Jagged X Racing takes 1st in King Of Hammers, High Lifter stands strong with a 17th place finish!

Our Friends, Blake Van de Loo and Chad Hummer, with Jagged X Racing took on the ultimate desert race, the 2016 King of Hammers and WON!!  Co-driver, Chad Hummer gave us a shout out on social media and we thought we’d share:
Chad Hummer
February 8 at 11:36am ·

Jagged X Racing Team, Blake Van de Loo and Chad Hummer

Jagged X Racing Team, Blake Van de Loo and Chad Hummer

“I got to meet some great people from High Lifter out of Louisiana last week. These guys came out to race KOH for their first time in Blake’s Turbo RZR. It was mostly put together on the lakebed…during cold and dusty conditions. Not only did they finish, but they showed us how to fry up some shrimp, hush puppies, and how to rebuild shocks that were covered into rusty mud slime after a year of mud-bogging in the swamps.”

Thanks Chad, we really appreciate those kind words! Next time, we’ll introduce you to alligator and king cake.

Team High Lifter-Polaris Racing got a taste of the desert in our first shot at KOH 2016. Jesse Johnson drove with Scott Smith as co-driver. The team finished 17th place out of over 60 units racing.

Jesse Johnson and Scott Smith take on KOH 2016

Jesse Johnson and Scott Smith take on KOH 2016

Blake Van de Loo, winning racer for KOH 2016, posted a cool image of his Jagged X Polaris RZR and Team High Lifter’s Polaris RZR to show what happens when you put High Lifter parts on your race bike. We were so proud of the 1st Place and a 17th place finish.

"On the Side of these cars is a list of parts and partners that you need to win King Of Hammers"      Blake Van de Loo

“On the Side of these cars is a list of parts and partners that you need to win King Of Hammers”
Blake Van de Loo

High Lifter Sponsored Driver, John “Ducky” Duckworth also finished the King of Hammers, just missing the official cut off time by 6 minutes.

Team Ducky Racing in their newly built Polaris RZR XP Turbo.

Team Ducky Racing in their newly built Polaris RZR XP Turbo.

Thanks to ATVRiders.com and UTVGuide.net for capturing pics of our racers.

2015 Shriners Ride was a Huge Success!

Our Annual High Liter’s Shriners Ride was a great success! We filled up a trailer FULL of new toys plus raised a lot of money for the kids at Shriner’s Hospital. Our friends at SidebySideStuff wrote about the event on their blog. They did a great job of telling our story and why Shriner’s Hospital means so much to High Lifter and its employees. Plus the riding community truly supports this cause. They show up with toys and cash each year to help us reach our goal. The smile on a child’s face is priceless when they wake up Christmas morning to a new toy. This event gives us the chance to put a smile on the many faces at Shriners Hospital for those children who are spending Christmas in the hospital.

Read Sidebysidestuff’s Blog below:

High Lifter’s Annual Shriners Ride: Dec 5, 2015 How It Began and What’s In Store This Year

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A little girl born with a cleft lip. A young boy with 1st degree burns. A child with a spinal-cord injury or even a club foot. These children don’t choose these things. They’re just kids. They need love and care. That’s what the Shiners do. Shriners Hospital for Children is committed to providing the best care in their specialty areas of Orthopedics, Burn Care, Spinal Cord Injury, and Cleft Lip and Palate, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Shriners Hospital has helped thousands upon thousands of kids each year and ask for nothing in return. They do what they do because they love and truly care about children.

Scott Smith, Owner of High Lifter Products, Inc, has witnessed this compassion first-hand. His son, Tanner Smith, was a patient at the Shriners Hospital in Louisiana. If it weren’t for the Shriners, Tanner’s road to recovery could have been dramatically different.

DSC_0376“When he was little, we noticed Tanner had a bit of a limp when he walked,” Smith recalls. “It was one of those things we didn’t notice too much at first, but as he aged we noticed it more and more. When it got to a certain point, we realized it wasn’t normal so we took him to see a professional. We had medical experts, some of the best you can buy, tell us his leg was too short and they needed to break the bone and extend it. Another doctor told us there was nothing they could do.”

“My dad happened to be friends with one of the guys at Shriners,” Smith explains. “He said, ‘Why don’t you just go over there and talk to them? They are kid-pros.’ So we took his advice. The team at the Shriners Hospital had an answer for us right away. The doctor said, ‘We’ve seen this before and even though it’s not typical, it is not incredibly uncommon. His tendon in his leg is pulled up too tight, not allowing his foot to extend all the way. It’s causing him to walk on the ball instead of on his entire foot. We can go in and make a small incision, repair the tendon, put him in a cast for about nine months and he’ll be good to go.’ Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.”

“To top it all off, they did it free of charge,” says Smith. “It doesn’t matter if you’re flat-broke poor or a multi-millionaire, they don’t ask for a penny. We’re not rich, but we’re not poor, so we wouldn’t have fallen into any kind of program. What they did for us, they do for thousands of kids every day.”

