I got right into more hardcore jeeping and I began upgrading and I started the process by subscribing to all the Jeep magazines, reading all the reviews, picking all the stuff that they said was the best. I ended up buying a lot of that stuff, suspension lift, bumpers, winch, and all those kinds of things, installing it myself, put a lot of armor on the Jeep, and tended to take trails beyond my ability and started breaking a lot of stuff. And Scott was really good about giving me advice without telling me what to do, and he wasn't selling me anything. He was just sharing a lot of years of experience in both off-roading and mechanics.
My team here at Axleboy Offroad, we really focus on complete full service start to finish. In Drew's case, he ships his Jeep out to Moab, Utah, wheels for a couple of weeks, ships it back. Now we take care of most of that for him. It gets picked up here. It gets delivered back here. We do a pre-four-wheeling inspection where we go over it, make sure everything is good to go, and then when he brings it back, we look for any damage or any consequential items that may have happened and get it ready to go back home.
One of the things we like to do is really consult and find out, how are they going to use their Jeep? What are they going to do? Are they going to go four-wheeling out in Colorado, or Moab, Utah, or are they going to be doing muddy trails and hill climbs out in Illinois in the Pittsfield area? Or maybe down in Southern Missouri in the Ozark mountains doing some of the rocky trails down there?
Each one of those might be built a different way, and then of course that person's driving style, do they like to use a lot of throttle? Are they a finesse driver? One of the things that we see is when customers come up with their own ideas, what will happen is they'll build whatever the magazine article told them to build. Our magazine articles, our TV shows, they're all going to install whatever people are paying them to put on, and of course they're going to say great things. What we're doing is we're actually tried and proven. We're putting them on vehicles. We process somewhere around 47 Jeeps a week here. With that kind of buildup and that kind of volume pumping through, we have a pretty good idea about what's going to work and what's not.
So we'd been working with Drew and consulting with him for about 11 years now. His first Jeep he had built by the dealer in the beginning. And as we discussed and learned more about each other and how he was using his Jeep and where he was using his Jeep and the types of failures we were having, and we found out that he really was drawn to an old-school approach of tons of armor, tons of skid plates, thick steel, heavy, unbreakable items. They ended up with a 7,000-pound Jeep, probably the heaviest Jeep I've ever seen. And it was amazing and it was fun and he was having a good time, but it was breaking every single time he'd go out, and we really needed to upgrade and beef things up and we needed to get this Jeep as lightweight as possible.
I didn't listen and continued to put a lot of stuff on this Jeep and I had a lot of equipment that was mass-marketed but really not that heavy duty. One example, the front axle on the 44 Rubicon, given the weight of that Jeep and my exercising it beyond its limits, I tended to break a lot of things, and on the front axle I broke axle shafts so I spent the money for the more expensive axle shafts. Those seem to work okay. The next thing that started to break was the ring and pinion, and so I had upgraded ring and pinions. I had the dealer do it the first time.
First time I took it out with the dealer-installed ring and pinion upgrade, it tore up the ring and pinion assembly. I brought it back to the dealer. They said, "Well, timeout. We probably need to send you to an off-road shop. We're going to send you to Axleboy," and had Scott do it. Scott did it right. He found that the factory was actually supplying the wrong bolts with those factory ring and pinions that were not allowing the ring and pinion to be tightened correctly. They'd come loose, come apart. He knew that. I highly recommend Axleboy Offroad because I trust them.