Breaking Arizona Waterfalls and more with Rob Bonney, Episode 17


This is a fun one, Rob Bonney, OG rockcrawler from Arizona.  He’s a trail breaker on those big waterfalls you’ll find there and goes back to the early, early days.  Find out some strategies the best spotters use, and call him for your resto work – on Anything – you want to build.

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3:17 – never doubt the determination of a 14 year old with a new to him truck

5:16 – Learning from the best of the best

6:44 – Who’s the king of the bump?

10:46 – Something to be said for having the most fun

14:24 – That was Hot!

25:01 – What impacts how trails change the most

36:36 – respecting the judges, but listen to the strategies as well

45:31 – If it makes sense, we’re NOT doing it

52:32 – tell me about rear-steer


Rob Bonney Fabrication, Peoria, Arizona


[00:01:21.380] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have one of the OG Rock crawlers, Rob. Bonney, he’s a Arizona rock crawler. And we want to hear his side of the history of rock crawling from the beginning. All right, Rob. Bonney. Long time no see. It’s so great to have you on with us and talk about the history of rock crawling from your perspective and how you got started. So tell us. Let’s start off with where where did you grow up?


[00:01:49.790] – Rob Bonney

Where did I grow up? I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Born and raised. And this is why I chose this as my background. Yeah. F.J. 40 behind me. My parents bought 1977. The year I was born. So that’s how I got started riding around in the back of that thing. I used to hang from the rollbar like a monkey, you know, and trail ride. And my my dad is the kind of guy that likes to destroy things.


[00:02:12.650] – Rob Bonney

So we buy something new. And then he’d take it out. Usually the first weekend and rip the bumper off or get it stuck or that’s that’s where we came from. Just doing stuff like that. See the outdoors.


[00:02:24.750] – Big Rich Klein

Awesome. It’s great to see that you have the vehicle that you grew up riding in. That’s so many people don’t have that opportunity and start looking for their old rides. I got started about the same time. It was 81-82, but it was through a father in law that that took me wheeling on the Rubicon or in the area the Rubicon first.

So the year you were born, I was already graduated from high school. So yeah, a little age difference but that’s OK. You’re still an O.G.. So OK, if you got started that early, that means you’ve been wheeling all your life, pretty much our life in the in the Arizona area. How what was your first vehicle?


[00:03:09.120] – Rob Bonney

My first vehicle, and I still have it. 1952 M37 Dodge military truck, which I bought for 400 bucks down the road from me.

You know, some old rancher had it and. My parents, I was 14 years old and my parents were like, uh huh. Go ahead, buy whatever you want. That thing’s never gonna run, you know. But it did. And here I am. And I still have it like it’s sitting in the shop. I’m getting ready to refresh it after all these years. I’m getting ready to finally refresh it. You know, it’s not going to be thing.

I say not hardcore, but it’ on 42″ tall  tires and I put the doubler in it. But you know what I mean. Not hardcore like buggies.  READ MORE



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