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by Dave ‘Coonbottom” O’Kane

by Dave “Coonbottom” O’Kane

A bog truck isn’t built – it's born. Whether it's someone working in their backyard with Harbor Freight tools or a team of fabricators and mechanics working in a state-of-the-art shop, a bog truck starts with very little and becomes a work of functioning art.

But, as everyone who has ever been to a few mud bogs knows, these works of art come and go. Sometimes they are sold to a new owner, or, in some cases, it can roll hard and quickly be turned into a twisted and smashed mess.

The owner of Wagener Salley’s (Twitty’s) Mud Bog in Wagener, South Carolina, Twitty Russell, is the owner of “Liva Killa” – a ‘79 K5 with a Dart 632 under the hood. Despite being an experienced driver who is very familiar with his vehicle, Twitty ended up in a bad roll during Triple Canopy Ranch’s recent “King of the Sling II” event held last month.

During the challenging event, “the truck jerked left, and the right rear came off the ground. It was just too fast and too much momentum,” Twitty said.

The body was destroyed. It seemed as if another precision machine had come to the end of the line.

However, some bog trucks never really die. The smashed K5 was loaded up and taken to Bam Bam Biguns in Tallahassee, Fla. This bog truck would live on! But, before a new bog truck can be born, the old one must be bid farewell.

The first step was taking the old body off.

At one point or another, most of us have had to pull a body off of a frame. You get a bunch of beers, some friends, and just bite the bullet. But using heavy machinery will be easier on your friends and their backs.

Pulling a bog truck apart is a lot easier than putting one together. It goes quicker, but it isn’t as much fun.

Taking one apart, like building one, can be done in the backyard dirt, but having some shade and concrete makes the chore not quite so bad. (Plus it is easier to find the small nuts and bolts when they fall to the ground!). Finally the drive train is out. The last step is pulling the axles and old running gear out.

Now it's time for the new frame!

If the engine is the heart of a bog truck, then the frame is the spinal cord. It doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have or how big the tires, you won’t have a good day if you have to load it back on the trailer in a tractor bucket.

Twitty’s new frame is made up of DOM steel tube that is 2 inches in outer diameter with a .120 (1/8”) thick wall For those who have never worked with metal, DOM stands for “Drawn Over Mandrel” – named after the process for making the tough steel tubing that is perfect for the abuse a bog truck frame must endure.

Some tech articles leave you hanging ‘til next month to see a build finished up.

Unfortunately, this is one of those articles. Sorry, folks! Due to time constraints, the truck wasn’t finished in time.

But, check back next month to see how some bog trucks never die, they just get rebuilt!

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June 10-12 – MudMuckers FEATURES ‘RAZIN KANE’

MudMuckers, the world’s largest off-road family fun park and home of monster truck star “Razin Kane” will be open all weekend on June 10-12 in Bunnell. Gates open Friday at 9 a.m. and close Sunday at 6 p.m. The park will unveil all new separate areas for trucks, a Hill & Hole pit, mud drag pit, 5-acre play area, separate truck campground, ATV/UTV round pen, landing strip, obstacle course, balance beam and more trails than any other park in the world. The park offers free camping, hot showers, a bike wash and store on-site. MudMuckers consists of 11,000 acres of family-owned land in Bunnell, Fla. and offers the best trails, mud pits, vendor area and entertainment. For more info, call “Iron Horse” Billy at 386-566-1456.

June 10-12 – Myakka Mudd Flats

Myakka Mudd Flats near Myakka City will host a three-day weekend of off-road fun, including a bikini contest and side-by-side, “Pinks-Style” mud truck and street truck racing and “Hill & Hole” course on June 10-12. Only $25 for the whole weekend (kids 12-and-under free). Gates open at noon. Mud trucks, ATV/UTVs and airboats welcome. Free camping. Located off I-75 to Hwy. 70. Call Philip at 229-859-9941 for more info.

July 1-3 – Redneck Yacht Club 4th of July Fireworks Weekend

Redneck Yacht Club in Punta Gorda will host a huge "4th of July Fireworks Weekend" on July 1-3. The 800-acre offroad park has three mud holes, plenty of parking, camping, restrooms and food vendors, as well as a 500-foot oval mud track that hosts some of the most exciting racing in the Southeast. RYC will have live entertainment, fireworks, and more for the 4th of July weekend bash. Check out www.redneckyachtclubfl.com for details. Gates open Friday at 8 a.m. and close Monday at 4 p.m. See ad on page 47, call (941) 505-8465 or check out: www.redneckyachtclubfl.com for details.

JULY 1-3 CREEK BOTTOM ATV PARK FIRECRACKER BASH - DOLES, GEORGIA

Creek Bottom ATV Park in Doles, Georgia will hold its 6th annual “Firecracker Bash” on July 1-3, highlighted by the first-ever joint SMRS & CMS race. There will be a poker run on Friday, July 1, and the SMRS/CMR race will be held on Saturday, July 2, with a live band performing Saturday night. Creek Bottom also has “open riding weekends” planned for July 16-17, Aug. 20-21 and Sept. 17-18 on 500 acres of mud, water and trails. For more information, go online (www.creekbottomatvpark.com) or call (352) 528-3252. Creek Bottom ATV Park has 1,800 acres of mud, water and trails with lighted mud pits, bridges, free hot showers and free primitive camping located on Hwy 32, 15 miles west of Ashburn, Ga.

(For the rest of this month's scheduled events pick up the current issue of Woods 'n Water Magazine.)

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For more in-depth off-road coverage, pick up this month's issue of Woods 'n Water, click on our forums page http://www.woodsnwater.net/forums for the "Offroad" section and be sure to visit http://www.woodsnwater.net/boggin for awesome video and photos of recent events around the South!