After Tanner’s surgery, Smith became very passionate about giving back to the Shriners. He started by donating all the money he won from racing. One day, High Lifter customer, Scott McDaniels, contacted Smith with an idea. Scott McDaniels was a big mud rider and a District Manager at Applebee’s. His son had also been helped by the Shriners. McDaniels mentioned to Smith that they should organize a charity ride. Smith jumped all over it and together they started the first annual High Lifter Shriners Ride.

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The first ride took place in 2008. About 600 riders showed up and raised around $10,000 and truckloads of toys. Applebee’s donated food and the park concessions. Since that first ride, High Lifter has raised over $100,000 in cash and donated over 18 truckloads of toys to the Shriners Hospital. “It’s funny,” Smith mentions, “I’ll never forget the first Shriners ride. A lot of the ladies at the local hospital didn’t really know what to expect and we showed up with all that money and all those toys. There were literally tears of joy. It was unbelievable. They say that our annual toy drive we have is the biggest supplier of the toys given to kids in the hospital. So, mud riders are actually making a really big impact on a lot of kids each and every year.

Copy of DSC_0337Tracie Engi, High Lifter’s Event Coordinator, says the goal this year is to raise $30,000. “This year is going to be the best year yet,” Engi proclaimed. “We have so many people helping us and so many great sponsors. Polaris has generously donated a Sportsman 450 HO to raffle off and we have also received overwhelming support from other businesses. Applebee’s has stepped up once again is also hosting a pancake breakfast. 100% of the funds raised goes directly to the Shriners. We don’t take ANYTHING out for expenses so if something has to be purchased for the event, High Lifter foots the bill. Everyone that works the event are volunteers. We all work together for the bigger picture, for the kids.”

The 2015 High Lifter Shriners Ride will begin at 8:00am on Saturday, December 5th at
High Lifter Off-Road Park and admission is a minimum donation of $15, or a brand-new, unwrapped toy.

Highlights include:

Poker Run from 11am-2pm: High hand and low hand winners will win $500 gift certificates to Applebee’s.

Treasure Hunt: Participants will find little ornaments that are hidden all over the park and turn them in for prizes. Prizes donated by: Campers RV, Cavenders Boot City, MSA WheelsSide By Side Stuff, S3 Powersports, High Lifter Products, Inc., Mud Creek Off Road Park, Smitty’s Pizza, Rex Dirks Designs, Warn Industries, and more!

Trail Riding: The park has over 570 acres to ride with trails that are perfect for the first time rider and some more challenging for the experienced rider.

Music

∗Special Appearance by Santa Claus: 9am- Noon

 

RAFFLE: To top it all off, Polaris donated a 2016 Polaris Sportsman 450 HO to be raffled off! Tickets are available at HighLifter.com, by calling High Lifter, at surrounding area Applebee’s, and at the event. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PRESENT OR RESIDE NEAR THE EVENT TO WIN! Click here to purchase your raffle tickets!

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People from all over the United States helped out last year so if you aren’t able to make it to the event, but would still like to donate, click here! Every little bit helps to keep the smiles on those sweet innocent faces!

“This is something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Smith explains. “There are many charities worthy of support, but my favorites are the ones that support children. Kids aren’t old enough to have done things wrong and live lives of sin like the rest of us. They’re just innocent kids.” -Scott Smith.

 

High Lifter Racer Comes Out On Top!

Chasing the Ultra4 UTV Championship

Team Ducky Racing Celebrates Successful Year of UTV RacingTeamDucky-2015-5

By: John Duckworth

After winning the sportsman class King of the Hammers race in 2014 in our Polaris RZR XP 900, I set my sights on the 2015 season. It was time to step up to the new and more capable Polaris RZR XP 1000. The car I purchased already had some quality components on it and I knew it would be a great base to start. Got the RZR home and went about prepping it for a shake down run. The XP1000 was definitely a different machine than my XP900. The extra wheel base and travel of the XP1000 really shined in the rocks and desert.

I added a long list of upgrades to the XP1000 so it would hold up to the brutal journey I was about to put it through. Scott Smith, owner of High Lifter offered to sponsor us with their Max Clearance line A-Arms, Trailing Arms, DHT Axles, and Radius Rods. Next came a new Super ATV Steering Rack and Tie Rods, Beadlocks, Tireblocks, 30″ tires, sway bar links, Gusset Kit etc. Of course as with any race car communications and safety are a must, so we went with Rugged Radios, Beard Seats and Pro Armor Harness along with a TMW Offroad cage and doors.

I called Mark MacDonald of Desertcraft to see about the R2C air filter. He offered to sponsor us with the filter and some other goodies for the RZR. He also mentioned that he had been working with Bilstein Shocks. I didn’t know much about the Bilsteins, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the set up I had. Mark met us in Johnson Valley for some pre-running in December 2014. Knowing some of the sections I struggled with in the past I set out to see how the Bilsteins would perform. Man were they smooth taking on the biggest whoops with ease. In the rocks they articulated really well and overall were a huge improvement over what I had been running.Ducky Sdie View

King of the Hammers

The first race of the season was The 2015 King of The Hammers. RGB signed up to Co-Dog again this year. He is an integral part of our team and I say “Thank You Rob.” We lined up a great pit crew and were ready to go. This was not our best race, we blew a tire and cracked a rim going into the first rock section. Lost a tie rod bolt and another tire before making it to pit 2. Our crew was on it and getting out of pit 2 we were somehow in 3rd only about 12 minutes behind the leaders. Unfortunately our race would end with a catastrophic transmission failure in the Jack Hammer section of the course.

