A Monster Is Born
Each Monster Jam truck begins life as a mess of tubes, which are then welded together to form the chassis of the truck. The process takes approximately 90 hours to complete, with more than 20 of those hours dedicated to welding the pieces together.
Heart In A Cage
The complete chassis weighs approximately 1,900 pounds (862 kilograms) and can handle up to “a quarter million pounds of force,” according to vice president of operations Bill Easterly. Drivers sit in the center of the cage, and the chassis can last nearly a half-decade before being retired.
Lexan is used at the front and rear of the chassis in order to help the driver get a better view of his or her surroundings. This is a necessity, as the flamboyant fiberglass bodies worn by Monster Jam trucks significantly limit drivers' available visibility.
Power for most Monster Jam trucks is supplied by a supercharged 8.8-liter V8 engine that makes between 1,300 and 1,500 horsepower (969 and 1,119 kilowatts). Brodozer, however, is the exception to this rule, as it sheds the typical gas-fed V8 for a mighty diesel-drinking twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
In order to keep both drivers and fans safe, every Monster Jam truck features caged driveshafts. This way the big hunks of metal can be contained should they separate from the axle or powertrain. Inside, each truck contains a full-containment seat with integrated head and neck restraints, a seven-point seat belt, and integration for the HANS device (a head restraint system that limits head and neck injuries) to ensure drivers remain safe while performing various screwy stunts. Still, work as a Monster Jam truck competitor does take its toll on the body, with driver Ryan Anderson joking that drivers' backs "[age] in dog years."
An Axle To Grind
Monster Jam trucks rely on chunky Rockwell F106 axles to transfer the engine’s grunt to the ground. A locking rear-differential and an electric-assist rear-steering system allow the trucks to easily pull off stunts such as wheelies and donuts. Meanwhile, a two-speed automatic transmission serves as the middleman between the big bent-eight and the differentials. Stopping comes courtesy of a disc brake mounted to the front of each axle.
Shocks & Awe
Each Monster Jam truck is fitted with massive shock absorbers that offer approximately 24 inches (61 centimeters) of travel up front and 28 inches (71 centimeters) of travel in the rear. The shocks are built in-house and each weighs approximately 60 pounds (27 kilograms). A total of eight are attached to every truck, netting a total mass of almost 480 pounds (218 kilograms) in shocks alone.
Body Of The Beast
Like the masks of the lucha libre, the bodies of Monster Jam trucks are definitive to each vehicle’s persona. The fiberglass shells vary in cost, with each hand-painted body of Grave Digger priced at approximately $12,000, per driver Adam Anderson.
Ain’t Nothing But Tires
A set of massive 66-inch (168-centimeter) tall tires are built specifically for Monster Jam by Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT). The 43-inch (109-cm) wide rubber mounts to a set of 25-inch (65-centimeter) by 34-inch (86-centimeter) steel wheels, the combination of which weighs more than 2600 pounds (2948 kilograms) combined, or between 650 and 700 pounds (295 and 318 kilograms) per corner. In total, a complete Monster Jam truck weighs approximately 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms.
Monster Jam trucks are trailered to various events. The massive trailers are each responsible for carrying two trucks, eight tires, an extra engine, two transmissions, and a variety of tools. Each trailer costs approximately $120,000, which includes various attachments such as cabinets, an interior loft, and more.
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