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Anchor to whatever Mother Earth throws your way. Lightweight & small, it's the self-recovery anchor that's always with you. Go explore!
Anchor to whatever Mother Earth throws your way. Lightweight & small, it's the self-recovery anchor that's always with you. Go explore!
277 backers pledged $48,808 to help bring this project to life.

Production Update & Surveys

Posted by Deadman LLC (Creator)
6 likes

Wow! Has it been two weeks already?! So much has happened since our last update…

The BIG News

First of all, we’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Blue Ridge Overland Gear (BROG) as our manufacturing partner to assemble the Deadman! 

If you’re unfamiliar with BROG, you’re missing out. Based in Bedford, VA, these fine folks have been making quality overland gear for a very long time and have a history that goes back several decades to include military contracts and other heavy-duty industrial applications. Their name is synonymous with quality and their values are very similar to ours. We said we wanted to build Deadman Off-Road on the foundation of quality, respect for customers, and local partnerships - BROG ticks all three boxes. Even though we’re on separate sides of this great nation, the Overlanding community is small and tightly knit. Partnering with BROG allows us to work with others within our industry, keep our manufacturing here in the USA, and deliver a high-quality product. 

So we’re well underway on production and are still targeting to begin shipping the Deadman in late August. We will ship them in the order of our backers, so if you were a Super Early Bird backer, you will be first in line to receive the Deadman. We will be manufacturing them at a quick pace, so even if you backed us late in the game (or joined in the pre-order phase), you should still receive yours early in September. (If all you ordered was a shirt, hat, sticker, etc… we’ll be shipping those in a few weeks as promised!) 

Final Testing 

The way a break looks when the splice is strong
The way a break looks when the splice is strong

While BROG is getting the manufacturing line ready to crank these out, we’re hard at work doing some final testing on the design. We’ve been working with a local industrial rigging company since April to design, build, and test many different sling designs, looking for the strongest assembly configuration possible. We’ve been conducting certified destructive testing on these slings to certify their strength and have made many tweaks along the way as we’ve learned more about what it takes to make a bombproof sling. 

We’re narrowing in on our final design and will be sharing more details once we finalize the design. 

Surveys & Add-Ons 

In the world of Kickstarter, there’s this thing called a “survey.” Basically, it’s nothing more than us gathering the final details we need in order to deliver your reward(s) to you (e.g. your address, sizes for t-shirts and hats, etc). You should see this later this week, so keep an eye out for it – we can’t ship your reward without it! 

When you get your survey, you’ll have an opportunity to purchase additional items! So if your reward was a Deadman, but you also wanted a shirt – or you wanted a Murder Spork but didn’t pledge for that – this is your chance! We’re also offering some rad gear from our friends at Factor 55, Krazy Beaver Tools, and Scully Off-Road as well, so be sure to take a look through the add-on store when you get your survey. 

Thanks for being awesome!

The Deadman Team

Guidelines for successfully using the Deadman as a Ground Anchor.

Posted by Deadman LLC (Creator)
9 likes

We've been using the Deadman as a ground anchor for over two years now, so we KNOW it works. But it wasn't always like that... we learned the hard way, through trial and error, how to effectively use the Deadman in various recovery scenarios. Along the way, we also learned how to screw things up. We love our customers, so we figured it might be nice if we shared with you what we've learned, so you don't have to make the same mistakes! "Sharing is caring!"

 

"How deep should we dig, Dad?" 

Assuming you don't have a dedicated digging parter like Axle, one of our two four-legged mascots, the question of how deep to dig your hole is probably at the top of your list of head scratchers. Our rule of thumb is that a 24" hole will suffice most of the time. But we've learned that the Deadman's capacity is governed by the relationship between hole depth, soil density, and angle of the pull. So we'd like to address each of these separately and share with you what we've learned as guidelines to help you be successful when you head out to use the Deadman!

Soil Density 

Because the Deadman is more than a dead weight (see what we did there?!) and acts as a hook within the ground, the soil density around the Deadman plays an important role in its capacity. The rule of thumb here is high density = high capacity. So in soft sand (low density) we may dig a 30" hole to achieve > 4,000lb capacity, whereas a 20" hole in hardback (high density) will also hold about 4,000lb. So use your judgement - if the soil is soft, dig deeper!

