From Monster Truck lover to world-class buggy fabricator, Jesse Haines tells his history in fabrication and rock crawling. His focus and drive have brought him to the pinnacle of his career with his family and friends cheering him on. If anyone can “figure it out” it’s Jesse Haines.
4:13 – my goal in life was to own a Monster Truck
9:22 – we had some Epic Fights
12:04 – by the time I was done with the field trip, I’m like No, I’m not doing this
19:21 – first off-road competition was the Top Truck challenge
22:20 – a lot of things just worked out, ended up working for Troy Myers at the Badlands
25:20 – I wanted them to see my work in person, have an idea what I was capable of
26:57 – Hot Dog Mike asked me to spot for him
29:05 – I did horrible, there’s a lot to learn
37:15 – I just had to figure it out, took it to the finals and the car is a disaster
40:37 - First event in Jellico and I broke my back
48:48 – I didn’t deserve to win because of Randy’s showing in the Shootout
53:40 – the poop chute was the finale
1:01:30 – I built the Torchmate buggy, then quit and went to work for Torchmate
1:11:49 – I felt confident this stuff was going to work
1:21:50 – coming up with the ideas is one thing, coming up with a way to produce your ideas is another
1:27:44 – you’re losing your advantage because you’re giving it away
1:43:20 – you have to analyze every possibility on the course
1:54:30 – I did this before and caught hell for not mentioning my wife and kids
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This Transcript is prepared with AI Software, edits are made, but not everything is corrected to match the speaking voice. Please read with a discerning eye.
[00:00:01.050] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.
[00:00:29.480] - Speaker 2
Whether you're crawling the Red Rocks of MOAB or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis, tread victoriously.
[00:00:56.040] - Big Rich Klein
Why should you read 4Low magazine, because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the Four-Wheel Drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4Low on a newsstand rack. So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.
[00:01:20.420] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Jesse Haines, Jesse Haines Fabrication, Jesse Haines world-renowned Rock Crawler and Four-Wheel Drive enthusiast.
[00:01:34.940] - Big Rich Klein
Jesse, thank you for coming on board and talking about your history and off road with our listeners.
[00:01:42.200] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, no problem. I've been looking forward to doing it for a while.
[00:01:45.590] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, we talked about it real early in the year or late last year and just haven't been able to find time to do it. But here we are.
[00:01:53.990] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, it might have been when we were when we were moving. I can't remember when we were moving last year or something, but.
[00:02:00.710] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. And getting ready for the new season and you had a lot of cars building which you probably still do, but we'll get into that. So let's start off with the same question I pretty much ask everybody. Where were you born and raised?
[00:02:17.070] - Jesse Haines
Grew up in Traverse City, Michigan, which is the northern lower peninsula, and lived there for, I think 24 years.
[00:02:30.330] - Big Rich Klein
OK, Traverse City, is that rural or is it a metropolitan area?
[00:02:38.160] - Jesse Haines
Well, I guess it's somewhere in between I think it's an area around one hundred thousand people, but. And I don't know, I mean, if you look at the state map of Michigan, you know, you've got a few areas that are pretty densely populated, but once you start going farther north, there's just not as many large cities. It's the largest city for quite a ways, probably as far as going far north. It's probably the last big city, I guess you'd say, but.
[00:03:14.120] - Jesse Haines
So, yeah, I mean, it was a. Decent sized town has grown quite a bit since then, too, but it's more of a tourist area, it's right on the. Somewhat, I guess you'd say it's not Lake Michigan, but it's technically Grand Traverse Bay. OK.
[00:03:29.840] - Big Rich Klein
So growing up there, how did you get your start? What was that? Did you did you ride bikes or what kind of you know, what kind of activities were you into when you were young?
[00:03:40.490] - Jesse Haines
Well, I was, you know, as a kid, just into all kinds of cars and trucks and different stuff. And I think it started with Legos and then models and then our car stuff. And you know, when I got old enough, it evolved into working on your own full sized car know real cars. OK, but, you know, before that I was always, you know, as a kid, I was always in the monster trucks like it, ironically, you know.
[00:04:13.510] - Jesse Haines
When I was a kid, I mean, I think my goal in life was to own a monster truck someday and. At this point, it's like I could probably build a monster truck if I wanted to, but I just it's not something I'm interested in anymore. But. One thing that's kind of interesting is you go back and I bet I was maybe 10 years old or even younger, I remember watching on ESPN or ESPN two that they had desert racing quite a bit and they had the Mickey Thompson Stadium series stuff.
[00:04:47.730] - Jesse Haines
And I loved watching that stuff. I watch that stuff all the time. And as far as, like monster trucks, I mean, that was stuff that I knew what time each week the episodes would be. And I would, you know, absolutely make sure I didn't miss that stuff. So, I mean, I was big into it when I was when I was young. Always the interested in Off-Road Motor Sport stuff.
[00:05:15.170] - Big Rich Klein
OK, let's let's talk about your early school years, were you scholastic, athletic both, or do your own thing?
[00:05:29.390] - Jesse Haines
And it seems seems like all of the above in a way, so I was I don't know, I was somewhat good in school or capable at one point I was. I was on the other schools like Olympics of the Mind team, which was. For talented and gifted kids or something, you know, but the thing was, I, I just didn't like school. I never really. Did extremely well, I just, you know, didn't apply myself, I guess you'd say did enough to get through.
[00:06:04.690] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. So actually, when I was a kid growing up. I was really into hockey, I played hockey and. I was, I don't know, maybe more into hockey than I was into Off-Road stuff, you know, as far as well as monster trucks. What's the big thing? I guess when I was a kid, but I mean, I would just sit there in school and while the teachers teaching us whatever we need to learn, I was either drawing hockey goalies or monster trucks or some other type of crazy Off-Road thing, you know, and I still have some of those pictures that my mom saved that.
[00:06:44.810] - Jesse Haines
They're funny to go back and look at all the stuff that I drew, but, well, I love drawing when I was when I was in elementary school and did it, you know, when I was supposed to be doing actual school work. Right.
[00:06:57.960] - Big Rich Klein
So what position did you play goalie then?
[00:07:01.370] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. So I was wanted to play goalie when I was younger. And just because I was always fascinated with goalie equipment, because they have such unique equipment and cool helmets and and so I didn't actually end up playing goalie until I was 12 or 13 and played. Through college, basically, and I don't know, I mean, I played on some pretty good teams and some pretty high level teams, our school had a Division one NCAA hockey team, and I essentially played on like the junior varsity team.
[00:07:41.590] - Jesse Haines
It's not quite what it was, but it was basically what it was when we traveled. We traveled quite a bit and played and played in leagues. And, you know, one year we almost won the national championship. And that that was that was awesome experience. Playing hockey was something that was an important part for me growing up. And I don't really I can't remember how long it's been since I played. It's maybe been six years now since I played.
[00:08:15.560] - Jesse Haines
When I first moved out here to Nevada, I lived in well, technically, I lived in Dayton for a little bit and then I moved to Carson City for a little while. And at that time, the South Lake Tahoe ice rink wasn't that far away. And so I started playing out here a bit. And then. And when I moved to Sparks, it was almost an hour and a half to to go play and. It just made it difficult, but now they've got a rink in South Reno, which is a bit closer to where I'm at.
[00:08:46.570] - Jesse Haines
So. Our kids started ice skating, but I haven't I still haven't started up playing in the league yet.
[00:08:53.980] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. So. At that age group, did everybody drop their sticks and still fight? When's that it playing hockey at any of the age groups that you were in, was it.
[00:09:07.650] - Jesse Haines
Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean.
[00:09:10.640] - Big Rich Klein
Is that just like part of the sport? I mean, I'm not a hockey player. Never have been. So I don't ice skate real well. I can roller skate better and I can ice skate. Yeah.
[00:09:22.670] - Jesse Haines
So basically, it's almost completely restricted for any league that's under 18. They're just not going to let you get away with it. But once I start playing in college, it was weird. There was some refs that would not allow it and then there was other refs that would just let it go. And I mean, we had some, like, epic fights where, you know, the refs would totally let it go and helmets were coming off and people were ended up bloody.
[00:09:56.090] - Jesse Haines
And it was. A good time.
[00:10:00.350] - Big Rich Klein
I, I just never would have thought. Of Jesse Haines is a fighter.
[00:10:06.370] - Jesse Haines
Well, see, the goalies almost never get in a fight. And so I wasn't actually involved in it. You know, I was I was there, but not not an active participant. So the goalies I don't know if you've seen the highlights before, but once in a while, you know, the goalies, it's it's like almost taboo. Regular players don't fight goalies, but once in a while, the goalies come out and meet each other.
[00:10:33.890] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, and that's awesome. But no, never that never happened.
[00:10:39.880] - Big Rich Klein
I always like to say, you know, I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out. Yeah. So. So then I know that you you went to school. For engineering drafting, is that correct? Yeah, I went to school for a few different things, I guess I started out I started taking AutoCAD classes as a senior in high school, and I basically spent the whole semester just drawing a bunch of different trucks and stuff, and I really enjoyed it.
[00:11:21.470] – Jesse Haines
And so then I. Started taking some of that stuff at community college and enjoyed it, and then I went away to various state university, a I guess it was a year after I graduated high school and then. Thought I wanted to be in the technical drafting program there and found it cool, I enjoyed the drawing part, you know, and the design part. Well. Towards the end of the first year that it was there, I we went on a field trip and the field trip was essentially showing you what kind of job you'll have when you graduate from this program.
[00:12:04.480] – Jesse Haines
And by the time I was done with Field Trip, I'm like, no, I'm not doing this. Like, this is not what I this is not interesting to me and. Coincidentally, they had automotive department and every day on my way to class, you'd walk through the automotive department and I just kept thinking, this is cool stuff I'm doing. I don't know why I'm drafting, you know, but I ended up switching switching majors. So it was technically a two year auto service program.
[00:12:39.310] - Big Rich Klein
And then the four year degree was automotive engineering. But I also I ended up taking some additional classes when I was in school. Coincidentally, one of the hockey coaches was also sheening lab instructor. And so part of the first program I was in. There was a machining process, this class you had to take where you learn how to use a mill lathe. And then later I ended up taking. Lab credits where I could just go into the machine shop and my hockey coach was the teacher basically, and he let us he let me go in there and make anything I wanted.
