Conversations with Big Rich

Off-Road Innovator and Industry Leader, Pat Gremillion, on Episode 50

March 18, 2021 Guest Pat Gremillion Season 1 Episode 50
Conversations with Big Rich
Off-Road Innovator and Industry Leader, Pat Gremillion, on Episode 50
Conversations with Big Rich
Off-Road Innovator and Industry Leader, Pat Gremillion, on Episode 50
Mar 18, 2021 Season 1 Episode 50
Guest Pat Gremillion

Off-road innovator and industry leader, Pat Gremillion, shares stories from his 30 years in off-road. Seller of Premier Power Welder and PullPal, Pat brings a wealth of knowledge and good cheer to our podcast. Listen in as we present Episode 50 with Pat and Big Rich.

2:39 – growing up with a junkyard  

6:13 – I’ve always loved welding

7:56– the beginning of off-road

9:59 –my father-in-law was an inventor

11:32 – PullPal was made for friends

12:44 – “if somebody told you, you could make a living having this much fun, you wouldn’t believe it”

14:51 – the start of Premier Power Welder

18:02 – I owe those magazine guys 

22:00 – meeting Harold Off

24:35 – the January vendor show

32:20 – just like E.F. Hutton

37:28 – I ain’t scared

43:56 – go eat your lunch, old man

47:12 – the double PullPal


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

Off-road innovator and industry leader, Pat Gremillion, shares stories from his 30 years in off-road. Seller of Premier Power Welder and PullPal, Pat brings a wealth of knowledge and good cheer to our podcast. Listen in as we present Episode 50 with Pat and Big Rich.

2:39 – growing up with a junkyard  

6:13 – I’ve always loved welding

7:56– the beginning of off-road

9:59 –my father-in-law was an inventor

11:32 – PullPal was made for friends

12:44 – “if somebody told you, you could make a living having this much fun, you wouldn’t believe it”

14:51 – the start of Premier Power Welder

18:02 – I owe those magazine guys 

22:00 – meeting Harold Off

24:35 – the January vendor show

32:20 – just like E.F. Hutton

37:28 – I ain’t scared

43:56 – go eat your lunch, old man

47:12 – the double PullPal


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the show (


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 delivers 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.


[00:01:20.310] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Pat Gremillion. Pat is one of the OG rock crawlers in competitive rock crawling. He's also a business owner in the four wheel drive Off-Road Industry and an innovator. And we're going to talk all about Pat's life. And Pat, I want to say thank you so much for coming on board today. Thank you for having me. Yeah, it's a pleasure to have a chance to sit and talk with you every time we see each other at Easter Jeep, I always love our conversations.


[00:01:57.850] - Big Rich Klein

So this will even be better than that, because I'm going to learn more about you today. And I probably have the whole time I've I've known you. So thank you. OK, thank you. So let's let's jump right in, where did you grow up and, you know, what were some of the early influences that you had?

[00:02:19.370] - Pat Gremillion

Well, I grew up in Louisiana, little town of Baker, and my best friend's father worked for Chicago Bridge and Iron and Roy and I started welding with his dad when I was about nine years old.



He had a junkyard. We call it a junkyard. He called it a scrap yard and we got to cut, we got to do anything we wanted to. We'd cut hoods out of cars and dragging them around fields, that was our toboggans and, you know, I mean, it was it was beautiful, just absolutely beautiful. And that's where I started welding and then. Oh, Lord, I went in the Marine Corps when I was 16. Wow, that's early.



Yeah, yeah. It was one of those either/or things, you know, back then you. You had to draft and then, you know, Marine Corps or, you know, somebody wanted to talk to you over here, right? You know, if you it wasn't that I was a bad kid. It's just I was restless.



Understood. And let's see, after that, I got out of the Marine Corps, met my wife got married.



And. Doing some odd jobs, you know, different things, and the welding was always the principal moneymaker. And we just. Well, we started a welding company, we never looked back. You know, it's just work right, put your head down and go.



So in school in Louisiana, did you I mean, you grew up in a time where there was a lot of tech classes. I know my dad went to a tech high school.



Yes, they had them there. Yes, they did. We had tech classes at. Rich, I was a I won't say I was a troubled kid, it's just I was one of those kids that thought they knew everything.



All right, I get it, you know, and.



Yeah, it's kind of it's kind of when I left on my dad's goes, when you hear that loud pop, call me. Do you know what I'm talking about? Yep. And so it took a while and then you realized what that loud pop was, it was your head coming out of your ass.



And, you know, but it took a while took a long damn time.


[00:04:53.820] - Big Rich Klein

All right, when you were in in the military there with the Marine Corps, yeah. Where were you stationed?


[00:05:01.140] - Pat Gremillion

Camp out in Camp Pendleton and Pioneer Battalion and demolitions. Demolition. That's cool. We blew things up.


[00:05:08.640] - Big Rich Klein

And what time frame was that?


[00:05:11.190] - Pat Gremillion

60 to 64. OK. I got out right as things were popping.


[00:05:17.630] - Big Rich Klein

So you did you didn't have to go to the jungle.


