Don’t hold your truck camper to your truck with glue

Glue Blog 11Sher Jennings-South Dakota born and raised and familiar with the extreme weather patterns is ready for it all. She also understands when it’s unsafe and time to shut it down. Working with her grandfather who was a home mover and very adamant about using the safest equipment really set her safety standards in place, especially while hauling. She carried these standards into purchasing her first camper. Friends badgered her with other alternate brand tie downs but after she did her research, she decided to go with Torklift turnbuckles and tie downs.

Don't let this happen to you!

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Tie downs vs. wind

Glue Blog 3A couple years ago while on a trip with a friend who previously badgered her about trying an alternate brand of tie downs, heavy winds hit hard. That afternoon on the way back from the Pendleton Roundup the friend of Shers’ was hauling her caravan to the Gorge with their brand new $45,000 truck. When they had finally arrived both the driver and the passenger were a wreck in fear of the support and safety of the caravan. She then asked them, “why they had just bought a new truck and spent $30,000 on a new camper but settled for a cheaperalternate brand of tie downs?” Sher then tried to explain how using an alternate brand of tie downs is like trying to secure your camper using Elmer’s glue. It’s important that when investing a large amount of money into a new rig and camper that you have a tie down system that is going to protect and support that investment. Torklift has two types of tie downs that will do just that!

Frame-Mounted Steel Tie Downs
This option secures your truck camper at four independent tie down points directly to the frame. This tie down improves the vehicle’s handling and stability with no loss of ground clearance. A lifetime warranty comes with this tie down.Glue Blog 4

Talon Aluminum Tie Down 
This is a high performance tie down that is lightweight and rust free for life. It also secures the truck camper to the truck frame. Constructed out of light weight military grade aluminum, it’s 50% lighter than most steel tie down applications. Featuring high impact powder coating with a no-drill application, this product is also covered by a lifetime warranty.

What connects the camper to the tie down?

Glue Blog 5Torklift has designed a FastGun turnbuckle that is the number one selling quick-disconnect turnbuckle in the RV industry. This stainless steel turnbuckle comes in a set of two and are spring-loaded with spring tension indicators. They are compatible with both frame-mounted and bed-mounted tie downs with a Legendary lifetime warranty.

 

Our tie downs, when installed properly, provide 100% support for your truck and camper. Torklift has also designed a product to secure your investment that much more! With FastGun Locks you are able to secure your turnbuckles to your tie down. The locks come with keys for convenience and weather caps to prevent damage and road grime. For more information on any of these products you can contact us at 800.246.8132 or email: support@torklift.com. 

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shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. When I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

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Customer switches to Torklift after bed-mounted tie down damages his truck

Torklift Tie DownWhen we met Brian Brawdy, he didn’t know his truck bed was cracked in multiple places and that it would cost thousands of dollars to fix. Torklift first met RV enthusiast Brian Brawdy in 2009. At the time of meeting him, he was sponsored by an alternate brand of tie downs that mounts to the truck bed instead of the truck frame. This company promotes itself as using frame-mounted systems when they don’t attach to the truck’s frame at all.

Where the bed-mounted system went wrong

Brian Brawdy visiting TorkliftAfter getting to know Brian a little better and what kind of tie down system he was using, Torklift wanted to check it out. Our team crawled underneath his truck, and we were alarmed at what we saw. Upon inspecting Brian’s truck, we revealed a mass amount of damage to the bed. When Torklift discovered what was causing the damage, it all made sense. He had a bed-mounted tie down system for his truck camper. Due to the lack of support, the bed of his truck was too stressed and had massive cracks underneath. This was caused by the bed-mounted system pulling and yanking the truck bed sheet metal.

What you can do to protect yourself

Destroyed truck bedThere are steps you can take to inspect your vehicle for damage linked to bed-mounted tie downs:

1. look under your truck bed for long cracks spanning anywhere from the cab to the tailgate
2. Look for a sagging bumper and rust at rear bed-mounted tie down locations
3. Inspecting the paint for chips, bent tie downs, body rust and gouges at the mounting location of your front bed-mounted tie downs also indicate damage

 

If you notice any of these issues with your bed-mounted tie downs that claim to be frame-mounted, contact us immediately. We would be happy to look at pictures of your damage and help you determine if your truck is still safe for hauling your truck camper. If you don’t need Torklift products, we won’t sell it to you – we’re just here to help. Our company is founded on safety and if you aren’t safe, we believe you should know. This inspection service is free. Just call us at 800.246.8132 or send photos of your truck to: photos@torklift.com.