[00:13:24.560] - Big Rich Klein
And that was, you know, awesome experience and good practice, but. I also took some welding classes, a few things that I wanted to. One of the learn that didn't necessarily apply to the degree I was getting, but I was I don't know, I mean, I I was happy with what I learned there, and that's for sure.
[00:13:48.170] - Big Rich Klein
So you're using lathe and milling machine, that kind of stuff. Was it all manual like Bridgeport type stuff?
[00:13:57.470] - Jesse Haines
OK. Yeah. And I mean, it's kind of funny. I mean, obviously they had CNC. stuff back then, but I guess it was probably because I was taking like entry level machining classes, because if you wanted to get into the CNC stuff, I think, you know, pretty much had to be your major to sign up and pursue that. Right. But yeah. And I still to this day, I don't have any concededly experience. I actually have an old CNC. that I got for next to nothing and something's wrong with it.
[00:14:29.530] - Jesse Haines
I never got it going yet, but maybe one day. Maybe one day I will figure out how to use it.
[00:14:37.890] - Big Rich Klein
Well, I think that anybody that goes into machining, you know, I mean, to me, it it appears that like CN.C. machines, if you can program or, you know, program the the design into it, and maybe I'm using the wrong terminology because I don't use any of that kind of stuff, that it pretty much comes down to that you're a programmer where write a machinist to me is somebody that can sit down and run the manual lathes and machines.
[00:15:16.190] - Big Rich Klein
And understand the processes you have to go through to get to the final product where, you know, ACNC machine, you know, it's once you've got that. That CAD drawing and all the measurements in there, and it's all 3-D or whatever, you know, and you put the numbers in it, it just does it.
[00:15:37.090] - Jesse Haines
The machine can do do the work for you. I mean, there's definitely an art to manual machining. After I graduated college, I went to work the Badlands Machine Shop, which was basically a fab shop where we did a lot of machining there to really machine the actual shafts, all kinds of stuff. But we had some nice equipment, but it was all manual equipment there, too. Well, one of the guys, I guess technically the main guy when I started working there was this guy named Rob and.
[00:16:12.200] - Jesse Haines
His background before he went to work at the Badlands was he was a machinist, he had probably worked for as a machinist for 15 plus years, I think maybe his dad even on the machine shop. So he was an excellent machinist. And I learned a ton from working there and working with him and. Just because I got to use the equipment and when you're interested in learning, your boss is cool enough to let you just use the equipment to do side projects.
[00:16:45.970] - Jesse Haines
And I. You had tons of hands on. Experience just figuring all this stuff out on my own and. Yeah, it's certainly like anything you can learn stuff in school, but there's tons of stuff that. You just learn with experience, that's the only way you're going to write. And it's crazy to think that now I've got almost wow, you know, almost 20 years of experience doing it.
[00:17:21.390] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I get it, my my dad. Started off at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and ended up working his way for 38 years in the federal government and retired at 55, but he was what he got up as high as what they call model maker. And so he went through, you know, the. The machinist grades and then the tool and die and then into the the last level that he had was said was model maker, but everything that he did was was on manual machine and he could figure that stuff out in the detail and quality that he produced.
[00:18:08.290] - Big Rich Klein
I've never I've never had the patience to it's like I tell everybody I can build an awesome deck, but don't ask me to do finish carpentry. You know, there's just no way. And the same thing with wood, just about anything. You know, I'm I'm I know the detail and I know it should be there. I just don't have the the patience.
[00:18:30.530] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, there's you know, I mean, I'm certainly not a credible machinist, I'm good and I'm capable. But, you know, you look at some of the intricate projects that machinists like doing just for hobbyists. Sure. You've seen stuff like work guys make a whole like V8 engine that actually functions and has all the tiny little parts and. Yep, just for fun, you know, for something to do. And it's just a different mentality that some machinists have that just really enjoy the fine detail, work things.
[00:19:08.340] - Big Rich Klein
Your college years. And you said that was what was the name of the school again, Traverse State University State.
[00:19:15.500] - Big Rich Klein
OK, and then after you graduated there, what was your next step?
[00:19:21.620] - Jesse Haines
So I don't know. Well, you probably remember, but it was so I graduated in 2003, but in 2002, I went to the top challenge right. For the magazine thing. And I had never done anything. I had never really done anything like it. I mean, I'm trying to think. That might have been the first thing you probably was the first off road competition that I did. I know I did like a tough truck racer to after, but I don't know, there was something about it that I went to that and I was just hooked on the competition part of it.
[00:20:04.480] - Jesse Haines
Oh, I guess I didn't did some competitive mud bugs a few times before the top truck challenge. And but I just really enjoyed it. And I kind of told myself, like, it's definitely something I'm interested in. I want to pursue doing more. Of these competition things, which. At the time. What was it it was like a Bob Hazel thing, the Ramsey like challenge events, you know, I'm talking about yeah, he had Warn and BFG each year.
[00:20:37.940] - Jesse Haines
He had a different, like, marquee sponsor. Yeah, for some of those events, and then he turned it into pro rock, but yeah, so he was doing some in like Arkansas and I think he did one at the Badlands maybe. And they weren't just rock crawling. They were, you know, they were, you know, running through the woods and up some hill climbs and through some mud and threw some rocks or whatever. But I thought that stuff was really interesting.
[00:21:11.510] - Jesse Haines
I never did it. But I remember Kenny Blume was one of the guys that was doing it at the time. But I was thinking to myself, you know, maybe that's what I want to do once I. Graduate and. Have the opportunity to do more stuff, but. I. Ended up graduating and trying to find a job, and I had made some connections through the top truck challenge and I had actually talked to Jack CTM maybe about going to work for him.
[00:21:43.980] - Jesse Haines
And I talked to Toby Lavender about going to work for him in Southern California. I was just trying to consider some options, you know, and. I had applied and talked to Troy Myers from the Badlands and. They ended up ended up hiring me about a month or month and a half after I graduated college, and that was like six hours from my house, from my home where I grew up in Attica, Indiana. And to be honest, I don't know.
[00:22:20.620] - Jesse Haines
There's a lot of things in my life that I feel like I've been extremely fortunate that. Things just went. Right. Things just worked out, you know, right, and so I I don't know that there could have possibly been a better place for me to go work and. I mean, I just had the opportunity to learn so much and do so many things. So I went to work there and I mean, we're almost exclusively just building buggies.
[00:22:53.440] - Jesse Haines
We we did some other jobs, but I mean. I think. Like six months after I started working there, we were building a new car for Ken Shupe who is like, you know, 22 supercool. World champion and. It was like mind blowing to me, I was like, I can't believe. I'm going to work on this car for Ken Shupe, you know, and so we built a ton of cars, though, and Troy was competing.
[00:23:32.300] - Jesse Haines
For the first, you know, I got there in 03 and. Last year, he competed with 05, but, you know, so we're building a car or two for Troy every year and then we built so many cars for so many people, we built a few for. Rusty Bray, Ken Blume. And Matt Deas yeah, I'm sure you could think of some to possibly, but man is kind of a blur. We did dozens of cars right at the time that I was there.
[00:24:10.740] - Big Rich Klein
So what was what was your first rockcrawl?
[00:24:14.560] - Jesse Haines
So and, you know, keep in mind, at this time, I still wasn't, like super into rock crawling. I didn't the only time I'd ever actually rock crawled was at the top challenge. And this was a year later. So 2003, July. I moved there like on the Fourth of July and. I'm trying to think Troy told me he I was so eager to go work there, he basically told me like, well, there's a competition coming up and three weeks, you know, if you want to come up here and maybe watch that, check it out, see if you kind of want work.
[00:24:52.650] - Jesse Haines
I was like, I will come. I can be there tomorrow. I you want me to move up this weekend? I'll just move up there this weekend, whatever you wanted and which I get it. He was hesitant. I ended up like making a trip there as a job interview essentially. And I brought my Willys with me, which this is. You know, some good info for anyone that wants to get into the industry, but, you know, I brought my willis' with me.
[00:25:20.920] - Jesse Haines
I want to kind of go do some wheeling. But part of it was I wanted them to see something that I had built, you know, so they could see it in person and, you know, have an idea of what I was capable of because anyone can tell you how great they are. But, you know, show me your work, like show me what you can actually do or what you've accomplished, not just tell me about it.
[00:25:43.690] - Jesse Haines
You know, exactly who was your portfolio.
[00:25:47.650] - Jesse Haines
Right. Which, you know, it's kind of a piece of crap, really, when I look back and think about it in some ways. But but, you know, I give you got to give people credit. They actually are getting something done versus people that are just talking about getting things done, you know? Absolutely. And so I built something in there and had it with me for them to see. But so. I don't know what day that was, that was sometime in June that I went down there and I think two weeks later I was down there to.
[00:26:22.500] - Jesse Haines
To start working, but I was only there for one week and then there was a WE Rock competition and. Never seen a rock crawing event person before. Didn't really know much about it. Well, one of the there was a guy that worked there that ran the concession stand, which and I can't remember. Oh, I think maybe I mentioned this in another interview and then they Nate Hirst's was joking about it. There was a guy named Hot Dog Mike.
[00:26:57.110] - Jesse Haines
That hot dog, Mike. Yeah, Mike. Mike Hope. And the guys jokingly call them hot dog Mike because he ran the concession stand. But anyway. Dog Mike asked me, he said, is his dad normally spot for when he wasn't going to make it? And he asked me if I would spot for him and I was like, I don't know anything about this. I've never seen it. And. I don't know the rules, nothing, he said, well, it doesn't matter.
[00:27:29.290] - Jesse Haines
My buddy was going to spot for me. He doesn't know anything about it. He has no idea about four wheeler. At least you kind of have an idea. And so I spotted for him and I was hooked. I mean, I was so pumped up about it, I couldn't believe how how cool it was. The whole of that was just awesome. Yeah, it was kind of a funny coincidence how it all worked out, because I spotted form that event and then the next event was in Jellico and I was just going to go down and watch.
[00:28:02.020] - Jesse Haines
And his dad got in a car accident, not a serious car accident, but his dad got in a car accident on his way to meet us and told them, like, I'm not going to be. I'll go, like, there's no way I want to go. This just happened at. So he looked at me and goes, You want a spot for me? I was like, Yeah. Oh yeah. And so there was a spot for him again and.
