The Kingpin of Florida wheeling on Episode 85, Ricky Artes


Jeepers Den and Ricky Artes are synonymous with Florida wheeling. You’ll find Ricky everywhere.  Check out how he got started and where he’s going from here in Episode 85 of Conversations with Big Rich.

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5:56 – I need to get out of the sun

12:39 – the biggest thing was customer service and work ethic

20:56 – I’m still pulling sand out of my Jeep

30:51 – I was still painting the damn showroom

38:16 – I do a full rollover in the air, land on my tires, my Ray-Bans were crooked

42:13 – you can’t DQ me if he beats your ass

50:43 – there’s always room for people behind me in the line

1:06:24 – is this supposed to be a secret??


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


[00:01:20.170] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations With Big Rich. We have Ricky Artes. Ricky is an old mod stock competitor back in We Rock and also the owner of Jeepers Den and does a lot of social runs in the offroad industry. And we’re going to talk to him about his life, early life and how he got into offroad and about Jeepers Den in Florida. There Ricky, thank you for coming on board.

[00:01:48.490] – Ricky Artes

Thank you for having me, Rich.

[00:01:50.070] – Big Rich Klein

Let’s just jump right in like we always do and say, hey, where were you born and raised?

[00:01:57.370] – Ricky Artes

I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and lived there until I was ten. And then we moved to the US with my mom and have lived here since. And the rest of my family is all down there.

[00:02:10.340] – Big Rich Klein

Okay, so a little West Side story going on.

[00:02:14.050] – Ricky Artes

Yeah, there you go.

[00:02:16.570] – Big Rich Klein

So what would yours like in Puerto Rico? I’m sure you remember it since you were there until ten.

[00:02:24.850] – Ricky Artes

Well, I was there until I was ten, and then I went back a lot. Anytime I was off of school, I went back and stay with my dad. Early life in Puerto Rico. Man, it was good. We did all the things that you think about we should have done when we were kids. It would rain and you get a leaf off of a plantain tree or something, and you ride that down the gutters. And then you go ride your bike through the water and you run around barefooted and all the stuff that all the kids should be doing, right.

[00:02:56.340] – Ricky Artes

And we just played. We just went out and did stuff. Not much. School was good. I learned English because my mom was adopted. So when we went to my grandparents house after school, you spoke English there, then you spoke Spanish at home, but it was just fun down at the beach all the time. And then I moved to the US. And when I went back, it was just fun times because I didn’t have to go to school. I didn’t have to work. I didn’t have to do anything.

[00:03:25.570] – Ricky Artes

So I went back quite a bit till I was 15. And then after that, I just kind of went back a couple of times a year after that.

[00:03:33.460] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. And I’ve never been down to Puerto Rico or any of the Islands in that area. The Caribbean. I guess that is.

[00:03:45.230] – Ricky Artes


[00:03:46.970] – Big Rich Klein

I know it’s a US territory and has voting rights and all that kind of stuff. But what is it like compared to the other Islands down there?

[00:03:58.610] – Ricky Artes

Puerto Rico is nice. The bad areas just like anything else.

[00:04:04.620] – Big Rich Klein


[00:04:05.470] – Ricky Artes

But as long as you’re a tourist and you go to the tourist areas, you’re usually not going to get messed with. But it is a beautiful island. It’s got a lot to do there. Rainforest, it’s got beaches. Man, you got anything we off-road like crazy down there. So there’s just everything you can think about. You can do there. But it’s definitely a beautiful place.

[00:04:30.590] – Big Rich Klein

So were sports. I would imagine soccer was probably pretty big.

[00:04:35.450] – Ricky Artes

Yeah. Soccer was always big. Basketball, baseball. Okay. Those were usually the three main ones.

[00:04:42.500] – Big Rich Klein

So when you were in school, were you Scholastic or did you play sports or were you just did your own thing?

[00:04:51.870] – Ricky Artes

In high school, I’ve always been in choir and stuff like that. And I played soccer, did some basketball. But I was always a big time into singing. And then soccer was my main thing. And then from the time I was 14, I had to get a job. So I always worked, played sports and did my thing. But then school wasn’t for me after that. So I did a year or two of community College and then decided to get out.

[00:05:18.890] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. And when you said you needed to work, what kind of jobs did you have or was there one specific job?

[00:05:26.390] – Ricky Artes

Oh, no. I worked at Hardees. I worked at Dunkin Donuts, then finally went to work for Publix and stayed there. And then about the time I turned 18, I had said, Man, I don’t really ever want to work for anybody ever again. So I quit most of my jobs and started my detailing business and detailing. Got into accessories and from accessories, it got into where I’m at now.  READ MORE


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