So why do bed-mounted tie downs cause this damage?

Many bed-mounted tie down systems are falsely advertised as “direct-to-frame” and use anchors plates in the rear of the truck bed to connect anchors to both sides of the truck bumper. The support from the specific type of tie down does not make contact with the frame of the vehicle, leaving you with a very unstable support. When you use a bed-mounted system not only is what you are hauling at risk, but the vehicle as well. Just like Brian Brawdy’s truck, you risk having stress marks and cracks in the bed and can actually lose the whole bed itself. Damage within the truck bed is common while using bed-mounted tie downs. Often, anchor points can be pulled out - bending the anchors directly into the truck body, as well as damaging the vehicle’s paint.

What Precautions Can You Take to Avoid Damage to Your Vehicle?

Torklift Steel tie downThe first and most important step is using proper tie downs. Torklift offers two types of tie downs that truly mount to the foundation of the vehicle: its frame. Attaching directly to the frame eliminates the risk of damage to your vehicle and will provide 100% support for having your camper mounted safely.

Option one: Steel 
One of the tie down systems Torklift designed is the True Frame-Mounted Steel Tie Down.

• This tie down secures the truck to the camper using four independent tie down points directly to the frame. 98% of applications don’t require drilling.
• Has no loss of ground clearance and improved stability and handling of the vehicle while towing 
• Comes with the Tie Down Finishing Kit
Tie Down Locks are also available for this system

Option two: Military Grade Aluminum 
Talon Tie DownThe other system Torklift designed are the Talon Camper Tie Downs

• This is a high performance tie down that is light weight and rust free for life
• Features high impact powder coating
• Light weight military grade aluminum alloy that is 50% lighter than steel

Like any other Torklift product, both Talon and Steel Tie Downs are backed by a lifetime warranty. When Torklift tie downs are paired with spring loaded turnbuckles, the lifetime warranty is extended to not only the truck frame but the camper anchors points for the extent of its manufacturer’s warranty. Why do we do this? Because we know our frame-mounted tie downs will never damage your vehicle when used and installed properly. You can contact us at 800.246.8132 for more warranty details.

What did it cost Brian?

Picture6Thankfully at that trade show Brian Brawdy was made aware of the damage his truck had sustained. After that day, Torklift’s tech support spent several hours at our shop and repaired more than $5,000 dollars’ worth of damage done to his truck due to the bed-mounted tie downs that claimed to be frame-mounted. Brian no longer has to question whether his truck is being damaged while doing what he loves the most.

 

To learn more about Torklift tie downs and Talon Tie downs call our tech support at 800.246.8132 or email us at: support@torklift.com. Or, to order your own set at a Certified Dealer near you, visit our Where to Buy page.

 

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. When I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festibals with my family form the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, bloe grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

'

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Ken and the newest member of his family: Part 2

In this series we are highlighting Ken Pastorius and his adventures through the manufacturing of his truck, the creation of the tie downs for his new truck and his experience with installing and using them. You can check out Part 1 here where Ken got to see his truck built at the GM Factory. In Part 2 of 3, we will focus on the production of Ken’s 2016 Torklift Talon Tie Downs.

Below are some awesome production photos of the Talon Tie Downs courtesy of Truck Camper Magazine along with the packaging of his FastGuns and Ken’s reaction toreceiving all of his goodies.

TCM 6Templates of the Talon Tie Downs that fit different kinds of trucks including Ford, Dodge RAM, Chevy and more

TCM 5Welding the tie down parts together, they’re still smoking hot

 

TCM 4Sandblasting the Talons to make them clean and prepare them for powder coating TCM 2Adding finishing touches to the Talon Tie Down stickers by adding the stickers to the ends

One of the things that is so grand about Ken and his story is that he is receiving the very first Talon Tie Downs made for 2016. Yes, I repeat: the very first Talon Tie Downs of 2016. They are also the first product of our 40th anniversary year and we couldn’t be any prouder of them.

