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Conversations with Big Rich
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Conversations with Big Rich

Author: Big Rich Klein

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Hear conversations with the legacy stars of rockcrawling and off-road. Big Rich interviews the leaders in rock sports.
54 Episodes
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Making a big impact on the tire scene, Maxxis National Director of Sales, Brad Williams talks about his hobby job at Maxxis in Motorsports. Automotive and Light Truck Tires is what he really does, but thank goodness he had time in his schedule to attend a rock crawl.  It changed the path of history for many drivers and event series, including WE Rock.3:42 – second generation tire guy  10:18 – planning for my future12:20 – I’ll hang around as long as they’ll let me14:15 – they’ll let you know how bad you did after18:26 – What are you doing next weekend?25:35 – So, he picked two drivers – one a cheerleader, one a winner28:49 – learned how tough the tires had to be31:01 – I didn’t have an official job in motorsports, it’s just a hobby 34:28 – we need a 17” tire and a softer compound – don’t embarrass yourself, Brad37:12 – cleaning out the cage to outfit the team44:31 – this is our identity54:35 – Pistol Pete was going to get us attention1:05:28 – Jesse is still with us and doing great things  We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Some people quietly make an impact on an industry, others do it with a big splash. We’d like to introduce you to the Quiet Man, Ben Bower, making a ripple through off-road since the 1970’s. Gold medals and chrome are his M.O., but so is listening – learn why it matters.3:34 – there’s lots of time to think with a ShopSmith  6:19 – making surfboards to get through the month9:22– All-Marine volleyball team12:23 – how the BART tube under the bay is made17:36 – no food today, we’re buying a Honda22:01 – Enduros fit my math/engineering background28:02 – you’ve got to finish to win31:05 – it’s a collective 41:43 – I’m a welder…and then I’m not45:20 – first date51:46 – I want to run the dunes and the Rubicon1:00:57 – hooked into learning the video camera1:05:38 – independent suspension  We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
We’re celebrating our one-year anniversary on Conversations with Big Rich with a release of the first episode of Season 2 – Episode 52 features Thomas Kingston of Spidertrax fame.Thom Kingston, self-professed, highly competitive, problem-solver, shares all-things Spidertrax, from Birfield rings to Spider 9’s and how one led to the next. An authentic conversation with a true mover-and-shaker in the industry. 4:31 – National Champion in rifle  8:46 – what’s your back-up plan?11:00– Eddie had a Samurai13:41 – top ten in the SAE competition with an amphibious vehicle19:39 – product #1 at Spidertrax23:34 – why Colorado?31:18 – how we were able to pull off Spidertrax in college, we can’t hide anymore38:39 – It was like magic! 45:17 – Shifted our focus from competing ourselves to building components to work with teams49:43 – Tracy Jordan is the best53:49 – Oroville is freshest in my mind, “I don’t understand these lines”56:04 – the Spider 91:02:43 – the Rock Bug build, the whole story revealed 1:15:33– why my hands are on the shop floor1:20:59 – the future of Spidertrax We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Big Willy Jeep builder, Burner, and flatfender enthusiast Ian Liljeblad shares life in Arizona and how one gets started building a 2:1 rig. Caution: serious fab skills are involved! From a history of learning from the best, Ian has built some cool rigs.4:12 – early influences  7:54 – the Impala from beginning to end14:34– really happy I’m a Jeep guy, not a Scout guy17:31 –met these guys in Phoenix in this Jeep Think Tank19:01 – started at FST, Fly-N-Hi’s fab shop,  with Ellis and Geiser24:08 – first chassis for myself, 2x4 tube CJ726:52 – inspired by the Big Rig Jig28:25 – Burning Man changed my life 31:28 – building a mutant vehicle/art car36:34 – falling in love with flatfenders37:25 – the influence of Walter Productions39:25 – I built Big Willy in seven months47:48 – The Burning Man DMV accepted it as is53:22 – the Go Devil run1:02:10 – Big Willy Jeep, replacement parts for flat fenders We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Off-road innovator and industry leader, Pat Gremillion, shares stories from his 30 years in off-road. Seller of Premier Power Welder and PullPal, Pat brings a wealth of knowledge and good cheer to our podcast. Listen in as we present Episode 50 with Pat and Big Rich.2:39 – growing up with a junkyard  6:13 – I’ve always loved welding7:56– the beginning of off-road9:59 –my father-in-law was an inventor11:32 – PullPal was made for friends12:44 – “if somebody told you, you could make a living having this much fun, you wouldn’t believe it”14:51 – the start of Premier Power Welder18:02 – I owe those magazine guys 22:00 – meeting Harold Off24:35 – the January vendor show32:20 – just like E.F. Hutton37:28 – I ain’t scared43:56 – go eat your lunch, old man47:12 – the double PullPal We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.i3pYxiy4ERjMUTIt1m6eSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Forty-seven years in any industry makes you an expert, in drivelines, that makes you Jim Reel.  