On a recent photo shoot I was following some trucks down a dry riverbed. As I came up out of the riverbed the trail quickly turned left, but I went straight and nose-dived into another deep washout. Feeling the Cruiser tip and start rolling, I throttled into a righthand turn, hoping to drive out of the roll only to wedge the 6,000-pound Cruiser sideways across the washout. Luckily the ARB front bumper stopped the truck from going all the way over. We were suspended like a bridge over troubled dirt.
It could have been much worse, but after extraction, I found that I had only taken out the passenger-side headlight, rear taillights, and part of the rear plastic bumper. The bumper will be replaced with something more stout, but the lights on a $70,000 SUV cost about $700 to replace-ouch!
Fred Williams, Tech Editor
When I head out to shoot a feature vehicle, I rarely do any aggressive wheeling since my goal is to get good pictures of the rig at hand, not spend the day fixing what I broke. But sometime's you just want to get in on the fun. I learned the hard way that when a Unimog on 46-inch-tall tires creates trenches up a hill, it's best to find a new line. Suffice to say, I didn't. With the pedal to the floor and on my third attempt, I throttled the Ultimate Z71 up this hill as hard as I could...until both driveshafts went boom! That's right, not one, but both shafts hit the dirt. After laughing about it and trying to figure out what happened, I tied the shafts up and got a tow back to the hardpack. Total carnage included two annihilated driveshaft slip ends, one 1350 yoke and joint, a broken 1310, and a few new dents and dings on the underside. Can you imagine doing this to your company car?
Ali Mansour, Feature Editor
While in Mexico, I crept over a cliff, and thank goodness the wall didn't give way. It was 100 feet to the bottom!
Rick Pw, Editor-In-Chief