[00:28:28.050] - Jesse Haines
Then we went to supercrawl, I was going to go to Supercrawl. It was in St. George and Mike Smyth be the spotter. You remember him? Yeah, yeah. My ex, Mike, didn't have a spotter. And so I spotted for him and it was like a year and a half for over a year, I think, before I actually went to an event. Just spectators. So. Yeah, I was well, I think next year, 2004, I competed in two events that were at the Badlands and my Willis' and.
[00:29:05.350] - Jesse Haines
Didn't do very well, which, you know, once in a while, you get I get people that ask me, like, how did you do when you first started competing? Horrible, horrible like that, which we don't even have enough competitors that anyone could finish as poorly as I was, you know?
[00:29:24.190] - Big Rich Klein
[00:29:25.810] - Jesse Haines
I was not in the top 25 in my first two events. So, yeah, I mean, there's a lot to learn. It's not just. You know, just show up and and figure it out the first time, no, you don't. And that's one of the things that I see a lot of people jump into it, you know, thinking, OK, I'm a you know, they consider themselves a great trail wheelers and then they get into competition and.
[00:29:54.770] - Jesse Haines
They they don't understand the strategy. You know how the how the point systems really work, you know, they get given information that they don't understand. And so then they're they're really confused. So, yeah, I see it. We see it all the time, of course.
[00:30:13.570] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, it's certainly a different mentality for the average trail, Wheeler. It's funny, I was watching a video earlier today, a guy that was at four days going up this climb that actually did a good job. Getting up it, but he pulled up and he was a little too far to the side. And he just packed up and lined up again. I was like, oh, you could have just dug and had to back up, you know, for me and probably a lot of other guys that compete.
[00:30:48.740] - Jesse Haines
It kind of drives you crazy like you're backing up. Why are you backing up? It's like admitting failure. You know, I, I do the same thing and I don't compete. I count backups when I when I drive the Rubicon. Yeah. You know, I mean, it's like I remember one time Shane Yost was in front of me and, you know, this way back in the early days. And and he had a couple of friends with him in different rigs.
[00:31:16.400] - Jesse Haines
And every time he took a backup IDL back up and one of his friends goes, man, that guy's an asshole who you know, who is he? And he goes, Oh, that's big rich from rocks. You know, just, yeah, don't worry about it, you know? And and the guy just didn't understand, right, when I was an asshole back then. So that's OK. Yeah. So then what was, what was the first car that you, you owned.
[00:31:46.550] - Jesse Haines
Well I mean I guess it's hard. I mean I had that Toyota that I took the top truck challenge which was really a piece of crap. It'd be fun to see that again because, you know, it's been like twenty years, over twenty years since I built it. It'd be fun to look at it and have a laugh at some of the stuff that I did. I know some of it was decent, but some of it was, you know, like, what the hell?
[00:32:14.420] - Jesse Haines
This is terrible, but. So, I mean, I had that, but then I built my my willies that I started working on my Willis', I think, in 1999, OK, and I maybe was 21. I think that's what it was start work on in 2001. And it was super low budget. I mean, I basically bought a wrecked Toyota truck for four hundred fifty bucks and then a friend of mine gave me a. A frame in a willis' tub, and it was really junky Willys tub, and I just did a ton of work to it to make it look decent and I got all that stuff free.
[00:32:54.530] - Jesse Haines
I mean, I ran Stock Leaf Springs and got all the Toyota drivetrain in it, and that was how that started. And right away I had more fun with that than my big dump truck because it was just easy to drive places and it was nimble and, you know, small and still super capable, but. But it is pretty crappy, the frame bent like race in a tough truck race ended up completely rebuilding a building, a new frame for it.
[00:33:28.850] - Jesse Haines
This is when I was in college, built a new frame for it out of box, tube and stick, welded it together. And, you know, it's funny that that willies is. And that was. That would have been like 2000 to three, right, that winter when I was rebuilding it, and I mean, that frame is still under that willis' today. It's still got some of the original stick welds, still got the original motor from the Toyota wrecked Toyota truck that I bought.
[00:34:01.640] - Jesse Haines
Really? Yeah, I rebuilt it once. I think a rebuilt motor in 2007, but, yeah, it's I mean, that thing definitely has some history. That was. That was what I first competed in, so I moved to the Badlands, I had that and I actually had Daina forty four axles with Rustier for maybe a year till I. You know, broken stuff, enough times that I. Put junkyard 60s in it. And they had rear steer still with the 60s.
[00:34:39.580] - Jesse Haines
It hasn't had rear steer and, you know, like. Seventeen years now, though. But yeah, so when the first event that I competed in, I had I had thirty seven inch sticking tires on it at the time, but, you know, I had six 60s and I had rear steer. So I was in the middle class. I had like a ninety two inch wheel base, but it didn't share very well, you know. But yeah that was I competed two times in my Willys.
[00:35:15.970] - Jesse Haines
Didn't do well either time and decided to build a buggy, and so I. I ended up basically putting the willies out, taking not everything out of it, but everything that I thought would be worth using, like the axles I took tires, wheels, axles, seats, jacks, links, all that stuff, but left the drive train. I built my first first Puggy and. I was actually just thinking about this the other day, so I know there's a lot of times where people are not.
[00:35:54.660] - Jesse Haines
Not very good at being self-motivated to to figure things out on their own right and. You know, people may ask me, like, how did you learn how to do this or that or whatever, like how do you learn how to do Tubac? Well, I worked with Badlands, we kind of learned a little bit, I learned some right and then, you know, I'd been there. A year, I guess, before I decided to build my buggie.
[00:36:28.760] - Jesse Haines
And we had a guy that built the chassis, so it's not like I had a ton of experience bending to. But, you know, I talked to my boss and I said, hey, can I use the Chassy table for a little bit so I could build the chassis for myself? And he okayed it. And I asked the guy that was doing all the choices. I said, hey, do you think you could hang out after work one night?
[00:36:49.850] - Jesse Haines
And, you know, kind of help me figure out help me get started on building this chassis. And he said, yeah, yeah, I do that. He probably stayed for like 12 minutes and was like, well, I think you can figure this out. Looks like he was kind of a dick, but he was like, I'm pretty sure you will figure it out. So, yeah, yeah. It's not that hard. So good luck.
[00:37:15.660] - Jesse Haines
And so, you know, I just had to figure it out, you know, no one was going to hold my hand and. Show me step by step how to get it done. I just had the. I had to do it and. You know, it worked out worked out decent, I mean, it wasn't a it's not my best looking buggy I've ever built, but it was a it was a pretty good car.
[00:37:39.590] - Big Rich Klein
So who spotted for you? The first two events that you did in your in your Willys.
[00:37:50.550] - Jesse Haines
Well, one of the two events I think might have been the second event was it was hot dog Mike. OK, and then the other one was a local kid, and he he wasn't very good. But then the I can't remember, I think the third event also. So I ended up getting that buggy done for the last event of the year. It was like the New York finals and went to Pennsylvania. You've seen it a bunch of times now someone rushes to get their car bill and shows up at an event.
[00:38:26.210] - Jesse Haines
And it's a disaster like it breaks down over and over again, there's a bunch of stuff wrong, then that's pretty much how how my first event in that car went, so. The next season, like I got everything figured out on the car over the winter and the next season, the first event was the first WE Rock, the first East Coast WE Rock two thousand five at the Badlands. And Brian Howard was spot for me, which Brian was a friend of mine that worked with me at the Badlands.
[00:39:01.120] - Jesse Haines
I wanted it to spot for me before. But he couldn't because he was committed to spot for other people, so OK. But yeah, he started spot for me in two thousand five. And I remember I was so nervous, that first event, our first obstacle. I ended up. Link bound ended up breaking, I couldn't make the first climb and broke something, didn't really have a good way to fix it and missed the whole first day, which was totally a bummer, but.
[00:39:39.270] - Jesse Haines
Then for day two, you know, there was no pressure, we were. You know, obviously, we're going to do well, we were missed four courses already and right. So, you know, I know everyone does this, especially when they get get started into it. You start looking at your scores when you get done and go, you know, I know we screwed up those eight courses, but those other two we did decent and.
[00:40:05.900] - Jesse Haines
You know, I looked at her scores at the end of the day and I'm like and, you know, we were like top five. Compared to everyone else out of probably twenty five cars or something, it's time. So it was kind of promising, like, hey, man, we might actually be able to do decent this year and. Yeah, and a few more events after that. Well, there's one more event at the Badlands that year, and I actually did really well there.
[00:40:37.330] - Jesse Haines
I think I got fourth at the next event. And then you probably were surely remember the next event was the first WE Rock and Jellico, and that was where I broke my back. OK, I don't know how well you remember that I know little wretch was there because he was the one that came over. I mean, I got hurt cause I just decided to finish the course and I knew I was hurt pretty bad. And I remember. Kind of calling him over.
[00:41:09.430] - Jesse Haines
Talking to them and telling them. Definitely needed medical attention, you know. Do you remember that?
[00:41:17.460] - Big Rich Klein
I, I don't I'm sorry to say. Oh, really? Yeah, I don't I, I there's a few. Injuries that happened that I remember there was out at Jellico, somebody blew there, one of the spotters blew his ankle out. We were knee out. I remember that. I remember Kim when she hurt her back at the Badlands and then also when Chris Durham hurt his back at the Badlands. Yeah, those were the those were the three that that really stood out in those early days.
[00:41:50.270] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I, I left that event. I think it was our last course of the first day maybe or second to last. I remember. But anyway, yeah. I mean I left in the ambulance and then eventually got sent by helicopter to the University of Tennessee and it luckily it wasn't serious or are too serious. I was in a back brace for six weeks. You know, it actually worked out OK.
[00:42:26.520] - Big Rich Klein
And was that a compression fracture?
[00:42:29.510] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, OK. Yeah, I had three fractured vertebrae, but I think the so the next event was next WE Rock was in Columbus. And. I ended up. I wasn't supposed to drive yet, so Brian drove and I spotted and that was an event where there weren't as many course there wasn't any rocks to stack or anything. So, I mean, I don't know. I only ended up missing one event, really that was spotting so and it was grand nationals at at the Rock on their way to Columbus.
[00:43:09.380] - Jesse Haines
[00:43:10.990] - Jesse Haines
You know what's funny? I'm buying some Hummer spindles from a guy that lives, I can't remember, pretty close to Columbus, but he'd think he said an hour from Columbus. Well, he's not into Rock Crawlin or anything like that. He told me this is just three or four days ago. I talked to him. He said, you know, years ago we went to this Rock Island thing in Columbus, kind of in the middle of nowhere and.
