TYLER McCAUL & HIS CAN-AM COMMANDER MAX RAMPAGE DIG RIG
Photos by Long Nguyen & Brandon LaJoie
If you were watching Red Bull Rampage this year, you likely saw a few riders cruising around in bad ass UTVs. Tyler McCaul was one of those lucky riders who got to utilize a custom-built Can-Am Commander Max DPS side by side, affectionally called The Dig Rig. Since we just got a Can-AM Commander of our own for a long term review, we decided to reach out to Tyler and get some input on his build, what he liked about it and how useful a side by side can be for mountain bikers.
The Loam Wolf (TLW): What Vehicle do you have? Year, make, model.
Tyler McCaul (TM): 2023 Can Am Commander Max DPS
TLW: Could you briefly talk about how you got this Can-Am and your feelings when you found out you were going to get one?
TM: Can Am hit me up a few months back saying that they were toying with the idea of building up a purpose built machine specifically catered to trail building. Something that would essentially be a work truck and shuttle rig, but with all the added benefits that come with a UTV. They said they would dub it the “Dig Rig” and it would be passed around to different riders, builders, and Can Am athletes to aid in builds and Freeride missions in remote places. I was then told that I would get to use it for Rampage which was huge for us as a build team during the event! I was pumped, and honored to be the one to christen the Dig Rig at Rampage.
TLW: Was the vision entirely yours, or did you draw inspiration from other rigs you’ve seen out there?
TM: I had never really seen another purpose built UTV like this before Chris from Can Am approached me with the idea. I worked closely with him when it came to what tools are essential for mountain bikers and trail builders. Some things that are essential for building in the forest (chainsaw, clippers, etc.) are useless in the desert and vis versa. Chris and his crew did a really good job of incorporating tools that can be used in every environment, and the Linq system makes it possible to store it all on the rig at once, or quickly remove and swap things around. The gear grips allow for tool storage along the side of the roof rack without sacrificing bed or roof space, and this leaves the bed open for water tank storage and whatever else you need to bring with you.
TLW: What has been the biggest thing you’ve noticed about driving/having this unit? Has it removed excuses on days you may not want to go out? Has it sped up how far you could go or number of laps? Has it allowed you to build more trails? Save wear and tear on your truck etc??
TM: All of the above, haha. So many of the roads out here in Southern Utah are so rough that it’s a chore to get to your destination and you’re either stressed about scratching or breaking your truck the whole time, or you’re stuck at a skinny section or big dip that you can’t get through. The Commander is still fun to rally, small enough to fit into tight washes and canyons, and more capable than any truck in most situations. It makes it fun to get to where you wanna go… mainly because you can get to places you never would have been able to get to before.
TLW: Living in Utah, it’s OHV heaven right? Are you taking this thing out for fun as well, or just using it as a tool?
For sure! It’s fun to rally at the dunes or any other OHV area, but you can still load up to 600 pounds in the bed if you wanna get some work done. It’s the best of both worlds.
TLW: What is your favorite part about your vehicle?
The dump bed is super handy. I didn’t think I’d use it much but it’s super useful for transporting rocks when I’m building up rock walls to stack a lip or landing.
TLW: Have you ever taken it somewhere that you were genuinely nervous that you thought you may not make it?
I’ve definitely driven it on some narrow and steep riddge hill climbs, and was aware that if I lost traction and didn’t make it up the hill it probably wouldn’t end well! I have not yet found the limit of what this thing can climb, and have been super impressed with it so far.
TLW: If you could change or modify anything about your build, what would it be?
I would probably add the bed extender that Can Am makes specifically for the Commander so that I can get even more bed storage out of it.
TLW: Got a funny story or crazy thing to tell about a time you were out with this?
Probably when we were headed in for the first day of building at Rampage this year. We had so many tools on the rig and even had a wheelbarrow strapped to the roof. We were able to fit more tools on the Dig Rig than people could fit in their truck beds.
TLW: Most memorable experience or place you’ve taken it?
So far I’ve only really taken it to Rampage, but have some trips planned coming up that will be a good time as well!
TLW: Any shops or people you’d like to thank for making this thing happen?
Chris Humbard from Can Am for taking this project on, and supporting mountain biking and trail building with projects like this!
Follow Tyler on Instagram: @tylermccaul
Learn More about the Can AM Commander at Can-Am.BRP.com