I spent the better part of three years searching for an aftermarket wheel that not only looked good cosmetically but was designed to meet the rigors of off-road conditions. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been very picky when it comes to the style of a wheel. Generally speaking it takes a lot to impress me since I find many designs to be unappealing for one reason or another. As such, you can imagine my elation when I first laid eyes on the Rock Monster, a wheel that not only looked good, but was specifically designed with rugged conditions in mind. Hutchinson Industries, the company behind the Rock Monster series wheels, has been manufacturing heavy duty aluminum beadlock and run-flat wheels for the U.S. military for more than two decades. Their product lines are specifically targeted towards emergency recovery and military support vehicles in the field. These wheels have undergone extensive testing and have proven themselves again and again under rather extreme field conditions. Suffice it to say, they are designed to withstand some serious punishment.
Unlike a traditional one-piece wheel, the Rock Monster is a split-rim design where the outer facial portion of the wheel is removable. This two-piece design enables Hutchinson’s proprietary beadlock ring to be installed prior to wheel assembly. Once the beadlock is in place, the wheel is assembled, effectively pinching both the inner and outer tire beads between the respective rims of the wheel. This method for beadlocking is not only high effective, it’s also extremely safe. So safe, in fact, that Hutchinson Rock Monsters are the only beadlock wheel that has been approved by the department of transportation (DOT). Because Hutchinson holds military contracts, they are held to higher standards than traditional wheel manufacturers. As a result, these wheels are produced with extremely tight tolerances. They offer two different sizes of beadlock rings so you’ll need to know what tire you plan to use before ordering, to make sure you get the right size beadlock. Continue Reading →