[00:05:20.330] - Pat Gremillion

I did not have to go to the jungle. No, I was fortunate enough. And actually when I was in the Marine Corps, I met some friends and, you know, they go in there and everything. And, uh, somebody said have you ever played football and.



Yeah, and. So I played four years of football for the Marine Corps. Wow, I know, I know people who The Marine Corp didn't have a football team. Yeah, we did. Each each battalion has a football team. And buddy, that was some rough. Yeah, we didn't have a whole lot of protection and they didn't mind your drinking a beer or two in between, you know.



Yeah, it was something to see.


[00:06:04.220] - Big Rich Klein

So you did demolitions that didn't come about and help you after the Marine Corps did it, you know, not to blow anything up, OK?


[00:06:13.930] - Pat Gremillion

No, no. Welding was well, I've always loved welding. I, I just love it, you know, and I still love it. I yeah. I could make a living out of it, you know, and everybody finds that something that they can make a living and earn money for their family. Right. And I chose high welding highrises, tall, 1600 foot. Nothing bothered me. And that was very few people that want to go that high, very few people wanted to do that.



But that didn't bother me. And I put together a crew for 17 years in Los Angeles. We we had a ball. Walk in, walk in the high buildings,  high buildings, anything, anything in the air? I don't care what it was, it was Rich. It was like. It was like living a dream when you pulled in as a welder on a high rise. They everybody gets the hell out of the way because, you know, they don't work below you and they can't go in, they can't go any further up until you.



Weld it, you follow me. Yep. And so when the welders were there, we were primadonnas, man.



Back then, we remember when we pulled in, it was like, get the hell out of our way, rock stars and celebrities. It was it was, boy, I mean, yeah, get this shit done, you know, get this welded so we can get the next floor up and we can get this. We can get that. And boom, I had some great kids working for me in. That's awesome. So where did the off road come in?



Well, when I when I left California in 89 and moved to Colorado. I. Didn't have anything to do, you know, and I had bought Premier started Premier Power Welder and I needed a vehicle. No, and so I had done a little bit of Jeeping and stuff, you know, with my father in law, with the PullPal and so forth, and and so a friend of mine had a Bronco and why I chose Bronco, I cannot tell you it was just there.



And I brought it home, my wife's aunt. Had a 1986 Mustang. And I know you're going to laugh, but she was a school teacher in Pasadena and she just she would do street racing. It was like a Beach Boys, you know, the little old lady from Pasadena. Yeah, that was her. Honest to goodness it was her. She would go out and street race. And if you beat her and hurt one of her Mustangs, it was.



Don't go away. I'll be right back. So when she died, she gave me that Mustang. Oh. wow. When I brought that particular Mustang here to Colorado, everybody wanted it, but it didn't have air. It didn't have anything other than a Mustang, an engine. I just went somebody is going to get killed in the snow and ice. I mean, this thing is bull.



So one night drinking a beer or two, I went, I know what I'm gonna do, so I ripped the engine out of that Mustang and put it in the Bronco and we never looked back.  When did you get involved with you said PullPal, so which was first PullPal or Premier? PullPal was first, I was welding.



I had worked for my father-in-law. We had a tool and die shop. I say we, he had a tool and die shop in El Segundo, California. A lot of aircraft, a lot of stuff to give you a little bit of idea of who my father-in-law was, my father in law, you know, the single-handle faucet that you turn left and right and get hot and cold water. Yes, my father-in-law was an inventor, he invented that. Oh, wow. He invented the heart-lung machine.



He invented a turbo prop for Howard Hughes on the on the planes and everything. It says Ross Wood/Howard Hughes. My father in law was an inventor. He invented things, and the way the PullPal came about was he was from Blythe, California. And I think, you know where that's at? Oh, yes. And that's where he was born and raised, and he would have you ever had an idea and you didn't know how to get there, and then all of a sudden, about 2:00 in the morning, you wake up and you go, I got it.



Yes, yes. OK, I understand where I'm going. Well, he would he did that, but he would do it almost in a trance and in sleep. He had his machine shop and he would drive out in the desert and just thinking of things. And he was a large guy and he wouldn't take any water or anything with me because he'd wake up, you know, and just take a ride at midnight and. One morning came out, you know, came to, I guess you say, and his story.



No water, no nothing. He didn't even know where he was and he was stuck and he came back to the shop, got back into El Segundo and he goes, nobody will ever get stuck again. And we go, what the hell the old man talking about now? And we hammered out the first PullPal I have it here at the house. We made the first PullPal back then. Wow. And Rich, it was something that we made for friends because he was in a Jeeping club in El Segundo and we'd make one for this guy and make one for that guy.



And then we put it away for a while because I had my business going. And he you know, we him and I had separated and. Oh, I can't tell you exactly if somewhere around 1986 or so, uh, we got back together. And he goes here. Think you can do anything with this, and my wife and I were, you know, laughing and say, hell yeah, well, you know, because we were I was racing motorcycles at the time.