[00:43:43.330] - Jesse Haines
And he was describing it as like, holy crap, yeah, yes, I was there. I know what you're talking about.
[00:43:51.460] - Big Rich Klein
That was an interesting event site for sure.
[00:43:55.290] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, I mean, there was some cool stuff about it for sure, I mean, I really I don't know, there was some neat things that they had, like the manmade trees. You remember that they had the telephone poles on the ground. I mean, some of that stuff was really cool. Cool stuff that. I don't know is some good obstacles there, too, but when when Little Richard and I first went to go look at that place.
[00:44:23.750] - Jesse Haines
The the dude that owned the property guy was his name, he he goes. We'd we'd looked at the property and it was like it wasn't usable. There was nothing that could be climbed. There was nothing I mean, you just it was all just round tube and concreted together. And there was nothing, you know, we told them, you know, there's there's nothing we can do here.
[00:44:54.030] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. Who had made it?
[00:44:56.070] - Big Rich Klein
He had designed it and had some people put it together because, you know, he was in the he had a lot of property that equipment. And they they did the cargo containers, shipping containers off of trains and onto the cars or onto the trailers. And he built the you know, they built the trailers and he had lots of storage, warehouse storage all across that area. But he was he was pretty much a jackass. And he he told me.
[00:45:30.750] - Big Rich Klein
I told him. I said, well. You know, this this isn't usable, and he goes, why spend a million dollars? And I said, well, OK, think of it this way. You know, for a million dollars, you could have had Augusta National, instead, you got yourself a pitch and putt or whatever, you know, and I said, yeah, you don't have anything here. I said, why don't you listen to what my son has to say?
[00:45:54.180] - Big Rich Klein
And then, you know. Let's let's do some work on the site and he goes, I'm not listening to no 17 year old or whatever Rich was at the time, you know? And I said, well, then, you know, you're you're not going to have anything. You've built this nobody can use. And finally, he conceded and and we did. And, you know, we added stuff to it and we gave recommendations and they they did.
[00:46:20.010] - Big Rich Klein
But Guy was a pain in the ass to work with the whole time.
[00:46:23.490] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, I certainly heard the stories.
[00:46:28.890] - Big Rich Klein
So the. You did you did really well that year at that Grand Nationals. Yeah, you won it, didn't you?
[00:46:40.330] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. And you know, each event that year, we had done a little bit better each event, but there was always something that happened where, you know, broke apart or just something didn't work out. Right. You know, and. So we ended up I think we finished the series in like third. Yeah, I think third that year, but we didn't know we were never on the podium for one of the WE Rock events. I think my best finish was the weekend before WE Rock was the new rock finals.
[00:47:21.100] - Jesse Haines
And I know this was something you were bitter about was. Yurok moved there. Event date, which I I mean, I understand why it ended up being they did super crawl at. Right, right. And so you had like the new rock finals in Pennsylvania one weekend and then the next weekend was WE Rock in Columbus, which was a date that you would established probably the year before. Yeah. And then, you know, at some point, you know, who knows May or something, you announced that Super was going to be the weekend before C.M.A, which, you know, totally kind of screwed you over in a way as far as the three events tomorrow, guys.
[00:48:15.140] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, yeah. Trying to get well, hard to get East Coast guys and super hard to get West Coast guys to because, you know, they're not going to want to go back and forth for two weekends in a row, especially if they're going to be gone to go to SeIma. So anyway, you know, I didn't have a lot of money to work with at the time. I certainly didn't have any sponsors. And I was making fourteen dollars an hour at the Badlands and.
[00:48:48.970] - Jesse Haines
You know, I went to that first event and I pretty much told myself I was like, I don't know how I'm going to afford to make it to all these events, but I'll figure it out somehow, you know, borrow money or whatever, or win money. And so I went to Pennsylvania, got a second one, like a thousand bucks or something, and then went to. WE Rock and. I don't know, I mean, I feel like in some ways, well, of all my events that I've won over the years, that was one.
[00:49:27.410] - Jesse Haines
That would be near the top of events that I probably didn't deserve to win because because Randy's showing in the shootout.
[00:49:37.010] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. You know, we had a good weekend, right? Yeah, right. At the end, Randy Toora was in first and. I mean, it's insane, like to to look at what happened, but I think the rule back then was you just had to break the plane of the finish gate, not to tie it anything. You just had to break the plane. Randy went off this drop off right towards the finish, right next to the finish gate.
[00:50:03.640] - Jesse Haines
And he accidentally. Pushed his hand down into reverse when he I think he said he had his hand on the shifter and when he hit the ground. He bumped his car into reverse in Florida in the car, like like if he would have done nothing if you were to shut the car off in midair, it would have gone out the finish gate. Right. And he threw it in reverse in the car, like got within probably within like. Foot of the finish gate and then went backwards and flipped over and I mean, it was it was crazy right in front of the lid.
[00:50:45.460] - Jesse Haines
He had on the roof, yep, yeah, so not that yeah.
[00:50:53.550] - Big Rich Klein
And I think what it was, is that he didn't have he didn't have the detention there so he could he could get it into reverse real easy, and he had that big old, like, heavy metal skull or whatever it was as a shift knob. And I think when he hit, it just dropped. I think it just dropped in there, if I remember. Right. And then he hit the guy thinking he was on the front wheels and in drive and instead it was reverse and it just flipped him over.
[00:51:22.370] - Jesse Haines
Yep, and, you know, at the time, Randy was the defending world champion Super Bowl champion from. The year before, which he had, you know, Randi had a few phenomenal years. He was certainly the man to beat for a while there. And so, yeah, I was a little lucky that I. That I won that one and it gave you enough money to be able to go to Supergirl, then, yeah, well, the other thing, too, was.
[00:51:58.130] - Jesse Haines
You know, Vince Gochenour he still participates a little bit, but Vince and his brother were going to super crawl and they had they must have had to place a trailer or something. And they they told my buggy out and they told me I could just pay them back when I got the money, which was they were they've always been super good dudes. Yeah. Yeah. Which, you know, I, I still didn't really, really have the money to drive all the way to Vegas and in back.
[00:52:29.810] - Jesse Haines
I don't I don't think I had a truck and trailer reliable enough to do it either, so.
[00:52:37.300] - Big Rich Klein
So it all worked out.
[00:52:39.070] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, yeah, I didn't do well at that Supergirl. I think you got like 19th but 19th out of like 60 or whatever it was. Yeah, there was a lot of cars there. Yeah. What is the. Most memorable event. For you.
[00:53:03.760] - Jesse Haines
Man, it's it's funny because you think about, like, memorable moments from events. I mean, there's certainly some good events over the years. And I don't know why, you know, there's certain memories that you just don't you don't know why they stand out so much, but one that that stands out was the last time that you guys went to Jellico and did you did like originally you were going to do. I remember. At least a little rich telling me the story that you guys were going to do, five dollars a car load.
[00:53:40.790] - Jesse Haines
Because you're starting to see a little bit of a decline in attendance at Jellico because he was getting played out, there's just, you know, not just you guys having events there, but like New Rock had events there. Yeah, you WE Rock had events there and the owner said you didn't want to do five dollars carload. You want to do at least five dollars person. So you guys charge five dollars per person instead of 15 dollars and. I mean, the crowd there was huge, and I remember I didn't even do that well, that was one of the events where the poop chute was the finale, which was awesome.
[00:54:23.410] - Jesse Haines
Awesome obstacle. So this would have been. Yeah, it would have been 12 six mean. This was an awesome event. So this was the one. Well, I'll get to second, but so the shoot out, like right near the beginning of the shoot out, there was a big climb. And I remember I mean, it's hard enough that Kenny Bloom just pulled in and winched it because he didn't think anyone was going to make it. And this was top six shoot out.
[00:54:51.880] - Jesse Haines
I think it was fifth. And so I went in. And I tried that climb like. Probably three times on the fourth time I made it full throttle back up this climb, and I remember being on the throttle full throttle, making it up, cresting the top of this climb. And I could hear the crowd like screaming over my motor, you know what I mean? I could hear it was louder than my car was. And the whole shootout out course was lined.
[00:55:26.760] - Jesse Haines
And it was a pretty big perimeter. But the whole shoot, of course, was lined at least three people deep around the whole thing. Right. And I ended up cartwheeling down the poop shoot. And then I think the next two guys didn't even make it up the first climb. Brad Stiles and Marty Hart. And then I think, like Matt D, I can't remember who all I mean, there were so many good teams back then. I think that D might have been in second.
[00:55:59.010] - Jesse Haines
He rolled down the poop chute and you know who won, you remember.
[00:56:04.550] - Big Rich Klein
Shannon, oh, that's right.
[00:56:06.410] - Jesse Haines
OK, so I don't know if you remember that CNM do, there's still a YouTube video of it. He ends up like getting a run at it. And just like going sideways through the poop chute, like full throttle and just dropping off it, like at a 45 degree angle, like off camber, and it was like nose wheel it out and like drove across the finish line. I mean, it's awesome, actually. I think for some reason he had already won.
[00:56:37.120] - Jesse Haines
And I remember asking you'd see it in the video, he's like, can I still do this? They're like, Yeah, yeah, if you want. And so he just did it just for fun, even though he already had a big enough lead combat role. But it was cool.
[00:56:54.690] - Big Rich Klein
Do you remember Shannon and Nick Nick lying Shannon up in the shootout and when Shannon started the course? He hit the start, Koen. And then spent like 15 or 20 minutes trying to trying to run Nick over, ended up blowing the motor.
[00:57:17.330] - Jesse Haines
I don't remember.
[00:57:19.920] - Big Rich Klein
I do. That was it was classic. I mean, he even care about the shoot out at that point. It was he was going to run Nick over. And Nick, I think, was laughing the whole time, trying to you know, I think that was I think that was an jellico in the rain, wasn't it? Yeah, I think so, yeah. That was actually the year after I moved. That was 2008, because I remember watching the videos of it.
[00:57:47.380] - Big Rich Klein
I remember one of the best Shannon Campbell highlights, I remember was twenty at Grand Nationals in Hannibal. There was this climb on the back side of one of the courses. I think a couple people ended up making it, but literally like maybe two out of everyone and I mean, I was hitting it as hard as I could and could not make it. And Shannon. Pulls in and he asks the judges, can I go down here and it was just a road and like, he went and drove down the road and turned around in, like the road was perpendicular to the climb.
