Goodyear Tire: Official Tire
New meats were rolling under most of the UA fleet this year. Goodyear Tire stepped up and threw down its new Wrangler Kevlar MT/R tire for use, abuse, and evaluation during our Midwest trek. And considering we were in mud every day, the Goodyear tires were the perfect choice for us. Sixty Wrangler Kevlar MT/s ranging in size from 35 to 42 beat, clawed, dug, and slugged it out on every substance imaginable. Five of Goodyear's largest model, the 42-inch Kevlar MT/R, were mounted on the 4WOR Official Vehicle of the Ultimate Adventure. Our 10,000-pound Ultimate Super Duty will continue to beat on and assess Goodyear's new donuts for the coming year.
Hobart Welders: Official Welder
The Hobart team shows up bright and shiny at the beginning of the week, but within a few days they're covered in dirt, grease, and sweat. Lucky for us, they're still smiling and having a great time cutting, welding, and grinding. This year, as in the past, the Hobart Tech Trailer offered up every option of stick, MIG, TIG, plasma, torch, and grinder you could imagine. The good news is all of Hobart's products will also fit in your very own garage for your next build or repair project. Our perennial favorite, the mobile MIG Trek 180, served up duty in places not able to be reached with an extension cord. Look for our full review in a future issue.
BDS Suspension: Official Suspension
UA newbies BDS Suspension brought no tissue paper, but the company did bring its '97 Jeep TJ. That worked out just fine, as the crew shed no tears during the week on the rock, mud, and pavement. The BDS TJ featured the same 6.5-inch long-arm suspension that you can buy right off the shelf. It accommodated the 37-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs and didn't leave the crew stranded once. BDS also offers suspensions for a variety of other vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs.
K&N Filters: Official Air Filter
Protectors of engine internals and passers of clean air, K&N Filters hit the road and trails with us again for 2009. K&Ns were found on many rigs during the UA, and for good reasons. It's no secret that K&N's design allows for greater airflow over stock filter elements. However, another much-appreciated benefit is that if your K&N filter receives an overload of mud you can service it on the spot. Remove the filter from your intake system and just wash, dry, reapply filter oil, and reinstall the filter to get back on the trail again.
Lightforce: Official Off-Road Light
The week of Ultimate Adventure is not all sunny days. Knowing that there would be darkness during our trip, Lightforce joined to show off its various models of off-road lights. Lightforce lights are constructed from a high-impact composite material and designed for severe off-road use. Such a design was an advantage for the rigs that sported the lights since vibration is not only present on off-road rigs, but tree branches often find lights a pleasure to reach out and swat. A final benefit was the portable daylight the lights provided for our film crew when sunlight was in short supply.
Offroad Design: Official Fabricator of the UASD
Starting with our Aug. '09 issue and running through next month you will find coverage of building the Official Vehicle, the Ultimate Super Duty (aka Ultimate Ranch Truck). Creating such a monster is a monster in itself. This year the immense task fell to the skills of Offroad Design. Known for their extensive prowess and respected products for fullsize GM 4x4s, Offroad Design's staff transformed our beaten gray lady into a miracle machine. Their tried-and-true long-arm suspension was adapted for use on the Super Duty suspension and never let us down. The company also did substantial work to create the ranch-style bed and prepare the body for a week of use against the sides of the extreme trails we traveled. Check out Offroad's website for a variety of well-designed and reliable off-road components.
Warn: Official Winch
OK, it's getting to sound repetitive: Warn partnered up with us again for the Ultimate Adventure. However, the fact that we face hardcore winching nearly every day during the UA is repetitive as well. As in the past, Warn models in attendance ranged from classic uprights to lightweights and new horizontals with thermal overload protection. Our Ultimate Super Duty features a M15000 that we frequently spooled in and out to rescue both ourselves and other rigs as well.