I was playing with Husqvarna and stuff back in the desert, you know, with the desert nights and checkers and stuff. And and so we were out there, you know, so we took it and started playing with. And. I have had the time of my life, I have met the nicest people. It's well, you know, the 4 wheel drive industry. Oh, yeah, and you go Rich, if somebody told you you could make a living having this fun, it's much fun you wouldn't believe.



True. Yeah, you wouldn't believe it. And so we all had intended to I had a Freightliner at the time and a big, you know, big grill, and I was going to travel around and show my PullPal, show people. I never had to. It's all word of mouth and advertising and so forth with the magazines, you know what I meant, right? I honestly I don't think I've called a. A line on on PullPal, more than four or five times to show someone.



Huh, that's almost 30 years, but that's a pretty good. So this so from PullPal, you got into the well, I mean, you were welding anyway. Yes. So that's how is that how Premiere came about? Yeah, premiere.



Premiere came about. There was a man named Harry Robinson who had Linkarc. I was at a. Show it at Offroad Expo, and he had a couple there and I looked at them. Yeah, right. You know, I'm a welder, you know, and I just think come on. Well, we went outside. I welded with it. I bought two that day. I had these little trucks, you know, we'd run out over here for a gate or some something for somebody, you know, stupid.



And so when we left California. I got a call from a guy. And he made me an offer to have my own welder. And so. That particular day, he called. I remember telling him, if you're serious and you're talking about what I think you're talking about, don't go to bed tonight. I'll be there, my wife and I jumped in the car and we ran to Dallas that day. And that's how Premier got started. You know, we started premier, he made me he made me one of his partners, I guess you'd say, OK.



And he said, think of me as General Motors. You're buying a dealership. There's only a few like Ferraris. And I'll say, who has a dealership and who don't have a dealership? And he said, you know, I like the way you have been representing Linkarc and so forth. And he said, I want you to have your own. And so that's what we did and then I mean. My way of getting it out was to go travel and find the hardest trails at that time where people were breaking, you know, like on the Dump Bump or Rocker Knocker or Rock pile over over Pritchard.



So I'd go sit there all day, kind of like, you know, like a buzzard, you know, waiting for a break. And then I'd weld them up and then, you know, people would go, I've never seen that that they need explained to them, you know, what it was and so forth. Me, that was it. Now that it started working, I never charged anybody for any welding that I do, no matter what I did.



Out there, I was basically showing my product, showing them how to work. And that that was that was it, that was premiere, pretty much. I traveled the more I traveled more premier than I did with PullPal, I gotta admit they were together. But Premiere kind of took, you know, took the stage. Right, but. PullPal was always the anchor. I mean, it's kind of like we were joking yesterday, somebody said something and I said, you know, when we first started making these PullPal, we were doing it for friends.



As far as I'm concerned, we still are, yeah. Right. Everybody in the industry, whether, you know, I consider everybody that that goes and wheels a friend until they prove to me they're not. So that's I understand what you're saying. Yeah, you know, and now we've we've had it as far as. I. Do you have you ever met George Eliot? Do you ever have you ever heard of him, George Eliot? No.



OK, Eliot, back in, I want to say 87, 88. George Eliot was a managing editor for Off Road magazine.Oh, him and, you've heard of Moses Wooddale. Yes. Willy Worthy. Yeah. OK, well, all right. Jim Ryan, you knew Jim didn't you



Yeah. No, Jim. OK. All right.



George Eliot was my neighbor. And I had the PullPal and George. Came over one day, and I want I want you to see this thing, you know, and I showed it to him and he goes, leave it right there. Do not move it from that piece of concrete, you know, right in the middle of the garage. He said, I don't don't touch it. He said, I have a guy coming in tonight. He said, if he says you got something we're on, because I'm trying to get somebody to look at it in magazines.



Well, Moses Ladell was the guy coming. He came in, he walked around, looked at it, picked it up, did some things. And he said, I want you to meet me next weekend out at the Dunes in Oregon, the Oregon Dunes up there. All right. Well, Moses took it and beat the hell out of it for the weekend. We were all up there and Moses wrote me my first article at the time. I couldn't get too many magazines to even talk to me, you know?



I mean, you couldn't get past the girl, right, once Moses wrote that article. I mean, the door is open. Duane Elliott was George Elliott son, and he was one of the editors at the time too, right after that. And Jim Ryan. Oh, gosh. I mean, it was like, Willy Worthy. I mean, I met everybody, but Moses opened the door. Moses and George. And once it once it once it did, it was just go.



Can I can I ask how many you think that that you've produced over the years?



Yeah, I, I've got over 20 out there, twenty thousand. Wow, that's awesome. I know, I know it it it I keep track of everything and it blows my mind that, you know, this does happen. I guess you'd say that, that this could happen even if it just I look back we're talking 30 years. Right.



You know, I mean, it's hard to. It's hard to look back and, you know, I don't want to miss anybody's name, but, man, it was just so many things happened and we knew we were advertising in five magazines a month. And you know how that is. You know, you just meeting people. And, of course, you know, you're giving a lot away. You know, you're giving to this guy and that guy and Phil Howell helped a lot of, you know, just different.



