The Cheap Truck Challenge is about doing more with less, not doing more with nothing. Fortunately there are companies out there that realize the value of doing things yourself and getting as much bang for the buck as possible. These companies signed on to sponsor CTC and allowed us to flog their products on the trail for the world to see.
Daystar makes a variety of polyurethane products, the most popular being leveling kits. These are the least expensive way to fit larger tires on your late-model pickup or Jeep. Daystar also makes these patented Cam Cans, which are a great way to add storage to your 4x4 without taking up interior space. They can be used to store nonfuel petroleum or water, or as a trail box to hold anything you can think of.
If you drive a cheap truck, it isn’t a matter of if you will get stuck, but when. That is one of the reasons we always go wheeling with our friends. Once they are done laughing at us, they can pull us out with our VooDoo Rope. The 100 percent nylon, 12-strand rope features a polyurethane coating resistant to water, UV light, and abrasion. VooDoo Ropes stretch up to 38 percent and then retract, making extraction easy on both vehicles involved.
Locking differentials are not cheap, but there is really no better bang for your buck in off-road prowess than locked axles. From the legendary Detroit Locker to the selectable ELocker, Eaton has applications for nearly every axle ever made. Eaton’s gear-driven Truetrac limited slip differential is a great option, too, for those who don’t have the need for a full locking differential.
You can pay someone to work on your rig, or you can do it yourself. Compared to paying shop rates, Miller welders are quite affordable. While they make 110-volt welders, we recommending saving your money for a welder that does both 110 and 220 volts to allow you to work on thicker material. With the money you save over the years, a Miller welder easily pays for itself.