Toyo-Tires-BJ-Baldwin-Cover-Photo

Toyo Tires – Open Country H/T II- Review

Toyo-Tires-BJ-Baldwin-Cover-Photo

Toyo Tires – Open Country H/T II- Review

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks, and SUVs as well as commercial trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, and construction applications.

The vision to manufacture great tires began in August 1945, when the founding president, Mr. Rikimatsu Tomihisa, established the Toyo Tire & Rubber Co, Ltd. in Japan.

In 1982, Toyo Tires established a Canadian subsidiary. From a small office just outside of Vancouver, Toyo Tire Canada Inc. began warehousing and distributing passenger, light truck, and commercial truck tires. Through a network of independent tire dealers, the Toyo Tires brand began to grow in Canada.

The first tires manufactured in North America to bear the Toyo Tires brand occurred in the late 1980s when the company began producing commercial tires in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Today, the company’s Canadian headquarters are in Richmond, British Columbia, and distribution is supported by nearly 90,000 square feet of warehousing in BC, with additional warehouses in Ontario and Quebec.

Toyo Tire has a new tire for the Canadian market. The Open Country H/T 11. This tire is an All-Season Light Truck highway tire. The center tread of the tire consists of 3 ribs that are designed to increase wet and dry traction while improving highway stability. The multi-wave sipes on the tread reduce irregular wear, giving this tire a smoother and quieter ride. There are two different sidewall designs. The first is a conservative design, and the second is a more aggressive one that improves traction in deep mud, slush or snow. The Open Country H/T 11 is backed with an impressive treadwear warranty, 80,000 km, and 5-year workmanship and materials.

We decided to install these tires on a Toyota Highlander to put them to the test. Samantha Syrenne is a new mother that leads a hectic lifestyle. Going to University during the week and while running errands around town with her baby girl. Her old tires had serious wear problems on the front despite having her tires regularly rotated and serviced at the local Toyota dealer. She expressed concern about regularly over correcting the steering on the highway and excessive noise at over 50 KMH. We had the Open Country H/T 11 tires installed on a weeknight so she could have it ready to go to school the next morning. Her first drive was an eye-opener. The issues had gone, and the vehicle drove smooth and quietly down the highway.

We asked her a few questions:

Would you say that this tire improves the way your vehicle handles?

Samantha… It is like a new truck. I look forward to the drive now.

Would you recommend these tires?

Samantha… I would defiantly recommend these tires. I am happy with the results.

Would you like us to switch them back now that the test is over?

Samantha… Give me my keys and watch me drive away.

I would say that test was very positive and glad we could improve the handling and drivability of her vehicle. For more information visit toyotires.ca

Features:

SYMMETRIC, NON-DIRECTIONAL TREAD DESIGN
Improves all season traction and tire life.

MULTI-WAVE SIPES
Improves the wear life of the tire by minimize irregular wear for a smoother, quieter ride.

DUAL BUTTRESS & SIDEWALL DESIGN
The sidewall design also helps improve traction in deep mud slush or snow.

GROOVE DIMPLES – TAPERED SHOULDER SLITS
Dimples in the tire grooves and tapered slits in the sidewall expand as the tire wears helping to maintain good wet performance throughout the tire’s life

VARIABLE PITCH TREAD DESIGN
Varying the angles and position of the tread blocks reduces road noise for a more comfortable ride.

FOUR WIDE CIRCUMFERENTIAL GROOVES
Improves water and slush evacuation for better all-season traction.

OPTIMIZED CENTER BLOCK ARRANGEMENT
An optimized design also reduces road noise for a more comfortable ride.

LARGER INTERLOCKING OUTER BLOCKS
Locking the blocks reduces deformation which causes irregular wear for longer tread life and ride comfort.

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Product Reviews

Conquest Vehicles – Automotive Review

Conquest Vehicles – Automotive Review

The Walking Dead may be just a TV show, but I know more than a few of us are spending sleepless nights wondering if we should prepare for what’s to come.. you know when the shit really hits the fan.

Do you really want to bug out in a plug-in Prius? William Maizlin is a Canadian entrepreneur who started the company; Conquest Vehicles Inc. Headquartered in Toronto, this facility houses some of the best engineers, fabricators, and technicians in the country. They build the ultimate, fully armored, ultra-luxurious SUV called the Knight XV. This extreme vehicle is not just a survival vehicle, but an impressive high-end machine. Catering to some of the wealthiest people on the planet that require all the comforts they are used too while knowing they will be protected on their way to a family barbeque while driving past the local ISIS terrorists or Mexican kidnappers.