 

Here's a little data for soft sand (e.g. Baja desert) we pulled from some field testing a few weeks ago. Even as we reached these peak loads, the Deadman still provided about 80-90% capacity as it tried to pull through the soil. Pretty cool!

 

Ok, but my vehicle is heavier than that! 

So is ours. Our company vehicle is a fully-loaded Tacoma, rolling on 35s, and weighs in around 6,000lb. You know what surprised us when we started measuring forces in recoveries...? It takes far less force to recover a vehicle than you might imagine. Every situation is different, but when recovering from being buried to the frame on level ground, we found that the force required was about 1/3 the vehicle weight when in Drive (1,800lb), and about 2/3 when in Neutral (4,000). This is why the Deadman, buried to 24" in soft sand (~2,600lb capacity), was able to recover a 7,000lb Jeep as it worked to climb the dune.

Angles matter, too! 

We've learned that the angle of pull also plays a role in the capacity of the Deadman. Depth and soil density remaining constant, the Deadman will hold more weight when it's above the vehicle vs below. Knowing this, you can compensate for a weak angle by digging deeper, or use it to your advantage by digging a shallower hole. In our field testing, we've used the Deadman in as little as 18" of hardpack atop a steep sandy climb and it never budged. (In another "test," we put the truck in reverse and played Tug-o-War with the Deadman buried at 16" in mud-covered clay - the Deadman won!) Every recovery situation is unique, so again, use your judgment and make adjustments based on your environment.

 

 

 

So, what's a good rule of thumb? 

We recommend 24" as a good starting point for most recoveries. If you're stuck really bad or are working with soft sand or low angles, consider going a little deeper. Or, if you're working with hard soil and just need a little help, start with a shallower hole. Every recovery is unique, so take a step back, assess the situation and make a judgement call. If the Deadman pulls out, nothing catastrophic happens because it's still weighted with all that soil you loaded into it. As the Deadman rises, it'll bring that soil with it, making it easier to dig underneath so you can lower it back in and try again with a slightly deeper hole.

And when you're done, hook 'er up 'n go!

Got more questions? Leave a comment - we'd love to talk about it! 

The Deadman Team

Add-ons & What's next

Posted by Deadman LLC (Creator)
6 likes

Hello friends! It's hard to believe that our campaign will end on Sunday morning... we've come so far, and we have you to thank!! To do so, we're giving all of our Kickstarter backers a free patch! You don't have to do anything... we're just dropping it into the box along with your pledge, whatever it was. 

Patches? Check!
Patches? Check!

Many of you have asked about how you can add-on additional swag to your pledge (i.e. you ordered a Deadman but wanted a hat, too!). Good news!! We've partnered with BackerKit to enable add-ons during the Kickstarter survey. Once the campaign ends, Kickstarter will process everyone's pledges. Then, about two weeks later we'll send out the survey which gets all the deets like your shipping address, t-shirt sizes, etc. That's when you can add additional items - it'll be like a regular eCommerce shopping experience where you can pick and choose!

We've got more updates coming this week, so stay tuned! 

The Deadman Team 

FUNDED! Thank you & what we were up to this weekend.

Posted by Deadman LLC (Creator)
13 likes

Wow... THANK YOU!! We're really blown away by the reception of this community and are humbled by your support. We reached our goal in a little more than 2 weeks and are already climbing past 100%! 

We respect the investment each of you has made in us, and we intend to honor that now and in the road ahead as we work hard to deliver on our promises. We're currently focused on certified load testing and finalizing elements of design, packaging, and labeling. Below is a look at a label design we're kicking around. These labels will have minimum breaking strength (MBS) of various sling configurations as well as instructions for use in different situations so it's always right there at the ready when you need it most.

Label prototype
Label prototype

Our Memorial Day weekend was spent on the road. We met with a manufacturer, did a product review video with the good guys at Krazy Beaver Tools, and spent a little more time in Vegas than we should have... No, not like that! The awesome dudes at Rogue Overland invited us out for a trail run in order to get a firsthand look at the Deadman and get some video for a product review. We say we stayed longer than we should have because we had a real recovery to conduct! (We're so used to getting stuck on purpose that it was a little weird to be broken down for real...)

