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the past few years, I have noticed a trend in the Jeep community.
Lifts are getting bigger, axles are getting stronger, and tires
are getting larger. With all those modifications, one thing
is for sure… Jeeps are getting heavier… and when things get heavy,
parts have to be stronger than ever before. Such is the case
when it comes to tire carriers. With many wheel and tire combinations
exceeding 100+ lbs., tire carrier manufacturers have to fabricate
with abuse and use in mind. When it comes to hanging a huge
chunk of traction off of the back of your Jeep, the choices are
few, and the costs are plentiful.
upgraded my Jeep to bigger axles. Upon doing so, I decided
to go with the 38”x12.50-15 Super Swamper TSL/SX. At first,
I was ecstatic to get up to “big boy” tires, but then the realization
soon set in that my current tire carrier (name withheld to protect
the innocent) was inadequate for carrying the weight of a tire larger
than my old 35” BFG Mud-Terrain. Sadly enough, I knew I was
going to have to ante up some more of my precious green to buy a
heavier duty tire carrier.
My pursuit began.
I started with the normal companies and finally came to rest with
a guy who was actually local to me and had a first-class price on
an outstanding setup. I gave Ben Smith, Owner and Operator of Runck
Equipment a call.
Most tire carrier
manufacturers have a price for the bumper, a price for the tire
carrier, another price if you want the 3rd brake light,
and so on. Not Runck Equipment. Runck Equipment has
been doing business in the 4x4 community for well over 35 years.
They manufacture great products for Jeep vehicles, including CJ's,
YJ's, and TJ's. Tried and tested, Runck Equipment has always relied
on their products to perform well on their personal vehicles since
1966, only making modifications to a product when (and if) an Achilles'
heel is found.
When you obtain their bumper, you get it all; license plate
bracket, CB antenna mount, 3rd brake light housing and
arm, and all the hardware you need to carry out the install.
They do sell an add-on 2” receiver, which you won’t see in the pictures,
but is on its way to me as I write. Runck felt that not all
people wanted the 2” receiver, so they made it an add-on accessory
to help keep the costs down for those who didn’t require it.
Lets run down the list of features for this puppy… it is quite
First off -
material. The bumper is constructed of 3/16” wall tubing.
Runck Equipment advertises the carrier of as being able to manage
a 38” tire. I think it can handle more, but I haven't tried
it. My 38" TSL/SX tires mounted on the AR-767 wheels
weigh around 100 pounds a piece. I personally weigh in at
just shy of 200 pounds (198 to be exact), so I decided to do a little
product test of my own (don't try this at home, kids). I propped
myself up on the end of the tire carrier and it held me with no
problem. In fact, it didn’t even seem like it gave that much.
I know, you are saying that it isn’t very impressive, but it is,
considering the tire carrier swing arm was in the OPEN position,
with no other support to hold it up.
Brackets - The next thing that really grabbed my attention was
the reinforcement brackets. Again, refer to my statement above
on the fact that it held me up. The reinforcement brackets
not only help support the vehicle to bumper relationship when
you are pulling on the 2” receiver (optional equipment) in a tow
or mud-hole extraction attempt, but additional support is given
by Runck designing a bracket that goes over top of the rear cross
member and attaches to the frame. See picture below for a shot of
the bracket in place, coming over top of the factory, rear cross
member. Very stout stuff. I don't know of another carrier manufacturer
that offers this second and very important bracket setup.
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