Listen in on Episode 49 as Jim takes Big Rich through the intricacies of drivelines and why we see failures. Hint:  it’s not the driveline.  This is a very informative interview with news you need to hear – including how to measure your replacement driveline. www.reeldriveline.com 3:06 – ruined by age 19  7:42 – 47 years in the industry10:36– comfort is becoming a lot more important13:07– working with trophy trucks for solutions for them14:35 – “you’ll be out of business in two months”16:05 – this is what we really do17:59 – make it worse to make it better21:26 – it’ll whip 25:13 – innovations in drivelines29:08 – let’s talk math and wear points35:26 – how to measure a driveline39:11 – Rzeppa ball and cage joints and their impact41:14 – did you say Carbon Fiber??51:39 – what’s the future hold? We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
The most positive woman in off-road, Trail Mom, Barbara Rainey joins us for Episode 48. This episode is long on story, from Reno Rock to the Off-Road Hall of Fame.  Innovation and grit at its finest. Barbara’s interview tells a bigger story, though, we all have to get involved in preserving our stories.  The Off-Road Hall of Fame is a great place to start. Get involved with a partnership, a membership or a donation today. www.ORMHOF.org April is nomination month at ORMHOF, it's time to get started on your packets and nominations.2:59 – I just wanted to go to the Races!  4:32 – David got the girl, but not the Jeep6:33–  having a list and a roll of quarters10:57 – innovators and instigators, aggravators and agitators14:29 – special place in heaven for race promoters20:56 – the strongest link then is the weakest link now23:07– the importance of Tread Lightly27:09 – Reno Rocks is born, and the lessons there 43:34 – testing the ramps in my rental car49:32 – when I get stuck, I ask two questions52:66 – the history of the Offroad Motorsports Hall of Fame1:00:15 – everyone’s got a story1:08:19 – the loss of the home of the vehicle collection1:15:05 – it’s not the off-road Racing hall of Fame, it’s the off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
BFGoodrich has had a remarkable program for years supporting racers, especially in Baja.  Listen in as Rich talks with Richard Winchester about all things BFG.  Richard was at the start of the program and gives some great insight into how they built up Baja and why. 3:14 – Sliding into the cornfield 5:38 – then Uncle Sam sent me an invite for a visit to Korea8:13– don’t wake the sleeping giant9:30 – this performance stuff is a fad14:50 – got the first lifetime membership out of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association21:28 – the start of the BFG Baja pits program31:32– the people I count on to run the pits include my wife and daughter32:54 – when things don’t go right in Mexico 35:09 – the developer of the rock crawling tire, Gary Interline52:27 – we can’t have an influencer if they don’t know our products1:01:31 – we were kind of just winging it1:04:24 – Danny saved the party We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Are you ready for an education? Raceline’s Greg Mulkey has more knowledge about tires and wheels than anyone we know. Take a trip down memory lane with Greg and Rich as they share some rad knowledge about the industry. It’s impressive2:29 – Greg as a little whippersnapper 3:23 – selling a box of tear-offs got me a job7:09 – I was on a mission12:33 – a beadlock just on the right rear tire14:30 – I got a meeting with Bill Franz Jr. at NASCAR21:24 – getting started at Raceline28:55– working with the Germans34:14 – stumbling across the OG race 38:19 – it’s a serious business57:03 – Hutchison and the military1:08:15 – calculating ET1:14:02 – dirt track racing with the old man, Don Campbell1:18:29 –double beadlocks on Ian’s UTV1:26:35 – showing Steve Kinzer how they worked1:35:29 – I never intended to be a racecar driverWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Modified Stock Champion, Announcer, fabricator, and all-around good guy, Jake Good, of Kansas City joins Rich for a reminder of what family means.  