We dropped a different kind of build on Destination Polaris’ Project X this Sunday. Raise your hand if you were surprised! Okay, put your hand down before someone sees you.
We built the aptly-named After Shock from the ground up to be the ultimate Low Talent Recovery Unit, and we spared no expense in making sure it was the perfect side-by-side for the job.
This thing is filled to the brim with everything we need to get your vehicle up and running again on the trail, including plenty of lighting, 10″ of ground clearance over stock, and three (yes, three) winches. Check it out!
We started this custom UTV build with a base-model 2017 Ranger XP 1000. It’s a hardy workhorse of a vehicle, and we knew we were going to be pulling all sorts of big machines out of an array of situations, so we couldn’t risk the frame buckling.
So we beefed it up from end to end with welded-in square support tubing and added an extra super structure around it. Essentially, we made a frame around the frame. Now with massive weight applied, the frame doesn’t flex at all.
Like I said, this was just a base-model Ranger. We had to do a lot of work to get the cab and the rest of the front end where we wanted it. We stuck our roof, full doors, flip windshield, and custom-engraved rear windshield on there to protect us from the elements.
On the dash, we have all of our light controls. There are light bars, cube lights, and running lights around the entire machine, giving us 360 degrees of illumination. We’ll be able to fix anything in the dark without worrying about parking After Shock just so.
We also have various pulse patterns for all the lights on the vehicle so we can clear the trail and make our presence known to surrounding vehicles.
Also on the dash is a dual-band radio from Rugged Radios so we can keep in touch with home base while we’re out on a recovery mission.
Under the seats in the cab we have our dual air compressors—one for the air horns up top and one for the air hose in the back—and dual batteries so we can run lights and equipment without having to keep the engine running or cranking up the generator every time. Oh yeah, there’s a generator, but we’ll talk about that in a minute.
Most of the action is in the back of this thing, but we didn’t want to ignore the front. After all, After Shock has to get to the spot in the trail that crippled your vehicle and be able to tow you out, so it needs a little protection of it’s own.
We added custom cage elements over the roof for additional cargo space and as a mounting point for our dual flanking 30″ light bars and 60″ light bar.
We also snuck in an air horn up there!
We had to go big on the suspension because the suspension carries a lot of the burden. And we were planning on burdening it. We were already stressing it by adding the extra frame support, tools, and boom, but imagine how stressed it will be when we’re towing a four-seater Teryx out of the mud.
First things first—we put 4″ portals on there for the much-needed gear reduction and extra clearance. We paired that with our 6″ lift kit to get us a total of 10″ of clearance over stock. We stuck 32″ Intimidator Tires on our 14″ Healy Fast Beadlock Wheels and filled them with TireBalls to keep them running smoothly, even when punctured. Finally, we installed our Rhino 2.0 Axles to hold the whole thing together.
We didn’t forget shocks either. For those, we went with Walker Evans and we knew they had to be stiff. The front shocks have a 600-lb. spring rate and the rears have an 800-lb. spring rate. That’s heavy enough to handle quite a bit of weight in tow without bottoming out on a rough trail.
The utility bed was all completely handmade here in house. Each side of the utility bed has four compartments, one of which is a pass-through compartment big enough for us to climb in and stretch out (we just packed it full of tools, though).
Hidden in these compartments you’ll find a generator, a power cord reel, an air hose reel, a full welding rig, and, of course, controls for the hydraulic boom and winch. Also, the backside of the side compartments is made of clear polycarbonate to make it easy to see inside.
The compartment doors flip up and slide into the body of the utility bed to allow easy access even on narrow trails and each can be locked at the latch.
The top of the utility bed is fitted with more custom cage tubing for protection but also gives enough space up top to strap in a cooler of extra organs in case you pile up really hard. We’ll probably just put some drinks in there for now, though.
At the very back of the bed is another 4500 lb. Black Ops Winch. This one has a few more potential uses than our front winch, whose primary purpose is to get After Shock out of trouble. The rear winch can also get After Shock out of a jam, but its main purpose is to act as a supplemental towing winch in case we’re dealing with an excessively large or overwrought vehicle. This winch’s lower position will get any vehicle to the stinger, where we can secure it and tow without the vehicle swinging around all over the place.
The boom is what makes a wrecker a wrecker. After Shock would just be an awesome Ranger XP 1000 without it. We made our six-foot boom in house and from scratch, just like everything else. If we can’t fix you up on the trail, this thing will drag you out.
It’s equipped with our new 5000 lb. Black Ops Winch (for those of you keeping score, we’re up to three winches on this machine now) and it’s been able to drag out anything we’ve attached it to so far.
But we’re not quite done. We wanted to use this thing in all kinds of terrain, including some very slick mud. So we took it over the top and added two stabs in the back. These hydraulic stabs anchor After Shock to the ground so it can pull on anything without losing traction.
We’re excited to bring this beast out to events and trails. We expect to be pulling all sorts of poor saps out of their off-road messes. So keep your eyes peeled for the flashing lights and blaring horn the next time you’re ripping through a trail. We’re on an important recovery mission, and if you’re lucky, we might just rescue you from your low-talent moment, too.