There are two models to choose from. The Knight XV and the Evade. The Evade is there latest vehicle. The vehicle starts off as a Ford F550 chassis. The cab is removed and the custom built exoskeleton is installed. Everything is custom, right down to the door handles, steering wheel, and running boards that are CNC’d from stainless steel and billet aluminum. It offers a rugged military look on the outside with a pampered limousine-style interior. The seats are covered in Andrew Muirhead leather and can be adjusted to just about any position. The interior features wool carpet, slide out workstations, center console that holds an iPad (which can control most of the features on this vehicle), suede headliner, sunroof, slide out drawer with glasses and room for your favorite scotch, Sony PS4, built-in humidor for cigars, and a 32 inch flat screen TV that can be raised or lowered by the iPad.

Now how does it drive? well considering it is twice the size of a Hummer H2 I would say great at straight lines, but William says it is easy to maneuver around and handles just like a full-size SUV. With a full air suspension underneath and automatic leveling ability, the vehicle can travel down the highway without spilling its passenger’s drinks. The Armored version has a V7 rating, meaning it can stop an armor-piercing bullet at close range and the undercarriage can survive a hand grenade explosion, perfect for traveling through downtown Kabul on a pleasant Afghanistan night.

If you are still wondering who would buy such a vehicle, the answer might surprise you. CEO’s of companies wanting something different, automotive collectors, and professional athletes, in the North American market. However, the clientele gets more diverse with the orders from China, South Africa, and the Middle East. The Saudi Royal family bought one and had it air shipped to them costing 50K in transportation. The company’s goal is to increase production from 20 vehicles per year to 100 with the Evade being featured in many automotive magazines around the world.

With a starting price of $579,000 USD, I’m not sure how many you will see on the streets of Vancouver.

Visit

www.conquestvehicles.com for more information!

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Automotive Reviews

Off-Roading Tires – Advice

Off-Roading Tires – Advice

Off-road driving is fun activity many people enjoy. Driving down a gravel road to get to your favorite fishing hole or a day out with your family brings lots of wholesome outdoor enjoyment.

Getting there requires the proper gear, starting with the most important part, tires. Rocks, potholes, and rough terrain will require your vehicle to need a different type of tire to safely and efficiently make it from point A to B.   The main function of any tire is to provide traction, and having good traction tires will help off-roaders get to where they need to go without getting stuck.

When looking to purchase a set of off-road/on-road tires there are a few things to consider. Cheap tires are not necessarily the best option. You get what you pay for definitely applies here. Some things to consider are high mileage tires and tread wear ratings. Aggressive deep treads like those found on mud tires tend to wear a lot quicker than an all-terrain tire. Another important thing to consider is tire size. You can contact the manufacturer or check tire charts that give you a variety of sizes to fit your vehicle. The height of your sidewall is important and should be chosen based on the conditions where you drive your truck most often. If you only drive on the street then a low-profile truck tire will be fine, but if you go off-roading then you are going to want more tire in between your rim and the ground. That way you will not bottom out on the rims when the tires encounter rough terrain off-road.

The size of the rim is a personal preference. Popular today is the larger sized rims, with many from the factory floor trucks coming equipped with 17,18 and even 20” Rims. Just make sure that the rim and truck tire you choose will fit inside the wheel well of the truck, and don’t forget to upgrade your brakes to help stop this increase in weight.  The wheel rim width varies from truck to truck. It can be custom made to suit both on and off-road driving conditions. The wheel rim width is rounded off to the nearest half inch of the tire. Usually, the best choice is to have the rim width at about 90% of the tread width of the tire. Adequate air pressure is important for a good tire life, handling, and traction. Look through your truck’s owner’s manual, on the sticker inside the driver’s door, or look on the tire itself to find the correct air pressure that you need to maintain them. 

Seasonal changes can affect the air pressure of the tires. Cold temperatures are responsible for dropping the air pressure of the tires, and warm temperatures are responsible for increasing the air pressure. A 10% swing in the temperatures causes a 1lb. change in the air pressure. Sudden changes in temperature are a good time to check the pressure of the tires.  You can reduce the wear and tear of the truck’s tires by rotating them often. Rotating the tires keeps the tread wear balanced and can really help out when slippery and wet conditions occur. A simple rule about rotating your tires is to do it on every other oil change. Doing this consistent basis, will make the tires last longer and allow a comfortable ride for many, many Kilometers.