[00:58:29.970] - Big Rich Klein
And he, like, came down the road hauling ass to get enough momentum to make it up the climb and just like, came down the road and like, hung a left and just 90 degrees up this wall. It was it was it was amazing. But, you know, only a handful people probably saw it goes back in the woods behind, of course, but. Right. I got to watch it.
[00:58:54.520] - Big Rich Klein
When you left Indiana in the Badlands, you went to work for Schaefer, is that correct? Yep, and that was I. I remember Mike Godman. I need to find somebody that can fabricate somebody that can build cars because he was having people come in and and help and, you know, be there for a week or so, like Ramogi and and Adam and just, you know, just different people in and out. And I remember Rich going, you know, I got a guy and, you know, calling you and so that you guys hooked up.
[00:59:30.070] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, I think that was, if I remember right, that was a conversation that happened at Stanbury.
[00:59:37.300] - Big Rich Klein
Yep, it was.
[00:59:39.130] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. And yeah, I remember Rick call me and and talk to me about it and tell me Mike Schaefer was. We want to talk to me. And it's kind of funny because after Mike was interested in hiring me and talked to me about it. Then he kind of got hesitant about doing it and. I kind of understood why, but I also didn't really at the time, the reason he was hesitant to hire me and have me come out across the country to do it was because.
[01:00:16.550] - Jesse Haines
You know, I'm moving across the country to go. Take this job and he doesn't really know me or anything, he doesn't know how well it's going to work out, if it doesn't work out, he's going to feel bad, right. I can totally relate now because I get people all the time. I've had tons of people that have offered to move from Vermont or Alabama or wherever to come work for me. And it's like an. I don't know that I want that responsibility of, you know.
[01:00:52.910] - Jesse Haines
Knowing that I'm the reason that you're moving out here and it's a it's a big commitment, obviously know for whatever doesn't work out. So, you know, that was how close I might felt. I actually had to talk him into it after he originally was pursuing me about it, so. And I I don't know, you know, I was moving out here because. Because I wanted to it wasn't even it wasn't necessarily for the job, it was.
[01:01:24.330] - Jesse Haines
Hey, just give me a job so I can move out there. I don't care. I'll figure.
[01:01:28.500] - Big Rich Klein
Right. It was a stepping stone.
[01:01:30.690] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, it doesn't work out. I'll figure something out. But. And realistically, I don't know that it worked out that great. I only worked there for eight months, maybe six months, I pretty much came out, built the torch, made rock crawling bug. Right, though they'll bug. And and it was probably like a month after we finished it that I quit. So I went to work for TORDJMAN.
[01:02:07.090] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, that I remember. So what was what was it like working at Torchy?
[01:02:14.460] - Jesse Haines
Well, I mean, I don't know, I mean, it's interesting because I started there and it was was it wasn't the beginning of the company, but it was the beginning of some major changes at the time. They you know, they were a somewhat small company and they were building all their all their tables were just bolt together kids. And they would just order the parts from a company, you know, that would make the bolt together kits for them basically.
[01:02:49.320] - Jesse Haines
Right. And they had built a few like Big Weld together. Tables are sold a few, but they were had some company in Tennessee or something that was building them for them. And so the reason they hired me was because he wanted me to help them. Develop these products to build in-house, and so that's what. That's what I that's why did I mean, I started when I started there, we just had a shop that was literally empty or just had, like, some random stuff stored back there.
[01:03:27.970] - Jesse Haines
It's like we need to get what all we need to get make me a list of everything we get. So I said we need to get this. We get that. So.
[01:03:40.480] - Big Rich Klein
So you got to draw up your own Christmas list.
[01:03:44.200] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, you know, I'm still friends with Bill to this day, but I I made this list and gave him a list of all this stuff and like like I'd I'd be like a lathe like this. It's like twelve thousand dollars then like we got like a twelve hundred dollar that there was a lot of stuff like that which I understand you want the initial investment of, you know, two hundred thousand dollar shop supplies. But yeah we. We started and I was the only only fabricator.
[01:04:25.940] - Jesse Haines
For quite a while, maybe even six months, and then we slowly hired a few more people and it was. It's a pretty crazy thing, but we he ended up like building or developing like this dream team of fabricators, and it didn't really make a lot of sense. But we had all these fabricators that were like guys that were really good, experienced Off-Road fabricators that we were just there building like torch made tables. And so. We ended up, you know, the most notable thing that we ended up doing was building that torch TV car, which was.
[01:05:13.730] - Jesse Haines
A super cool project, a super cool experience. I don't know that you know, I would like to think that one day I'll work on a project like that again. But, you know, the way it was we had. Trying to think it was four or five. Extremely good fabricators that were working on the car. And everyone was good enough that, you know, they could handle. You know, everyone had different tasks, but you would look at something that one of the other guys did, it say, Oh, it's good.
[01:05:51.940] - Jesse Haines
I don't think I would have done it any differently and. That's that's hard to find guys at that skill level, you know?
[01:06:02.110] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, absolutely, because most of them are shop owners, at least for some period of time.
[01:06:08.770] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. And. Yeah, I don't know, it just all worked out, I think, at the time. Towards me had a pretty decent pay and then, you know, benefits of working at an actual company where you had health insurance and all that stuff, most of us were guys that were coming from working at a fab shop where you were making money, but there was no benefits, you know. Right. And so this was like the next step and growing up a little bit.
[01:06:43.620] - Jesse Haines
But but yeah, it was. It was a cool experience, and I don't know if you saw that Bill bought that car back and that's it again, which is super cool.
[01:06:56.450] - Big Rich Klein
He's just had the car for because JT drove it there for a while.
[01:07:01.220] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, quite a while. Yeah. Well, you know, unfortunately for JT, what happened was JT bought that car. And I can't remember the timeline for sure, but it might have been like three months after he bought it with when he had the intent to buy it and raise it. Dave asked him to help him work with for Altra for. And so he's been working for altor for ever since. So obviously, he has not been racing at all for.
[01:07:34.280] - Jesse Haines
So, yeah, can Rummery never get to. He got the car and never got to race it other than some stuff or whatever Yennora and he did some hill climbs, I think, and. Yeah. From there, you went into business for yourself, correct, from TORDJMAN, yeah, at some point. Well. You know, I certainly know it wasn't Bill's fault, but. He sold the company to Lincoln and things certainly changed at that torch made after Lincoln took over and it just wasn't wasn't the same kind of thing anymore.
[01:08:22.770] - Jesse Haines
Right. And so, yeah, it made it tough. Lincoln wanted you to work, work more hours. And I was getting to the point where I was trying to do fab work from home. I actually built it was 2011. I think I built a car for Rusty Brai that he raised in King of the Hammers that year and the next year. So I you know, I think part of that at TORDJMAN, not during business hours, but some of it at church, made some of that at my house, you know, trying to slowly.
[01:09:05.580] - Jesse Haines
Get my foot in the door, I guess, to establish something where I had the possibility of starting my own business, right. So, yeah, I you know, I was doing projects at home. And so when they were trying to get us to work more hours, that torch made it. It just made it, you know, 50 hours a week at TORDJMAN and then 30 or 40 hours a week at home. It was just. A bit, a bit much.
[01:09:36.210] - Jesse Haines
So, yeah, eventually. I just decided I ended up getting a couple of jobs lined up to do a buggy build build for a rolling chassis before I quit, and then finally I was like, you know, now's the time. And it's something that's hard, not something that I felt like. You know, there's things that. You feel like maybe you're never going to be ready for someone pretty much has to, like, kick you out the door.
[01:10:07.300] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, that was that situation where I was like, I got it. I'm not happy working here anymore. I just got to this is this is it. I got to kind of make it go. Make it happen. So.
[01:10:24.450] - Big Rich Klein
I know that you've you've built a lot of buggies for a lot of people, you've worked on a lot of different projects, you guys. You know, I know you worked with Drew and putting together. A goat built Jesse Haines fab. That was a two seater chassis, correct, there, and then you've been building your single seaters and then you went to the rear engine and then you came up with I know that there's probably other products that you came up with, but the thing that has really exploded in and pushed pushed the envelope, you might say, in rock crawling is are the portal boxes.
[01:11:09.730] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, and, you know, I mean, I think it all goes hand in hand, but I think, you know, if someone came out with Cordle's five years ago or whatever it was six years ago when I made them starts selling them, someone just came out with just the axle's, not putting them on a car, not proving anything about them. I don't know that it would have changed much because we've had Paule Axle's before. Hours are more well packaged and, you know, something like a dog, Axelle, obviously.
[01:11:49.520] - Jesse Haines
I mean, those are our stuff is pretty, pretty compact and pretty simple and relatively light. It's easy to work with. But still, you know, when I made the first designs of all that stuff, the number of people that told me it wasn't going to work, I mean, it was like and I I mean, I had definitely done my homework on it. I felt confident that this stuff was going to work. I knew it was going to work.
[01:12:23.270] - Jesse Haines
So, you know, when all these people were telling me why it's not going to work and that this is not right, this won't hold up. OK, well, I've been I've been researching this stuff for quite a while. I've seen it in person. I've seen it how it works and what we can do with it. But but without me actually proving it. You know, what would we have so, you know, slowly I remember the first year that I did it, people were telling I was hearing rumors that the only reason that it's holding up is because I rebuild all of it after every event or something.
[01:13:07.540] - Jesse Haines
And I'm like, dude, I don't work on any of this stuff. Like, I work on it as little as possible. So, yeah, I mean. Some people were ready to jump on board right away, like I think James Tracy was one of the guys that loved the idea right from the start, you know, like the idea and who was interested in getting some. But there were certainly other people that. We're not convinced, and even with me having the stuff work great for years, they'd say, well, yeah, holds up for you, but OK, but.
[01:13:54.090] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, so slowly it's developed. Developed a reputation and it has proven itself to work.
[01:14:05.460] - Big Rich Klein
I think there's a lot more a lot more of them out there on trial. Rigs in there are on companies.
[01:14:11.820] - Jesse Haines
It's got to be. Yeah, I would say you're probably right, I. I have lost track for sure, there's well over. I'd say there's got to be 60 plus cars right now, the last time the last time I counted was over 50 cars and that was and I'm not even including just 50 sets sold. I mean, this is like 50 cars that have no idea that people are driving, you know, are out on the trail. So, yeah, I mean, there's there's tons of them in use and we've refined.