Just different stories, no, just. kept you busy, it just I don't know where the days went sometimes, if somebody we're going over here, we're going to South Dakota, we're going here. Boom, boom, boom. And we go, I drop it and run.



So let's let's talk about this about those early days of wheeling. With. You were part of our gang, is that correct? Well, there is there there's a before the R gang, right, you met Harold Off didn't you. Oh, yes.



Oh yes, OK. Kind of a funny story about Harold Off when I met him. If you don't mind. No, no, absolutely. I came home. I came home from a trip and my daughter was answering the phones here. And she goes, Dad, this guy called wanted a couple of welders, but he was ruder than hell. He just basically she said, I almost hung up on him and and this it that, you know, she kept telling me what he was saying and stuff, and I won't give me his number.



My wife. No, no, no, no, no, the customers, they don't talk to my family like that. Honest to goodness, within the half hour that phone rang and he apologized. He said, I'm so sorry. That's not me. I think I'm a hell of a day that I have never I've never done anything like that. And, you know, I mean, Harold and I met about we were just I was in South Dakota who went to , I mean, to the rally in South Dakota, Jason Paule and those guys.



And I met Harold. And the rest is history. Him and I hit it off, boy. We like him, like him a lot. Yeah, yeah, and then we ran, he loved wheeling, I love wheeling, and then we wish we just. Had a group of older guys, you know, that they could go and I say older by the time we were 50, you know, 55, and we just we went we went a lot.



We really, really enjoyed the hell I will I would be gone almost 15 to 18 days a month on the road.



That's awesome. Yeah, Wheelin. So was was Frank Curry part of that group? Oh, Lord, yeah, yeah. You know, when you coming into the industry, there are people. That you have heard of, looked up to and you think, I'll never be in that group, you know, I never you know, I'm in my gut, it just Frank and I click it. We we go out and you just different guys. And you just and we would just, you know, I mean, it was like, OK, I'm going to be here next weekend.



And, you know, we're all just OK. OK, I'll see you there. You know, and we would all we would all head out, we had a thing that we would meet in January at the Hammars.



And we would all go there. You know, you've been to these shows and you're there, you never get to talk to any of the other vendors like yourself, like at Easter, you say hi. And then next thing you know, it's Sunday night and you're going home and you maybe had a beer with you. That was it. Yeah. So what we put together with Frank is we had all meet at the Hamer's. You couldn't talk business.



You said anything about business, it was a five dollar fine return to get it right. Perfect. We had paintball guns. We we we we did stupid shit, just had fun and visited. We would all cook something. But that was our that was our January meeting of the vendors, you know, and that was what we did every every year for years and years. So name some of the other guys that you wheeled with was Jack McCullin, one of those Jack McCullin.



Oh, my lord, yeah. Yeah, you talk about OK. Yes, yes. Yeah. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. I can't remember. It was his wife, Cindy. Sandy. Sandy. Yes, yes. Yes, yeah. As a matter of fact. Yeah. Do you knew Jack very well. Oh yes.



You Jack and Sandy helped me out when I first started Cal Rocks back in the day. Wow. They were Sandy was like Ranch's for ARCA his land use person with BLM and she did the same thing for me. And then the boys competed with us and Jack always did recovery, so, yeah, they were they were really close friends. You're going to bring that.



You're going to bring some memories. Oh, gosh, yes. Yeah, Jack. Well, you know, I mean. Ned Bacon, Jim Allen, and Ed Faustin, you know, I mean, I have been very, very fortunate to have met a lot of people yourself and just different everybody has been terrific. I don't I don't think I ever met anybody that I really don't care for. That's awesome. I just I look back, you know, when we were driving to Farmington during the first crawl's and stuff and playing, you know, and and again back then we broke.



You know, I'm looking at some of the stuff that's being built now. I don't think they break much.



You know, they don't they just it's like I'm glad I lived and had a welder and everything at that time because, man, I don't think I'd be selling that welder, too damn.



Many people right now really the in at least in the competition scene the. Somebody may break like a stub shaft, so if they roll over, they may, you know, tear off a shock amount or something, but they rarely miss a course, during the competition, yeah, and we're running I mean, we run pretty fast nowadays, we're done with a day of competition where, you know, if we're four or five hours from start to finish, that's a long day.



So, you know, yeah, a lot less recoveries than in the old days.



Well, you know, when they when they were first starting and I say after we got into it a while, they started to get pretty competitive. You know, I remember talking. I can't even think of who it was like I told him, I said, you know, you've got a group of guys here. It wasn't a large group. I said, but all we want to do is come compete. If it takes them five minutes, give us 10 minutes and make sure we're done at five, because at five, I want to have the barbecue on and start sipping cocktails.



I said, you know, it's not it wasn't the money. It was just camaraderie. Yep. And I said, just give us a chance to come out. But there's no way I can react and compete with a 20 year old. You know, just give me a little more time on the. Cut the course for me. You know something? I don't know this. Let's go out and play. But they didn't do that. So we just kind of faded out.