IMG 2763Wrapping Ken's FastGuns with love IMG 2764The FastGuns are wrapped nice and tight 

“I'm very grateful to Torklift Manufacturing for providing these products and everything else you have done for us over the past several years. You've proved to be an amazing company with products that truly provide a great service for RV enthusiast.”
                  – Ken Pastorius

IMG 2767Boxing the FastGuns up with care

IMG 2769Each box of our FastGuns are hand wrapped and packaged 

In the photos above you see us packaging Ken’s white FastGun turnbuckles. They are the number one selling quick disconnect camper turnbuckle in the world and are 100% lockable and tool free, making them incredibly easy to use and safe from potential theft. Another great thing about our FastGun turnbuckles is that they are made from high impact powder-coat stainless steel making them more resistant to diminished quality when it comes to impact, moisture, light, chemicals and weather conditions.

At Torklift, we go through stringent checks to make sure that every part is made correctly and that what we are shipping out is of the highest quality. Once everything was thoroughly checked and packaged, it was time to send Ken the new toys for his truck… but with a funny twist.

image1Ken got his new Torklift gear!

image2Did he really order a box of hamsters?

 

 "I can't tell you how excited I was to come home and find my Torklift order sitting in the garage. Donna said I reminded her of a kid on Christmas morning. But upon closer inspection, I was a little concerned I may not have gotten the items I ordered and then we both laughed.”

No, Ken didn’t order large boxes of hamsters or dog bones or kidneys, but we are glad that Ken and his wife had a good chuckle about it.

Below is more information on the Talon Tie Downs that Ken received:

• Rust free corrosion protection for life
• Finishing Kit included
• Available for best-selling applications
• Tie down receiver tube and tie down insert are each 100% military grade aluminum
• Ultra-light weight
• Fast, no-drill installations
• No loss of ground clearance
• Hidden when not in use
• Best ride quality in the industry
• Legendary Lifetime Warranty
• Proudly made in the USA

Make sure you stay tuned, part three of his adventures will be out soon which include feedback on his experience with the Torklift products.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the FastGuns and Talon Tie Downs or where to purchase them. 

 


 

kerstinWritten by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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Ken and the newest member of his family: Part 1

We here at Torklift International love our customers and like to share their latest news and achievements. In this series we would like to highlight Ken Pastorius and his adventures through the manufacturing of his truck, the creation of the tie downs for his new truck and his experience with installing and using them. In Part 1 of 3, we will focus on the production of Ken’s 2015 GMC Denali 3500 DRW.

GM Factory GMC Truck Assembly Factory in Flint, MI In Ken’s own words, “the opportunity we were given to visit the GM Flint Truck Assembly Plant and watch our truck get built was a very unique and once in a lifetime experience.” What started as an inquiry on RV.net asking about the compatibility between the Arctic Fox 1150 Truck Camper with the 2015 GMC Denali DRW turned into an invitation from General Motors to tour the plant where their truck was being assembled in Flint, Michigan.

Below are some of the photos that Ken took and shared with us while he and his wife were at the plant watching their ‘baby’ get assembled.

Bed of Truck Box of the truckFrame of Truck Cab of the truck

 Over 40 years ago, Ken used to work on an assembly line in a different truck manufacturing plant and noticed a night and day difference between then and now. When talking about the quality of people working on the GM assembly line, Ken stated “there is no more prying or banging on something to fit. No more having to lift a heavy part into position. It was more like a precision partnership between man and technology.”

 

 Duramax EngineEngine and transmissionAssembled Frame Assembled Frame

Engine and Frame Together Engine and Frame Together

Rear BumperRear bumper

Engine and frame together Engine and frame together Hood being added to the carHood being added to the car

“Tuesday, July 21st, we went someplace a little out of the ordinary to watch the birth of our new baby. The Flint Truck Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan, where we watched our 2015 GMC Denali 3055 DRW come to life.” - Ken Pastorius

New Pastorius Truck New truck for the Pastorius Family!

Ken is not kidding when he said, “she may purr like a kitten but don't be fooled, she is a beast with the heart of a lion.” That isone beautiful truck that will be great for camping and adventuring! “Now, the only thing left to do, is to get her all accessorized in Torklift products and the two of them will be ready for their first adventure, together.”

