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March 2010 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 1, 2010


Where To Write
Address your correspondence to: Four Wheeler, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245. All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department can also be reached through the website at Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.

Top Truck Classes: The Readers Speak Out
In the December '09 "Letters" column, Douglas McColloch wanted to know what readers thought about his Top Truck Challenge idea of five trucks and five buggies split into two separate classes. I say five stars! Do it! Top Truck has turned into a rockcrawler-style vehicle challenge.
Tim Joyce
Brewster, NY

Just a brief note in response to your December '09 editorial and Top Truck Challenge: For me, TTC became uninteresting the moment the requirement of street-legality was dropped. At that time, TTC's pathway was clearly towards a monster truck show. Sure, those vehicles are extremely capable-in the confines of a closed off-road arena. But is there anything to learn (or parts to buy) for my own truck? Not anymore.
J. Michael Salbaum
via the Internet

On your question about separating the Top Truck buggies and the trucks into two groups, I think you should. Then hold a truck and buggy run-off to see which is best-sort of like a Super Bowl TTC. You have a great magazine I've been a reader since 1980.
Dan Puricelli
Midlothian, VA

Responding to your TTC suggestion: I think your truck and buggy separation would be good idea.
Ed Pedersen
Thornton, CO

You asked if Top Truck Challenge should be divided into separate truck and buggy classes. Then a few pages later, you listed the winners of last year's TTC. The top four places went to buggies, followed by six trucks. That should answer your question, shouldn't it?
Mikey Bishop
Kirksville, MO

Douglas McColloch replies: There's a smart-aleck in every crowd, isn't there? (For what it's worth, my dad was born in Kirksville, so heck, we're among family here, right?) So far, the reader mail has been nearly unanimous in wishing to see Top Truck broken up into separate Truck and Buggy classes. At the moment, we're inclined to do it, too, but it will all depend on the quantity of entries (both truck and buggy) that we receive for next month's balloting. We'll have a better idea about whether it's doable or not a month from now.

Bring Back Real Truck Challenge!
I noticed that there was a lot of talk about bringing back your Real Truck Challenge. I attended most of them at the Badlands Off-Road Park, and I really enjoyed watching Average Joes like myself compete. I'm not sure why they were stopped, but I do know that a lot of fans and readers of your magazine were saddened to see it go.

I am writing you to offer a new location for the event. Redbird State Riding Area would be a great place to bring this event back. I am a member of the Redbird Foundation-we originally were a group of volunteers who maintained and ran the park. The state of Indiana has now manned the gates and relies on us now as a "friends group," and looks to us for ideas and events. We have around 1,500 acres, mostly old mining grounds. The trail system offers something for everyone, from a cruise through the woods to tight extreme trails. We even added a large rock garden. One of our trails, Trail 4, was awarded an Outstanding Trails Award by BF Goodrich. This event would do a lot to bring more attention to the park and help motivate the state to open up more areas for riders. Please consider bringing back Real Truck Challenge and please consider having it back in Indiana.
Kevin Mathis
Reelsville, IN

We're quite familiar with Redbird. Staff members and freelance contributors have visited the place in the past, and we'll agree, it's a terrific wheeling spot that would work well as a venue for a Real Truck-type event. The reason we killed Real Truck in the first place was, well, financial-we simply couldn't make it a profitable venture. (Which is a polite way of saying, not enough people like you showed up to watch the event in person.) That's not to say we'll never hold RTC again, and we'll continue to keep it in mind in the future when the economic climate becomes more favorable again.

Meanwhile, About The H3 . . .
I have been searching everywhere for serious off-road suspension upgrades for my 2008 Hummer H3. The only thing I have found, really, is a suspension lift from Rancho. This is very frustrating. The vehicle has been out now for 5 years, and I can't find anything. Can you help me find a company that offers some serious off-road equipment for my H3?
Houston, TX

One of the ironies about owning an H3 is that it's so capable in stock trim, you don't need to modify it very much to go almost anywhere in it. We're guessing that's why there hasn't been a land rush of aftermarket goodies for it in the past.

Still, there are few options out there. Besides the Rancho kit you mentioned, Tuff Country makes a 4-inch suspension lift for the H3, and both companies offer torsion key kits-as do Daystar, Skyjacker, Ready Lift, Trail Master, and Superlift-that level the ride and give you some two to 2 1/2 inches of added height.

Other stuff? Light Racing offers Jounce Shocks, Magnaflow makes an after-cat exhaust system, K&N and Airaid have performance air intake kits, ARB makes a winch bumper and Safari snorkel, and Gobi USA has a way-cool roof rack for it. For even more ideas, check out our eight-part Project "Trailhugger" series, in which we built our own Hummer H3. You can find all the episodes online at

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