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November 2009 Off-Road Unloaded - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on November 1, 2009
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Editor's Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write: Unloaded, OFF-ROAD Magazine, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 1100, Anaheim, CA 92806.

Remember, we're giving away swag every month to the author of our favorite letter. Be sure to include your address, so we know where to send your goods. And because we lost our copyeditor, please know that we are not going to be copyediting your letter. If you are going to be hating on us, you better check it over well before sending it our way! Thanks!

This month, everyone who had their letter published in the Unloaded section is getting a heavy-duty tow strap from Mac's Tie Downs( The recovery straps use USA-made webbing, stitched together with lined eyes at the ends for maximum durability.

Getting Technical
I must say I was pleasantly surprised with one of the articles in your August 2009 issue.

I have been reading off-road magazines for the better part of 30 years, and have been very disappointed with the technical information in many of the mags over the past few years - specifically, I'm disappointed with the lack thereof.

Long ago (I assume before lawyers got involved), these magazines contained such a wealth of technical information. Today, many of the articles seem like glorified advertisements.

I hope the Links Basics articles were a start of a trend of technical and informative articles for the faction of your readership that wants to have a thorough understanding of how and why things work.
Scott Bosso
Cumming, GA

Thanks, Scott! We'll do our best to bring you more good tech articles, and take it easy on the "fluff."

Mine Safety - Don't Be Like Us
Not trying to sound like a stick in the mud, but you guys are doing your readership a disservice by suggesting that they explore abandoned mines around Moab - or anywhere else (August '09 issue, Page 41). Last year alone there were 21 fatalities in inactive or abandoned mines. Unlike natural caves that have had a millennia to stabilize, even 150-year-old mines are continually equilibrating the redistribution of overhead load (rocks are still working loose). Other likely hazards include non-breathable atmosphere (decomposing timbers deplete oxygen and give off methane and carbon dioxide). Then, of course there's water. But, hey, there's no need to listen to my ranting - just visit for information about the Mine Safety and Health Administration's "Stay Out-Stay Alive" program. You will find links to fatality and injury statistics along with gory details (if that's what it takes to convince you).

Abandoned mines, like rattlesnakes, are best admired from afar.

Thanks! And keep up the work on a great magazine!Kenny SherrillOff-roader, Mine Foreman, caver, former Mine Rescue Team

Kenny, you don't sound like a stick in the mud at all. I appreciate the information, and thank you for the link to the informative website. I have never claimed to do the smartest or least life-threatening things, but I always try to at least do them intelligently. In hindsight, you're probably correct that it was not good to give such a general comment about exploring mines, as there is obviously a good chance that they might not be safe to venture into. The ones I was taken to were a common destination point, and the unsafe mines were boarded up. But I realize that doesn't necessarily mean the open ones were safe either.

Doing Something Right!
I first picked up OFF-ROAD three months ago and almost headed to the hospital! Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I'd see a mag that wasn't all about trail-riding or Jeeps. I'm glad you and [former publisher] Jeff Dahlin made OFF-ROAD what it is now - the off-road community needed a mag like yours. Also, the tip to Specialist Wampler about using old street signs for skidplates is great! They work awesome - better than some aftermarket pieces.
Rock on.
Joe Mendenhall

That pic of the little boy wrenchin' on the truck in a recent issue of OFF-ROAD was awesome! My 3-year-old does the same stuff! It's pretty nice. He gets bored everywhere but the garage, so it's not a problem to spend my days off out there. I attached a pic of him showing me how to weld.Aaron Mills

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