AtoZ Fabrication came on board in 2015 as the first Corporate Partner of the annual “No Highways Tour.” The 2004 Wrangler Unlimited I drive is outfitted with a set of their heavy duty rocker guards, heavy front bumper with grill and winch hoops, and one of their heavy duty rear bumpers with swing-out tire carrier. This combination not only added protection and functionality to the Jeep but it took the Jeep up a notch aesthetically giving it a nice aggressive look.
|Some photos featuring the AtoZ Fabrication products on the LJ from the 2015 NHT trip.|
The best part is it’s all American Made right here in central PA by a team of people equally passionate about their products and the 4×4 community. Read on for an in-depth look at AtoZ Fabrication…
Back in 2008 when I started 4Low Digital Labs I started noticing a trend among many of the local rock-crawling teams. Many of them were outfitted with products from AtoZ Fabrication. Bumpers, rocker-guards, and roll cages all bore the AtoZ Fab mark. I quickly noticed too that all of these products were taking a beating and few were showing any evidence of damage.
|One of the AtoZ Fab sponsored rigs that compete in the RCrocs series at Rausch Creek ORP.
Bumpers, rocker guards, and roll cage all built by AtoZ
For those unfamiliar with rock-crawling it’s basically an off-road obstacle course race where your goal is to complete a series of “gates” within a ten minute time limit. Classes range from near-stock production 4×4’s to totally insane custom built tube buggies. The courses range from mild to wild and it’s a sure bet the driver/spotted team will have their skills put to the test. The technical terrain of the courses means a lot of hard hits and at the higher class levels it’s not a question of ‘if you roll’ it’s just a matter of ‘when’ and ‘how bad.’
|AtoZ Fab owner Zach driving his Jeep buggy in the RCrocs event at Rausch Creek ORP.
Needless to say, all the work on this was done by the AtoZ Fab team.
Just shows you how passionate they are about the sport side of 4×4 as well.
Outside of rock-crawling AtoZ Fab has made a name for themselves on the trails too. Being a local company with a devote regional following customers of AtoZ Fab are usually repeat customers owning multiple products. They also refer their friends and fellow 4×4 enthusiasts to the team at AtoZ Fab since they believe in the product so much.
|Putting the “fabrication” in AtoZ Fabrication|
Beyond their own products the team at AtoZ Fab stock a wide range or products including lift kits, winches, and pretty much every other item you could want or need for your 4×4. While they specialize in Jeeps they will work on anything with wheels, and a few without. They also do installation work in their shop. So not only can you buy the parts from them but they’ll happily install them as well.
|Need axles? AtoZ can get those too.|
So, what does all that have to do with overlanding? Well, to be honest a lot actually. There are two main factors to consider when outfitting a 4×4 for extended overland adventures. First, protection. You want to protect the vital systems of the rig against hazards such as rocks, trees, wildlife, and other accidents. Second, functionality. Functionality on an overlander means one item doing multiple things. Take bumpers for instance. They protect the front and rear of the 4×4 but they also serve as towing and recovery points. Rocker guards not only protect the body but they also serve as step and a lifting point for something like a hi-lift style jack.
Getting stuck is rarely fun. It also sucks when you don’t have proper recovery points. The D-rings on the front and rear AtoZ Fab bumpers are welded front solidly to the bumper providing a much better alternative to some of the other recovery point options out there. Also, the high quality tube steel used in the bumpers and hoops are much better than the discount made-in-China brand bumpers you can find in the parts catalog. One of the ideals I espouse here at ECOA is spending money wisely. Buying a cheap crappy bumper just because it looks cool isn’t a smart investment. Buying a quality bumper that adds protection and functionality, even though it’s a little more expensive, is a much smarted longterm investment for overlanding.
The rear bumpers AtoZ Fab makes also serve to add functionality as well as protection. With two D-ring mounts severing as recovery points, there is also a 2″ receiver hitch for towing. The heavy duty swing-out tire carrier not only supports a heavier tire for the rock-crawling guys, but can also serve as a mounting point for overlanding gear like fuel cans, jacks, and other equipment you don’t want (or can’t fit) inside your rig. In my cause I ended up fabbing my own fuel can carrier that mounts to the tire carrier.
Anyway, if you’re in the market for some quality Made in the USA gear for your 4×4, I’d check out AtoZ Fabrication if I were you. They have the parts and the knowledge to outfit your rig for whatever terrain you’re attempting to conquer. If you’re a DIY guy they also have a section of builder parts that you can purchase if you want to do something more custom on your own.