So back in the the days of pre-Pro Rock with the like Warn Nationals' or BFG, Nationals' or whatever, they were called each one of those. That I think I first met you. At the what was then the Warn Nationals at at the Hammers. Oh, my gosh. And you heard you were yet you were competing in a in a Bronco, I believe. Yeah, yeah.



All I had was a Bronco at that time. Yeah. Oh, God, I remember that. Yeah, yep, yep, yep. And that's yeah.



That's one that you and I first met. Of course we didn't become friends until later than that.



But you know, that was the only one there at the Hammer's at the time. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. I remember that. Yeah.



Well you're going back and you know. I hate to say it, but I was meeting so many people. You know, and it was I had to put a face, somebody say, do you know this person and just give me a picture of it, because I couldn't I just wasn't that good with names, you know, to remember that many names are, you know, but like you, just with Jack, you know, gosh, we had a ball.



We just had a great time. It was fast. I'm the same way with names, I'm very fortunate that my wife is very, very good with names. So we have a a little thing that we do because I can't remember the names and I don't introduce her to somebody new. Then she'll. Extend her hand out and say, hi, I'm Shelley, Rich's wife. And introduce get their names so that I can have it without looking like a complete idiot.



Yeah, you know, it works pretty well that way. Of course, there's been a couple of people that have walked up to that. She's gone to introduce themselves to us. And I'm like, nope, nope, nope, nope. We don't need to know that person because there's a few people out there that I could say I probably don't want to ever see again.



Well, I'm fortunate. I haven't again, I have not met anyone in the four wheel drive industry or are wheeling. That I haven't I mean, I don't have I mean, there's nobody I dislike, I mean, everybody has treated me well. It's just been it's been a hell of a run and it's been fun. That's great.



I'll tell you a story. If you got if you got Darren Skell, you know that you know Darren Shelden. We were at SEMA one time and I was sitting with Walker and I had given Darren Skelden and he was going to Baja, I've given him some PullPal. To take over there and play with and he came up and. Can you cuss on this? Yes, you can. He says he came up to the table and said, I want to talk to you about that PullPal.



And Buddy, I mean, it was like E.F. Hutton, that room went quiet. And I'm thinking to myself, no, no, please. But why now? I mean, not now. Come on. And then he told me it saved my life and I answered the water almost hit the floor. I was just. Oh, he told a story about how he had had some some Japanese guys, I think. And he had taken them over and he had taken them out on the beach and told them to follow him.



Well, when he got up top, he looked back and they were heading out toward the ocean. And he said that if he hadn't had the PullPal, he wouldn't have been able to get those jeeps out before the tide came up and he said all I could think of was my dad's going to kill me.



But that I know. I mean, every time I see him, I think of that. I mean I mean, he'll be scared the hell out of me that day. I just I couldn't imagine why he would come up and say that, you know, if it wasn't bad. Right. Well, he was just. Oh, man.



Let's discuss areas that you like to wheel where the places that you that if you get a chance, you always want to make sure you go back to or someplace that you haven't gone back to, that you do. Well for beauty, the Rubicon.



Yeah. I if I had to have a trip once a year. It would be the Rubicon. Now, whether it's late, I can remember it, I don't know. Last time I was there, it had gotten pretty strict, I guess you'd say, but we used to meet with Ned and some guys and Rick them every about once a year up there. And we would all do from Icehouse, we'd all go down the Rubicon. And that has always been my favorite trail.



The. I. I don't think I have a bed. I love Montrose, Montrose has some awesome Lilling in it because it's close here, but it also has good, good wheeling. I love the Hammer's I love to go over and just sit in the Hamner's and just play the thing lately. Is that what I really enjoy is that I would be that I guess you'd say I was able to build some machines that I can take people over there and let them drive and just sit back and watch their eyes and watch them when they get in a vehicle that's capable and they're having fun and they understand what this is all about.



And it's been more fun for me lately is just watching people drive my rigs. That's that's cool. My my wheeling is all about scenic wheeling anymore. I'm not I'm not interested in and having to beat my stuff up. I do enough of that at the events doing refueling recoveries. And, you know, I put my little Cherokee in places where. You know, it probably doesn't need to belong, but, you know, it has to and then luckily I get some of the events I have people come out with their buggies that will do the recovery for me.



But, you know, there's the Cherokees always being used in various ways that it wasn't designed. But the we enjoy Shelley and I do it now. Enjoy the scenic wheeling. We're I'm right with you, I'm right there with you. My my jeep that I built is not a crawler. I mean, like a rockcrawler. I, I can do things with it, but I don't want to. I have how long. I think eighty eight or eighty nine was my first year in Moab.



And. My wife told me a couple of years ago, if you do Pritchett or you do this or you do the golden spike, we're not going, you know, I want to see. So we have seen Moab from a different perspective. I didn't know was there.



Right. And it's beautiful. I mean, I can see why people are just get you know, that they plan their whole vacation around it. You know, I'm with you, though. I don't I don't need to do this. Honestly, Rich, I was that was my son and my grandson. And they were doing some hard stuff, and this guy came up with those, are you going to do this? No, I'm not going to do that.