Ultra4 Stampede

TeamDucky-2015-Stampede

Metal Cloak Stampede

The Metal Cloak Stampede held at Prairie City OHV in Sacramento would be the second race of the season and the first race in the Ultra 4 West series. After rebuilding and upgrading the transmission we had the car ready for the Metal Cloak Stampede. The track consisted of 2 miles of fast paced short track with three rock (car breaking) obstacles. We brought the car from 15” of ride height down 13.5” for this race. This made the rock portion a little bit harder to get through, but the car was able to stay flat through the corners. The prelim was a tough battle and after swapping places a few times we came out on the pole. The start of the main event did not go as planned. We lost an axle and power steering due to a collision in the rock section. However after the battle was over we took 1st. This course took out over 50% of the competition and left me and the RZR pretty banged up.TeamDucky-2015-GlenHelen-1

Glen Helen Grand Prix

Next up was the Glen Helen Grand Prix. Since Glen Helen Raceway is only a few miles away from Desertcrafts shop, Mark volunteered to set up, pit and spot for us. This was a fast grand prix format consisting of a 1/2 hour qualifier and a 1 hour main event. We got some testing in on Friday. Desertcraft had a brand new offering for

me to try from Bilstein. The new 8125’s were bad to the bone with 2.5″ bodies, reservoirs and 7/8″ shafts front and rear. We had done zero testing on the new shocks so Mark arranged for his Bilstein contact to meet us at the track for final tuning. The fronts were spot on, but the rears needed some attention. We were able to take the shocks off the car made the valving change and had them back on the car in under an hour. That did the trick. They did everything I asked of them and more. After testing Friday we developed an engine problem and could not determine if it was fuel delivery or electrical, but knowing the competition this was going to make it hard to compete. Mark brought his XP1000 with him for the pits, so we proceeded to swap out every part we thought might be the issue and called it at 11:30 pm not knowing if we had resolved the problem. During the pre-lim, the car ran great. Unfortunately my brakes faded near the end. We qualified .5 seconds from the pole. The main would see 17 UTV’s at the starting line. The brakes failed halfway through the first lap. With three laps to go, Mark radioed and he told me that my gas cap was missing and fuel was spilling out. Just as he told me this the car sputtered and I had to make an emergency pit stop. With the help of Mary ( Desertcraft) and one of our competitors (4 Wheel Parts) who gave us gas and a gas cap from Marks RZR we were back on the track. I lost three positions during the stop. A lap and a half later Team Ducky was back in first place and held the lead to the checkered flag. After pulling a tire it was determined that the rear brake pad fell off and the rotor ate up the caliper.

TeamDucky-2015-Fallon

Fallon 250

The Fallon 250 was our next destination. Held in Fallon Nevada, the course consisted of 6

laps on a 41 mile loop. During our one lap practice run we used up 6 gallons of fuel. The car was running very bad and I could not determine the problem. My race strategy of stopping every 2 to 2.5 laps was out the window. The dust was ridiculous, visibility was almost zero. I put in a pretty good first lap, but had to stop in the pits for fuel. I did not have any pit support for this race and Andrew Gorman, fellow UTV racer had his pit team help me out. Thank You Andrew! Three cars passed me up during that pit stop as I was the only one that needed fuel. By mile 26 of the loop on the second lap I was back in the lead and pulling away. Again the suspension components were working overtime and to perfection.

I thought that maybe I could get 60 miles out o

TeamDucky-2015-2

f a tank of gas and get to the second pit area. 5 miles from the second pit I ran out of fuel. I tried to walk through the desert to the pit area and that was a very bad idea. After 2 miles I had to turn around and get back to my car as I had fallen down twice heaving my guts out all over the desert floor. ¼ mile from my car there was someone broke down with a flat tire. They had no tools and no jack. I traded them a gallon of gas for the tool and I helped them dig out the tire and change it. Team Ducky was back in the race after a 2.5 hour delay. The rest of the day was a blur as I put the pedal down and just drove. The last lap I had to stop to give a racer a part and then at the remote pit for my last three gallons of fuel. That lap time was 54:48 which was as fast as most of the Ultra 4 guy’s fastest laps. The car held up to the abuse with no mechanical failures. I later found a broken wire that goes to the MAF sensor and that’s what made me use so much fuel. We finished 5 out of the 6 laps and that was good for 2nd place.

