A Finely Tuned Machine- Eastwood Employees Makes Us Tick
We want to share the great Eastwood staff with you, our customers! We have asked them to fill out the first five questions, and then pick 5 random questions from a “Wildcard” section of questions. We allowed them to answer these however they’d like. You’d be surprised at what some of us have to say!
1. Name and Title at Eastwood?
Andy Burns – Product Manager
2. What the heck do you do all day?
As a Product Manager I have a laundry list of tasks at Eastwood. Most tasks involving bringing new products to market including ideation, development, testing, and bringing product to market and available to our customers.
3. Did you come from an automotive background before Eastwood? What did you do before Eastwood?
I came from the Automotive Aftermarket where I developed OEM replacement parts for the better part of a decade. As a kid my addiction to cars started with building a go-cart with my father who is a pipe fitter by trade. I then graduated to British sports cars, which broke the bank for a high school student trying to build off of a part time budget. Eventually, I found myself working on Jeeps and other off-road vehicles. Little did I know, a cheap Jeep Cherokee project would shape my automotive future. I built the Jeep into a rock crawler then into a rock racer. Competing locally in multiple sanctioning bodies. This snow balled into a partnership with a friend and fellow racer. We had teamed up a couple times and had great results and I eventually joined his team full time as a mechanic and co-driver. We built a new car and have raced and won multiple championships on the east coast including RCrocs and Line Mountain 4Wheelers. We have raced and landed on the podium at The Mint 400 in Las Vegas and have qualified and raced King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley California multiple times. Needless to say, one little Jeep turned into one giant off-road adventure across the United States.
4. When not talking cars, tools, and restorations all day, what are a few of your hobbies?
Cars tend to dominate my conversations and hobby time but other than that, I mountain bike as often as I am able to.
5. What’s your favorite Eastwood product? Why?
My favorite product tends to be the next big product that I am working on launching. Technically I can’t talk about what that product might be.
Active products, the MIG250 would be my favorite product at the moment. I grew up ARC welding off of a 40 year old generator/transformer welder that taught me a steady hand but appreciate the brute force of a powerful machine in the hands of the right fabricator. The MIG250 is a beast for its size and pushes the limits of household current and the thermal rating of even your thickest welding gloves. Being compatible with a generator, the MIG250 travels all over the country in our race team’s tractor trailer so we can do repairs in the pits on our own or other team’s race cars.
6. What’s your favorite thing about working for Eastwood?
My favorite thing about working for Eastwood is being able to fuel my passion for cars and racing in my everyday work. When I was developing OEM replacement parts for cars I loved my job but could only install those parts on my car if I had an issue. At Eastwood I can develop a tool that I can use to make my car better or faster. Then people all over can use that same tool to work on their cars and see instant results. It is satisfying to say the least.
7. What’s the first tool you reach for in the garage (what do you use most often?)
When in the garage doing normal work, I will almost always have a standard wrench or 3/8” flex ratchet on my tool cart at all moments.
8. Do you have any prize possessions? What are they?
I wouldn’t say that my family is a possession, but they are the most important thing in my life. Possession come and go, the memories you make with them are what is important to me.
9. Do you have any projects going right now? What are you building, restoring, or a job you are tackling next?
Right now I am building up my garage/shop at my house. Strategically mapping it out so that I can repair and build my projects efficiently. There is nothing more frustrating than having the shop you are working in negatively impact your project.
As for automotive projects, I have been slowly working on my Dodge Ram and turning it into an off-road expedition vehicle, so that we can go on trips and comfortably live out of the truck in remote places. We use the truck as support and recovery for the race team, so it needs to be able to get through tough terrain while carrying tools, spare parts and fuel but also comfortable enough to sleep out of during a mountain biking or fishing trips.
The racecar is always a project. After every race the car needs to be torn down and prepped for the next race. Right now the car is getting a new For Coyote 5.0 with a Roush blower, so we need to make sure the rest of the car is built to withstand the new found horsepower and torque going to all four 40 inch tires.
10. You have one wish, what is it?
Since we have already raced some of the most iconic off-road races in the country, I would love to race Baja. Whether it be the 250, 500 or 1000, I want to concur that race and get on the podium. There are a lot of logistics to work out, but we might have a shot at making it happen in the next year or two.