[01:15:00.830] - Jesse Haines
Many things over the years, the stuff that, you know, the first version of stuff versus what we have now is. It's a big difference, and some people know about it, some people, probably most people don't, but. You know, the the supply of this stuff is it's drying up. And I feel like I've got to be somewhat responsible for that just over the past. Two or three weeks even I mean, I've been getting on eBay was a huge source not for the complete assemblies, but for the parts, for the gears and spindles and seals and all kinds of stuff.
[01:15:44.550] - Jesse Haines
And I bought so much of that stuff over the past five or six years. And it's almost gone now. And the prices on it, because the stuff's almost gone, the prices are outrageous now, three, four times what they were. Five years ago. So the you know, and I knew this over a year ago. Came to the realization that I'm going to run out of this stuff and. I've got to have a backup plan, so.
[01:16:20.900] - Jesse Haines
We've been working on it. For well mean, I guess it was after trail here last year, last winter. We really started working on developing a new Paule case that's built completely from scratch, so do castings, and Tom from PSV has helped me with that. So he hasn't really played a big role in the development of it. But the big thing was putting me in contact with the right people. So we've been working with a casting engineer that worked at Heilbronn for 30 years.
[01:17:00.540] - Jesse Haines
He's awesome. Working with his guys that. Do the tool design and, you know, they know boundaries to work with and. These are guys that. I trust them because I know other people that trust them and I trust that guy I trust. These are places that do the design work on the steering boxes or do tool design for its parts or whatever. But my initial goal was to have one hundred percent new portals by June. That didn't happen.
[01:17:47.990] - Jesse Haines
And then my goal was to have the first set ready by triple zero. And it's hard to say. I mean, I may get. Sample pieces of it, but I can't say for sure, and some people have seen the design. Some people have seen the 3D print for the part. Some people have seen the solid models of the stuff. But it's not something that I'm openly sharing with anyone until it's done. And it's. You know, I hate to say it, but.
[01:18:22.500] - Jesse Haines
I've been a bit surprised and it's been an eye opening experience. Just like seeing how people will openly rip off your your design parts and, you know, it's frustrating. I mean, I hate it because we've come up with. You know, developments of our Paule box that we've refined all these these parts to it, and I would love to show people, you know, we've done this to it and change this. And, you know, people would be impressed by the thought that goes into some of the design work.
[01:19:04.790] - Jesse Haines
But I don't want to talk about it because it's just making it easier for other people to copy the stuff. It's like it's just frustrating.
[01:19:15.350] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, it's it's a big deal in in our industry. And I would imagine a lot of industries are the same way. Yeah.
[01:19:23.300] - Jesse Haines
So, you know, I mean, I know once we get to the point where, well, if the Paule supply, you know, they're a lot harder to get to to find right now. So, I mean. People want copy, and that's fine, but they're not going to come up with five hundred little boxes, probably at a cheap price, you know, and I would guess I. I would guess I've sold over 600 boxes, is what it seems like.
[01:19:56.710] - Jesse Haines
You know, I found them all for cheap, I don't think anyone's going to find them. That kind of quantity for a cheap price anymore, but. I mean, our casting and all the parts that go with it, all the parts we developed. So it's an expensive project, and I knew it would be I mean, I've been planning for it and saving in the expectation that. This is going to happen, so it's not like some.
[01:20:28.440] - Jesse Haines
Grudge. Backyard fabricators going to copy. The you know, the new casting's or anything like that. There's a lot that goes into it and having the connections with the right people. And, you know, reality is I don't mind people copying some of my ideas and building stuff for themselves. But it goes definitely goes farther than that, though, you know?
[01:20:58.790] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I remember at CEMA when they went in and and got rid of a whole bunch of vendors and locked all their stuff up, told them to get out the door because they had everything that they were selling was a rip off of of American companies. Yeah, it was. I mean, it was a lotta a lot of rip off at that point. But, you know, you're in your stuff. I mean, it's it it becomes a.
[01:21:28.500] - Big Rich Klein
You know, I can totally understand, because you got so much money invested in time, invested in the process and, you know, to to come up with all new parts. That are going to work and then somebody comes along and just says, here, make a copy of this. Yeah, and it's not going to be that.
[01:21:50.200] - Jesse Haines
What I've realized, well, there's a couple of things that I've realized about this whole process. Coming up with the ideas is one thing, I mean, that's an important part of it, obviously, coming up with good ideas that work. But the other key element to it is not just coming up with the ideas that work, it's coming up with a way to produce your ideas. And I mean, there's a lot that goes into it. We've I mean, just for example, right now, you know, we've been building salvage Paule boxes.
[01:22:31.580] - Jesse Haines
We've taken the cases and we modify the cases machine this and that. And. I mean, it actually takes like the employees that do that, it actually takes very little training to show someone how to do the stuff because we have fixtures that make it so easy. And if people saw the fixtures. They can copy the fixtures and it's so easy for them to do it, but it's like the the fixtures to to make the parts is such a key element to making it happen.
[01:23:11.170] - Jesse Haines
Kyle Listo in Salt Lake City. He's built a ton of the inner cities for me and he's got a fixture at one time, he actually posted a video of him making an inner city and I asked him to take it down because. Because people could see the fixture and people can see some of the process and it's like. That's the stuff that, like we can't have people seeing because you can look at someone's part and measure it, but there's so much more that goes into replicating it than just looking at the.
[01:23:49.450] - Big Rich Klein
You know, at the finished product measurement from yeah, so but yeah, it's coming up with ideas like great ideas is one thing, but it's the thing that's so frustrating about it is it's so easy to copy someone's idea. Because they'll look at and go, oh, you just do this and it's like, yeah, well, it was kind of hard to figure that out but I mean. You see it, that's what it is and. So you can't really stop.
[01:24:24.960] - Big Rich Klein
You can't really stop it. And I've just realized that, you know, you not unless you have a huge team of lawyers and a lot of money behind you.
[01:24:33.570] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, so and no one, you know, no one is copied anything on a big enough scale or. It's going to take away from what I'm doing, and that's that's fine, but I just realized that you have to stay one step ahead of what other people are doing and when they're. You know. Trying to reproduce what you've you've made your already. You know, moved on to the next revision of it, you know.
[01:25:07.990] - Big Rich Klein
You've made it better than what it was, and they're still making it to that that old version because they don't know they don't know what the new version should be. Yes, because they haven't gone through the process.
[01:25:22.530] - Jesse Haines
Which kind of. Kind of makes me think of the hydraulic shocks that I just put on my car.
[01:25:32.160] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I got asked about that earlier and I don't know when it was that when you first put them on, but somebody asked me. And in fact, it wasn't even a competitor. It was somebody at the event. And I said, no, those those are that'll be fine. Those that in unlimited, that's not a problem. I think we outlawed them and ProMED, but I think they're good and unlimited. And then somebody else asked me and I told him the same thing and that was a competitor.
[01:26:00.450] - Big Rich Klein
And then and I think that was in Colorado. And then when you messaged me today, I was like, OK, let me just I'll just copy the the rule book and put it up there for all those that don't don't read the rulebook.
[01:26:15.210] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, well. You know what motivated me was or what made me come up with this idea, which. Yeah, basically what happened was. In Cedar City. I guess second got beat by Dave Long. And. You know, it was like there was a couple more obstacles, that it wasn't just two things, but. Two obstacles throughout the weekend that. Basically beat me on, they were both Braco wrinkles and. He made these bonuses, and I hate to count on both of them, and I think we're the only two that even attempted or made either one.
[01:27:07.400] - Jesse Haines
Well, you know. I thought a lot about things after that event, because one of the things that's happened over the past three or four or five years, I guess, is to start building more cars for other people. So other guys, the limited class, are running comparable cars. And at this point, like Dave Wong's car is almost identical to my car. Other than the motor, it's a little different. But other than that, I mean, he's got every advantage.
[01:27:44.140] - Jesse Haines
Like that I have and so the thing that in some ways is frustrating for me is other times I've been able to build a car that's better than everyone else's and obviously helps me and like right now. I've built other cars for other people that are identical to mine, so, you know, you're losing your advantage because you're you're giving it away. But it's also part of my business, right? Because it's what customers want, you know, they want.
[01:28:20.810] - Jesse Haines
I want the car just like yours. I want something just as capable. Well. You know, in a way, I was frustrated because I'm like. I have no advantage, my car has no advantage over days, and it's driving me crazy because I don't want that to be the case. I want I always want to have the most capable car. And so I just thought about No. I thought, could I get more travel shots or do this and nothing nothing was going to.
[01:28:58.220] - Jesse Haines
Accomplish what I wanted to do, other than I came up with this idea for adjustable hydraulic shocks, which, you know, I mean, my car has the rear of my car has 19 inches of travel. I mean, that's. A lot for a car that seventy eight inches wide, front like 17 inches of travel. I just can't get more, Drew. I can't get more articulation. It's as much as I can get into it with 50 degrees during two minutes, packaging it all.
[01:29:32.470] - Jesse Haines
It's a lot to ask, so. I started thinking about it and I watched some videos from the event and seeing what my suspension was doing, and I noticed on some of the obstacles that I was having a hard time with, you know, maybe I was hung up in the front end, was fully extended as it was drooped out, but the rear was not. The rear was still compressed quite a bit because the weight was on the rear rear shocks.
[01:30:00.290] - Jesse Haines
And so. I started thinking about ways to. Be able to raise the car up, but I also can't extend the shocks, pass full droop because, you know, the suspension can't handle a drive. Lyons can't handle it. Things you find up. So without explaining what I'm actually doing, I basically made some modifications to the shocks that allow me to, you know, force the extension of the shocks up to. Up to 14 inches past right height, so I mean, it's got a ton of adjustment and we've used it at two events now and I mean, it's not.
[01:30:48.570] - Jesse Haines
It's not the kind of thing where. It just helps you everywhere, I mean, it might only help you once all weekend and there's times where it might help you. But it doesn't mean other people can't make that same line, but. But there's no doubt in my mind that there will be places, there will be obstacles that. I mean, until other people get this same type of setup, but there will be obstacles that no one else will make other than my car, which that's the way I like it to be.
[01:31:27.600] - Jesse Haines
[01:31:28.360] - Big Rich Klein
And you think that's going to I would imagine that that's with the kind of terrain that we're going to see in Goldendale this coming weekend. It's going to be a place that that's going to be handy.