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Advice
Brown Bros Racing 2017 F150 XLT Front and Logo

2017 Brown Bros Racing – Ford F150

Brown Bros Racing 2017 F150 XLT Front and Logo

2017 Brown Bros Racing – Ford F150

2017 Ford SVT Raptor is in hot demand; customers are flocking to the dealers trying to get their hands on one of these. Brown Bros Ford racing division has the answer.

They have started a Raptor factory and are cranking out their own version of the Raptor, based on a 2017 F150 XLT Supercrew 4×4 FX4.  The factory F150 starts out with a 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This motor produces 375 horsepower at 5750 rpm with 470-pound feet of torque. The 10-speed transmission allows you to save fuel for your everyday driving. Shifting more often means less time putting the twin turbos through their paces. Save that for the off-road.

Factory installed voice-activated navigation shown on a 4.2” productivity screen plots your desired drive route although does not work when you yell “get me out of this mud hole” unless you are talking about the one you created washing your truck outside your house.

The convenience package includes backup sensors, rearview camera, power sliding rear window, remote starter, 400w power inverter, LED box lighting. The truck is then customized by their in-house tech department.

Ford factory trained mechanics install a 4” Zone suspension lift with off-road shocks. This lift will enhance the truck’s abilities off-road, very similar to a Raptor the shocks will absorb the terrain without catapulting the truck in either direction; it will also give you a firm but smooth ride on-road.  The exhaust is changed in favor of a Magnaflow performance system that not only improves performance but sounds great too. The grille is replaced with an aftermarket Raptor grille that looks right at home on this truck. Addictive desert design front bumper is added with Rigid LED lights all across the front. Night becomes day with this many lights.

You can start to see the Baja race-inspired vehicle starting to claw its way out. Bushwacker flares provide ideal coverage for the new Toyo MT 35X12.5X18 tires with 18”x9 Fuel Maverick wheels. I personally have had a set of these tires and found them to be terrific on and off-road. The tires increase your ground clearance and give you much more ability to climb over obstacles such as rocks, falling trees or that futon bed your wife dragged to the curb. The interior is not overlooked, with the addition of Katzkin leather seats with custom stitching.  Add that to the already great factory interior you have yourself a sweet ride.

The 5.5’ truck box is covered by a Bakflip matte black tonneau cover that can open in two sections to allow larger items to be transported.

This truck is ready to play and looks good doing so.  Head down to Brown Bothers Ford and check them out.

Price $75,607

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Product Reviews

Importance of a Winch

Importance of a Winch

There has been very few times that I have gone four wheeling and not run into a situation where a winch is required. Sometimes it may be our group, and sometimes it is someone who is not as prepared to get stuck as they should be. It can be an important tool is safely plucking a vehicle from an impossible situation, or righting a truck after a rollover. A winch can also be used to clear properties of logs or rocks. A winch is an important tool, and if you travel the back-roads of British Columbia, you should never be without one.

There are a few things to know before you operate your winch for the first time. What appears to be a simple operation can quickly turn dangerous if basic safe winching practices are not used. Most winches are equipped with a varying length of wire rope, and the length of the rope is determined by the winches load capacity. The wire rope should regularly be inspected to ensure that it has not become crushed, pinched, frayed, or kinked at any point. Should the rope be damaged, it should be replaced before use to avoid injury. All winch owners should have a winch accessory kit to properly and safely recover a vehicle. The average kit includes a 3-meter choker chain, a clevis, snatch block, 5-centimeter tree trunk protector, gloves, and a carrying case. Price is $250 to $375 depending on the manufacturer.

Most winches are offered with a winch hook strap to ensure that operators do not put hands and fingers in harm’s way. Always wear gloves when operating a winch or handling wire rope.  A single line pull is one of the most basic winching operations. It involves rigging the wire rope to a stable anchoring point and spooling it in to pull the vehicle toward the anchor point. This type of pull can also be used to extract a truck without a winch; the winch equipped truck becomes the anchor point and the stuck vehicle is pulled toward it. It is a good idea to throw a jacket or blanket over the wire rope midway between the winch and the anchor point. This will prevent the cable from whipping back to the truck in the event of breakage. A tree can serve as an excellent anchor point, but never attempt to wrap a wire rope or chain around it. In addition to being extremely dangerous, this improper winching practice can damage or kill the tree. Use a tree saver strap, along with a clevis.

