Back in 2006, the year Rugged Rocks first came to life, there were far less options for Nissan 4×4 parts and accessories than there are today. Although options today are still somewhat limited, we’re far better off now than we were 9 years ago.
I’ve always liked working with other companies in the off-road industry to get new products made and I get excited about building something new to fill a void in the Nissan aftermarket parts market, but I rarely look back. I’m constantly looking forward to “the next big thing”.
Recently I had a quick glimpse of the past after talking with a customer that has purchased from Rugged Rocks for many years. We got into a conversation and he expressed his gratitude for everything Rugged Rocks has has done over the years for the Nissan 4×4 community. Even after the conversation ended I kept thinking about how far we’ve come in 9 years. The list of parts that I’ve had a part in creating has gotten pretty lengthy, including deeper ring and pinion gears to regain power and fuel mileage after lifting and installing larger tires, Atlas transfercase adapters for ultimate crawl ratios, Nissan ARB lockers for maximum traction, solid axle swap kits for the ultimate rock crawling performance, rear 4-link kits, Doug Thorley headers for the Gen 1 Xterras and frontiers, bringing 3.0 V6 headers back into production, and RCV chromoly / 300M half shafts. The list goes on, and is much larger than I realized until recently.
Although I often had a hand in getting various new product projects rolling and bringing it full circle, I haven’t done it alone. We’re all in this together, and I wanted to say “thank you” to all of my customers who have continuously come back to Rugged Rocks for their off-road parts. It’s not just about me running a business and putting food on my table, it’s also about continuing to push forward with new projects, making more parts, and filling more voids in product offerings that other 4×4 vehicle lines have had for a long time. When you spend money with Rugged Rocks, in a way, you’re investing in the future of Nissan 4×4 parts and other related products. Thank you. I appreciate it and I know other fellow Nissan 4×4 owners do too.
I also want to tell you a little about what has currently been going on behind the scenes here at Rugged Rocks. One big change is that we’ve moved and now have a small store front / R&D shop / office at:
10980 Arrow Rte, #109
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Feel free to drop by just to say hi, ask questions about your build, or will-call your order.
The new place has room for R&D work for more future projects. Also it allows me to keep more product on hand to help eliminate the need to drop ship product from the manufacture and will shrink wait time on orders. Ultimately I’d like to see all orders ship complete the same day that it was placed while relying less on other people to send us things like tracking numbers as soon as products are shipped. This new place allows this to become more of a reality.
For new product this year I’m looking at diving deeper into Gen 2 (2005+) Xterras and Frontiers suspension. Customers have wanted to buy things that I simply don’t have available and I’ve recommended other companies to them, however they want to buy from Rugged Rocks. So I think it’s time to dive into the IFS suspension on these trucks. I know many people are wondering if it’s going to get straight axle swapped and the answer is, most likely, YES. There are other priorities before we chop it all off and go big, but I want to make this a reality.
Also, there was a Gen 1 (1998 – 2004) Pathfinder/X/Frontier rear locker that I was working on with Lockright many years ago that got delayed time and time again and ultimately fell through after the sale of Lockright. We now have a Nissan enthusiast working for another drivetrain parts manufacture that has some pull for making things happen. It looks like the 33-spline H233B locker will finally become a reality later this year.
I have always wanted to become more involved with land use and Rugged Rocks has become a member of the California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA) as well as Cal4Wheel. I have also become involved with Lowrance, a name that many people may be familiar with from boating, but their GPS units are also widely used in off road racing. Due to their rugged design and accuracy I always wanted one for my personal 4×4 but I had come to realize the main reason they weren’t popular in recreational wheeling was due to their lack of maps. I put my computer skills to work, and Rugged Rocks is now the only Lowrance land mapping partner in North America, making some of the most detailed satellite imagery maps available for off highway use. (these are being distributed through ruggedroutes.com) After talking with Amy at CORVA, I now plan on presenting these maps in front of the Forest Service at the state level in an effort to educate people about proper land use and public land boundaries. This is something that I’m pretty excited about.
In a nutshell, that’s whats been going on in the world of Rugged Rocks. For those of you that read this all the way to the end, feel free to drop by the new shop, check in at Rugged Rocks on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RuggedRocks?ref=bookmarks) and I’ll give you some free Rugged Rocks swag (while supplies last). I thank you all for your continued business and support and I also encourage you to re-post this letter on any message boards that may be interested as well as simply forwarding it to friends that may take interest.
Rugged Rocks, LLC.