[01:31:41.490] - Jesse Haines
There could be there certainly could be a few places where it would be beneficial. And, you know, it's actually some really pretty simple technology. I mean, the plumbing. Everything is is somewhat expensive, but. I don't know, I had one guy already asked me about buying the setup and I told him no, I said I said I don't want to sell it. I'm definitely not going to sell this until at least the end of the season.
[01:32:14.550] - Jesse Haines
Like, I would like to at least keep this advantage for the rest of the year. And then, you know, I. I guess I feel like it's easy enough that if I don't sell it, other people will figure it out. It's just another one of those ideas where people will see how it works once they see how it works and they can copy the idea. So. Right.
[01:32:41.140] - Big Rich Klein
So everybody's going to be taking pictures, video of your car this weekend.
[01:32:46.120] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, they'll be they'll figure some stuff out. I mean, it's pretty discreet, really. People didn't notice it right away and I didn't say anything about it. So we put it on right before Super Crawlin Verneuil. And man, I don't know. I think I had told a couple people about it. But, you know, most people didn't notice it throughout the weekend in Tacoma was the one that brought it up to me originally.
[01:33:17.640] - Jesse Haines
[01:33:19.880] - Big Rich Klein
Because he WE Rock is this legal and I'm like, yeah, should be there. I mean, there was one obstacle on Rangeley, we used it a couple times and Rangeley one time to take a line that, you know, other people were able to make it through the same gate. But the line we took was the most the easiest, most direct line. And the car drove right up it like just scraped it scraped and drug a little bit.
[01:33:51.140] - Big Rich Klein
And knowing like that, I've got the whole car, like just fully jacked up. I'm like, no one else is making that line. No one else is driving through there. But. Yeah, it was a couple of places were. It was certainly, certainly an advantage and.
[01:34:09.370] - Big Rich Klein
So each each one of the shocks is individually controlled. Yeah, OK.
[01:34:16.020] - Jesse Haines
Yep, and. I think, you know, just like rear steer, it's there will be a lot to learn. There's going to be. It's just like any of this stuff, front dig's, rear steer, cutting breaks, any of it like.
[01:34:32.930] - Big Rich Klein
Just because you have the weapon doesn't mean you know how to use the weapon.
[01:34:36.620] - Jesse Haines
Yes, yeah. And the the more you learn, the more valuable you realize things are. I used to think that there was no benefit to front cutting breaks. And then the more I learned. I thought that I mean, there's so much you can do with cutting breaks or. Whatever, but and you'll get guys that will tell you, oh, it doesn't really matter. It's like, well, yeah, you think that until you start really.
[01:35:08.020] - Jesse Haines
Really. Analyze in situations where you could. You know, potentially do something and. So I told them, you know. You you may only use them a few times a year, but when you do, it's. A huge benefit. So, right.
[01:35:30.420] - Big Rich Klein
Like it would have been handed down in Farmington that time where you got the left hand right hand down.
[01:35:35.700] - Jesse Haines
Oh, I know what it drove right over it. Yeah, I you know, I actually I haven't even drove my car since Rangeley and. It's just been it's been hot here, I just haven't really wanted to go outside, do much, but I'm eager to test it out more because. I don't have a lot of seat time screwing with the hydraulic suspension controls, but, you know, it would be exciting to see different places where where it's beneficial.
[01:36:10.840] - Big Rich Klein
Well, this week up here in Goldendale, like it's been well in the hundreds and then we got here, it's been in the high 90s, humidity has been hanging around 35, 40 percent. So not as dry really as it normally is. But temperatures are dropping on Thursday and it's supposed to be like 75 or 78 on Saturday and Sunday. That's awesome. Yeah, it's going to be like the cooler up here in, like, years.
[01:36:41.050] - Jesse Haines
So I don't know. Well, I mean, you obviously you haven't been at the Supercross events, but you've been at the WE Rock events. So this year so far, I would think it's going to change at some point. So far this year, we have not had one event that has been over 90 degrees. We have not had an event that is hit 90 or higher. Out of like. Four, five events, right, and that's really lucky because I know that every one of my set ups has been.
[01:37:19.940] - Jesse Haines
It's been. Hell out there. Because, yes, so dang hot, that's that was the problem out at Rangeley was that way, Ceder was was very warm and it cooled off. Yeah. You know, that that's one one reason I like going into Baghdad is because I know that's going to be an event where, you know, it's not going to be 900 degrees out. During setup, of course, you know, it could snow the week before and be snow on the ground still on Tuesday.
[01:37:52.280] - Jesse Haines
Like the first year, right? But, yeah, it was it's it's it's been lucky. I mean, we got really hot in Oklahoma this year. It was really hot, really humid. And everybody was just melting. It was. Yeah, it wasn't wasn't real fun. The event was the weather wasn't.
[01:38:15.990] - Jesse Haines
You know, we've been pretty fortunate with. With some decent weather, haven't had any bad weather knowing either, so timing has been good.
[01:38:28.650] - Jesse Haines
So Farmington for Grand National, yeah, looking good still, I know we've got this covered stuff. Flaring back up, I guess you'd say we've not heard anything from BLM, we have our permit in hand. So if the in fact, we have a five year permit down there in. In Farmington now. So as long as the governor down there doesn't pull any shenanigans, then there shouldn't be an issue at all. I mean, like I said, we have we have everything in place, so.
[01:39:08.610] - Jesse Haines
Nice, but of course, BLM will do whatever the the state does, so hopefully let's just hope that, you know, the state doesn't close down again.
[01:39:20.420] - Jesse Haines
Well, looking forward to going there again, I mean, we didn't obviously didn't go last year because of covid limitations, but as you can imagine, sometimes it's nice to take a break from an event site for a year or two and go back.
[01:39:37.550] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I'm going to expand down there to I'm going to I'm going to go into some areas that we haven't used yet. I know I did that last year or the last time we were there. I pushed into some other areas. I normally like to make everything a little more compact, but that's the kind of area where we can spread out. And I think spreading out is. At least from my point of view, because then it doesn't become follow the leader as much.
[01:40:03.220] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, you know, I can't remember. I think we didn't. We didn't do it in Rangeley, but in Cedar City, you had the idea to. Spread the groups out between. The unlimited class was on a course one and course three instead, of course, one or two and. Correct. I really liked it because it. You know, there was less less copying people, which. You know, it was that's another thing that's interesting about.
[01:40:44.120] - Jesse Haines
The way things are right now is. Everyone's cars are so similar. And. It's good and bad, it gives. It gives people confidence to try and follow you, you know, to try and they see what you did and they think, you know, we have basically the same car, we should be able to do that. And it's good because it's really helped the sport, because it's helped people feel like they can be competitive. But it's also made it difficult because typically people can follow the line that you you take it right.
[01:41:24.520] - Jesse Haines
So so I don't know. I mean, it's kind of. It's kind of nice to spread it out to. Prevent it from being the same, everyone doing the same thing, right, and I think I can do that at Farmington as well, because it's that area is big enough and there's enough there that we can do that. Rangeley was that was just a nightmare going into that event. Like I told all the drivers, you know, that, you know, our hands were tied going into the event when I got there over the weekend before I was ready to just shut it down and cancel the event.
[01:42:01.970] - Jesse Haines
And then Shelley goes, come on, you can do it, you know? And so. You know, it was it wasn't is it wasn't the kind of event that I like to set up, but it ended up working out really well, at least for the most part. So, you know, it there was some separation there that I didn't think we'd have. I thought I thought we'd have the top four or five guys, all, you know, within one point.
[01:42:27.310] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. And, you know, I mean, a few things different. And it could have gone that way. Yes. Something that I have learned over the past. Three, four years, I'm sure you've heard me complain many times about the events being too easy, of course, being too easy. Well, one of the reasons I don't like the courses being too easy is because. You know, the. A guy that would normally be. Fifty six hundred points behind me.
[01:43:02.840] - Jesse Haines
Is now. Right there with me. And if I make one stupid mistake, you could be ahead of me. And so I don't like that because normally, if it's harder, I'd be farther ahead with that guy. Right.
[01:43:19.340] - Big Rich Klein
Or very good possibility of that.
[01:43:20.870] - Jesse Haines
Yes, true. What it's taught me. Is. You have to analyze every possibility on this course, you can't underestimate any gate. You can't underestimate any scenario. And you have to have you know, you you have to have a backup plan for if something doesn't work right the way you want it to. And so the thing that happened in Rangeley is, you know, that's basically what happened. People underestimated things that weren't extremely difficult. But it was harder than they expected.
[01:44:05.530] - Jesse Haines
And so, you know, there was a lot of people that made. Silly mistakes, mistakes that they knew. They were better than, you know, they were. They're good enough that they shouldn't have done it right, but. But it's it's something that's made me better was. Knowing because there was a year or two where Chris and I were doing really well and winning every event, but we were still screwing up. We're making mistakes at every event.
[01:44:41.900] - Jesse Haines
I was telling Chris this is going to catch up with us at some point, like I know we're winning, but we can't make these mistakes. We will get beat because of it. And now we've slowly gotten better and better about not making the dumb mistakes, you know? Right.
[01:45:04.880] - Big Rich Klein
Well, and one of the things that I think people underestimated or have underestimated this year is the transitions. From such accounts to such accounts and, you know, I don't always make the cones the difficult spot. I may put the transition, you know, trying to get to that next set of cones is where where I make make the difficulty and it's either time consuming or, you know, they end up taking back up. So they roll. They're not necessarily in the cones.
[01:45:35.670] - Big Rich Klein
So but, you know, that's that's the game that I'm trying to play with you guys at the same time. So and it really depends on the terrain, you know, I mean, I was able to I was able to make the transitions, you know, like you said, where people just made mistakes, you know, of course, 4Low mistakes or whatever.
[01:45:55.600] - Jesse Haines
So, yeah, yeah, there was, you know, but not to pick on Ryan Maxfield, but, you know, Ryan was. Doing well, he would have been, I don't remember, we would have been third or third and going into the shoot out and hit a cone on, I think it might've been the last gate of his last course. And I watched him. And it was just the typical scenario that I was talking about. It wasn't really that hard, the spot that they were that they were in.
[01:46:34.180] - Jesse Haines
But we've all been in a situation like that where. You just underestimated it, you thought? Yeah, you just you you may walk the course and just glance at it go, oh yeah, you just turn and go up through there. It's not a big deal. Yeah, OK. Sounds good. And then you get in the situation and. It doesn't work out like you pictured and, you know, it was I'm sure it was one that they wish they had back at just.