TeamDucky-2015-3

Team Ducky Racing

Ultra4 National Championships Reno, Nevada

We went into the final event of the year in good shape. The RZR had taken on some of the most brutal races during the season and was getting a little tired after so many race miles. The field had thinned at this point down to a dedicated group, all wanting to prove they could complete one of the hardest off road racing series in the country. Fridays practice went pretty well, but the track was going to be a challenge for the little RZR’s. The boulder fields were intimidating and simply dwarfed the UTV’s. We found some decent lines through the rocks and felt good about the set up on the car. On the last lap of practice the car developed a bad clanking noise that sounded like the transmission was coming apart. We found that the U Joint was hitting the main frame brace on the chassis. The brace had been bent from a season worth of abuse. Brian at Desert Concepts offered to help us out. They had their hands full after a failure on their own Ultra4 car, but were ready to help. Mark and Brian agreed that cutting out a pocket so the u-joint had clearance would be the way to go. They cut out the pocket and welded strips around the cut out to strengthen it. Next was the carrier bearing. Brian (Desert Concepts) suggested trying a clamp around the bearing and through the mount. It was worth a try, so we pulled out a large hose clamp and installed it. That seemed to do the trick and felt like it would stay together for the race.

The rest of the car was in good shape so we got some rest and prepared for the pre-lim on Saturday. The 7:30 am start would see conditions on the track changing rapidly with a steady light rain. They did a hat draw for the starting positions, which ended with us in the back of the field. Flag drops and I find myself three wide into the rock section and made it first through the rocks. Flew through the rocks and had a pretty good lead. Decided to take it easy to save the car for the main event, but got caught in the rocks by the second place car. They rammed us so hard in the rocks that they destroyed the back of the cage, climbed up the back of the car and slid off the driver side ripping the whole left side of the car off. Second got by us due to a missed shift. Ended up dragging the fender assembly around the track for two more laps until it finally fell off in the main rock section. We finished the qualifier in second which would give me a front row start for the main event. There was now a constant rain and the track was deteriorating rapidly. The track was turning to gumbo, and the rock sections glistened with mud and rain. The bearing fix was holding and the dive shaft was staying in place. Inspection of the belt showed that the “Slide Guide” by GForce racing was doing its job. Except scrapes from the rocks the OMF rims fitted with the Moto Race tires looked like they were holding up well. Cover the car and wait for the main which was a few hours away.TeamDucky-2015-2

Team Ducky Racing

It rained right up to the start of the main, the track was in bad shape and I knew getting through the rocks was going to be a challenge. The car that nerfed us at least 10 times during the pre-lim broke his front diff and was out of the race. Starting on the pole I reach the rocks first and got through without issues. The rest of the field bunched up in the rocks and most got stuck. Next time through the rocks I found myself having to pick a harder line to navigate around the field that was stuck in the rocks lapping most of the field. I got through only to feel something wrong on the right rear. Mark radioed and informs me that we had lost the right rear tire getting out of the rocks. Tried to keep up the pace the best I could and got around to the front rock section. With the slick conditions and a flat rear I really struggled to get out of the rocks on lap 3, working the car too hard and busted three out of four axles, but I still managed to clear the rocks. Getting around to the down hill rock section I let gravity take me for a ride and got through it. The next rock / hill climb on the course would prove to be too much of a challenge with only one axle and a flat. I had to pull off and watch the rest of the carnage from the side of the track. This was an absolutely brutal final and not one competitor made it to the checkered flag. After the final racer moving on the track came to a stop due to failure they called the race.

This race was crazy. Based on lap count we ended up getting a podium finish in third. After calculating all of the points for the season not only did we win the West Ultra4 Title we also clinched the Ultra4 National title as well!

Running the Ultra4 series was an amazing journey filled with ups and downs. Countless hours of prep and changes to the car, and strategy all played a huge part in keeping us in contention. Of course I could not have done it without the support of my wife, family and friends. Our sponsors were also key and the personal support we received from Mark and Mary at Desert Craft was invaluable. Thanks to all!!!

Please be sure to follow us online at Team Ducky Racing Facebook and @team_ducky_racing

Team Ducky Racing Sponsors:
•High Lifter
• Desertcraft
•ATVOnics
•Moto Race Tire
•OMF Performance
•Factory UTV
•Warn
•Muzzys Performance
•Tire Blocks
•ALBA
•Dirty Dawg Clutch
•Pro Armor
•Rugged Radios

Ultra4 National Championship photos courtesy of Danny Adair, Vision X

http://www.utvguide.net/ultra4-utv-championship-2015-team-ducky.htm

Mud-toberfest 2015

Email Blast 3 banner

It’s time for Mud-toberfest 2015, October 1st through the 4th at Mud Creek Park in Jacksonville, TX.  Bring your family out and have a great time riding. It is a smaller event than the Mud Nationals in March and offers fun family things plus we are expecting great weather to ride.

Every attendee gets a free Mud-toberfest T-shirt. And believe me, they look good!Mudtoberfestcolorprf

Plus, we’ve got a new competition that will be challenging and fun. Have you ever driven blindfolded?

Well how about giving it a try at our first ever Blind Folded Barrel Racing. That’s right! Hop in your SxS and grab a trustworthy and highly skilled friend to guide you around the barrels while you are blindfolded. I can’t wait to see how well some of you can do. Blind Fold Barrels

So join us for Live Music, Great Food, Competitions, Poker Run, Trail Riding and of course…  MUD!

