Goatbuilt founder Drew Burroughs on Episode 112


Based in the hub between Chicago and Milwaukee, Drew Burroughs is making a name for Goatbuilt, not just in off-road, but in the Midwest manufacturing hub.  Drew found his way into off-road through the Polygoats at San Luis Obisbo and hasn’t turned back. Listen in on Episode 112 on any of your favorite podcast channels or even on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Conversations with Big Rich on your favorite Podcast Player


4:22 – I’ve been working on helicopters for as long as I can remember

17:35 – I bought a Jeep, and then I bought a magazine, that was the start…

24:52 – introduced to the Polygoats

34:25 – I got keys to the shop

43:12 – they were spraying garlic and fish oil

53:28 – that’s my introduction to the industry

1:08:18 – let’s make this thing in a machine shop

1:18:19 – you can just buy it and weld it together

1:28:27 – there’s so much stuff built here

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


[00:01:40.720] – Big Rich Klein

Today on today’s episode of Conversations With Big Rich, we are talking to Drew Burroughs. Drew is the owner of Goatbilt. He went to Cal Poly, Pomona and was in the Polygotes Club, I imagine, and has been around the four wheel drive industry most of his adult life. So, Drew, thank you for coming on board and spending some time talking with us.

[00:02:10.510] – Drew Burroughs

Yeah. Good to talk to you, Rich. I’ve been a fan of the show and glad to be on it and kind of tell my story, I guess. First off, I was at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

[00:02:22.930] – Big Rich Klein

Did I say Pomona?

[00:02:24.400] – Drew Burroughs

You said Pomona, which is like, I don’t care, but it’s like that kind of like rival. I went to Cal Poly St. Luis. I went to the real Cal Poly.

[00:02:34.870] – Big Rich Klein

I had a friend that went to Pomona.

[00:02:36.920] – Drew Burroughs

Oh, yeah.

[00:02:37.820] – Big Rich Klein

As an architect. And for some reason I always say that, but the girl that I went through high school as being, like, boyfriend-girlfriend went to San Luis Obispo.

[00:02:49.780] – Drew Burroughs


[00:02:50.200] – Big Rich Klein

So I should know. But I always say Pomona.

[00:02:52.790] – Drew Burroughs

So I apologize for that. No, that’s fine. I don’t know if you want to start over, edit it.

[00:02:57.560] – Big Rich Klein

No, we didn’t leave that part in. I don’t mind making mistakes. I don’t make them very often. So let’s jump right in. And were you born and raised in that area?

[00:03:12.230] – Drew Burroughs

No, I was actually born in North Carolina. I grew up in Central Valley, California because my parents were from there. But my parents were living out in North Carolina at the time and had me there when I was nine. My family moved back to California. I grew up there like kind of out in the woods playing in the woods all day, all night, and had a blast living there. Then we moved to Central Valley. So it’s a little town kind of Wasco McFarland just off 99 north of Bakersfield?

[00:03:49.050] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. That’s kind of like at one time that was nothing more than really a gas station stop.

[00:03:55.070] – Drew Burroughs

Yeah. Right now with all prisons, you know. Yeah, exactly. Prison town.

[00:04:00.910] – Big Rich Klein

Well, they got to put them somewhere.

[00:04:02.760] – Drew Burroughs

Yeah. Like I said, when I was nine, so my family had a 320 acres that my dad grew up on when he was a kid. So we moved back to that. My parents are the house my dad grew up in.

[00:04:21.030] – Big Rich Klein

How old were you when that happened?

[00:04:22.900] – Drew Burroughs

So I was nine. Okay. So I went to a little school there. Little tiny school. I mean, there were twelve kids in my class, so I grew up around there. I went to McFarland High School, which is some people there’s a movie called McFarland USA with Kevin Costner. That was like my high school and like when I was there. So it’s a funny Hollywood picture made about my high school and I had nothing to do. Sorry about all the cross country. A lot of the Hispanic migrant farm workers running cross country. And so it was a pretty good Disney movie, but it’s pretty good. So that’s kind of I was not involved in the sport or anything, but it’s just kind of a funny story about where I grew up. So my dad’s, a helicopter mechanic, went to Vietnam, learned that when he went to Vietnam, he was a crew chief on a Huey. And after that he just learned the skill. And after he got out, he just kind of did that the rest of his life. So he was in North Carolina working doing that there. He works with his missionary group called Jars.

[00:05:38.560] – Drew Burroughs

And they basically did like it was missionaries and they supported them. Like they had aviation and radio and Bible translators. So they would like fly that. They had this whole little aviation Department where they get all the missionaries out. I mean, this is like Papa, New Guinea and the Philippines and just pretty remote jungle areas. So they get all the missionaries out there and out the little small planes and helicopters and then they had radios for them to communicate. This is the 70s, right. And they also had part of their organization. They translated the Bible and all whatever the native languages are. So the government gave them some surplus helicopters, but they had to be completely overhauled. So my dad, he went back there and basically overhauled and rebuilt these helicopters. And then when they got done, he moved back. Yeah. So back to California, moved back. And my dad had a shop at our house and he just worked on helicopters there basically all the kind of crop dusters around there had the old Bell and Hiller still piston engine, old helicopters and spraying. So he just worked on them locally around there. He had customers all up around the Valley.

[00:07:02.530] – Drew Burroughs

So I kind of grew up in the shop and literally working on helicopters ever since I can remember.  READ MORE


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