And I ain't scared. And it took me back for a minute, you know, and you go scared has nothing to do with it. At 78 years old, I don't feel like I used to exactly. You know, I mean, I've been there, done that. And I got all my fingers, and all my toes, and I don't need to do this shit no more. And if he'd seen some of the places you've been and what you've done, he would be scared.



That's right. That's what my my grandson said to me. I don't need this anymore. I mean, but scared had nothing to do with it. It's it's smarter now.



Yeah. But, you know, we never thought. I don't think I ever really given any thought to Rolling or getting hurt. We're not moving that. I mean, now you guys are moving fast. And we weren't we were we were crawling, right. You know? I mean, so if you rolled over, you just laid on your side or something, you know, maybe tipped over. But I don't think the chance of getting hurt was really slim.



Yeah, there's a couple of times I've been hurt were. In somebody else's jeep. Or rig, whether I was driving or passenger and that vehicle that I did not necessarily fit well in or the had belts adjusted quite properly, are the times that I've gotten hurt were with rollovers. So it's and I have to take full blame for that because I should have taken the time and made sure the harnesses fit properly and that I was snugged in and everything. I do that now, I'd ride with some guys that, you know, we go and do some really gnarly trails out in Arizona or we do out at the Hammers or even the way we drive Pritchett and then behind the rocks and, you know, in cars that are, like you said, they're built more to go fast, but they can crawl.



Yeah. You know, I make sure that the belts and harnesses are functioning properly and fit me properly. Otherwise I just don't ride with them anymore. Well, when you said that it I have a I have a problem with riding, I will not ride with anybody if I can't drive and that goes back to when I was flying. Know I am not flying and I'm not a pilot. I don't fly. I mean, if I go down, it's my fault.



That's when somebody was asking me who worked on my rigs and who did this and who did that and what I do and what you don't understand. If I get hurt in this race, it's my fault. Right, nobody. That bolt, that nut, that weld, that's mine, I don't ever want my wife or anybody to come up and go. This happened here. I mean, it was my fault. I do all my own stuff. You're your own stunt coordinator.



Well, my government, you know, I do all my own well. I mean, if I got an idea, I do it. It's me. I don't I don't, you know, I mean, that's just me now, that's just I guess you say a phobia or what, but that's the way I am. I have to do. I understand.



Let's let's talk about some of the rigs that you've driven over the years. I know you're old when you were first competing. That was a the suspension was pretty stock in that in that Bronco, wasn't it? Well, not no, no, no, I put the the the four link in the rear, OK? And in ninety six. All right. And you do know Jason Paule in South Dakota. Oh, yes. OK, I used to go over there and wheel with these guys.



And Jason, at the time, this was like ninety six. I think. Anyway, he had taken snowmobile rams and put on his Bronco in the back in the front to where if he came to something he could push his body it raise and lower every side. He could make that thing all over. And him and I and Phil Howell was at the time and we were joking and, you know, and I came home. And I was talking to Phil and told him, I'm going to cut my thumb on Nerima Broncho, I do this and will do that.



And he called me that night and he said, you're too late, but he. He says somebody has already done that. I said there's only one other person that would do so. That's right. That's right. I took my Bronco next that following week, I made a deal with Jason and we traded some treatment and he cut my Bronco the next week. He narrowed it, shortening everything and Paule did that for me, and then I came home and put it all together.



But yeah, Jason, I love now that's that's another fun run, South Dakota. Yeah, I haven't been there in a while, but we always made South Dakota. And the old Chili challenge, oh, my gosh, Chili Challenge. That. That was one of our must, we always did it Chili challenge, you know, I was very fortunate to lead similar trails over there at the Chili Challenge, Harold and I used to we ran together. So we we said that it was either him or me up front and we just bounced around it.



And a funny story. I don't know. Loren Healy, I was at Chili Challenge one year with Harold. And Loren came up and we're going to we're with you, old man, we're going to we're with you. So for tonight and have you seen Loren? Is that since then? Oh, yeah. OK, well, some of his guys in his group are pretty, pretty rough looking, you know. You know, and I remember when they they left and I looked at Harold, it isn't that great at them.



And I got to take care of these guys all day to day, you know? And I'm telling you, we got on that trail and all I heard was get out of the way, old man. Get out of the way. Go eat your lunch. Get out of the way. They wouldn't let us do anything. And that's how I met Loren Healy and his guys. Yeah. And he came up that night. They had some beer and stuff and.



Because our group is six six six six, six seven, yeah. Six, nine, six, six, seven, yes, something like that. Six, six, seven, yeah, you know what, six, six, seven years. Yeah, well, one better than the devil.



My wife about had a fit, but that that's what I meant. Lord. And with. Oh, again.



How do you. People ask you what why you do things, and all I can tell them is you can't buy this feeling. I mean, it was like when we were racing motorcycles and they said, how can you do that? You go when you're cutting across that desert and she had on a bike and you can't buy the feeling that is most man. You're screaming at yourself and hollering and singing and, you know, you just can't duplicate that.