I /hope to see you in Jacksonville, TX for our Family Weekend. for more details, go to

http://www.mudtoberfestex.com for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Lifter – How it All Began

September 2015

“My first four-wheeler experience is an interesting story,” says Scott Smith, owner and President of High Lifter Products, Inc. “Let me take you back probably 4 or 5 years before High Lifter was imagined. I was in the rice fields down in central Louisiana, snipe hunting with a buddy of mine. He had an old Honda Fourtrax 250. It was the first time I ever sat on a 4 wheeler, 3 wheeler or anything.  I was a mud-truck guy. So we started pulling towards this slough (Louisiana swamp) and I was on the back. Keep in mind, it was February and it was damn cold. There was a better rice field on the other side of this slough and we could see a snipe flying in and out. My buddy started towards that slough and I said ‘What are you doing?!’ He said, ‘I’m going to cross this slough and go to the other field!’ I was like, ‘Oh hell no, not with me on the back!’ He wouldn’t stop to let me off and the next thing you know, the water was halfway up to the seat. It was unbelievably bad mud. We got to the middle and were still moving. It was at that point I realized we were going to make it all the way across! I thought to myself, ‘holy crap, I gotta have one of these!’ Sure enough, we came out of the slough and crossed the levy to the other rice field, and we ended up getting our snipe. That was my introduction to four wheelers.”

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High Lifter Products, Inc. is known for creating and distributing high-quality, aftermarket parts for four-wheel drive ATVs, UTVs and side by sides. What was once a one-man, evening hobby is now a 55 employee, multi-million dollar corporation, and it all started with a little snipe hunting, and then some father and son quality-time.

 

Armed with a degree in finance, Scott Smith, 49 of Shreveport, Louisiana, started out his professional life as a commercial real estate appraiser. He specialized in financing downtown office buildings, nursing homes and shopping centers. He became interested in construction and soon changed his profession to being a general contractor. When he wasn’t working, Scott enjoyed riding four wheelers with his father, Mike Smith.

One day, back in 1996, Mike came to his son with an idea. “He wanted a lift kit for his four-wheeler,” Scott explained. “At the time, the largest tire you could get was a 26 inch Super Swamper. He wanted to put those on his four-wheeler and he couldn’t make them fit. So, I built him a lift kit, welded it on and it came out pretty cool.”

first liftfirst lift after

Scott’s dad saw enormous potential. “It was my dad’s idea to try to sell them,” Scott adds. “I told him as long as you have to weld this kit on, you’ll never sell it commercially. So we set out to create a bolt-on kit. Back then, nobody knew what a lift kit was. People would see our four-wheelers and notice that ours were taller than theirs. They’d ask and we would have to explain what a lift kit was. I told myself, if we could sell 50 lift kits a month, it would be a great hobby for me in the evening. My dad was the driving force behind all of it. He even came up with the name, High Lifter. With his ideas and my hard work, I started building the ATV lifts in the evenings.”

His evening hobby soon turned into a two story office building with 30 employees, a giant warehouse and a website, complete with a forum where riders could chat about their experiences. “Before Facebook and Instagram, our High Lifter forum was the social site for all things mud riding. We had the biggest, most active mud-riding forum and website on the web. Our customers would talk about riding and meeting each other to go on rides. My dad, now retired, was High Lifter General Manager at the time, and Dan Doughty, General Sales Manager, decided to plan a ride and invite all the forum people plus a few vendors, and make it a riding competition. So, my dad and Dan get 100% of the credit for creating our annual High Lifter Mud Nationals.”

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Scott ran his construction company and High Lifter for seven years before he decided to sell and go to work for High Lifter full-time. Making that kind of change can be challenging and downright scary. “My first thought when I got here was ‘What the hell do I do?’ I was always involved in research and development but that’s not an 8 hour day so I would sit there for the first, I don’t know how many months and just stare at my computer,” said Scott. “Everybody either took care of things themselves or they went to my dad or James “Tank” Cassell, current General Manager, if they had questions. However, after a few months, my office turned into a revolving door and now I don’t have that problem anymore!”

In 2007, with the birth of the 50 inch Polaris RZR, High Lifter began a partnership with Polaris and shifted part of the focus to side by sides. “We had five RZRs in our shop months before they were released to the public,” says Scott. “So, we got to do a lot of playing and riding them. It was clear that it was a home run and we needed to be in the side by side business.” Scott told us that his proudest accomplishment thus far at High Lifter involves the partnership with Polaris. “Having four High Lifter models in the Polaris line up is my proudest accomplishment. There are a lot of one hit wonders in life but having that full family of units, to me, is pretty amazing,” says Scott.

family

In 2008, High Lifter was named Small Business of the Year by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and The Forum News. This award honors the achievements, sustainability, productivity and contributions to the community of area businesses. The entrepreneurial and mechanical skills of Scott Smith, along with Mike’s genius ideas, and outstanding support staff of employees have made High Lifter Products one of the leading ATV aftermarket businesses in the nation, to-date.