Another family man teaching his kids about rock crawling and the family you choose. Listen in to hear Jake’s journey to rock crawling.2:17 – I’ve lived 97% of my life on the same piece of property 7:57 – A rear engine mower led to road-building10:56 –I wanted to be like my dad15:02 – this is the guy responsible for traffic circles20:12 – Building a brand in the Midwest22:47 – finding a rust-free Bronco in the Midwest33:01– Fair price for a fair product35:20 – I threw together the cheapest thing that I possibly could find and go have fun 38:55 – concerned we were some hotshot team46:44 – I was scared to death52:53 – blessed with the best team in rock crawling ever59:01 – Opened Kansas Rocks Recreation Park twenty years ago1:01:29 –Announcing, it was very intimidating1:08:02 – Opportunity to run Kenny Blume’s ProModWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Join us for a few laughs with Eric Filar, jokester extraordinaire. Rich and Eric talk about so much history, building Sniper, racing Baja, working at Motive Gear.  All good stuff with a lot of insight and history. We thought it was a great time to release this episode with KOH going on.  Eric is the master behind these two masterpieces:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsnFZDdG5bo Average LCQ competitor talking with his wifehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyXO4-oepMA  Hitler hears the Results of KOH 20133:18 – It’s just in the my blood 7:08 – Oh, that’s TMI on the Chevy Love11:02 –Two-ball sports vs. one-ball sports14:43 – those g*ddamn big tires16:39 – Cherry Bomb28:31 – I’m building such garbage32:21 – building the Scorpion35:33 – Eyebrows on cars? 51:15 – You gotta have boggers52:44 – when in doubt, throttle out56:51 – where did John Reynolds come in?1:06:52 – We decided to send it!1:09:20 – Ron starts talking smack with Lance and Camo1:18:12 – Take all the stickers off!We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
The elusive Harry Wagner, he’s here in the heart of off-road, and then he’s off finding unexploded bombs in places the rest of us would never think to look.  I’m glad there are geophysicists, like Harry, out there looking!  With an early history in the Jeep market, Harry has moved through many vehicles through his editorial marching orders. Today he drives a Tundra and an F150 most days.  Follow him at @harrysituations4:45 – I was a nerd 8:19 – Busted! There was still mud10:59 –Overlanding was just what they did14:02 – UXO – unexploded ordnance18:53 – pre-blog writing to mom20:26 – the start of freelance work21:43 – you caught me off guard25:33 – favorite journalist story? 28:40 – going to Baja31:17 – Ultimate Adventure is pretty squared away33:58 – future Harry38:13 – What attracts you to an event?42:41 – editorially dead51:42 – Off-roading still remains funWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Not quite a return from the dead, but close, too damn close.  Our guest today, Kevin Carey, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in December of 2017. He’s had a long road of recovery, but the future is bright. Kevin shares his history of wheeling, the Rubicon, and military life with us on this episode of Conversations with Big Rich. 5:20 – part of the BMX craze7:59 – Protecting the big names, Schwarzkopf, Martin10:34 –Understanding vehicle dynamics started from investigating accidents14:00 – the start of private security consulting15:52 – he makes me uncomfortable driving17:34 –notorious Pirates19:51 – world champions23:46 – wheeling with Veterans 27:51 –the Rubicon Trail is well cared for32:09 –the Powertank connection36:20 –I went to sleep and I never woke up52:56 – What do I get for doing this?58:53 – It’s not about mud flying, it’s about emotional interactionWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Family life dominates this week’s guest, Doug Bigelow, as he raises boys to be as driven as he has always been. An intense competitor on the course, but fun-lovin’ round the campfire, Doug shares life in Maryland, football, future plans and life at home with us. 4:34 – I thought I was king of the world6:21 – Lessons from the field9:29 –I thought criminology was going to be my path10:36 – I met Kat by accident14:25 – Frog Eye Mud Bog21:22 –that first Jeep opened my eyes to a world of possibilities28:30 – loaded up for the Badlands33:23 – afterparties at Jellico 37:22 –picking lines quick and fast40:31 –“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”52:25 –the coolest thingWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Trail Boss Jacquelyne “Bebe” White takes us through running Hummers on the trail. Together with land use and our need to pay attention, Bebe shares her history as our first land use guest on the podcast. She brings a wealth of experience to the trail and to the Calls-to-Action we need to keep our trails open. 3:08 – the first Hummer purchase4:36 – “oh, no, Miss Hummer”6:27 – learning from Cranky Steve10:28 – the brand gets involved with the Rubicon and me18:06 – the H3 build and the options behind it26:25 – on my way to being Trail Boss33:16 –the rescue mission42:27 – the importance of land use 46:49 –be part of the balance53:52 –no trails, no sales1:01:09 –repeal the Equal Access to Justice ActWe want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Clayton Walters is an industry icon, building Clayton Off-Road from the ground up. He is the name in long-arm kits.  