Great Mud and awesome 4x4s At The South Berlin Mud Ranch Trucks Gone Wild 2016 Event
South Berlin Mud Ranch sits a few miles from the town of Moultrie, Georgia, and a smallish sign across from a driveway-like dirt road was the only clue that this awesome playground lay deep in the Georgia backcountry, unseen from the main road. We pointed our rental car down the dirt road, which wound through cropland before dropping us smack dab in the middle of a massive, muddy, off-road paradise punctuated by the sounds of engines big and small.
The Ranch is four years old in 2016, and like a four-year-old, it’s full of energy and growing. There are four events per year on the 300-acre property, and Ranch features include the “Main Hole,” the “Back 40,” and the “Side 20” mud holes. In addition, there’s also a horseshoe-shaped racetrack, miles of trails, and a mega-deep “Bounty Hole.” Camping is allowed at the Ranch, and there are a number of sites that are shaded (a big plus when temps rise in South Georgia).
We were at the Ranch for the first event of 2016, which partnered with Trucks Gone Wild (TGW). TGW offered its first off-the-hook, mud-centric video in 2005, and today the company has evolved into a massive event series east of the Mississippi River. In addition, TGW has a hot merchandising business and the company is still making action-packed videos.
Despite cool temperatures mud fans flocked to the South Berlin Mud Ranch for the 2016 opening event. “South Berlin is such a fun way for us to kick off the year. Great people and great action combine for such a fun atmosphere. The place is always changing too, so I can’t wait to head back next year,” said TGW’s Matt Steele. We had a blast meeting mud fans and watching the action. It was fascinating as always to see what setups worked and what setups worked better to conquer the mud.
For more info on the South Berlin Mud Ranch, visit southberlinmudranch.com, and for more info on Trucks Gone Wild, visit trucksgonewild.com. Be sure to visit fourwheeler.com for a huge gallery of exclusive photos from this event, as well as video!
South Berlin Mud Ranch did a great job of offering up three mud areas that had totally different characteristics. This photo was taken in the Back 40 where the water level was deep and ruts were hidden under the murky liquid.
This Super Duty was a blast to watch, and it was impressively quick. Mega trucks like this are standard fare in the Southeast, and diesel-powered machines are quite common.
John Moore purchased this ’48 Ford F-100 bone-stock in 1979 when he was 13 years old. He sold it three years ago and bought it back less than a year later. It was after reacquiring the rig that he modified it big time. It now sports an alcohol-fired Chevy 598ci engine with Quick Fuel Technology 1050-cfm carb, Powerglide transmission, ProFab 4:1 T-case, 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles with Ouverson Engineering & Machine axleshafts and spools, four-link suspension, 20-inch nitrogen shocks, homemade 18-inch-wide wheels, and 18.4-26 tires.
This Suburban rolling on 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles with a simple leaf-spring suspension was a blast to watch as it easily pushed through the mud and water.
We were impressed at the number of folks who brought what appeared to be their daily-driven rigs to the event. An event like this is a great way to find out what your rig is capable of in the mud. As a bonus, there’s always someone ready and willing to pull you out if you get stuck.
This old Ram is boss and it’s typical of a purpose-built Southeast mud machine. Tall, ample horsepower, with aggressive, skinny tires.
Blake Lasseter pitched his stock ’05 Dodge Dakota through the mud, demonstrating that it doesn’t take a modified rig to have fun in the goo.
The big and small of mudding. The comparatively small “Comfortably Numb” Toyota is flanked by the massive “Lawless” Super Duty.
This Toyota is in the new-for-’16 Side 20 area, which had less water than the other two mud holes. This was a great place for rigs with less height to test traction and horsepower without the fear of becoming submerged.
There’s two ways to do mud. One is to blast through with engine screaming and tires spinning. The other is to crawl without throwing hardly any mud. This sweet 4Runner seemed to subscribe to the latter method as it consistently demonstrated slow speed forward progress.
No matter how many times we see it, we never get tired of mega truck ridin’ wheelies from a standing stop. This cool feat is a testament to the power and traction these rigs are achieving.
In addition to open bogging there was two classes of racing, Mega Class and Bog Class. David Coulter won the Mega Class and Jimmy Fountain won the Bog Class. Pictured here is action from Mega Class racing.
Matt Smith ran his Mega Class ’66 Chevy hard during the first pass of racing, which earned him the second fastest time. Matt’s second pass didn’t go so well and the result was a spectacular crash. Matt, who was uninjured, said, “Pushed it a little too hard. I know I set the bar on that first pass, so I figured why not push it a little harder on the second, but it just didn’t pan out real good.” You can see video of the crash at fourwheeler.com.
Rock buggy? Mud Buggy? Rock buggy with tractor tires? Yeah, we’re going with that.
To some, this looks like a nightmare of stuck stuff, but to the mud-loving wheelers at the South Berlin Mud Ranch, this muddy abyss is perfect.
We were digging all the homemade mods we saw at the event, like the snorkel on this Toyota.
We saw some incredibly unique rigs, like Jim Burch’s ’08 Wrangler that’s powered by a twin-turbo Cummins 6BT engine.