first back door shootout on the East Coast, on the West Coast came in there and we were all in the waterfall and that door with 5000 people on either side whooping and hollering. That was a that was a highlight. And then then back down, then down, and the whole thing changed, they they kind of sold Raceland out of the scene and, you know, we're just not a big corporate company.
And I don't know if people realize that. But wrestling is one of the last family owned little companies in the nation that everything else has been bought. All the names have been bought it right. They're all owned by big, big money corporations. And my problem with that is, is that they lack heart and soul, you know, they'll write checks for the sizzle. But they're not willing to get in and prepare the state for, you know what I mean?
Now they have to Maxxis. And and that's one of the things that I, I fear a little bit with some of the corporations now that have gotten used to their salespeople being at home and everybody being on the Internet and in the industry, it just ain't going to be like that.
No work now aren't the off roaders are more about relationships. Then people want it. People want to still touch, feel, taste. They're not just looking at a flat screen and making decisions, I know a lot of the newer wheelers that are coming in love the electronic catalogues and go, OK, I'm going to get this, I'm going to get this, I'm going to get this. And they do it all off of the Internet. But I know the information they get worries me.
Oh, yeah. The information they get worries me. It's not like a warm body person like you and I who have experienced a lot of things explaining the nuts and bolts. I fear that the Internet doesn't explain the nuts and bolts in a manner. I mean, I can get on Google and search about anything you can fix. True. But when you pull out the tools and you start going at it, there's things involved that had somebody been able to explain something to you, it would have saved you a lot of time.
Some of it is good. I just wonder going forward how the communication of information will be handled on the Internet in a way that everybody gets correct information from experience and not so much a book that that's kind of what I hope.
And that's why when I do these events and everything I do, we usually always hold some kind of a deal where I'll get up there and talk about wheels and try to explain to people, you know, why you run a narrow wheel instead of a BEILOCK. Well, that's hard to understand coming from a guy who makes a living selling blocks. But there is logic to. And explaining to them why a tire works better on narrow will than a wider wheel.
Why they paint to sidewalls so much out of tires when they run into wider wheels, because the tire doesn't have the ability to wrap around the wheel. It has the ability to fold up. When you put it on to the wheel and when you fold the sidewall up, that's usually when you pinch the sidewall and it looks like you just took a knife and just sliced the whole sidewall out of the car. Yep, that's the pinch.
That's not a cut. A tree folded the sidewall together. And if you look at that in the middle of that, you'll see most of the time it looks like a little triangle. And that's why it actually folded it and pinched it enough that it purged the air out that little tiny hole and that just blew the whole air out of the hole. Right. Has to be done on slow motion. You can't I mean, these are things that that I go out and do I have done is put high speed camera on it and watch it.
It's like one of the examples I give people, they go, what is the right air pressure? There's a lot of variables to that. To what? The right air temperature is. The best thing analogy I always give them is that, you know, we get wheelin even if you're not going to go back to Iraq.
And put the tire up on the rock with the air pressure and even have somebody else drive it up on the rock and you watch what that tire does. Now back to Tyre, out that rock and lower their pressure down 10 pounds, running back up on that rock and keep lowering their pressure on that until you see that tire tread fold in so far, that close to the tread and most of the time that's going to be in the teens.
Right, unless it's some kind of inner Kotara. You know what I mean, it's six sidewall that, like you said earlier, about go out and run around and. Most dodgy radial tires are capable of doing that, and so I always say that's the best thing I can tell you, and then once you figure that out a little bit. Then learn to drive the car. And don't think this because every little thing has to be another part, put on the car, learn to drive the car first and get good at driving what you got before you try to move up to the next stage or the next bad trail?
I'm not saying don't go out there and test the water a little bit, but you don't necessarily want to open carry your stuff up all the time when you know you're in over your head. And most of us.
Well, I'm going to regret that. I'll say in a different way, most people will just go ahead and ranch on it for breakfast because they are there. Everybody wants to test themselves. And so that's another great thing about it. That's why Aftermarket does such a great business. I'm just lucky enough to be in wheel sales because Wheelz is the number one aftermarket thing put on vehicles from the get go. That's first thing people do. And so that's why when I designed the monster, I wanted to build a center style that would be around for a long time.
And I think it's pretty much to be called a classic now. It's been around almost 20, almost 20 years and maybe 20 years yet, but there are literally thousands and thousands of them out there. And the cool thing about that when we were making it is one of the things I learned was this thing called a diamond cut. And that's a razor thin cut all the way across the center. And what that enabled the will to do is no matter how dirty that will was, issues, the lights hit it.
It would shine like a polished will. Hmm. And so that's why we were so photogenic. And if you looked at the photos most of the time, the wheels light up. And just because of that diamond back, those little fine details. All right, well, we want to have a really good will that's tough and safe, but we also want to have a wheel that people want to put on their vehicles. And now it this translucent powder stuff that they've gotten to where they can actually do it in a manner that they've been doing it for a while.