While filming for their product review, we broke a tie rod on the Tacoma as we were climbing over an obstacle. It was one of those things were we weren't being crazy, but it was just the right (wrong!) angle at the right time. As we were cresting the top of the obstacle, the tires slipped into a notch in the rocks and pushed the tie rod past its limit. It bent at a 90 degree angle and it was immediately Game Over. 

Game Over
Game Over

We were about 1/2 way into the trail, it was about 7pm, and we had no cell service. The Rogue Overland guys sprung into action and sped off to rally the troops, buy parts, and get food. Meanwhile, Nick stayed back to help us try to get off the trail under our own power. 

This recovery was particularly interesting for us in that there was no good way to lift the truck (it was in the rocks at a very steep angle) and there weren't many good anchoring options. We discussed pulling the truck back down the obstacle onto level ground to attempt a fix, but that would ensure we stayed on the trail - we didn't have any spare tie rods with us. Instead, we looked for ways to straighten the tie rod without removing the wheel or backing the truck down. (Given that this was the biggest obstacle on the trail, we figured it'd be better to get through it before fixing the tie rod.) The Deadman made this possible! 

We needed to use the winch to pull the wheel at a 90 degree angle, meaning we needed to use two snatch blocks to bend the pull by 90 degrees or more. We attached one Deadman high as a tree strap, using its length to place the snatch block closer to the vehicle, thereby reducing the amount of winch line needed in the recovery. To bend the line back the other way so we could attach to the wheel, we needed to create an anchor immediately to the left of the wheel... but there were no trees large enough to be of any use. There was however, a loose boulder on the trailside, a perfect opportunity to use (another!) Deadman. Using a regular strap would have been a little sketchy as it could have easily slipped under/over the boulder as it moved across the ground. The Deadman created a much wider surface which held securely and didn't slip. The boulder was pulled into the small hillside as the winch line tightened and then stopped.  

Ingenuity!
Ingenuity!

Even with the triple line pull, the winch struggled to provide enough force to pull the tie rod straight, particularly since the wheel had settled into a notch. When we were just about to give up, the tire popped out of the notch and the tie rod bent right back into shape! We gave it some attention with the BFH (Big Effing Hammer!) and then splinted it. Yep, Gorilla tape, zip ties, and a few wrenches WORKED. We discussed using the batteries to weld the wrenches onto the tie rod, but didn't have the right stuff with us and figured the splint was worth a try. Kudos to Nick from Rogue Overland on this one - it held and we drove several rough miles in 2WD with a Bubba rope attached to Nick's BA Nissan Xterra whenever we hit anything that was too much for the crippled Taco. <insert Nissan-vs-Toyota joke here>  

Use what'cha got!
Use what'cha got!

In the end, we learned two things: 1) good friends are irreplaceable (even if you did just meet!) and 2) versatility in your recovery kit is critical in vehicle recoveries. No two recoveries are the same, nor is any recovery under "ideal" circumstances. In our case, we used everything we had with us - and a lot of ingenuity on the part of the three of us - in order to get off the trail. We used two Deadmen, two snatch blocks, a Factor55 Shorty strap, a 50' winch line extension, one metal shackle and three soft shackles (without which, we never would have been able to connect the Shorty Strap), a Bubba Rope, zip ties, gorilla tape, and wrenches... We created anchors out of what we found around us and managed to exit the trail around 10:30pm. The Rogue team eventually caught up with us at 12:30am and delivered food, tools, and parts. They were awesome and we're indebted to them for their assistance and hospitality! 

So we're absolutely convinced that the Deadman is the "world's most versatile off-road recovery anchor" and can't wait to get one into your hands! This is our passion and we're excited to share it with you as soon as possible!

The Deadman Team   

New video: Review with Krazy Beaver Tools

Posted by Deadman LLC (Creator)
2 likes

Good morning everyone! We're 91% funded and on track to be funded here in the next few days. Today, we're meeting with our manufacturer, discussing details of production, finalizing timelines, etc. 

Yesterday we spent the day with Jason from Krazy Beaver Tools, discussing the logistics of our custom shovel production. We also had some time to get outside and let Jason get a view of the Deadman in action firsthand. Sean from Pitbull Motor Toyz joined us and got himself good and stuck for a Deadman recovery. Here's the full video review:

We're honored by your support and are really looking to getting the Deadman into your hands soon!

The Deadman Team