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February 2012 InBox Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on February 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Rockcrawling Lives
A huge thank-you for including Professional Rock Crawling information in your Oct. ’11 issue. My name is Brent Bradshaw, driver of the Unlimited Crawler on page 20. I am also the proprietor of Trail Tough Products, which provides parts for Suzuki enthusiasts worldwide. So once again a huge thank you for the special section “Suzuki Feature Roundup.” I have received a substantial amount of customer feedback in regard to your coverage, especially the “W.E.Rock Rocks Oroville” commentary. This is a very nice boost for this facet of our recreation.

If I can provide any further editorial contribution or information, please let me know. I am also the reigning W.E.Rock Unlimited Series Champion two years running as well as the current W.E.Rock Unlimited Grand National Champion. You might find my daily driver interesting so I am including photos. Once again, thank you so much for shedding light on our efforts.
Brent Bradshaw
Trail Tough Products

You are welcome, Brent. Many think that competitive rockcrawling died and went away, but we know better and intend to keep our hand in the coverage. Keep up the good work yourself!

We Are Total Idiots
Dear Rick, you may remember my sister starting the stink about you wearing sandals while welding. I am here to say that Justin Scheller on page 63, picture 9, is a total idiot for drilling without safety glasses, and your dumbass rag is irresponsible as hell for printing it. You both would be fired on the first day in the real world. My script won’t be renewed.

Keep up the good work … not!
Name withheld out of respect for your sister Via email

Sorry for your misunderstanding. Since it was a staged photo instead of an actual drillfest, Justin wasn’t wearing safety glasses. Notice that photo 6 next to it has actual sparks and safety glasses. I hope you teach your children better than how we teach photographers, at least about being observant.

Alaskan Fish Story?
I wear a hat and live in a trailer, so of course I am often abducted by aliens, but crossing the Missouri line into Eureka Springs, Alaska, is a rather large fish story. I live in Cominto, Arkansas, and I noticed in your Ultimate Adventure article you listed “Eureka Springs, AK” instead of “Eureka Springs, AR.” It’s not the first time Arkansas has been abbreviated AK, and I laugh every time I see it. One of my own friends from Wisconsin moved here and put “Monticello, AK” on all her job applications (I guess that’s why she never got hired).
Caleb Bodiford
Cominto, AR

Uh, yeah, we still can’t believe that mistake got through. Of all the readers who caught it, you were the most eloquent, and we thank you. From Arlaskansas.

Girly Mags
I was recently paging through my copy of 4-Wheel & Off-Road and found an ad for what I would call the Jackass of off-road magazines, featuring pranks, explosions, parties, music, and girls. In my experience, any vehicle magazine that feels the need to rely on scantily dressed women is not only a poor excuse for a car mag, but also a really bad girly mag. If I want to look at pictures of women in various states of undress, there are much better sources. If you could continue with the high-quality publication that is Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road and please limit examples of gratuitous exposed flesh to rare pics of Miss Bikini Mud Fest winners and the tops of Rick’s feet, it would be awesome. Keep up the good work.
Matt Koenigs
Via email

I’ve never had my feet so closely coupled to bikini babes, so I’m not sure how to respond, but I think I like it. Thanks for enjoying our mag. Just buy more and we’ll keep it on the same track!

Ultimate Hook
I have an Ultimate Adventure question: What is the difference between tow hooks and shackles?
Name withheld
(Probably Tom Boyd)

Good question! A hook is open so a strap can be instantly attached, while a shackle is a closed loop, or D-ring, with a bolt or pin through the end. A D-ring can be welded to a mount, which is bolted or welded on, and a rope cannot be instantly attached. A shackle is a portable D-ring, or clevis, with a screw type or pinned cross bolt so it can be opened to attach a strap. Hooks are great for quick attachment, such as when your rig is sliding off a trail over a cliff. I recommend both on any vehicle. Tech Editor Fred Williams had Randy Ellis Design make his own super duper snazzy design, seen here, for the best of both worlds.

Calendar Missing Days?
I just received the December issue in the mail and was reading through it as I do every other issue I get. While reading about the Ultimate Adventure, I noticed that your captions went from “Day 5, Wednesday, July 6,” to “Day 6, Thursday, July 8.” What happened to July 7? The article is fantastic, as all your articles have been. I was just caught a little off guard going from the 6th to the 8th. Keep up the great work at your wonderful magazine and I’ll keep reading it. Maybe one of these years I’ll have a rig built that will be eligible for the UA.
Ed Carr
Via email

By the sixth day of UA we have no idea what the day or date is, and we just felt we could show that fact by printing it in the magazine. Really. Yeah, that’s it!

Reader Rant
Zero Liability
After hearing about yet another trail closure due to a lawsuit, it occurs to me that perhaps we are in need of a law change. I’m fired up. One of the many reasons that trails are closing is because private landowners are fearful of potentially backbreaking lawsuits if someone is injured or killed on their property and the family subsequently sues.

It occurs to me that potentially we could create a new type of land designation I call Zero Liability Recreation Areas. My idea would be a landowner of an unimproved “wild” property could file some paperwork and have their land designated as Zero Liability with the government. They would either post a sign or in some other reasonable way notify people of the new status (I’m thinking a government website could be created showing the areas clearly marked). Anyone who enters the property in any way then assumes 100 percent liability for anything that happens to them, with no option to sue the landowner over injuries or deaths. This would eliminate the need for landowners to collect release forms from every person entering an off-road park. Not to mention, release forms are typically far from airtight in court, and smart landowners have to carry tons of insurance regardless. Simply by crossing the property line, the four-wheeler would assume full personal responsibility and could not blame the landowner for anything.

Am I crazy, or is this a good idea? Seems like a long time ago someone who died while enjoying his favorite hobby was mourned and then everyone moved on. Now every time I turn on the news I see some grieving family members saying how “there were no warning signs posted that (fill in the blank) was a dangerous activity” or whatever. I feel for these people, but it’s like they have been coached by an attorney to start playing the blame game. I feel like asking them, “Is this what your loved one would have wanted? You to ruin the land or business owner because your loved one died driving his favorite Jeep? You really think your loved one didn’t know it was dangerous and would have stopped if there had been a simple warning sign? Give me a break.”

I wish this kind of law existed now. I just heard that one of my favorite hiking trails, Cedar Creek Falls, was closed because someone slipped and fell down a cliff. And just a few days ago someone fell into the Maui blowhole, which is on private land. I can almost guarantee that it will soon be closed because I saw the widow on TV crying that her husband really didn’t know it was dangerous to hike there. (There weren’t any warning signs saying specifically that the ocean being forced through a tiny restriction and blowing 50 feet in the air might be dangerous.)

Please publish this if you can. I really want to raise awareness that this attitude has to stop. I feel for anyone who loses a family member. I just don’t think that means you get to sue everyone in sight so you can get a big payoff.
Edward Laag
Vista, CA

I’m still thinking of a reason to disagree. Yes, coffee is hot and will burn you if you spill it in your lap, sorry. Thanks for writing.

Submission Information
4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file. Write to: Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368 Email to: 4wheeloffroad@sorc.com

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