By Jon Maib
Back in early March, my Project JKU was rear ended when I was coming home from meeting up with one of the ladies over at Crawher. This was the first big accident I have ever been in, but I can tell you, a well-built Jeep can really handle its own compared to a factory stock vehicle. I was hit on the passenger rear quarter of the Jeep and the other driver had to be going 30-40mph. When his vehicle struck mine, my full metal Barricade bumper glanced the initial blow and sent his little red truck under the Jeep. That left the brunt of the impacting force to be taken up by the tire, suspension, and axle. I believe that the 37" BFG took the major load of the impact before the inertia was sent into the axle and the Skyjacker long arms. With rubber tire taking the force, the impact to my personal body was minimal and I wasn't even sore the next day. For that, Im thankful that my built Jeep really took care of me.

The fun part of this accident was that the insurance company wanted to total out my Jeep and I had to fight them to ensure that didn't happen. While damage to the Jeep appeared minimal, there was a lot that happened underneath the Jeep. What I learned was they were trying to total the Jeep based on a stock 2010 Jeep Wrangler. I had to explain all the aftermarket parts and how it added to the value of the Jeep, their comment to me was "Aftermarket parts do not add value to a vehicle". I want you to try and wrap your head around that comment for a minute. If that were the case, the Jeep would be totaled today, but it's not and after listing out the parts and what it would cost to replace them all, the insurance company paid to have the Jeep repaired without getting a salvaged title.

Where the accident took place, I wasn't far from Baertrax, the company that helped me install the Skyjacker long arm kit originally, so had the Jeep towed to the shop and my buddy Tim Welpot played an instrumental role in helping me get the insurance company to pay as well as getting the Jeep repaired. With the Jeep in the shop for over a month, I forgot how much I like driving that Jeep. The Jeep is finally back now and while we were getting things fixed, we upgraded a few things, but more to come on that. Be sure and check back for updates.

I need to give a special thanks to all the staff over at Baertrax for helping get the Jeep repaired; to Skyjacker for getting the right parts out to them quickly and then a really big thanks to my partners over at Extreme Terrain for getting us a replacement Barricade bumper. I can tell you with full confidence that the Barricade bumpers are TOUGH. Check out the original install article I did, but more importantly, go buy one from Extreme Terrain!