When a truck is stuck, more winching power can be achieved through a double line pull. To do so, un-spool a length of a line from the drum and thread it through a snatch block. The cable’s hook can then be fastened to an anchor point on the trucks frame or tow hook, and the snatch block will secure to an anchor point toward the direction of the pull. This method decreases the number of layers of wire rope on the drum and greatly increases pulling power. A snatch block can also be used to change the direction of the pull, without the wire rope collecting on one side of the drum. If you have followed the basic principle of four-wheeling and brought a buddy or a second vehicle, then chances are you will have some assistance in the recovery. Sometimes all a stuck vehicle needs is a little motivation. In those instances, a quality recovery strap ($53) will work fine. Knowing how to operate a winch correctly is as important as knowing how to drive the 4×4 it is mounted to. Misuse can result in injury or even death, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your winch before reaching a situation where you need to use it.

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Ford Raptor Aftermarket Bumper

Choosing a Bumper

Choosing a Bumper

Ford Raptor Aftermarket Bumper

There are a lot of choices when it comes to aftermarket bumpers, and a lot depends on the make and model of your vehicle. Most pickup truck owners start looking for a replacement bumper because they require more lights to see or a winch to pull themselves out if they get stuck. With today’s technology, LED lights are all the rage, and when it comes to off-road lighting, you need the latest bumpers to provide protected mounting points. The new Dee Zee by Kelderman front and rear bumpers offer built-in mounts to fit a variety of LED lights. The front bumper also has a center slot to accommodate a 22” light bar and heavy-duty shackles to work with a tow strap. The optional winch plate can be used for up to a 16,500lb winch. The rear bumpers have two notches cut out to provide a step on each corner to help bed access.  These bumpers are extreme duty and would look good on any new truck.

N-fab is one of the leaders in cutting-edge design. These master fabricators create unique bumpers and tube products for your vehicle.  If you enjoy watching the desert race trucks compete and want that look for your own truck, then check out n-fab.com. They offer a variety of pre-runner front bumpers that are both functional and stylish. Enough space to mount most off-road lights and strong enough to protect against any brush you may encounter on the back roads. With a wide range of products and applications, they are sure to have the right fit for your vehicle.

Road Armor bumpers are armor for your truck. There are some unique differences between these bumpers.  Providing areas for light bars but moving the lights in the bumper a little further back giving a bit more protection while allowing the light to still function.  The full grill guard is beefy and gives a truck an aggressive look. Anchor points for shackles and an area for winch fitment are standard. A new take on the Texas style full bumper called Vaquero is a true cowboy look.

Iron Cross bumpers are designed to contour the space previously occupied by your original bumper. They are shaped very well and fit very nice leaving little gaps as possible. Slot provided for a hawse fairlead or a roller fairlead and mounting plate to fit up to a 16,500lb winch. The logo is cut into the bumper using a CNC machine for a clean look; this also provides airflow while driving. Matching HD rear bumpers are also available.

Smittybilt have been building bumpers since the late 70’s, and if you are a Jeep JK owner, you probably have seen one or two around your neighborhood. There are endless designs available for Jeeps. You can choose from simple winch mounts or more complicated rock crawling bumpers. The XRC bumper features a winch mount with a raised light bar. The bumper is designed to give you maximum clearance with improved approach angles for four wheeling. Two shackle mounts provide a strong anchor point to pull or drag your Jeep from most sticky situations.  

Driving up to the cabin or working on your own farm usually means encountering something along the way that you may not normally see but can jump up and smash that expensive grill or worst poke a hole through your radiator. Steelcraft has a bumper that will keep you protected. This bumper features a full grill guard that has mesh in the center and wrap around headlight protectors. The lower portion of this bumper is a bulletproof, schedule 40 pipe, contoured steel bumper that has light provisions, front receiver mount that will accept a portable winch and can mow down just about anything that comes in your way.

Check them out at http://www.steelcraftautomotive.com.

There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to choosing a bumper. Looking through magazines or using the internet is a good starting point. Find something that suits your needs and appeals to you. Make your truck your own and customize it the way you want to.

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