Off-road innovator and industry leader, Pat Gremillion, shares stories from his 30 years in off-road. Seller of Premier Power Welder and PullPal, Pat brings a wealth of knowledge and good cheer to our podcast. Listen in as we present Episode 50 with Pat and Big Rich.
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2:39 – growing up with a junkyard
6:13 – I’ve always loved welding
7:56– the beginning of off-road
9:59 –my father-in-law was an inventor
11:32 – PullPal was made for friends
12:44 – “if somebody told you, you could make a living having this much fun, you wouldn’t believe it”
14:51 – the start of Premier Power Welder
18:02 – I owe those magazine guys
22:00 – meeting Harold Off
24:35 – the January vendor show
32:20 – just like E.F. Hutton
37:28 – I ain’t scared
43:56 – go eat your lunch, old man
47:12 – the double PullPal
[00:01:20.310] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Pat Gremillion. Pat is one of the OG rock crawlers in competitive rock crawling. He’s also a business owner in the four wheel drive Off-Road Industry and an innovator. And we’re going to talk all about Pat’s life. And Pat, I want to say thank you so much for coming on board today. Thank you for having me. Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have a chance to sit and talk with you every time we see each other at Easter Jeep, I always love our conversations.
[00:01:57.850] – Big Rich Klein
So this will even be better than that, because I’m going to learn more about you today. And I probably have the whole time I’ve I’ve known you. So thank you. OK, thank you. So let’s let’s jump right in, where did you grow up and, you know, what were some of the early influences that you had?
[00:02:19.370] – Pat Gremillion
Well, I grew up in Louisiana, little town of Baker, and my best friend’s father worked for Chicago Bridge and Iron and Roy and I started welding with his dad when I was about nine years old.
He had a junkyard. We call it a junkyard. He called it a scrap yard and we got to cut, we got to do anything we wanted to. We’d cut hoods out of cars and dragging them around fields, that was our toboggans and, you know, I mean, it was it was beautiful, just absolutely beautiful. And that’s where I started welding and then. Oh, Lord, I went in the Marine Corps when I was 16. Wow, that’s early.
Yeah, yeah. It was one of those either/or things, you know, back then you. You had to draft and then, you know, Marine Corps or, you know, somebody wanted to talk to you over here, right? You know, if you it wasn’t that I was a bad kid. It’s just I was restless.
Understood. And let’s see, after that, I got out of the Marine Corps, met my wife got married.
And. Doing some odd jobs, you know, different things, and the welding was always the principal moneymaker. And we just. Well, we started a welding company, we never looked back. You know, it’s just work right, put your head down and go.
So in school in Louisiana, did you I mean, you grew up in a time where there was a lot of tech classes. I know my dad went to a tech high school.
Yes, they had them there. Yes, they did. We had tech classes at. Rich, I was a I won’t say I was a troubled kid, it’s just I was one of those kids that thought they knew everything.
All right, I get it, you know, and.
Yeah, it’s kind of it’s kind of when I left on my dad’s goes, when you hear that loud pop, call me. Do you know what I’m talking about? Yep. And so it took a while and then you realized what that loud pop was, it was your head coming out of your ass.
And, you know, but it took a while took a long damn time.
[00:04:53.820] – Big Rich Klein
All right, when you were in in the military there with the Marine Corps, yeah. Where were you stationed?
[00:05:01.140] – Pat Gremillion
Camp out in Camp Pendleton and Pioneer Battalion and demolitions. Demolition. That’s cool. We blew things up.
[00:05:08.640] – Big Rich Klein
And what time frame was that?
[00:05:11.190] – Pat Gremillion
60 to 64. OK. I got out right as things were popping.