Everything is figure-outable with Jesse Haines in Episode 70


From Monster Truck lover to world-class buggy fabricator, Jesse Haines tells his history in fabrication and rock crawling.  His focus and drive have brought him to the pinnacle of his career with his family and friends cheering him on. If anyone can “figure it out” it’s Jesse Haines.

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4:13 – my goal in life was to own a Monster Truck

9:22 – we had some Epic Fights

12:04 – by the time I was done with the field trip, I’m like No, I’m not doing this

19:21 – first off-road competition was the Top Truck challenge

22:20 – a lot of things just worked out, ended up working for Troy Myers at the Badlands

25:20 – I wanted them to see my work in person, have an idea what I was capable of

26:57 – Hot Dog Mike asked me to spot for him

29:05 – I did horrible, there’s a lot to learn

37:15 – I just had to figure it out, took it to the finals and the car is a disaster

40:37 – First event in Jellico and I broke my back

48:48 – I didn’t deserve to win because of Randy’s showing in the Shootout

53:40 – the poop chute was the finale

1:01:30 – I built the Torchmate buggy, then quit and went to work for Torchmate

1:11:49 – I felt confident this stuff was going to work

1:21:50 – coming up with the ideas is one thing, coming up with a way to produce your ideas is another

1:27:44 – you’re losing your advantage because you’re giving it away

1:43:20 – you have to analyze every possibility on the course

1:54:30 – I did this before and caught hell for not mentioning my wife and kids


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.



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[00:01:20.420] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Jesse Haines, Jesse Haines Fabrication, Jesse Haines world-renowned Rock Crawler and Four-Wheel Drive enthusiast.

[00:01:34.940] – Big Rich Klein

Jesse, thank you for coming on board and talking about your history and off road with our listeners.

[00:01:42.200] – Jesse Haines

Yeah, no problem. I’ve been looking forward to doing it for a while.

[00:01:45.590] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah, we talked about it real early in the year or late last year and just haven’t been able to find time to do it. But here we are.

[00:01:53.990] – Jesse Haines

Yeah, it might have been when we were when we were moving. I can’t remember when we were moving last year or something, but.

[00:02:00.710] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. And getting ready for the new season and you had a lot of cars building which you probably still do, but we’ll get into that. So let’s start off with the same question I pretty much ask everybody. Where were you born and raised?

[00:02:17.070] – Jesse Haines

Grew up in Traverse City, Michigan, which is the northern lower peninsula, and lived there for, I think 24 years.

[00:02:30.330] – Big Rich Klein

OK, Traverse City, is that rural or is it a metropolitan area?

[00:02:38.160] – Jesse Haines

Well, I guess it’s somewhere in between I think it’s an area around one hundred thousand people, but. And I don’t know, I mean, if you look at the state map of Michigan, you know, you’ve got a few areas that are pretty densely populated, but once you start going farther north, there’s just not as many large cities. It’s the largest city for quite a ways, probably as far as going far north. It’s probably the last big city, I guess you’d say, but.

[00:03:14.120] – Jesse Haines

So, yeah, I mean, it was a. Decent sized town has grown quite a bit since then, too, but it’s more of a tourist area, it’s right on the. Somewhat, I guess you’d say it’s not Lake Michigan, but it’s technically Grand Traverse Bay. OK.

[00:03:29.840] – Big Rich Klein

So growing up there, how did you get your start? What was that? Did you did you ride bikes or what kind of you know, what kind of activities were you into when you were young?

[00:03:40.490] – Jesse Haines

Well, I was, you know, as a kid, just into all kinds of cars and trucks and different stuff. And I think it started with Legos and then models and then our car stuff. And you know, when I got old enough, it evolved into working on your own full sized car know real cars. OK, but, you know, before that I was always, you know, as a kid, I was always in the monster trucks like it, ironically, you know.

[00:04:13.510] – Jesse Haines

When I was a kid, I mean, I think my goal in life was to own a monster truck someday and. At this point, it’s like I could probably build a monster truck if I wanted to, but I just it’s not something I’m interested in anymore. But. One thing that’s kind of interesting is you go back and I bet I was maybe 10 years old or even younger, I remember watching on ESPN or ESPN two that they had desert racing quite a bit and they had the Mickey Thompson Stadium series stuff.

[00:04:47.730] – Jesse Haines

And I loved watching that stuff. I watch that stuff all the time. And as far as, like monster trucks, I mean, that was stuff that I knew what time each week the episodes would be. And I would, you know, absolutely make sure I didn’t miss that stuff. So, I mean, I was big into it when I was when I was young. Always the interested in Off-Road Motor Sport stuff.

[00:05:15.170] – Big Rich Klein

OK, let’s let’s talk about your early school years, were you scholastic, athletic both, or do your own thing?

[00:05:29.390] – Jesse Haines

And it seems seems like all of the above in a way, so I was I don’t know, I was somewhat good in school or capable at one point I was. I was on the other schools like Olympics of the Mind team, which was. For talented and gifted kids or something, you know, but the thing was, I, I just didn’t like school. I never really. Did extremely well, I just, you know, didn’t apply myself, I guess you’d say did enough to get through.

[00:06:04.690] – Jesse Haines

Yeah. So actually, when I was a kid growing up. I was really into hockey, I played hockey and. I was, I don’t know, maybe more into hockey than I was into Off-Road stuff, you know, as far as well as monster trucks. What’s the big thing? I guess when I was a kid, but I mean, I would just sit there in school and while the teachers teaching us whatever we need to learn, I was either drawing hockey goalies or monster trucks or some other type of crazy Off-Road thing, you know, and I still have some of those pictures that my mom saved that.

[00:06:44.810] – Jesse Haines

They’re funny to go back and look at all the stuff that I drew, but, well, I love drawing when I was when I was in elementary school and did it, you know, when I was supposed to be doing actual school work. Right.

[00:06:57.960] – Big Rich Klein

So what position did you play goalie then?

[00:07:01.370] – Jesse Haines

Yeah. So I was wanted to play goalie when I was younger. And just because I was always fascinated with goalie equipment, because they have such unique equipment and cool helmets and and so I didn’t actually end up playing goalie until I was 12 or 13 and played. Through college, basically, and I don’t know, I mean, I played on some pretty good teams and some pretty high level teams, our school had a Division one NCAA hockey team, and I essentially played on like the junior varsity team.  READ MORE


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