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“My advice, for anyone starting their own business, is to be willing to work for free for years and years,” Scott says. “Be willing to hear the word ‘NO’ over and over and over again. You’ve got to push through it and understand success is going to have to come from within, because nobody is going to hand it to you.  My interpretation of the word ‘no’ is: you just don’t understand yet, I’ve not been clear enough.”

High Lifter Products has an outstanding reputation for quality side by side parts and accessorizes.

Thanks to our friends at SidebySideStuff.com’s BLOG for writing about how it all began at High Lifter! SidebySideStuff.com is a distributer of High Lifter Products parts and accessories.

 

 

Amateur Hour is Over…It’s Time to Start Rollin with the Big Boys by SidebySideStuff

August 2015

There’s three little words that we live our lives to hear. These words make our hearts race, our hands twitch, and fill our eyes with tears of joy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a whisper in our ear, a shout from a rooftop, or even a text on our phone. We’ll take ‘em any way we can get ‘em:

“Wanna Go Muddin’?”

I don’t mean just hopping puddles. I’m talking extreme, monster-style mudding. The kind of mudding that requires sitting sky-high on gigantic tires, with a suspension that will man-handle anything you can tromp it through.

Our friends at High Lifter have just made our mud boggin’ dreams come true, with the announcement of the

High Lifter Polaris RZR 1000 10Lift Kit.RZR Big Lift

“We’ve had customers request this for years,” says Scott Smith, owner of High Lifter products. “We’ve been so busy on other projects, we’ve had to turn them all away. We finally got the right amount of resources and time to devote to the project. We were confident we could do it as good as or better than anyone else and we feel like we’ve accomplished that.”

High Lifter’s design team worked for 10 months to develop a kit that maximizes 10 inches of lift plus provides the strength and reliability of a mud machine.

“There are two things you need to achieve when building a big lift kit or any kind of lift kit,” Smith adds. “The first of which is clearance; everything has got to clear. You don’t want to bolt up and have stuff rub right off the bat. Beyond clearance, the next thing you need to achieve is maximum strength: it’s got to hold up, stuff can’t bend or move around.”

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The High Lifter Polaris RZR 1000 10” Lift Kit includes:

Heavy Duty Laser Cut Front and Rear Upper Lift/Shock Brackets

  • Upper and Lower Radius Arms
  • 4 Custom Heavy Duty Max Clearance Front Control Arms Fabricated at High Lifter with 1 ¼” – .120 Wall DOM Tubing, Heavy Duty Support Gussets & Shock Mounts
  • 2 Custom High Lifter Heavy Duty Max Clearance Trailing Arms
  • Front & Rear Custom High Lifter Heavy Duty “Helper Springs” to be installed on your factory shocks to improve ride quality
  • 4 New Custom Outlaw RCV Axles by Rockford
  • Custom tie rods
  • Custom rear brake line kit
  • Lift Brackets, control arms, trailing arms and tie rods come with durable powder coat finish
  • All required hardware and brackets
  • Detailed instruction with photos for install
  • Complete kit proudly Made in the USA by High Lifter Products

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Designing a big lift that functions well in the field is not a simple task. There are many factors to consider and challenges associated with this kind of expert-level work.

We asked Brian Smith, Head Engineer at High Lifter, what kinds of engineering challenges he and his team faced in order to accomplish the strength and reliability needed for this extreme of a mud lift.

“Balancing maximum axle angle against the width of the RZR and ensuring the control arms can handle the higher stresses from the bigger lift and longer arms,” Brian replied. “We tested several versions with different thicknesses of steel and gussets through deep ruts to ensure the arms could handle the flexing that they would see during extreme mud riding.  We put a lot of miles on these lifts before releasing them to the public. Also, it was important to keep the ride comfortable which was achieved by adding the secondary [helper] springs.”

Purple Princess

In addition to designing high quality products and being able to build virtually anything their customers dream up, High Lifter takes great pride in their staff being enthusiasts, which is extremely valuable during the testing phase.

“We put the High Lifter Big Lift on our personal units and pounded on it weekend after weekend. It was just real world experience,” says Scott Smith, Owner. “We made changes and tweaks to the steering, control arms and radius bars. We did all that through just riding extremely hard. Between our Chief Fabricator, Jesse Johnson, and I, we can break more stuff in a weekend than the average guy can in a year. We ride really, really hard.”

Smith adds, “I can tell you, on the Polaris RZR , Ranger , and Scrambler kits we have, we really went overboard in design. What we tried to do was focus on making it trail-friendly. A lift this big definitely turns any machine into a good-lookin’ monster, but we’re really proud of how well our kits performed in the field. Drivability is a really important factor, one we made sure we didn’t sacrifice.”

The High Lifter 10” Lift Kit is priced at $4395.00 and will be available for other models beginning in the next few weeks, starting with the Ranger.

Thank you to our friends at SidebySideStuff.com for writing this story on their newly launched BLOG. We are excited to be a part of it!

Scott Blogs: Building a Mud Machine

For more than a decade our customers have been asking us to produce a High Lifter Edition unit.  It’s easy to understand that, given our small size, there was no way for us to pull off an endeavor of that magnitude, but hey, we could always dream….

