Customer Adventure Series
Rhino-Rack catches up with Wes from Black Hills Builds
10 Jun 2022
10 Jun 2022
Imagine driving 40 minutes away from your front door and finding yourself in the rugged, wide-open South Dakota Hills with not a soul in sight. Welcome to the world of our mate Wes, also known as Black Hills Builds. Apart from his epic 4WDing adventures in Black Hills National Forest, Wes is known for his kitted out 1996 FZJ8 Toyota LandCruiser which, let’s admit, is an absolute beauty. We caught up with Wes to chat gear, tips and all things 4WDing.
My vehicle is pretty built out. I have a Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform up top with a GFC SuperLite tent. This setup has been amazing and very low profile/lightweight. For armour, I am running Dissent Offroad front and rear bumpers. Lighting is a mix of Project X Offroad and Heretic. I’ve got a lot more, but those are some of the most important! You can check out my whole setup on my Instagram: @blackhillsbuilds.
I’ve also just got the Rhino-Rack Guttermount Backbone which I’m so stoked to try out. The gutter mounted feet I currently have hold up great, so the additional load capacity I will gain from the backbone is going to be awesome.
I’ll never leave home without my tools, recovery gear, and medical kit. Everything else on the rig is a luxury, but I want to make sure I’m ready to handle any situation I may get myself into.
Research the area and the trails you are going to drive so you know what you’re getting into. You may need special permits, a certain tyre size, or lockers to drive particular trails. There may also be waste regulations or special requirements and you should be aware of proper trail etiquette. Other than that? Be respectful and have fun.
I’ve had a few smaller breaks (flats, tie rod ends, and links) that have been pretty easy to sort out. No axles yet (knock on wood). The 80 is pretty beefed up to be able to take some serious abuse.
Growing up I loved the outdoors. When we moved to South Dakota I got really into hiking and finding ways to enjoy the National Forest. Pair that with my love for cars and trucks from a young age and it was bound to happen eventually. I bought and built a few vehicles before I purchased a Toyota Tacoma three years ago. That vehicle ignited my love for off-roading.
I live in such a beautiful place that I can confidently say I love escaping right into my backyard of the Black Hills. You can lose yourself and not see a single soul all day if you know where to go. Moab was on top of the current list for off-roading, and I will definitely be back to drive the trails we didn’t have a chance to explore.
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