Listen to his story and how it began and where it’s headed next. There’s a lot of laughs with a guy like Clayton..3:22 – always had a knack with mechanical stuff6:26 – lifting Grand Cherokees, “it’s just terrible”9:48 – I’ll build this for $1500, but I gotta have ten orders11:40 – my lousy pick up line “I can put a long arm kit on that”14:14 – we had a one-car garage with a portable garage beside it17:07 – I can’t send the government a bunch of control arms20:58 – how’re we going to save money? (listen up as Clayton explains their process)27:30 – adding value for our customers 31:13 – it was a rude awakening with football33:26 – don’t let the Night Rider get ya40:54 – is my 25 year old mind having issues with my 58 year old body? Or vice-versa?44:19 – the wet t-shirt contest46:20 – building Erik Miller’s first Jeep51:49 – racing the Rausch Creek qualifier…and the expensive piss Clayton Off Road, the premium Jeep Suspension Company. www.claytonoffroad.com  We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
Making shifting great again, Rory DesJardin, from RADesigns joins us to share info on his products and business and the path he has been on to make it a success.  Get to know Rory as we have these last couple of seasons.1:47 – getting started with motorcycles4:23 – gotta have the right tires11:22 – first-generation shifter for my Toyota13:36 – The Shifter Guy17:14 – my career before Shifters20:32 – that’s me, that’s me!25:12 – the environment at WE Rock36:05 – everybody wants to be like the racers40:32 – making the last big change53:40 – the size of the industryReach out to Rory at http://www.radesignsproducts.com/  New phone #509-624-1607 We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
The most revolutionary car in rockcrawling history is undoubtedly, Tiny.  Today we interview, Jon Bundrant, the driver Tiny was built around. John won 18 events in two years in the early days with this incredible car, then went on to off-road industry fame with All-Pro Offroad.  Catch up with Jon in this episode.3:21 – history of racing goes back a long way, Arizona state champ in BMX at age 165:49 – start in four-wheel drive was Azusa Canyon and a Land Cruiser11:10 – the start of All-Pro Off-Road14:42 – Sounds like Randy17:34 – Sitting on a milk crate as Tiny got built around me21:04 – We didn’t know its limits29:14 – Getting in Tracy’s head36:53 – favorite location, that’s easy: Farmington49:31 – history of All-Pro57:05 – drag racing today1:00:36 – spying on Tiny We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
The 2021 WE Rock schedule just released, Big Rich brings you another new competitor's perspective on competitive rockcrawling.  Hear Jason Childs talk about his journey to get started, why he choose to jump straight into the Unlimited class, and what it is really like. If you are interested in competing, check out the rules on www.werocklive.com; the schedule and call if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.  2:35 – learn about the classes in WE Rock9:47 – I really wanted a Samurai12:15 – why don’t you go to Supercrawl?14:32 – Do you really want to do all that work?16:18 – The start of the new car20:29 – I’ve always been competitive28:15 – I still have so much to learn36:48 – That’s how you learn from the best38:06 – Bonus, a quick lesson on competitive skydiving We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
New competitor to WE Rock, Jeff Houser, shares what it is like to start. You know, when you are new to a sport how you are excited and nervous and learning your car…Jeff describes his first season, the ups and downs.  The 2021 WE Rock season schedule just released, if you’re thinking about competing in rockcrawling this next season, listen up, hear the emotion, imagine yourself in the driver’s seat.1:36.70 – With age comes cage13:34:30 – I’ve got to have this buggy19:59:89 – It’s not going to fit in the trailer28:40:61 – Running on Unlimited lines in Goldendale42:30:93 – The first event51:46:18 – Sand Hollow, 2nd event1:01:30 – Trying to get to Donner1:08:74 – We’ve got to go to Goldendale1:14:41 – Please, we have to get to Nationals1:21:43 – the camaraderie is the key We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.www.maxxis.comwww.4lowmagazine.com Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)
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