But it's not been done in a form where you could consistently produce four wheels that matched every time or go back and build a replacement will be four wheels that if you ever miss one of them up and read it, you could. Right now they've got to be the same batch, right? Yeah. And now they've got to find where they can go back and review and make the real match. It's it's come a long ways. And so yeah.
That into the pits where the jail trains and now the vehicles. And I don't want to say I don't I don't mean any bad time to it that the mall crawlers are pretty important business platform also. I guarantee you, there's a lot of suspension's, a lot of real tire decals, both on the streets.
Never see the opera. True, but yet it's part of our industry and an important part of our industry, and so some stuff I don't give in too much of a hard time, even though I've seen some stuff that I just have to shake my head and go, oh, my gosh, I can think back to people who are gone now that we Cauldwell and think what they might say when they see some of the stuff nowadays. You know, you've got to wonder, hopefully you and I will be around another 20 years and we can look back and go.
I remember when I just just not too long ago, you know, we've been down on the beach here and in southern Gulf States along the way, we'd spent some time in Florida and then along Alabama, over here to Texas, and we're down in the Corpus Christi area and everybody builds these big, big I'm going to call them beach trucks.
And they're really high lifted lots of chrome, but I've seen them with little wheels.
They have led circular LEDs on the inside of the wheel.
And like, what is that over the first time, I see a thirty six inch, two piece aluminum wheel asema.
Hmm. I remember the time I seen the first set of gold plated wheels that were like, I think they were 15 grand a wheel.
Wow. And they were just like, you know, gold plated. 60 grand. First, I think back in, they were like 20 kids, they weren't Monsur wheels, but. You know, race lines had so many opportunities, you know, we've so much has gone by that you can bet you can up and remember, but, you know, race has been on movie sets. My what is the Miami Vice show? And we've had lots of opportunities opened up for us because we've worked so hard at it and.
And keep that up, and we have people there now that are coming up the ranks that I think we're going to be just as fired up as I've been for the last 20 years to rock and roll this stuff. And they have their ideas. You know, things started can't say. And for those who haven't had a chance to be an introduced conversation on race on wheels, and yet that concept, which is into the drifting.
Market. We won several national champions already in that, and so they signed it covers a lot of spectrums of wills, just your standard truck initiatives. Of course, trailer wheels and tires, which is what we started in back in the late 90s. Right. And then with our troops program, that was number one in cement for like the last eight years, that program is awesome. And then, of course, the racing program, which is burnishes wheels for, I don't know, so many different platforms are racing that it's just mind boggling from what we get in the very beginning with 15 steel wheels and thirty five tall tires thinking we were on top of the world.
Well, hopefully you can impart your wisdom and the knowledge that that you've gathered since you were a teenager. On to those that will follow you at Raceland. Well, and I see him at the shows, I invite anybody that has questions to please come to us, I make myself pretty available. And then at the shows that we do, I have no problem sitting down and going about wheels and helping you to I don't want to make decisions for you.
I just want to inform you so that you can make decisions based on what experience I have. And basically the experience I have is based on experiences of a lot of other people, too. So you and I as as people who have been in the industry a long time, that is our job now. It's like being a grandparent here. You've got to be at your job now. And, you know, if I get a few more chances to develop some new products, that the company has grown quite a bit in the last few years.
And I think that when we come out of this crazy time that we're at right now, that it will expand because Priceline didn't sit on their hands during all this. We actively marketed and went after and didn't stop designing, didn't stop building, didn't stop ordering. And so our inventories are good. It's unfortunate about Longbeach right now with all the ships looking like a used car lot sitting out there and nobody download them. You know, there was there was a number floated around a week or so ago that we had 60 containers.
A wheels on those ships and you can figure about a thousand wheels in a container. Wow. So that's yeah, and so it's a difficult time, it's not just us, everybody, it's a difficult time. We're where our advantage was, is that when all this kind of took place, I pressed upon them to push forward in order wheels. I think I told you the story that the Chinese were financing it. So why are we worried about them?
Repossessed truth. So get the wheels here. Let's take care of our customers and do the best we can to this crazy time. And the guys stood up and took on the responsibility. And the programs are working well as they could in the circumstances. So I look for each line to to to mainstream. Very soon. I mean, they're already available on at Discount Tires Schwarcz Oh Lagardere and you know, we already have a really awesome distribution. I think the advantage that we're going to have this year is that we kind of knew that.
The off road guys aren't going to lay down. They're not going to stop working on their cars and. They're going to need wheels and that's what we do. Yeah, so we brought him wheels. So that's good because there's a lot of companies out there that people are waiting on product to finish builds and they're not being able to get the product. Oh, well, I mean, be right now to try to buy you right now. Oh, yeah.
You it's and it ain't like they're out of a lot of parks, they're out of just a particular park that keeps them from releasing the vehicles. Yeah, it's getting these crazy times and I think America is waking up to. That we need to be back to covering our own ass asses. And and doing stuff on our own, more than we're doing now and how everybody's doing that, I think everybody stepping up that needed to step up. I think that we're still the number one country despite despite our faults and everything.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And I'm looking forward to the green flag. I just am talking to the owner yesterday, largely last night. And he's like, well, what do you think, Greg? And I said, Well, it's like I told you back in the beginning of all this stuff, these guys are going to lay down. WE Rock ran their races last year, scoring some of their races last year. There was a human race last year.