[01:47:04.820] - Jesse Haines
Just didn't work out like they wanted and they just. Misjudged it. Yep, so.
[01:47:13.510] - Big Rich Klein
So what besides the shocks you and doing the Paule boxes, the way, you know, starting basically from scratch and building your own now supplies running out? What else is out there? Is Jesse Haines gotten his mind? You got a list of. I've got a list that you're working on. You don't even have to tell what, but I mean.
[01:47:41.420] - Jesse Haines
Well, I can't say that I have any technological developments in my mind right now in, you know, the the shock's thing. It was you know, it was a bit surprising, but from concept to reality was not even two weeks. I don't think, you know, I just had the idea and. I mean, in a matter of two weeks, I like ran like multiple ideas through my head, like, oh, I could do this.
[01:48:15.260] - Jesse Haines
And then you think about it now because this and that won't be as good or whatever, but. Yeah, I mean, I threw it together fast from not even thinking about this being a possibility to having on my car two, two and a half weeks, something like that. So who knows? You know. You know, I could have something, something new on my car before Farmington. But one thing that I've devoted a lot of time to over the last well, a little over a year, actually, right before I got sick with covid, I was working on designing a two seat chassis.
[01:48:58.080] - Jesse Haines
And so that was March. Yeah, a year and a half ago, March of last year. And I mean, it's hard for me to say it's even. Finished because it's not finished, it's constant development of. Refining the parts that will go with this chassy, refining how we're going to build it, but I mean, at this point we've got. I can't remember, I think I've sold. 14. Maybe 15 of them. We're only a few of them have actually hit the trail yet.
[01:49:35.350] - Jesse Haines
Or so far. But I don't know, I may have. I may have a car to see. Production trail, car done for myself in a few months here, cool, excellent. So we've we really have not marketed it hardly at all, and I know it's frustrating for people because. Some people want to get more info about it or some people are interested in buying it, and I've been really, really limited on. Selling them or even getting the info out there.
[01:50:14.740] - Jesse Haines
And the reason is because we're. I don't know, I mean, at some point, I guess I'll feel like we're really ready to sell them, but, you know, I'm trying to get this thing really developed. So it's a well thought out kit where someone can buy it and it just goes together and it's simple and basic and. They'll be able to build the car quickly without a lot of custom fap stuff.
[01:50:46.260] - Big Rich Klein
And will they be sold with fixtures so that. Or were they going to where you're going to offer the choices only pre welded, or are they going to come in Kit?
[01:50:58.090] - Jesse Haines
So the. Well, it's hard to say. I mean, we we have a we have a pretty elaborate fixture here that we use to to build the chances we have fixtures to put all the panels on them and all the mounts and all that stuff. But we have only sold I've only sold one as a kid. And so Mike Johnson contacted me a few months ago asking about getting one of these Chastity's. And Mike's got some experience building. Building cars and building assembling kits, absolutely.
[01:51:45.000] - Jesse Haines
So I. When he asked about Chassy, I said, hey, I'll make you a deal if you want to. Get one of these kids and try and build it without a fixture. Also, you want to get a good price. And so because I wanted to see. If he would be capable of doing it, how it would how well it would go together and. He was pretty happy with the results, he said it went together pretty good and.
[01:52:18.260] - Jesse Haines
So because of that, I'm definitely considering selling it just as a do it yourself kit. But. I don't know. I'm also a little bit torn on that because for. You know, the reason of. Your name is still on the car, but when it goes out there and someone doesn't do a very good job building it. You know that no one does that reflect on you?
[01:52:54.480] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, not everyone's going to know that you aren't the one that put it together, right, or well did it? So, yeah, for me, I'm a little tempted to only offer them fully. Fully welded, but I feel like part of that is because of the fact that we have so many resources to to put a car together for people quickly in pretty reasonable price, too, I'd say. I think, you know, if someone in Australia or Europe or whatever wanted to buy a kit and they just wanted the chassis and they wanted to do it themselves, I mean that it's a lot easier to ship a pile of tubes across the country or across the world.
[01:53:45.360] - Jesse Haines
So I'd consider that to.
[01:53:49.610] - Big Rich Klein
Well, cool, so we've been at this just a little less than two hours, and it's getting kind of late. I know we waited until your kids went to bed and I've got to get up early in the morning and beat the heat tomorrow. Get this. That's already rich. I'll tell you. I got to tell you, the last when I did the talent interview, the same thing happened. You didn't really ask me about my personal life.
[01:54:23.900] - Big Rich Klein
And so because of that, I haven't really brought up my wife and kids.
[01:54:28.430] - Big Rich Klein
Well, let's talk about it.
[01:54:30.230] - Jesse Haines
I got hell for not buying my wife, kids and this other interview. And so I you know, I don't want to I don't want people to think that's not an important part of my life, because it definitely is.
[01:54:48.080] - Big Rich Klein
Anybody that really knows you understands that it is.
[01:54:51.860] - Jesse Haines
Yeah. Anyway, I've been we've been married for. Five and a half years now, Sarah and I and been together for. Whatever it was, two more years beyond that. But in Sarah, actually, she competed in a few WE Rock events, yepp, herself and, you know, maybe I'm biased because she's my wife, but and I don't know if you ever got a chance to watch her drive, but she's actually. A pretty talented driver, she she just some people have it and some people don't, and she she has a feel for it.
[01:55:36.260] - Jesse Haines
She. She can just, you know, she has it, but she also doesn't she doesn't like the stress of competition. So she kind of had fun doing it a little bit, but. She had some anxiety from competing in some bigger events, so that was something she did for a little bit and it was fun. But we also started having kids shortly after that. Obviously, that changes things, but my wife and kids are at pretty much every event once in a while.
[01:56:14.650] - Jesse Haines
You know, there's a reason that they can't make it and. You know, I might be there by myself, but anymore. That's that's pretty rare.
[01:56:24.740] - Big Rich Klein
So I love it seeing the families out at the events.
[01:56:30.620] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, one of the things that kind of makes the events special for us is, you know, my daughter Willow is she's four, but she has friends at the events and she really looks forward to going and seeing these people. And Dave Wang's daughter is I think she'd tell you, Risi is her best friend. And then she's also played with Ryan Maxfield's kids. And they they have fun, even though his kids aren't able to make it to too many of the events.
[01:57:12.830] - Jesse Haines
But they. You know, I don't know, it's like they're the best friends that she has or the kids that she sees the rock'n'roll events and same goes for. For myself and Sarah, some of the best friends we have or the people that we see at the event, so we. We always look forward to going and hang out for the weekend, and I think my favorite part of the event is usually. Not the actual competition, because.
[01:57:46.560] - Jesse Haines
I don't really enjoy the stress of the competition. I enjoy more before and after the event or after the event on Saturday before. You know, before the. The stresses of sun starts, right?
[01:58:07.150] - Big Rich Klein
Now I get it. I always wish that I wasn't so dang tired come Friday and Saturday nights. Yeah, because all week long working, setting up now that, you know, especially since Josh moved on and have been doing it myself, it's there's just well, you know, you've set up events. That's a lot of work. And, you know, to do it eight, nine times a year is. And, you know, luckily, we're not doing the the dirt right anymore, so I don't have 20, 21 or 22 events a year.
[01:58:41.470] - Big Rich Klein
But, you know, it's it's a it's the older I get, the harder it gets to do that.
[01:58:47.130] - Jesse Haines
And I can imagine. So I know how much work it was. For me and I actually. I kind of miss it like I I enjoyed. The physical aspect of it, because. You know, I had the motivation where I. Wanted to do it like I was kind of, you know, excited about doing it. But it was so much work at the same time and it was like this like exhausting thing where it was the best workout I'd have all year.
[01:59:22.000] - Jesse Haines
You know, five, five days of setting up for the event and, you know, hiking, hiking and moving rocks and all that. But, yeah.
[01:59:36.220] - Big Rich Klein
Well. Thank you for coming on and sharing your rock crawling history. I know we didn't get into any of the racing or anything like that. We'll have to maybe visit again and get into get into some other detail. But thank you for making me spend the time to talk about Sarah and the kids as well. I don't want to be on her list, but yeah, you know, there was I know there was a lot of detail that that I wanted to talk to you about that that maybe wasn't talked about in the on the other side.
[02:00:13.730] - Big Rich Klein
You know what with why you know, the talent tank. So I wanted to make sure we talked a little about technical.
[02:00:20.750] - Jesse Haines
Well, that's been over a year. And so, yeah, even things change and come up in a year that are new that were not happening at that time. So I. Yeah, there's always something new to talk about.
[02:00:37.900] - Big Rich Klein
Well, again, I want to say thank you for coming on board, and we will see you this weekend.
[02:00:45.250] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, I don't know when this is going to air, but Thursday. No, well, there you go. Yeah, well, hopefully, you know, maybe she'll let you listen to it on the drive drive. Probably not. I'd probably say it every year, but I do really enjoy Goldendale and I. I get a lot of I hear a lot of other guys say that they they don't I don't know, it's just a little bit different type of terrain, but it's something.
[02:01:17.940] - Jesse Haines
Something I have always liked, I've always liked the terrain there, and I I think Goldendale may have the best spectators of any event that we go to. So I'm always looking forward to.
[02:01:32.520] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I think that they're they're knowledgeable. Yeah. You know for sure here, because there are a lot of trail wheelers that come out to watch this event. And so that that helps, you know, Baghdad. You know, we had a you know, that one has built on itself from the Congress days and, you know, sheer numbers, it's the biggest, you know, and then Farmington is normally pretty good. But, you know, the the actual.
[02:02:07.260] - Big Rich Klein
Educated rock crawling enthusiast is out here in Goldendale watching the event.
[02:02:14.610] - Jesse Haines
Yeah, yeah, they yeah, they they love it, which, you know, it's cool when there's new spectators that have never seen it before and they have no idea what's going on. But, you know, Goldendale got a lot of a lot of people that that get it, you know. Yes. They know what's going on and what needs to happen. And yeah, it's good to see them every year.
[02:02:40.620] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Excellent. All right, then. We'll see you this weekend. Thank you.
[02:02:45.180] - Jesse Haines
Yep. Sounds good. OK, bye. Good bye.
[02:02:49.400] - Big Rich Klein
If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.