When Polaris came to us a few years ago and pitched us the idea of a High Lifter Edition RZR 1000 XP we couldn’t say yes fast enough – but under one condition.  The unit had to be a real mud edition.  We didn’t want fancy stickers with our name on a RZR that wouldn’t hold up or perform in the conditions we thrive in.  Not surprisingly, Polaris didn’t just agree, they agreed and upped the ante.  They wanted to make the entire unit functional for the mud, not just the new parts added for the mud.  Throughout the entire process, we couldn’t believe the level of detail addressed.

Bubba1From the beginning, there was a list of must haves and a list wants.  The obvious must haves were the tires, snorkels, maximum clearance suspension, winch and tow points.  The wants were the lower door halves to keep out the mud, the rear view mirror, the upgraded front mud riders winch bumper, better reverse chain and lower gears in the transmission.  We got all the wants we asked for!

Once the list of parts was agreed upon, we participated in video conferencing.  This is where Polaris showed models of the new parts on the computer that could be adjusted and spun around. This was even better than just talking about parts, we could actually see them.

Bubba2After the parts were designed, test units started showing up down here in Louisiana to ride and evaluate.  That was the best part!  Now a lot of people talk about how cool it would be, or is, to be a test rider.  I have to agree, it can be the most fun part of the job.  Unfortunately, people don’t always realize that testing gets done no matter what.  Everyone always pictures a balmy 80 degree day with no clouds in the sky and perfect trails.  The stark reality is that those days are limited.  Most days are either really cold and raining or extremely hot and dry with lots of dust; Murphy’s Law always makes sure of that.  I’m here to tell you that this unit was mostly tested during a very cold and rainy season.  It was brutal.  I was actually glad on the days I went to work while they stayed to ride.  In addition to bad weather, there is the reality of broken parts.  While the good news is you have plenty of spare parts; the bad news is you’re replacing them in a cold rain, in the woods and in the mud.  I really need to write an entire blog about all the things we encounter while testing.Bubba3  Those days make our typical days of mud riding look like child’s play.

After all the designing, redesigning and testing, it was time for the graphics.  Polaris is second to none when it comes to cool factor with colors and graphics and they didn’t disappoint.  They wanted to do something that was a first, a color powder coated frame.  This is way more complex than you may realize.  Think about every frame coming down the line in black with a recovery system in place for all the extra powder.  Now, tell the line that you want to mix some orange in the group.  You can imagine the discussions that ensued.  Beyond the custom powder coating, the graphics on this model are best yet.  We couldn’t be happier.

Bubba4After the talk, the design and the testing, all that’s left is the waiting.  Waiting on the results.  The results that tell us if we did well or missed the mark.  That score card is given by you, the riders.  So far, you have spoken loud and clear.  There will not be nearly enough High Lifter Editions built to supply the demand.  All of the features we put into this unit and the level of quality and detail Polaris produced, hit the mark.  If you want one, I hope you get it soon; otherwise you’ll be waiting to see if we do it again next year.  Enjoy your RZR life, I know I sure do!

 

Scott Blogs: This is Real

We’ve got a new top secret project in the works that is going to change things. That is such a cliché. When I hear companies say that my radar goes off and I think whatever. We’ve all heard that time and time again like the boy that cried wolf. However, there are still those few times in life when it’s true. This is one of those times. I’ve hinted about us testing this new product before and it’s really close to launching. The amazing thing about it is we had to put an 8,000 lb winch on my Ranger just for the testing. The holes we hit that bury normal units are no match for us now. When we do find holes that stop the Ranger, we have had to double line our 5,000 lb winch. I’m talking about deep stuff.

Having a little fun with the Ranger at High Lifter Off-Road Park. We'd call this an above-the-waders hole!

Having a little fun with the Ranger at High Lifter Off-Road Park. We’d call this an above-the-waders hole!

We ride like a lot of other people when we’re not testing. We know the holes we can make and know the ones no one can make. Usually, we hit all the no-brainers and a handful of the others. The testing of this new product means we are hitting EVERYTHING. Yes, we’ve stuck the Ranger, but the places it is making us go to get stuck are simply unimaginable. I truly believe that out test Ranger is genuinely the baddest Ranger on the planet. The holes we are hitting during testing I would swear we should NOT be able to go through. And yet, time after time, we are going through them over and over. When I talk about deep holes many people think right off – deep water. Not this go round. I’m talking peanut butter, sludge and water. Thick nasty goo. The stuff that takes 5 hours to clean off after riding.

Now that we’ve logged hundreds of miles testing, it is just starting to sink in that this performance is not a fluke. It’s real. This Ranger will really go this many places. All I can say is the deep holes are going to get a lot deeper once this is released. Hold to your seats boys and girls, this ride is about to get serious.

Scott Blogs: It’s True – Huge Tires and Axles Can Be Friends!

In my 20+ years of mud riding, I’ve learned that huge mud tires and axles are definitely enemies – but that doesn’t mean they can’t live happily together. Now that machines have

One of my favorite ways to break an axle!

