Just finished reading the September '09 issue, and while I agree with many of Willie Worthy's remarks in his "Workbench" article ("No More Excuses"), I must take issue with several of his remarks.
Regarding the activism of the four wheeler community: it is not always easy for an individual to be as proactive as one might wish-especially in my case, where I run a small family business and often work 12 to 16 hours a day, six days a week, while my beloved FJ40 sits forlornly in the yard collecting dust. I would like to become more active, but one has to balance taking care of one's family first. I am a member of Tread Lightly! and United Four-Wheel Drive Associations and applaud them for the great work they are doing. I tend to believe that many other wheelers may be in the same boat as I and not have the luxury of being able to devote the time to keeping people out of areas they feel only they are qualified to manage.
Unfortunately, while we fight to keep a few hundred acres of land and trails open, our esteemed legislators take away hundreds of thousands of acres with the stroke of a pen for no real good reason other than it makes them look good in the eyes of their liberal friends. I noted to no one in particular that if this land grab continued, you would start to see those who wish to recreate off-pavement start disregarding the closure signs as you are now starting to see. And yes, Willie is right-sooner or later, all our 4x4s will be nothing more than boulevard cruisers with the greatest challenge being the speed bumps at the local Wal-Mart.
I have been a longtime subscriber to Four Wheeler and like many of your articles, especially Willie's, but I couldn't let this one go by without comment.
Via the Internet
We can't see much disagreement here-and yeah, we realize that "getting involved" is sometimes easier said than done when one has to balance work and family obligations, and the time that they demand from us. On the other hand, simply because some public lands are being closed by various government agencies, it's no justification for disregarding the law and behaving illegally. We don't get to choose which laws we want to obey, but we do get to choose the legislators who write the laws and who appoint the heads of the various regulatory agencies. Long story short: "getting involved" can be a multi-pronged effort ranging from practicing and preaching Tread Lightly! principles on a face-to-face basis, to working with national or regional organizations such as UFWDA or Cal 4-Wheel to advocate wise-use land management, to getting politically active with a party organization and/or candidates for office at the state and local level.
Wheels And Weight Ratings
Your recent wheel-tech article, "The Wheel Deal" (Oct. '09), discussed how to calculate minimum wheel load ratings based on the GVWR of the vehicle. The example given was a Ford F-350 with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds, which you claimed should use a wheel with a minimum load rating of 2,550 pounds. This is not correct. Gross axle weight rating (GAWR), not GVWR, should be used to calculate minimum wheel and tire load ratings. All truck and SUVs have the GAWR printed on a sticker on the driver's door jamb.
In the case of the F-350 example, I have seen rear GAWRs as high as 7,000 pounds on some F350s, which would require a 3,500-pound wheel load rating, not 2,550. When we started seeing 7,000-pound GAWRs a couple of years ago, we increased our wheel load ratings from 3,200 to 3,500 pounds on all new eight-lug truck wheels.
Wants More Love For K5 Blazers
I get so jealous of all the Jeep owners. Don't get me wrong-I love my 1977 K5 Blazer, but Jeep owners always get "Buyer's Guides" in any 4x4 magazine I look in. I wish that you guys would make a K5 buyer's guide because those are just as popular as Jeeps. I see as many K5s as I do Jeeps on the road and on the trails. I spend a lot of hours trying to hunt down the biggest bang for my buck, and it would be nice to have some professionals just tell me what is the best for my rig. I would really like to see a K5 buyer's guide before Christmas.
Well, we missed the Christmas deadline, sorry to say. As a rule, our Buyers' Guides are typically meant to showcase new products for later-model rigs-and truth to tell, there ain't a whole lot that's new under the sun for your 33-year-old truck. But we're always on the lookout for new products and buildup items from the aftermarket, and as they make their way onto the market, we'll be sure to let you know.
Where To Write
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