Mud-toberfest 2015

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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 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.”



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.”


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.


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.


“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’s BLOG for writing about how it all began at High Lifter! 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.”


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



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 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.


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.

Scott Blogs: Preparing for a Test Ride

So the other day we were at my shop at home waiting on a big group of guys, many from out of town, for an important test ride. In total, there were going to be about 10 of us on the ride. Since anyone reading this is probably a diehard enthusiast, I realize your mind has already sped past the details. You went straight to: I wonder what they were testing? Why were so many people needed for this test this? Why were they from out of town? These are good questions, the same questions I would be asking. One of the most aggravating things is for people to dangle carrots like this and not tell the answer. I won’t do this to you, so here is a subtle hint: it was a tire. That should be a good enough hint. By the way, this wasn’t just any tire. These guests were here to confirm our opinion; this tire is going to be the new standard. You know we’re always working on new stuff, creating and testing the things we come up with. That’s one of the things I love most about my job. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can get back to our day.

While the weather was great that day in Shreveport, Louisiana, the rest of the country was getting hammered by a massive snow and ice storm. Needless to say, that delayed most of the planes for our group. Scheduled “go” time had been set for noon, but around 10 a.m. we learned they were going to be at least four hours late. At this point, there was already a small group that had made it to my shop, from various places, and all of us were getting restless. For those of you that don’t know much about me, I’ll fill in a few blanks. I have two modes: 100% full throttle or 100% couch potato. I do both equally well and am very happy in both conditions. Problems arise when I’m shifting from one mode to the other or trapped in the middle. Since this particular day was to be spent all out hardcore test riding, my mind and spirit were already on the gas, but my body was stuck sitting around waiting, which I absolutely hate. To make matters worse, this was our last window of opportunity for this ride in good weather. The storm covering the rest of the country was headed our way and would be in that night. Even though we could ride the next day, it would be raining and in the low 30s, whereas today was sunny and 75. The anxiety was building …

As we sat under the covered porch of the shop sharing horror stories about different rides we had been on, I kept eyeing a huge pine tree in the front yard. This tree sits about 20 feet from our master bedroom and has no protection from the wind. Several months ago I noticed it was dropping all of its green needles and looking pretty poor in general. Since then, I had been entertaining how I could cut it down so the top wouldn’t make a surprise appearance in my bed on a windy night. The longer we talked the more I thought about this tree and how it needed to be gone. Although it was still warm and sunny, the wind was picking up and the storm was approaching. We had already killed several hours, so the rest of the group was only about an hour out. In theory that wasn’t a problem. After all, how long could it take to chop down a monster pine tree?

No sooner than I got the words out of my mouth, “Let’s go chop that pine tree down” my little brother Brian, who I love and respect immensely, piped in with 20 reasons why that was not only a bad idea, but a horrible idea. To cover a few of them in no particular order:  your chainsaw is too small, the tree is too tall, you don’t have enough time, your house is right next to the tree, it could hit your house, and the biggest – the wind is blowing fairly hard now and in the wrong direction. I’ll admit that last one got to me just a little. The wind had picked up and was gusting on and off. However, the decision was made. It was time to soldier on and make things happen in true Scott Smith fashion.

Scott doing a little work on the dozer!

Scott and Tanner  doing a little work on the dozer!

I grabbed my trusty saw and headed across the yard. It fired on the second pull, and without another thought I tore into the massive trunk like it was a sapling. Strangely enough, as soon as I got through the thick bark all progress stopped. The motor rev’d, 2 stroke fumes filled the air, the blade spun, but no more chips. Ahh, the blade was spent.  At this point I wondered, is God telling me Brian was right? Is this really a bad idea? After all, if this goes badly, what will I do? I’ll have a lot of guys here in less than an hour to go test riding on a perfect day, and how will it look if I have a 10 ton tree lying across my house? I could imagine and hear Rachel as she came home and found this tree across our house and me trying to explain, “I’m so sorry, honey. You see I chopped this tree down to protect our house, but then it fell on the house. As soon as it fell everybody showed up to ride. I didn’t know what else to do, so we went riding.” That surely wouldn’t be one of my brightest moments. As those thoughts were running wildly through my mind, I heard James, our General Manager at High Lifter, shout from across the yard, “Hey, I have a bigger chainsaw with a better blade at my house. Do you want me to go get it?” YES! God wasn’t telling me not to do this; He was telling me I needed a bigger chain saw! We were back in business boys.

