They mechanically lock the rubber to the rim so that sidewall sag from less than stock psi doesn’t drop the bead and leave you stranded. An added bonus to these is that their distinctive look adds to the curb appeal along with other Jeep mods.
Speaking of tires, they do absolutely no good if side to side movement with low pressure causes them to slip off the rim. Being in the middle of nowhere with rubber out of place and no way to change it is an awful situation. However, there are already bead lock rims on the market to prevent this exact problem.
The Lightning was so popular that it was brought back from 1999 to 2004 and now, Pioneer Ford a dealer in Bremen, Georgia, is sort of selling a new version of the Lightning. They are building 650-hp supercharged F-150s that imitate the look of the original Lightning. If you have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket you can stick one in your garage.
It also takes more torque to get oversized wheels turning which saps overall output and drains the gas tank much faster than normal. Swapping to lower gears and increasing the number in your gear ratio may be enough to offset the difference. A notable exception here is diesels, which sometimes put out so much torque that the difference with larger wheels isn’t noticeable.