One of my favorite ways to break an axle!

ridiculous horsepower and tires that are beyond huge, the focus on axles and other driveline parts has really become sharp. When I ride hard, I want to lay on the gas, then jam into reverse, then back to drive again. I want to thrash and bang like nobody’s business. In the old days of 16 HP that wasn’t a problem. I didn’t have enough power to break anything. Now that I have 100 HP subject to the every whim of my foot on the throttle things are different. We all can break things and there is no skill in lying on the gas and shredding axles. It has taken me a while to adjust to all the newfound power and big tires. Intuitively, I knew not to lay on the gas while bound up, but I just couldn’t resist the power. While I do still break axles sometimes, it mostly happens during testing when we have to drive harder than normal.

Say hello to my new best friend - my 8,000 lb Viper Winch! We put it to work this week!

Say hello to my new best friend – my 8,000 lb Viper Winch! We put it to work this week!

When it comes to finding the happy medium with axles, driveline parts, and large tires, the solution is found in the technique and knowing what to do. There are a handful of situations that you will find yourself in when you’re just stuck in a position that is almost a sure thing for breakage. Our egos push us on to fight the hole when the smart thing is to just get pulled out so we can live to show out on the next hole. This is not to say that every time you get slightly stuck you call out for the rope, I’m saying there are holes to be fought and holes to give up on. Your job is to learn the difference.

The number one position begging to shred your expensive parts is the nose down, rear up bind. This position transfers weight to your front end, which is not nearly as robust as the rear. When you go to reverse it takes amazingly little power to blow the front apart. If you find yourself stuck like this just have someone pull you out. Trust me, after the first few times of being pulled out like this, it gets way easier on the ego.

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We decided to go for the rope, instead of killing our ride on this day!

Another sure-fire way to destroy axles is the nose up way high and the rear down deep in a hole, climbing out forward. When all is level left to right this isn’t too much of a problem. However, most often things aren’t level. One side is almost always getting better traction that the other. What happens next is either you’re left or right axle is trying to push out the entire weight of the vehicle on its own. When you have one axle working to lift all the weight, you are begging to blow that axle.

With power and size come limitations. If you are that person that wants to stab the throttle at every hole, huge tires and lots of power are probably not for you unless you don’t mind turning some wrenches after every ride. For those of us with a little self control I’ll take the added power and big tires every time.

Scott Blogs: So You Want to Build a Tire

In and among our 20-plus ongoing projects going on last year (we like to work on special projects), we decided to make a new Outlaw 2. We didn’t want to just super-size an existing Outlaw 2, we wanted to jazz it up and make improvements based on what we’ve learned in recent changes to manufacturing and design capabilities. With that in mind, we started out with a blank sheet of paper.

The result of our hard work - the 32.5" Outlaw 2. It's going to be awesome on the Polaris RZR 1000 XP!

The result of our hard work – the 32.5″ Outlaw 2. It’s going to be awesome on the Polaris RZR 1000 XP!

As you would expect, the first decisions that needed to be made were the overall height, width and wheel size. Those were relatively easy decisions. We wanted the tire to be a true 32.5” tire. Over the past 14 years designing tires, we have learned that a 32.5” tire on paper rarely comes out a 32.5” tire from the mold. This is true for most tires, including truck and agricultural tires. Our next decision was the width. The current trend is to run skinny tires front and back. While my personal opinion remains that is not the ideal setup, and the topic for a future blog, that is what the market is looking for much of the time. Given that, we decided we would maximize the performance by making only one width, 10.5”, slightly wider than traditional front tires and slightly narrower than traditional rear tires. This width will maximize the footprint on the ground without robbing as much horsepower as wide rear tires frequently do.

The wheel size took a little more thought. Since the wheel market is exploding with a variety of sizes, it is hard to predict which size will become the new standard or if there will even be a new standard. In the old days 12” wheels were the only thing available and it took years before the 14” wheel became the standard. Now there are 15”, 16” and 18” wheels on the market. We stuck with the 14” wheel for this tire to maximize the number of wheel choices for our customers.

Our blank sheet of paper now looked like a massive donut, a giant circle of rubber with a 14” hole in the middle. The tread bars were the next design feature to complete. Even though our tablet was blank, we knew the existing Outlaw 2 tread bar was a clear winner with respect to pulling, cleaning and delivering a good ride. We now also had benefit of several other tires in this line with lots of data on which features worked the best and which just looked good. From this information we were able to fine tune all the key dimensions of each tread to maximize the benefit and reduce the amount of rubber in production. Less rubber equals less weight. The end result of the new design is remarkably similar to other Outlaw 2s, but with superior dimensioning and construction to minimize weight and improve performance. A hard lesson was learned on our first shot at the Outlaw 2. This tire was so advanced in terms of the size of the treads and the amount of rubber needed to build it, we had to improve the way rubber moved inside the mold while in the press. Some of the early tires were casualties of this learning curve. We aren’t proud of having to learn on the fly, but we are proud to say we stood behind these tires 100 percent for our customers.

Between the superior design and the improved knowledge of moving rubber in the mold, this new 32.5” Outlaw 2 tire is going to be phenomenal in regards to performance, quality and weight.