Why Wheel a Wrecker?
Short answer, because we can
Though, there is more to the BSF Recovery Team story than that.
It all started many years ago when I attended the Memorial Weekend Off-Road Rally as a day trail rider at Dresser. The trails were very wet that year and full of broken 4x4’s, some from the group that we started with. Once we exited the trail, they were then closed for the day. My trail guide was heading back out to recover some of the broken rigs from the trail system. After a day on the trails, and with a Jeep still running, I was ready for more. I asked the guide if I could tag along. Because he was short-handed in both trail help and running trucks, he welcomed the added help.
I was running a CJ-5 that year that I had built with a Chevy V-8 engine, three speed manual transmission, and 33” tires, no winch, or lockers; not an ideal recovery rig. But, despite the fact that some of the rigs we recovered were much heavier and were sporting larger tires than the Jeep, we were able to get several broken trucks out of the woods. It was a very satisfying feeling, and I was hooked on recovery! It also supported one of the unspoken rules of off-roading that I liked about the sport; always help anyone off-road who needs it, because you never know when you will be the one who needs help.
Over the years, I continued to rescue and recover any person who needed help. That little Jeep was testing and, often, exceeding its abilities as a recovery vehicle. Around that time, some of the MN Go-4 Wheeler members also started building dedicated recovery trucks, 4x4 wreckers. It was not long before I knew I wanted one, but the cost was out of my reach. Then, this thing called “YouTube” came along and whispers of making a little money posting videos. That is when the light bulb in my head lit. If I could build an off-road wrecker and post videos of the recoveries on YouTube, it might be a way to support the cost of running a recovery truck and repairs.
BSF Recovery Team YouTube Connection Twelve years ago, without knowing much about filming or editing, I started posting videos. I didn’t know where this trail would lead, but I headed down it anyway. As we started to post videos on our growing platform on Youtube, we were called to rescue and recover more and more 4x4’s. Like wheeling, I soon found out this was not an adventure that one can do alone, help was needed. I assembled a team of volunteers to help with filming and the actual recoveries, mostly friends and family members. For 10 years we were kept busy at local events in the Midwest, growing the YouTube channel, “recoveryteam”, to over 110K subscribers. But, I had always had the dream of wheeling the wrecker in other places around the country. I wondered if a full-sized wrecker could take on some of the trails we all have on our bucket list? Could the wrecker perform recoveries well in other types of terrain, and would fans like to watch?Making the Journey Out West Recently we were able to make the first of, what I hope will be many, of those bucket list locations to test the Off-Road Wrecker capabilities. The team recently traveled to an event in Sand Hollow, Utah, called Trail Hero. In case you don’t know, the Sand Hollow area has recently become a very popular area for off-road fun. In part due to another popular YouTube off-road recovery channel, “Matt’s Off-Road Recovery”. We made a call and got to meet the MORR team, along with another off-road recovery legend from the Moab, Utah area, Rory Irish and his rig “Trailmater”. Due to a shared passion of off-roading and recovery, we seemed to form a friendship right from the start.
With local guides, we were off to hit the trails and to see what the Extreme Off-Road Wrecker could handle or not. The terrain at Sand Hollow was quite different from the trails here in Minnesota. It is a combination of sand dunes, sand flats, and slick rock like in Moab. I was a little concerned, to say the least, on whether the heavy wrecker could wheel in that type of terrain. I was also a little nervous about whether I could drive on the trails, without looking like a fool thinking the wrecker could rescue vehicles in that type of terrain. But, with a little help from the people I was with, it all worked out well. We had an adventure of a lifetime. So, if you have any fear of traveling outside of your comfort zone off-road, put those fears aside, and start checking off trails on your bucket list.
Well, that is the story of why we now wheel an off-road wrecker and, sometimes, I now dream from time to time of getting back behind the wheel of a Jeep. Ironic, isn’t it?