Its rare anymore that people go out of their way to do it the “right way” - as tough as possible, from the best materials regardless of the cost, because it has their name attached to it. That is pride in your work, that is a drive for success, and most of all, that is the right way to do something.
Larry Trim took these to heart almost 21 years ago when Trail Ready was founded and started making the best race-grade wheels he could. 20 years ago, the consumer off-road market was still in an infancy, nothing like it is today, so businesses like Trail Ready were forged in the race industry.
When Trail Ready began producing their HD series wheels out of Aluminum, they used this same methodology of building the best. Unsatisfied with imports and the lack of control over the alloying process, Trail Ready scoured the United States for one of the last remaining aluminum wheel foundries. This makes Trail Ready the only cast beadlock manufacturer in the US. Casting and forging is accomplished with their foundry partner in Iowa. Blanks are then freighted to Trail Ready’s Mount Vernon, WA facility for machining and finishing.
Why go through all this trouble though? Surely there are facilities in Asia that can produce the same quality? Well there are four reasons why Trail Ready has chosen the hard-way. Section Thickness, Specific Alloy, Counter Pressure Casting and Sequential Cooling. These make the difference, as nearly all other cast wheels use a much more common low pressure casting method. The Counter Pressure Casting method results in a much denser part, and the sequential cooling means that the density is consistent throughout the wheel itself. The specific alloy, and casting methods also contribute to the Rockwell hardness of the aluminum. Generally, aluminum is very soft, but when alloyed earns increases to its stats based on those alloying materials. For a Trail Ready Forged wheel, the RW hardness is at a 55, for the cast a 48 and competing imported hardness at a mere 28. For a baseline, mild-carbon steel, which is found in nearly everything has a Rockwell hardness of 84 whereas copper has a Rockwell hardness of 18. Do you really think you could trust an wheel that has more in common with Copper than it does with Steel? Trail Ready doesnt think you should, and a wheel with a hardness test of 28 would be considered a blemish and be scrapped.
So now we know - Trail Ready Beadlocks are nothing short of bad-ass. They are made in the USA to an uncompromising level of quality and finish and are made to order, so you can have them produced in any configuration you want. Available in three different diameters of 15, 17 and 20 inches and every lug-nut configuration imaginable from UTV to buggy to eight lug. Lock rings are available in three different configurations as well, ranging from their standard Slim ring, to their legendary Rock ring and their newer World Series ring, and all are cut from 3/8” 6061 T6 hardened plate, and are secured by 5/16ths grade 8 bolts. If real beadlocks are not your thing, never fear! Trail Ready produces all of these wheels in a sims-lock version as well that has all the same great features, but weighs less and doesn’t deal with the mechanical locking mechanism of a beadlock.
When I placed my order for wheels from Larry I was greeted by a warm hospitality that can only be described as someone who made his passion his life and truly believes in what he is doing. We started talking about the various merits of each design and settled on placing an order for their HD20 series wheels in 20x9.5, milled for my Power Wagon’s 8x6.5 lug pattern with the Slim lock ring and all finished in a satin black powder coat.
“You’re in luck” Larry informs me.
“Whys that?” I Replied back
“We’re cutting 20’s tomorrow, so we’ll do yours too. Then they’ll go off to the powder coater and you should have them a week later”
Giddy, thats the only way you could describe the emotions I was experiencing as I have wanted these wheels for more than 10 years now.. Two weeks later UPS dropped off my precious cargo and the unboxing began. Weighing in at a stout 42lbs - it was clear that these are the toughest cast wheels on the market. The fit and finish quality is everything you would expect from someone who has made this their life. With their racing pedigree, it is hard to say that any other wheel will ever top the strength, and durability of these, and they have a timeless eight-spoke design that is not flashy or over the top, but just damn good looking. So while these heavy, labor intensive wheels may not be for everyone, they fit my role perfectly with the outfitting of this Power Wagon as something that I can absolutely rely on in without question, to get this vehicle out of the toughest places I can put it through. In the end - this is an investment that you should make if you are teetering on the edge of “is it worth it”? I say absolutely - these are superbly crafted, their construction is outrageous and for the life of me; I cannot figure out why it took me so long to make the decision myself.
Thank you to Larry and Trail Ready for working with us on this project and making such a fine piece - they are truly unique and will serve years and years of honorable service.
If you would like to know more about Trail Ready and their products, go to trailready.com