Learning to drive a monster truck: It's harder than you think
That was super fun.
And now I got to go throw up because I'm really dizzy.
You know it's not easy to drive a monster jam truck.
These things are 12,000 pounds of incredible horse power and destruction.
Wouldn't it be great if there was some kinda school like, I don't know, a university or something?
Wait, there is and I am here at it, here in Paxton, Illinois and I'm going to learn from the 12 time world champion, Tom Meents.
And check it out, I got my own truck and everything, yay!
Monster Jam University is actually in Tom menses backyard and today it is incredibly money.
Now if you want to be a Monster Jam driver you first have to pass a three day audition process then return for for three day training sessions.
Let's cover everything from learning how to operate the rear steering working on tricks like doughnuts, wheelies, and jumps and basic safety procedures.
Methods carved out both a stadium course and a smaller arena course and potential drivers train in the exact same trucks that they would compete in, minus all the body panels.
So normal racing applications.
Use the head and neck restraint when you have a crash.
We use it on every job.
Does that makes sense?
In addition to driving skills potential Monster Jam drivers get training in media so they know how to give a good post competition interview.
Even with all the adrenaline of having jumped their truck 35 feet coursing through their veins.
But even if a driver completes the training, they aren't a shoo in for the job.
One season there might be four positions open, the next only two, competition is fierce so it pays to be the best in training.
And you're all clear.
I don't know who your guy is, but you're going up to somebody.
[SOUND] Okay, so, I'm about to get in this beast.
We're gonna start with some ovals, which will involve using rear steering, and I have to say I'm really nervous.
I always get nervous before a race, but Yeah this is super nerve racking but the good thing is it's okay to be scared and then you just gotta push through the fear.
So I'm going to climb up this bad boy and do some models and kick some ****.
So give me hug
you mean are
You ever driven a monster GM truck before?
i have not
Today is the day.
Slightly wet here.
[INAUDIBLE] mostly muddy.
That's all right.
If it were easy, everyone would do it.
You've waited days.
You've waited months.
You've waited years.
We're like literally seconds away.
The first thing I realized doing the ovals and the figure eights is that I have to turn a lot earlier than I think.
Part of it is the mud of course.
But even with the rear steering, I really have to anticipate the turns and I can't move my head.
The racing [UNKNOWN] comes around my head so combined with the head neck restraints and the five point harness, the only things I can really move are my arms and legs.
All right, so the weirdest part about this About this.
Is that you?
You got to drive just by turning the wheel with your hand right?
And I got to
[NOISE] And I gotta turn really early.
So I wanna grip the steering but I can't.
And that's been the hardest thing to remember to do.
And this rear steering, is really difficult.
[SOUND] Operating that wheel steering is really tricky.
You can see I'm leaving at arm too long and over rotating the track.
It's fun, but probably not what Tom had in mind.
You're going to turn that automatic center off.
Turn the front all the way to the left.
Reel to end.
Start applying throttle.
Goes down with it kind of smoothly and just go down with it.
You know what I am saying?
Stay in one spot.
Spins like a top.
You got it?
[SOUND] Whole crap, I did a donut, a mud swinging, tyre slaying bad **** donut, the wheel steering is got a self centering features, so that it goes back to a neutral position when i let off on the switch.
Here for the doughnut, I want those rear tires at a maximum angle so the self-centred is turned off completely.
It's easy to feel when the truck gets a good rotation and then you just floor it and hang on.
Although wrote my first one my foot's not quite all the way to the floor and I'm pretty sure I can do better.
On my second try, I just go for it.
The truck starts to rotate so I ease onto the gas, I keep going faster and faster, everything is just a blur, just brown mud, green field and then there's blue blur of Some kind.
Centrifugal force is pushing me back into my seat, but the thing just keeps going faster, and faster, and faster.
And Tom is yelling something at me in the helmet.
No, ease off, ease off, ease off.
But the truck is so loud, I can't really make it out.
And suddenly I realized that I'm up on two wheels.
I spinned there for what seems like an etirnity before, the old gal just go over.
This women owned the contest, that's for sure.
My God, I'm gonna throw up.
All right, cool.
Hey great job.
I couldn't tell which side was up from your down.
All you gotta do is back up and [INAUDIBLE] right now but no.
Where to go pretty fast.
So that was really fun I don't know how it looked to you guys but I wanna barf,
It's really fast.
And once I started going, I was like, I don't know how to control this at all, like at all.
And you feel like even though you're going to, you lift, I felt like if I lifted, it was going to be even worse, but I guess that's not the case.
[LAUGH] And I knew it was going over, but then I couldn't figure out how to save it.
I was like, well, which way is the dirt?
Is it [INAUDIBLE] I'll turn it, I couldn't figure out which way to save it and then I went over.
So that was super fun.
And now I gotta go throwup because I'm really dizzy.
I am eternally grateful to the crew for cleaning up all that mud so we can move on to jumping.
Now I'm no stranger to leaving Terra Firma cars, I've jumped my own off road race car hundreds of times.
But it's so muddy and slick out I have a hard time just getting the truck to square up with the jump.
But, finally I do and I'm rewarded with a nice little fleet off of a jump with a nice soft landing piece of cake.
That was an easy little jump.
I need something bigger.
And when Tom tells me to square up with the steeper back side of the jump, I am all for it.
What do you think so far?
Is it that landing got your attention, pretty good impact.
Yeah, it gets my attention but like I said, I've flown in the car a lot of times.
It's just that the suspension on my car is well, not quite as robust as what I've got here in my monster track.
Still, it feels like a car crash.
But my safety equipment keeps me from moving around and my head stays in line with my neck which is always a good thing.
By the end of the day I'm confidently whipping around the court stripping the 12,000 pound track like a boss and staying on the gas no matter what.
I wanna stay in, jumping a bit more and try to finesse my shipping skills.
But alas, my monster truck time has come to an end.
You know, I started my day at Monster Jam University thinking that maybe I could actually be a Monster Jam driver and now I realize that That's not gonna happen unless I have a lot more practice.
These trucks are so technical to drive.
I mean, sure the mud is working against me but man, you've got to be an athlete on that palm s steering like this my bicep is killing me.
I really want to thank Thomas he was an awesome instructor I can see why is a 12 time world champion.
And of course my crew chief Lexi, she and her team cleaned this whole thing off after my first donut.
Of course, excursion, shall we say?
Anyway, we had a great time.
Thank you so much to Monster Jam University for showing me how to Monster.
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