Steadily emerging out of the low-lying regions of Louisiana and Texas over the last eight years has been an ATV phenomenon that refuses to be ignored. Aside from the near perfect New Orleans Saints and the rich history of the Dallas Cowboys, the first thought that comes to my mind when thinking of this region is the exploding sport of mud riding.
Spawned from weekend family gatherings where friends would ride, the smell of barbecues blanketed the air and good folks enjoyed time away from the hustle and bustle of life. This region now fills almost every weekend of the calendar with large events and gatherings that reflect those very same family traditions. The difference between nowadays and those early days is that they are now carried out on a much larger scale-and I mean much larger!
Brandon Gwin, aka BigN, is...
Brandon Gwin, aka BigN, is master of the Gorilla shop. If you can think it, he can build it.
If he's not attending an LSU...
If he's not attending an LSU game, watching the Saints on television or keeping track of Gorilla's spending, you might find CFO Josh Richardson inspecting axles for quality assurance.
Gorilla CV materials are actually...
Gorilla CV materials are actually stronger than automotive-grade CV materials and are made out of 4340 chromoly, which is like steel on steroids.
As the mud segment of the ATV market continued to grow, so did the components required to navigate these harsh swampy terrains. Not only were they growing in numbers being sold, but in sheer physical size as well. Extremely aggressive and oversized tires along with larger bolt-on modifications such as lift kits flooded the market. These in turn were taking their toll on weak stock axles. This is where the journey for a small automotive shop that specialized in front-end repair began its journey on a steep and successful upward climb.
Born and raised in the small community of Swartz, a suburb of Monroe, Louisiana, Jason Shanas labored week in and week out repairing both automotive and ATV CV axles for local customers through his company called CV Joints Plus. As the mud ATV market continued to flourish, so did the demand for a heavy-duty ATV axle. Being an avid outdoorsman and ATV enthusiast, Shanas was determined to develop a better solution to the problematic CV axles that could not stand up to the abuse of the growing aftermarket parts now available. With a large supply of automotive-grade CV parts readily available to him through his repair shop, Shanas set out to build axles that could hold up to the new demands placed on axles due to the beefier aftermarket components.
After a few runs and successful testing in 2004, Gorilla Axle was born and ready to make an offering to the ATV community that had never been seen previously. When asked why he chose the name Gorilla, Shanas said, "The name symbolizes strength and stamina." Being the curious cat that I am, I had often wondered where the name and eye-catching logo came from and now it all made sense. With such a demand for this beefier-style axle, Shanas realized that only offering this new product locally would be cutting both potential customers and his efforts short. Gorilla set out on a marketing campaign directed towards utility ATV enthusiasts to help spread the word all while continuing to improve upon and further develop the Gorilla Axle line of products. Things took off quickly from this point as Shanas continued to introduce Gorilla Axle to the ATV community. "Those early days were surprising and a bit overwhelming," said Shanas as he explained what it was like to experience this type of success in such a short amount of time and at such a young age.