Wheels: TWG on hunt for new Dirty Life dealer partners
It has been a big year for The Wheel Group (TWG) with the launch of its new Dirty Life wheel brand, new partnerships with racing, and progress made on a new tire range for the UTV segment that’s set to launch next year.
Traction News caught up with TWG’s director of brand management Joe Podlovits at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas earlier this month to talk about Dirty Life, which is part of the Cali Off-Road family, and potential opportunities for tire dealers across North America to partner with the brand.
“It’s a little bit of a different design to what people are used to seeing in this segment,” he said. “We’ve broken away and it’s a little bit more of an aggressive design.”
“Dirty Life is a brand we started this year and it’s going to touch on off-road, street, and UTV,” Podlovits said. “The UTV segment, as everybody sees, is exploding. So we’re able to come in at a good time with our UTV program of wheels and tires.”
The Dirty Life range includes 14” and 15” UTV wheels; 17”, 18” and 20” light truck wheels; and a race program. There are so far three lines: Ironman, Roadkill and Roadkill Race Series — a full beadlock wheel not yet D.O.T. approved in the U.S. The wheels are all U.S. designed and engineered but manufactured in Asia.
Dirty Life speaks to “weekend warrior” lifestyle
Podlovits said the name Dirty Life “spoke to a lifestyle” and had been well received by crowds at SEMA — especially with the kind of people “who are out in the dirt and the mud, playing.”
“Some of these guys live that lifestyle — the weekend warriors we call them. They work hard Monday through Friday and they want to go have fun on the weekend.
“They’re very driven by brand, by feel and by community. So the brand by itself is starting to form this little community. We’re seeing people from dirt bike racing, automotive racing, right down to guys who are doing 18-wheeler builds, all looking at this brand. They’re very interested in the name so we’re trying to touch on a little bit of culture within this brand. We didn’t expect that to happen so fast.”
To legitimize the brand Podlovits said TWG was forging partnerships with the racing world, including well-known competitions like Best of the Desert and King of the Hammers.
“It’s kind of our proving ground to say ‘if our product is good enough for these guys, this is the same product we’re going to build for you’,” he said.
Higher loads and strength
“Our wheels hold a higher load rating than most of our competitors. We go up to 3,640 pounds — which is the maximum load rating on our street series of wheels. We do tests on a 40-inch tire and that makes a difference because the taller the tire, the higher the load that’s put onto the wheel. So when you achieve that load rating of 3,640 pounds on such a large tire, it’s really beyond what most people will use it for. But it’s really just to tout how strong the wheel is.”
“We do a reinforced front flange. Where that’s helpful is if someone wants to use the wheel for day-to-day driving, that’s fine. But if someone decided they wanted to go into the dirt or off-road and into the rocks, it will take a side impact much heavier onto the face of the wheel without cracking or damaging the wheel.”
See the wheels in action here:
TWG is looking for dealers to partner with. For more information or to express your interest, visit their website.