There is racing going on and it's not going to shut down on the East Coast. And you probably know as much as I do because you do a lot of events back here. But, you know, everybody did pretty well back here. They didn't practice much social distancing. But I never really heard anything bad happening with outdoor events and the warm weather. I think we're going to kick this thing, the teeth, and we're all going to be at it here shortly.
I'm looking for yeah. And I'm looking forward to you know, we got a few other surprises coming out, but I can't let everybody in on. But, you know, we don't stop. I just I have been the or tott or retain knowledge enough that I have all these ideas to build wheels.
We'll just see how many them before the clock tolls, 12 or whatever it might be till we go off into the pasture until they said, oh, I just look I just look forward to the next WE Rock will be crawling.
Yep. I agree. Well I mean, yeah.
So Greg, we've hit we hit the magic hour of two hours on recording.
He said we would get there. We did. And that's not a problem. We had a lot of great information. I'm I'm sure that it was very educational. That was for me. There's a lot of stuff in there that I knew, but there was a lot of stuff in there I didn't know. And I appreciate you coming on and spending the time and sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us. I really hope that that we're able to socialize again this year here shortly.
Hopefully at Easter we'll be all together there at Grandpa's garage and having a good time and that all this this worry and sickness is behind us.
Well, I, I second that, and I hope that the ones who are in charge move it all forward and get us to that point, you know, the road industry has probably been the most rewarding as far as true, watching families grow into mature operators. And. It's just so family orientated because of the trail riding and all the stuff, you know, I remember when the TV's first came out, the words out of my mouth was there goes the buggies and the same cars, because now the guy didn't listen to his wife complain about his crazy drive and he just buy her own TV and he can go Razack.
And he is there it is.
And she can sit up and just watch him argue Paule just another change in our industry that was interesting to watch develop because I remember the first phone call from and I'm going over you two hours, your brother. That's what happens. But it's all good. I remember a phone call from Todd Romano, which most people remember from Dragon Fire Racing, but he's also, you know, the a trophy truck racer in the tanker truck. And he had gotten a call from the Yamaha people that they wanted to bring over a couple of new machines that they wanted him to build for Baja.
And so we got these machines and started putting long arms on them, and he was kind of telling me that the progression of these things, saying that he wanted to be like for it, and when they finally got the first one and if I started testing it, they broke everything. They put on it for a real. This couldn't get anything to hold up. And this was in two thousand and six. Because in 2005, because that was the first year that the rhino came out and I actually bought one, I have it here at my house, I've used it since then.
But when I went down to Phoenix and they took me for a ride in one of these vehicles, I knew that it was going to be a game changer, just like the king of the Hammers. It is such a dramatic change that was within so many people's grasp. As caliche was in the beginning before the high dollar stuff getting all right and so and that's the way racing progresses anyway, is the money eventually runs off poor boys. We got to make rules class.
Yep. But anyway, when that thing went rogue in that thing and then they took me out to there, he took me out to the place where they tested him. And showed me where he broke all the wheels. I said, well, let's break a deal. I want to see what's going on. So sure enough, and it was a railroad crossing right across the tracks and he's hitting it at back in the top speed. I think they had it up to like almost 60 miles an hour.
And so at 60 miles an hour, we hit the railroad crossing and boy, does it. Is it just grenades, one of the rear wheels? And so I take the wheel and I take it back to the plant. And we designed the first Dedlock wheel for the. And a 10 inch and 12 inch fucking inch for Dragon Fire in 2006 and won everything the Bahat best in the desert, everything on those wheels with those. And then, you know, they threw the lawsuit over the door.
Yep. They're kind of slow them down. And then in came the rest of the guys. And so it's what a progression that has been. Oh, I couldn't tell you how many wheels we sold to UTIs it just because we kind of got in on it. We we picked up some great distribution across the whole country and built private label wheels for, you know, for the last 10 years. Four major companies, so wheels that don't have our name on them, but were built by us, are being sold all over the country.
So that's the diversity race. We build a lot of private label stuff, and I don't think people realize that about the company. So anyway, that was a cool story about the thieves and my first experience with the first one with Todd Romano and then to see where that came from, because I still have a 25 reino, so I know what it looked like to where they are now.
You know, I was the only one left.
Now I don't know. But it's like it's got several parts on it that say two thousand twenty five on them. Nice. Like you take one of the seats out of gas is 19 versus 2005 and it's in part number on it. I think it was one ninety one ninety six off the line. Wow. Because it seems a little odd, I had to have one, I was like, this is going to be better than sliced bread.
There you go. Well, anyway, anyway, now we're two hours and 15 minutes, and I'm going to let you go because I probably missed at least I don't know how many phone calls, but I get busy. Yeah, we will. From the couch in Arkansas. There you go.
All right. Great. Thank you very much. Much later. Bye bye. If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.