2015 Denali with Arctic Fox 2015 Denali with Arctic Fox Two weeks later the new truck is safe at home and excitement is building! We are so thrilled to be working with Ken to outfit his new 2015 Denali with the first set of 2016 aluminum Talon Tie Downs and to see where Ken and his family will go on their latest adventures. Thank you so much Ken for sharing your story with all of us.

 

One of the things that is so awesome about Ken and his story is that he will be receiving the very first Talon Tie Downs made for a 2016 vehicle and the first product of our 40th anniversary. These tie downs are the first product of our anniversary year and we couldn’t be any prouder of them. Below is some more information on the Talon Tie Downs:

• Rust free corrosion protection for life
• Finishing Kit included
• Available for best-selling applications
• Tie down receiver tube and tie down insert are each 100% military grade aluminum
• Ultra-light weight
• Fast, no-drill installations
• No loss of ground clearance
• Hidden when not in use
• Best ride quality in the industry
• Legendary Lifetime Warranty
• Proudly made in the USA

Make sure you stay tuned, parts two and three of his adventures will be out soon which include the production of his very special Talon Tie Downs. In the meantime, below is a video of Ken’s trip to GM and the production of his new Denali.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the Talon Tie Downs or questions about other Torklift International products.

 


 

kerstinWritten by Kerstin Stokes:
As a graduate from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in both History and Art, Kerstin has found her passion for writing and marketing. She enjoys looking up tasty recipes for baking and daydreaming about future travels. 

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And the Oscar goes to...by Torklift Jen

The latest news in Torklift International productions includes a trailer.  Not the type you may associate with our expertise in manufacturing parts for towing and hauling, but the Hollywood kind- the “Coming to a theater near you”- kind of trailer.
oscar
The recent launch of the Ultra Deck Plus bumper for Lance Campers created a stir in the blogosphere and a huge response to this new product.

The complete story and video aired exclusively in Truck Camper Magazine. And, the epic video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5m1M-EPio2w


We were thrilled with the response to the new bumper and it also lead to some very creative conversations on the video production introducing the product.  We were offered alternate endings, possible hidden symbolism and great feedback and support of the bumper.

It seemed that viewers were asking for more, so after reading some of the forum discussion posts, I am pleased to offer you an exclusive “director’s cut “ script and answer some of the questions I found on the new design and its features.

Q: What models of truck campers will it be available on?
A:  As of 2/21/14, Lance Campers has made the Ultra Deck Plus exclusive with the 1052 model.  Look for other models to be available in the future.

Q: What is the weight difference of the new optional Ultra Deck Plus and the standard equipment bumper?
A: It is 149 pounds.

Q: Will it require the use of a hitch extension?
A:  The Ultra Deck Plus will extend about 2 feet, so a 48 inch to 60 inch hitch extension will be required when towing specifically with the Lance 1052 model.

Q: How much is the new bumper going to cost?
A: See your dealer for more information, however, The Lance 1052 will be MSRP $34,437 for the base camper and $39,800 for the standard build optioned out camper.  This includes the Ultra Deck Plus bumper and many other special options.

Q: Where does the sewer hose go?
A: So stealth, but it’s there.  There is also a 2”x 2” receiver hitch (300lb. cargo capacity) for accessories built in for easy storage.

Q: What type of fish was that used in the filming?
fishA: Honestly, we weren't sure either so we contacted the local fish and wildlife department and had them view the mystery gold fish. Below is an excerpt from their response:  "After close observation of the body movement, dorsal fins, breach, and splash patterns we are of the opinion that the  "goldfish" in question is highly likely a native game fish related to the bass family commonly called a sun fish. We have attached an image for your viewing."

And, adding the disclaimer,  *No animals, (or fish) were harmed in production of this film.

Look for the upcoming sequel featuring our “Talons” Torklift’s new military grade aluminum tie downs.

 

TalonTrailer
…I am hearing the cue music to cut this speech, I cannot help with a tear in my eye, but to thank all the people who made this possible.  The engineers, Lance Campers, Torklift International, my managers, our families, truck campers, and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere…

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