As I stood under the massive pine looking up at the already decaying branches, I watched as the wind whipped the beast back and forth. I knew we would only get one chance and we were going to have to do this right. At this point I pulled out my ace in the hole. That’s right, I had a backup plan, a Plan B, the excavator. It’s simple really; you just pull up, put the bucket against the tree, and push. That’s how it works on TV, right? So that’s what I did. I pulled up, put the bucket against the tree, and pushed. Nothing. I pushed harder. The excavator lifted off the ground. Not to be discouraged or give up, we hatched Plan C. Plan C was pure brilliance; we would push against the tree and cut it at the same time with this newer, larger, sharper chainsaw. Nothing could go wrong. This is where my brother, the engineer, steps back in.  He tells me, “Scott, you’ve got a great plan right here. You’ve got it well thought out. You have all the tools to accomplish this task, and I can see you’re ready to get back at it. I just want to point out one small thing, just a tiny detail you might not have considered. The excavator is going to act as a pivot point on the tree, and with the wind gusts we have now, that big ‘ole tree is going to pivot on the bucket and come right back on your head in the excavator.”

Now this had not been part of the plan. In truth, I had not even considered this as a possible outcome. Sure I worried about the tree landing on the house, but I was willing to take that risk. Now we’re talking about it falling on my head. Not only that, falling on my head before a big mud ride. I had to study on that a minute. After careful thought and consideration, I arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. We will in fact cut the tree down, but since there is considerable risk involved, we will also video the act. That way, if it does go badly, it can be submitted to all the various TV shows about stupid people doing stupid things.

With no more to do’s, I got to pushing on that tree and James got to cutting. The wind picked up and I pushed harder. The excavator lifted and the tree cracked with resistance.  It wasn’t going to go easy, but at this point there was no way we were going to give up.  The saw was steadily making chips, and the excavator continued to grunt against the strain of the old pine. The cracking sounds grew louder, and then there was movement. It was slow at first, just a lean. More cutting, more pushing, louder cracks, then, the trunk started to snap. The momentum had begun. There was nothing more we could do at that point but watch. We all watched as the big tree headed down. Much to Brian’s amazement the plan worked perfectly. The tree didn’t come back on my head, and there would be no new stupid people videos made that day. As it turns out, the excavator had enough push in to get the tree leaning as the saw weakened its base. I was able to get the tree pushed far enough over so there was no real danger of it coming back on me in the wind. Gravity was my friend. When you cut a tree down of this size you don’t cut all the way through it then watch it fall over. Cutting it takes a long time.  It will get weak and begin to fall long before you get all the way through it. I already knew this. I knew the excavator was more than big enough to get things headed in the right direction, so it really wasn’t nearly the gamble many feared.

That’s me though. Some say fools rush in but I say aggressive people rush in. When others see problems and challenges, all I see are ways to fix or solve them. That is the way High Lifter operates. We don’t understand “no” or “can’t” or “too hard”. We see a problem, we fix it. We see a challenge, we tackle it.

Within minutes of the tree hitting the ground the rest of our crew showed up and we were all ready to ride. The ride turned out amazing and is worthy of an entire blog itself. Hopefully I can steal away a few hours and type it up soon.

Guest Post: Working Hard to Bring You the Most Current Info!

Each week, a member from Team High Lifter will have a blog post talking about what goes on behind the scenes up here. From sales and marketing to research and development, we hope you enjoy the commentary as we pull back the curtain on High Lifter! This week’s guest contributor is our Product Development Manager, Charles Singleton.

When a customer calls and talks with a sales team member here at High Lifter, they expect that we will have what they want for their ATV/UTV. Imagine calling a company and asking for a part and the person on the other end of the call has no idea what will fit your particular ATV/UTV! What a disaster that would be!

scott at show

Here’s an example of “not working hard” on getting up-to-date applications! But hey – it’s Scott. Could you expect anything less?

At High Lifter, we’ve made it our priority to bring you the most current applications for the products we offer even if we don’t produce it! That’s right – we review every product we offer internally and ensure we have the most accurate and current applications. Sometimes we’re more current than some of the manufacturers! If you’ve got a 2014 Polaris; I bet we have parts for it or have some in development.

To attack the monster task of application updates on products, our team has worked tirelessly over the past few months building a database of OE part numbers from control arms to radiators and everything in between going back as far as 1985. Now, when a customer calls us, they can give the sales person the Make, Model, and Year (MMY) and our system will show the salesman every part and accessory we have available for that model! We also have this feature online that can be found by clicking HERE. The great thing about this feature is that there are no drill down links like some of our competitors have on their sites. Finding the products that you want is really just a click away!

I know that all of this sounds like a sales pitch and in way it is. It is my belief that the team at High Lifter builds the best after-market parts and accessories for ATVs and UTVs. However, our hard work and dedication to the sport and our customers means nothing if these products sit on a dusty shelf. Without the proper applications for a product, you can’t sell it and no one will know that you have it which is why I spend hours of my work day doing part number research. It’s why we have a team here dedicated specifically to product management and application maintenance.

The next time you call our team or visit our site, know that we are doing our best to bring you the most accurate information available. If we don’t have something for your quad, you can be rest assured that we are working hard (when we’re not playing in the mud) to get applications or products for your ride!