You said you're 78 now, is that correct? Correct and. How many how many more trips to Moab are you going to do? As Many as I can, buddy 10, 20, as many as I can, you're the one. Well, I tell you, a couple of years ago I told Danny I went over there. And Danny said something, I said, you know, Danny, I'm just going to have a few beers with you and I'm going to sit here and if I fall asleep in the sun, leave me alone.



I don't need to go out and do that anymore. I, I enjoy, you know, the people. I really do. But I just. I don't know, I'm into right now making some videos for the PullPal, that's my big push lately. Nice.



I going to do something. I want to do some some fun things, you know, with PullPal, some, some or, you know, just just some. Have you ever seen Trunk Monkey? Yes. OK, I want to kind of do a Trunk monkey where you have a monkey sitting on the side of you, you know, you get stuck in you, the monkeys slap one another and throw bananas at one another. And I said, the monkey, I take the PullPal out and you're out.



You know what I mean? Yes. Just something, you know, I don't know why my head's just going there, but I'm having fun. That's good. And a lot of fun. We've been fortunate enough. We've got another one we're working on on on a double PullPal now. And it might be out sometime this year, hopefully, but we are. We've been blessed, really blessed. Well, I'll tell you what, when you get that that double PullPal and you're ready to start marketing it, let me know because I'd love to have it as a new product in our magazine in 4Low.



So I'm a tell you what. I'll send you a picture. We have it.



What sent the print type thing? Yes, yes, yes.



You you have actually have a physical PullPal. They did it for me. And so we have that and I can send you a picture of what it will look like, OK? And if I got it laid out here on the bench and my son and I are going over some stuff and. It's something that he came up with and he's he's got some idea. That's Max. Yes, Max, yeah.



Max is a lot like his grandfather. He's got some ideas, man, that's awesome. It is great that the next generation can take over and continue. It has something to it. I'm really enjoying sitting back and watching, you know. Right. And, you know, it's fun. It's a lot of fun now.



So were there any other products that you you did besides the premier power welder and the PullPal?



We looked at a few. We played the match, came up with Greg Anderson. And I don't know how that all transpired. They were going to do something. We couldn't do it. Our insurance said there's no way we could do it, you know, so we got to we step back out of that. I've had a lot of opportunities to do other things, but we're just mom and pop, you know, and I only have so many hours in a day.



And we sold a welder. I told Jan when it got to be where it wasn't any fun, if you want to get rid of it. And then the drive by wires and different things came into the vehicles and it just. Seemed like you were on the phone, you know, trying to help people troubleshoot this troubleshoot and it just got to where it wasn't any fun. All right. So I sold that to ACe alternators and they're doing real well.



And that's the that's the the guys out of Yucca Valley. Yes, that's it. Yeah. Yeah. So.



And how many grandkids do you have? Oh, Lord. A lot to do. No, no, not OK. Five or six. I have to stop and think this is six or seven it I hate to say it like that, but, you know, I don't remember birthdays and I don't remember a lot of, you know, people go, do you remember this? And you remember that? And I have to really sit and think about.



No, I don't my mind. I don't know, I just but I love being out in the shop. I don't relate to a lot of people, you know. I don't give people an attitude like I have an attitude or something if I don't get in on some conversations. But I see something that I start thinking of other things. And it's just it's just a way of I guess I'm programed. Yeah. You know, and you just go you no, I'm not ignoring you, but I just I have things I think about and that's that's always on my mind how I'll drive all the way to California.



And I want to turn the radio, drive my wife crazy where I just sit and think about things.



Yeah. That's the way we are. We don't we don't drive with the radio on very, very rarely.



Didn't have something in that way. Now. Especially like on the third day of driving across the country. Oh, yeah. That's when the ideas start to come out. Some of them aren't necessarily great ideas, but but there's still ideas and we write them down. I don't I don't think I'll ever get to all the ideas that we have. You know, we're trying to do some of them.



Yeah, but, Frank, when you talk about Frank Currie. Frank would break down sometime and I'd go up there like I was going to work on him, would do with the welder or something, and he'd go, No, I'm going home. Currie's don't break and you never see anybody. Well, when Frank was around then, you never worked on a Currie vehicle. It don't break. That was it. Nobody would drag it all the way out.



You will not work on it. No pictures of this yet.



I'm glad I'm not in the parts side of the industry then.



So Frank quite a guy. He was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. Yeah, and they are, but now I don't think. The PullPal has been around. I think we made our first PullPal in 1967, wow, OK.



Yeah, that's how long it took us before we sat on the bench, put it up, put it away, play with different people, but. It took almost 20 something years before we broke it out. Hmm, are making it. That's a that's a good a good piece of history right there. I mean, I've been around a long time.



So how long have you and Jan been together? Fifty seven years. 57 years. Congratulations. Well, thank you. She ran my welding business. She runs this business.



She's a smart lady. She is.



Yeah, she is. There's no doubt about it. I mean, hello. Yeah, I've got one that keeps me out of trouble. Yeah, yeah, she is she's always Jan can survive on three hours a night sleep. She will not be heard before one o'clock, and if that phone rings, she'll pick it up if it's 11:00 at night. And I got why, baby, she goes, is impulse buying. If they want to call me at 11:00 at night, that means they might want it.



