It's not unusual anymore to see trucks sunning their underbelly on the trail, but the fact is that many rolls happen on easy to moderate trails, and are the result of too much throttle, the wrong line, misjudging the edge of the trail, or some combination of the three. We're not here to tell you how to keep the shiny side up, because rolls happen to the best of us. Plus, they can be both fun to do (though expensive) and exciting to watch, but we want you as prepared as possible for the tumble. As you can tell by the photo, we were involved in a rollover that made mincemeat of our Tacoma. We would love to say that we were attempting an extreme obstacle or that this was all done as testing, but the truth is closer revealed with a morning pastry on flat ground. (You figure it out.) In the end, all that matters is that no one got killed, and we remembered a fair bit about making our 4x4 safer, and now we can pass all that info on to you. As for the Tacoma? It's got more wrinkles than a bull walrus but it's been rebuilt to wheel even harder now. When we rolled our Taco, it went very hard from the tires to the passenger-side front A-pillar, and you can see the damage that ensued. It's no doubt that the rollcage greatly protected the occupants, but the doors would no longer close correctly. So we hauled it back to 4-Wheelers Supply in Phoenix for a rebuild.When we rolled our Taco, it went very hard from the tires to the passenger-side front A-pi First, any remaining glass was removed (be sure you have safety goggles on when removing busted auto glass). No more street driving for this rig, just a new pair of Dragon goggles. Next we pulled out the steering column as it had collapsed during the wreck and would not properly engage the steering box. The steering columns of most 4x4s have some sort of slip in them so that they do not impale the driver in a collision. We disassembled the column and found that it had collapsed and jammed.First, any remaining glass was removed (be sure you have safety goggles on when removing b We had been running a set of reclinable seats, but where they were convenient for rear cab access they did not work as great for cradling the occupants. Plus with our new shoulder strap bar we no longer could use the reclinability, so Corbeau Baja SS suspension seats were chosen. Suspension seats help support the body better, especially when a roll ends with the truck coming down hard onto its wheels. We went with full black vinyl for ease of cleaning our now open-to-the-elements, no-windows wheeler.We had been running a set of reclinable seats, but where they were convenient for rear cab Since the doors were wasted and would no longer fit, we replaced them with door bars. In addition, we decided to mount the seats to a subframe that would be tied into the cage so that all the seats and belts are encapsulated like one giant cocoon. During the roll both the driver and passenger had only used their lap belts, and this was partially due to the fact that the shoulder harnesses were not easily accessible, as they were attached to a crossbar at the back of the extended cab. To make a safer and more convenient shoulder-belt mount, we ran a bar directly behind the seats.Since the doors were wasted and would no longer fit, we replaced them with door bars. In a See how much space is between Tech Editor Fred Williams' butt and the seat (arrow)? He had the seatbelts cranked down as tight as he could get them but they still stretched. Almost 2 inches. To be really safe, you often need the belts tighter than you can stand them to be, but even more importantly you need to buckle them up. It's dumb to not have them tight; its even dumber to not use them when you have them.See how much space is between Tech Editor Fred Williams' butt and the seat (arrow)? He had Notice the fire extinguisher on the ground outside the rolled truck? Anything and everything inside the truck will start flying around when your four-by flips. A good rule of thumb is if you don't want something thrown at your head as hard as you can throw it, then strap or bolt it down. That includes center consoles; everything in center consoles and gloveboxes, tools, shackles, spare parts, and even those cans in the cooler. Everything should be stored away solidly as stuff can start rolling under brake or throttle pedals which can help lead to a rollover. Also note the incorrect driver's grip on the steering wheel; during a roll or any wheeling adventure keep those digits outside of the wheel. If the tires grab and spin the wheel you could be going home with broken thumbs.Notice the fire extinguisher on the ground outside the rolled truck? Anything and everythi When hanging from his belts, Williams still has a hand's width of space between his head and the ceiling of the truck. Better yet, grab a helmet, even a good bike helmet, before you hit the crazy climbs. We know a guy with a medical degree who likes wheeling, and he always wears a helmet. When asked why, he said he has too much invested in his brain to chance it while wheeling. Good advice for anyone.When hanging from his belts, Williams still has a hand's width of space between his head a We also have a friend who almost died when he rolled his truck and his body got impaled on his transfer-case shifter. If you have an exposed shifter, put on a good round knob for a big blunt end.We also have a friend who almost died when he rolled his truck and his body got impaled on Can you see the problem here? This Jeeper is leaning outside the window to get a better look at the trail ahead. And, 99.9 percent of the time this isn't a problem, but if he was leaning way off camber, and the Jeep did a quick roll, it could come down faster than he could get that arm back inside. If at all possible, watch the trail from inside your cage, and learn to memorize what is in front of you as you come upon it and it leaves your line of sight.Can you see the problem here? This Jeeper is leaning outside the window to get a better lo 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!