ARB has been making quality components for overlanders since 1975, producing racks, bull bars, lockers, and accessories for overland travelers since before overland was even a “thing.” Companies like that are important to our industry, as they bring durability, reliability, and trust to those overlanding the globe. To celebrate their legacy and to acknowledge the industry leaders and experienced travelers, this new multi-part ARB Experiences series will highlight the stories and insights from those that have been around. . . and really lived it. arbusa.com/arb-experiences
“We’re standing in a unique place at a unique time. American off-roading is a young adult, overlanding a teenager and those who swaddled and cradled them still walk among us. Interest in 4×4 is booming and, while we keep eyes on the road ahead, we pause now to recognize those who cut the trail.
ARB Experiences will profile industry leaders, trailblazers, and heroes in a series of stories that document our collective journey. Every off-roader crafts their own story, but underlying each is the history of their rig, its capabilities, and how they came to be.”
For their first episode, they feature Jim Oostdyk, President of OK4WD, a family-owned and operated business in the Northeast. Jim has an excellent reputation in the industry for treating people well and always taking care of the customer. He works alongside his son Rin, importing and selling some of the best overland equipment in the world. (for more information on OK4WD: ok4wd.com)
When a man asks you to install a never-before-seen differential and you’re Jim Oostdyk, you’re very intrigued. It’s about 1990, it’s muddy in Northwestern New Jersey, and you’re not sure just what this thing is going to do.
“There’s a hill behind our shop that we use to test our work,” Jim recounts, “and this guy takes his newly installed “air locker” and cruises right to the top. We’re down below, at the point where we always get stuck, looking up at him in awe. At that time, we’d never seen anything like it.”
This is the story of the first air locker installed in North America—told by the man who installed it.
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