Yeah. OK. So she's she's doing something all the time, all the time. But that's the way she was when she ran my welding business. She was always right there. I needed something. She was my runner. Everything running, anything I needed, you know, always there doing the books, doing this. Yeah, so where are you located at Carbondale, Colorado, Carbondale. So you're on the West Slope? Yeah, about 90, 90 miles from Junction, OK.



Yeah, and I was fortunate enough to find a particular place up on the hill. I live up on the mountain and I was very fortunate. But my daughter's house next to me, one of my daughter's. And then I built mine and got to watch my grandkids run across the field and come over and. There, shop up shop and. And then a lot of the. Excellent. Well, Pat, is there anything else that you would like to add that that we haven't touched on?



No, I don't. You mean. I don't know, I people ask, you know, how long are you going to do this and how long I'm going to do this as long as I can. I mean, it's fun. I never want to give up seeing the people that I I guess you'd say my second life, you know, after work, you know, start all wheeling. And I really enjoy seeing the old friends and new friends and and building the PullPal just keeps me keep my mind active.



It just keeps keeps everything functioning, you know? And I'm having fun. I'm having fun. I'll be out here. Excellent.



So are you going to Easter Jeep this year. And you are OK? Yes. Well, I will miss you. We are not making it to Moab this year for Easter. We are not stuck in Texas, but we have decided to stick ourself in Texas.



A didn't you find we.



Yeah, we have. We have property up in Mason. We own a hotel there. Yeah. Yeah. Right, right, right. By where Katemcy and Wolf caves are at and we're doing our first event of the season in Mason. So we decided to stay. We're down in Port Aransas right now. We bought a floating house and were and the house is called the Home Office. It's a 48 foot long Chris-Craft, Catalina. And so were we traded in, not traded in, but during the season, we're in the Taj Mahauler or the big semi truck.



And yeah, in the off season, we've got a boat. So we're sitting down here in Corpus Christi area in the bay and just outside of the the Gulf of Mexico.



Yeah, we're enjoying the sunshine and, you know, man, after my own heart, but too many years of of not knowing what I wanted to do and now I know what I want to do.



So I've never had a boat. But I that is always been in the back of my mind is when I had my welding business in Los Angeles, one of the ways that I sold my business was, you know, I'd go in and I'd book a houseboat for a couple of three weeks or so and I'd go bid these jobs and stuff. And I'll always kind of like, you know, I got this house. I can't go on this houseboat.



I can't. And I don't know what I'm going to do. It don't go. It wouldn't cost you anything, man. If you want to take your family and take. You follow what I'm saying is these guys go, you should let me have that house as it meant, I can't go. I got to working on it and I got so much work doing that, but it never went on the damn houseboat, but it was a I guess you say a selling feature, you know, helped me get to jobs.



There's nothing like enticement, no, no, and the graft is everywhere now, it's only graft if it's illegal.



Yeah, yeah, that's true. That's true. Well, it wasn't nothing illegal about it. It's just that, you know, you kind of set them up, you know, you found that they like to go boating and stuff. Next thing you know, they had a week on a houseboat. I had a job there. You go in and it's fun, but I always, always wanted to go on one. Well, in the come fall, we'll be back here in Port Aransas, Texas, just outside of Corpus Christi.



So next fall, through spring, if you're in the area. Stop on by and we'll take you out for a spin.



Well, I can't tell. I mean, what this covid. Oh, no. I've got a condo sitting here on wheels, but it's just nobody wants you to go anywhere. They don't want you to come see them like my kids or, you know, they have their businesses and they're afraid that if I go out and get Covid then they're going to have to shut their businesses down for 14 or whatever the hell they. So, you know, they can't do that.



They've got you locked down pretty good.



Yeah, I think all of that's come into I think that all that's come into to a head, you might say, and I will be behind us here shortly by hopefully by the end of the summer. Beginning of the fall.



I hope. I hope so. Yeah. Well, Pat, thank you very much for spending some time with us this afternoon, and it was a pleasure talking with you. I hope you enjoyed it.



The pleasure's all mine. And I yeah, I sit here. It's kind of like, you know, I live up on this damn hill. And if somebody comes up here, they are either lost or they know me. They don't come here. I mean, I don't see anybody anymore. And I mean, it's like it's you know, it's like I'm a hermit up here.



Well, and unfortunately, with this covid, it's you know, like you said, people aren't traveling and exploring like they used to. True. True.



But there's a lot of there's a lot of guys help me with who helped us save us PullPal and. Oh, my gosh, you know, he goes from David Freiburger, you know, hey, why don't I get one that I could go on the list of people that without any of them, I don't know what I don't know. We were just fortunate enough to to meet people and everything worked. That's awesome. Well, Pat, thank you again.



And we will talk hopefully I'll see you in in Moab in 2022.



All right. Take care yourself. All right. You too. And say hello to the family. Thank you, too. OK, 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 book you enjoyed. It will catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.