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Truck Beadlock Wheels – What They Are and Why You Probably Don’t Want Them

When getting more involved in off-roading your truck, it quickly becomes clear that there is a whole world of specialized off-road equipment that exists solely to serve those who are intent on exploring their local wilderness trails. While some of this gear is readily apparent when installed on a truck – like roll bars, nerf bars, and lift kits – there are other items that have a more hidden, mechanical aspect to them, even those which might appear decorative at first.

Anyone interested in off-roading will eventually hear someone talk about beadlock wheels, or perhaps see beadlock wheels installed on a truck. Beadlock wheels are fairly distinctive, as they resemble a standard wheel with a raised steel or polished edge all along the rim which overlaps some of the rubber on the tire. This edge or lip will feature many bolts or rivets.

An example of a simple beadlock rim.

An example of a simple beadlock rim.

It is easy to mistake this accessory as a fashion statement – indeed, since the look is quite distinctive, many companies offer faux beadlock wheels. However, beadlock wheels are actually a specially designed safety device that is designed to protect drivers from having the bead of their tires separate from their rims while driving.

Truck Camping – Napier Truck Bed Tent

Camping is fun, but it sure can be complicated. Think about all the work that goes into setting up a tent. You’ve got to find a safe and dry spot, assemble the tent so that it at least resembles something that’s fit for human occupation, then you’ve got to secure the tent to the ground so that it doesn’t blow away. By the time you’ve got everything figured out, it’s usually bed time (or later). While lying on the cold and lumpy ground in a less-than-perfect tent setup, many a man has gazed out the tent flap longingly at the warm and inviting cabin of his pickup truck, wishing there was some way he could squeeze inside.

The Napier Sports Truck Tent III is a top-quality tent that’s easy to assemble and incredibly mobile. It’s also available in camouflage, making it a nice truck camping tent for hunting season.

While it might not be practical to sleep everyone in your truck’s passenger compartment, it is definitely possible to take advantage of the level and safe space provided in your pickup’s cargo bed. The Napier Sportz Truck Tent is an easy to use alternative to the standard tent. It allows you to camp high off the ground, increasing your chances of staying dry and critter-free. Perhaps more importantly, the truck tent also allows you to camp anywhere you can park your truck – no more scouting around for the ideal camping location.

The truck tent III has all the standard features you’d expect in a quality tent

GPS Tracking Devices and Countermeasures – Prudence or Paranoia?

GPS tracking is a popular buzzword, and not just in the automotive industry. Most of the public is quite familiar with General Motors OnStar service that uses Global Positioning System technology to track the location of an automobile via satellite in order to provide emergency assistance or real-time directions. However, GPS tracking is also employed in an increasingly large number of personal electronics items for both navigation and theft recovery.

While it’s hard to deny the convenience of GPS tracking systems, there is a certain creepiness associated with the idea that your position is constantly being tracked. While many argue against government mandated GPS tracking of your car or cell phone (for obvious reasons), there is a growing trade in “personal” GPS tracking devices.

These “personal” devices can be used for something as benign as tracking vehicle mileage for tax purposes, or they can be used to keep track of teen drivers, wandering spouses, etc. Many of these personal GPS tracking devices are designed to be clandestine – some are painted black and equipped with magnets that allow them to be hidden underneath or inside vehicles, for example (see the Land Air Sea GPS Tracking Key).

As a result of the popularity of these “personal” GPS tracking devices, a number of different countermeasures to GPS surveillance have sprouted up

Land Air Sea GPS Tracking Key

This is just like Spy v. Spy – a $175 GPS tracking unit that you can hide somewhere in your vehicle or on your person. It will:

  1. Tell you exactly where you or your vehicle was (within a couple of meters, anyways) for every second the unit is active (or at least until the 2 batterys run out).
  2. Track your vehicle’s top speed and average speed, as well as the vehicle’s speed at any given location.
  3. Interface all of this data with Google Earth, so you can get some visual idea of where the tracking unit was at any point during the tracking period.
  4. Record everything that people nearby are thinking using the revolutionary “mind-read” circuit. (OK – maybe not, but still…)
GPS tracking key from Land Air Sea

GPS tracking key from Land Air Sea. It includes a magnet for easy attachment.

While this is technically for tracking your own movements – say figuring out where and how often you drive your truck to make deliveries, for instance – the real market is undoubtedly spying.

New 2009 2010 Toyota Tundra 20 Inch Wheels

Toyota just announced a new set of 5-spoke 20″ rims for the 2009 and 2010 Tundra. They’re cast aluminum and machined for strength, and they’re available as an accessory from your local Toyota dealer.

New 20 inch rims for the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Tundra.

New 20 inch rims for the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Tundra.

We’re usually not big fans of buying OEM accessories – OEM’s (that’s orginal equipment manufacturers) tend to be quite a bit more expensive than the after market.

OEM dealers tend to be more a little more greedy as well.

However, these wheels have an MSRP of