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Many of us dream of being able to ride, or have a
drive in a Monster Truck.
Some of you have probably had a chance to ride in
the back of a Monster Truck Ride Truck.
But have you ever had a chance to ride in a Monster
Truck as it Crushes cars in a competition ?
Having to be strapped in, wear a crash helmet, protective
clothing, & seeing the sky directly in front of you, as the front of
the truck points straight up into the air, as it goes over the cars, &
then get bounced around as the truck comes crashing back down.
Well I was given that opportunity. You might be thinking
how can that be ? Well I'm going to tell you how I was able to ride in
the Monster Truck called Goliath
the AM/PM Rocket), which is fitted with two seats.
My first ever time ridding in a Monster Truck, was in the BIGFOOT
ride truck in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1997. For me it was a childhood
dream come true, even if it was just in the back, it was still a Monster
Truck & I was in it.
As most of the modern day Monster Trucks, all have fibreglass bodies,
they only have one seat for the driver, surrounded by the roll cage, as
that is all that is required. That means there is only room for the driver
in the cab during racing.
Some modern day monster trucks have room to accommodate a person
if they hold on to the roll cage, like I did quite a few times in the Sudden
Impact Monster truck in the summer of 1998, driving from the infield,.
Some of the older 1980's early 90's Monster trucks, which had the
original steel bodies on them, where fitted with two racing seats, so a
passenger could come along for the ride. The Goliath is one of them.
The Goliath Monster Truck, which until a few years ago was the AM/PM
Rocket truck, was brought over to England in a 1992 & toured across
the UK with BIGFOOT 6 & the Miami Thunder trucks. It now tours with
the Bandit Monster Truck (which was originally a Carolina Crusher truck),
while BIGFOOT 6 (now called the Raging Bull) & Miami Thunder, tour
across the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) with the Castrol Crusher (another
Carolina Crusher truck) Monster Truck.
The Bandit & Goliath are part of a stunt show which tours around
the UK & both go over the cars a couple of times during the show, with
the spectators, deciding who is the better truck.
On Friday 9th April 1999 the show came to a venue, in a part of London,
England, near where I live. I went down for the day, to hang out with the
guys, while they got the Monster Trucks ready for the show & set everything
else up. I'd met up with them before at a previous show in 1998.
As the trucks do a show most days, for months on end, they aren't
pushed to the limits, like they would be in America. Also there is a lack
of available parts in the UK, so parts have to be shipped over from the
USA, which takes a while.
As the show was in the evening, & the lighting at the venue wasn't
very good, I knew I wouldn't be able to take any decent photo's. So when
I was given an offer to ride in the Goliath as it crushed some cars, I
jumped at the opportunity. The show had motorcycle stunts, vans on
two wheels & lots of other thrill show antics. The driver of Goliath,
Aris Comninos who is also a proffesional stuntman, told me to make
my way over to the truck after the fire walker had done his performance.
As I got suited up, the adrenaline rushed through my body. It was
then time to climb up, into the truck. As I climbed onto the tire, pulling
myself up by grabbing onto the body, the reality was starting to set in.
I opened the door & slid into the racing seat. Aris showed me
how to strap myself in, & then ran through what would happen &
what to do. We would be going over the cars twice. He told me to pull my
straps tight, when he did his & to push on the roll cage, which
was above the windscreen in front of me, as we moved towards the cars,
to be crushed, & push myself back against the seat.
With my helmet on, it was time to do the show. As Aris fired up
the engine the vibrations made my heart start to pound. The truck jerked
forwards, as it was put into drive, and we then drove around the arena,
followed by the Bandit, showing the crowd the trucks, & giving them
a display of the four wheel steering of the two monsters.
We where to be first, to crush the cars. As Aris tightened his straps,
I pulled mine as tight as I could, & I pushed myself right back into
the bucket seat. The view out of the front windscreen is only a distant
one, so as you see the cars in front of you disappear, it suddenly supprise's
you, as the front tires hit the cars.
View out of the front windscreen
As we raced forwards my heart was pounding the cars that where in
front of us, went quickly out of sight then the moment of impact was upon
us. As the front tires hit the cars, the front of the truck launched
way into the air. The crowd in the distance suddenly disappeared &
the sky was all I could see, as the truck went up at a 90 degree angle.
At the same time the rear tires hit the cars & launched us even higher.
For a few seconds, time stood still, then suddenly the crowd in the distance
came back into focus, as the front of the truck came crashing back down.
That was my first proper car crush, & I had survived.
The crowd went wild.
As we drove back around the crushed cars, we then lined up, to crush
again. As we sped towards the cars for our final crush, the trucks second
pass wasn't as spectacular as the first, as the cars had been flattened.
The force of the impact, bounced my body around, even though I was tightly
As we sat in the truck, while the Bandit Monster Truck did his crushing,
I was able to loosen my straps & breathe properly !!
We then paraded around the arena in the truck, while the audience
cheered for the winning truck. Of course the Goliath was the clear cut
winner, with spectacular driving by Aris.
I would like to thank Aris Comnios for allowing me to ride in the
truck with him.
On Thursday 9th July I finally did it. I drove a Monster Truck.
Good friend of mine, John Seasock, let me drive his Sudden Impact Monster Truck.
As I sat in the drivers seat, John was also in the cab, holding onto the frame, as unlike the Goliath truck, the Sudden Impact truck is tubular frame truck, with a fibreglass body & only one seat.
First of all I had to reverse the truck. The gas pedal is very sensitive, as I found out. As I pushed it down, the fuel injection system was so powerfull, the truck flew back & nearly sending John flying out of the truck. John imediately hit the engine kill switch, & decided he'd move the truck, to around the back of the shop, for me to drive.
I then got the chance to drive the truck once more. The gas pedal was so hard to master, especially when your not wearing the apropriate foot wear. I managed to move the truck around the back of the shop, closely supervised by John, who was holding on for dear life, to the frame.
Now I want to know when John is going to let me have a drive of his new Sudden Impact truck ?
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