Young Guillermo Gutierrez paid close attention to his older brothers growing up. He watched as they modified their trucks in the garage and studiously observed their attention to detail.
“Since I was little I saw how my brothers modified their trucks … they always instilled in me that it should be with ARB products because of the quality, operation, and attention. They are among the best in the market,” he says.
Currently, Guillermo owns a Gen 2 Toyota Tacoma 4×4. During the course of the build, he carefully chose ARB products to help him successfully adventure through a variety of tricky off-road scenarios. From the front bumper, skid plate, and auxiliary lights to recovery straps and more, Guillermo has grown to trust the ARB brand on his own level.
One day Guillermo was navigating through a trail in Florida’s Okeechobee off-road area with another Gen 2 Tacoma, equipped similarly to his. In the beginning, they discovered a lot of muddy trails, but nothing they couldn’t overcome. They kept moving forward, however, and as they came upon marshy areas, the water levels started to creep up. They remained steadfast in their decision and they pushed ahead and moved on.
“We kept moving forward and as we advanced we found small swamps, the water started to level up but we decided to move on. After a few miles the water was everywhere and deeper,” Guillermo explained, “so my truck which is very heavy because of the way it is equipped, was having a hard time getting through the swamps.”
Water was infinitely seen. And, it was deep. It became increasingly difficult for Guillermo’s truck to navigate the mucky water. Eventually he got stuck, and water began to penetrate the vehicle.
“The first thing I thought as soon as the water entered the car was, ‘this is not going to end well.’”
However, with the help of the other Tacoma, Guillermo and his buddy used their WARN 9.5 xp-s winch and grabbed a secure ARB recovery point beneath his bumper, it was a while before they were able to free the vehicle and depart the area.
The location of the ARB recovery point gives an angle that allows for easy winch line attachment. This all-important add-on does not damage wire or synthetic rope; it also allows simple access to grab the shackle once a recovery is done. The ARB recovery point is rated for use with a 4.75t rated bow or D-style shackle and up to 17,500lb snatch strap—which was perfect to help Guillermo free himself from the mucky swamp water.
Because Guillermo had equipped his vehicle with this recovery point, he was able to prevent what could have been catastrophic damage and change the ending of an otherwise doomed adventure.
In addition to the ARB recovery point, Guillermo’s truck was armed with water-adventuring upgrades: an ARB differential breather kit and an ARB Safari Snorkel. They were fully prepared when the going got stuck.
“Before any trip it’s important to prepare the vehicle,” Guillermo stated. “Complete a check of the unit; investigate the place where you are going to be sure what to expect and what to bring.”
A GPS device, straps, snatch block, and shackles are essential. “Also, the road that you are traveling, is going to influence the way you equip the truck.”
Additional upgrades, like ARB skid plates, gave Guillermo peace of mind as critical underbody components of his Tacoma were fully protected during the trek. An ARB front bumper rounded out his build; this upgrade was especially helpful to protect the front end as the duo of trucks navigated through deep water and mud.
At the end of the day, both Tacomas managed to get off the trail without further complications and with no damage to the vehicles. Nothing that a good wash couldn’t solve, he was ready to continue on to another adventure!
To Guillermo, ARB is not only about off-road products, ARB envelopes his family’s life. Since 2015, Guillermo has traveled with his wife throughout a large part of the United States. Their first trip was the entire East coast from Florida to Maine. The duo also crossed the United States from Florida to California, visiting most of the states and enjoying the country’s natural beauties such as Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Bonneville Salt Flats, Antelope Canyon, and Zion National park among others.
This year, the duo hopes to take their young daughter to Yellowstone National Park so she can experience the life of adventure.
ARB Touring products, such as the ZERO refrigerator, heavy-duty awning, Simpson III rooftop tent, and ARB camp chairs take Guillermo and his family’s comfort to another level. Be it camping, going to the beach, or for times when he least thinks he’ll need them, they’re there. To Guillermo, ARB is an essential part of his lifestyle.