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Clayton Elliott

on 31 May 2013

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Bibliography History History of the Monster Truck About Trucks Modern Monsters Modern monster trucks are not actually trucks but more like a four wheel drive dune buggy . They are supercharged and run on alcohol. Custom designed transmissions are modified with special brakes.

Mini monster trucks resemble an actual monster truck on a smaller scale. They are used for sports entertainment; not very common and usually only seen in the United States.

Modern monster competitions may result in two divisions:
1. Showmanship for exhibition
2. Racing for legitimate purses instead of a flat fee (money) Monster Jam is a live event which takes place mostly in the United States. This competition takes place throughout the year and fans of all ages enjoy it. The drivers sign autographs at "pit parties" for all fans in attendance. Two kinds of competition are racing and freestyle. Drivers are judged on a scale of 1-10 by a panel of three judges. The World finals for Monster Jam is in Las Vegas every year. Normal trucks that drive on roads weigh between 3,000 - 4,000 lbs. Monster trucks weigh 10,000 pounds or 5 tons. They can be up to 12 feet tall and they can easily roll over. When monster trucks were first developed they were slow moving vehicles, but now they are light weight speed machines.

Truck teams spend $250,000 maintaining and repairing the monster truck on top of the $180,000 to purchase one! Custom Monster Jam

In the late 1800's contests were held to see whose horse could pull the most weight. In the early 1900's tractors replaced horses. In the 1930's tractor pull tournaments called Tug Pulls were held throughout the mid west. Sleds of steel were increasingly loaded up with more weight to see which tractor could pull the most.

Bob Chandler and his wife Marilyn opened a four wheel drive parts business in the mid 1970s. Bob customized his own Ford pick up and kept it parked outside his shop. As he made more changes he attracted more attention. A promoter offered Bob Chandler $300.00 to show his truck at the race for the first time and it was a big hit with race fans. Bob had a heavy foot on the accelerator pedal (he was a fast driver). Therefore this truck was called Big Foot.

Early Monster Truck often appeared at tractor pulls. Tractors were different than Monster Trucks because huge tires were only on the rear of the tractors and the tractors had multiple engines.

In the late 1970s, modified pickup trucks were becoming popular and the sport of mud bogging and truck pulling were gaining in popularity. Several truck owners had created lifted trucks to compete in such events, and soon competition to hold the title of "biggest truck" developed. The trucks which garnered the most national attention were Bob Chandler's Bigfoot, Everett Jasmer's USA-1, Fred Shafer and Jack Willman Sr.'s Bear Foot, and Jeff Dane's King Kong. At the time, the largest tires the trucks were running were 48 inches in diameter.

In the mid 1980s more trucks were created to compete with Bob Chandler. Video Games Monster Trucks have had a tremendous impact on toys and games for children and adults who love this sport. Mattel's Hot Wheels brand produces licensed toy versions of monster trucks and several video games have been developed as well. The development of these games show the popularity of monster trucks and excitement that people feel as a result of being involved with them.

Officially licensed Monster Jam video games are:
1. Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction (a vehicular combat game)
2. Monster 4X4: Masters of Metal (an arcade racing game, published by Ubisoft)
3. Monster Jam (released by Activision)
4. Monster Jam: Urban Assalt
5. Monster Jam: Path of Destruction (containing favorities such as: Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Grinder, Medusa, and Bounty Hunter)*

*en.wikipdia.org/wiki/Monster_Jam. Monster Jam. 5/28/2013
Crabtree, Adrianna. Trucks - Pick-Ups to Big Rigs. New York. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2007

Doeden, Matt. Monster Trucks. Mankado. Capstone Press, 2007

Gifford, Clive. Racing, The Ultimate Motorsport. Boston. Kingfisher Publishing Company, 2006

Ipcizade, Catherine. Big Trucks. Mankado. Capstone Press, 2009

Savage, Jeff. Full Throttle Monster Trucks. Mankado. Capstone Press, 2010

Modern Marvels: Monster Trucks. 2000 Produced by Chamboa, Don of Actuality Production, Inc. for the History Channel

en.wikipdia.org/wiki/Monster_Jam. Monster Jam. 5/28/2013 Acknowledgments I would like to acknowledge my parents for taking me to Monster Jam events throughout my life. Whenever I attended an event it was very exciting for me and I went home and could hardly wait to go back! Since then I have collected toy Monster Trucks and I own all of the Monster Truck video games.

I would also like to acknowledge my Grandma because we went to the library together to get books for my history project. This got me excited about doing my history project about Monster Trucks and this kept me on my feet and anxious to get to get my project completed.

I would also like to acknowlede Google Images and Prezi Program where I found the graphic time line and photos for my project. By: Clayton Elliott 5/28/2013 Per. 5 Grave Digger Timeline 82 The original red Grave Digger debuts in
Morgans Corner,
California. 83 Digger's engine is transitioned
from a small block to a big block. 84 Grave Digger transforms from a red pickup body to a blue and gray panel truck. 85 Grave Digger's iconic black paint job featuring the legendary ghost and graveyard is developed. 86 Grave Digger defeats Bigfoot and the King brothers in Minnesota on national TV! 87 Grave Diggers 2000 hp Rodeck engine is outlawed from the monster truck circuit. 88 Digger's Dungeon is built. 89 Grave Digger expands
to two teams of trucks, and the first fiberglass body version is made. 90 Grave Digger makes new fans from California to Oregon on its first west coast tour. 91 Grave Digger travels to Australia for the first time. 92 The first green chassis appears underneath the Grave Digger bodies. 93 Pablo Huffaker joins the Grave Digger team. 94 "Wave" Digger sets sail across the water. 95 Grave Digger XII
debuts in St. Louis. 96 A broken back and busted ribs keep Denis Anderson out of Grave Digger for six months. 97 Charlie Pauken joins the Grave Digger team. 98 A revamped GD VII is brought back on to the circuit. 99 Gary Porter joins the Grave Digger team. 00 Grave Digger & Denis Anderson win the inaugural MJWF Freestyle Championship. 01 Grave Digger goes worldwide! Charlie Pauken introduces Paris to Monster Jam. 02 Grave Digger celebrates 20th anniversary. 03 Pablo Huffaker substitutes for an injured Denis Anderson at MJWF IV. 04 Future drivers of the Grave Digger The Legend monster truck Adam Anderson, has his driving debut. 05 Grave Digger & Denis Anderson win the MJWF V Racing Championship. 06 Grave Digger & Denis Anderson win the MJWF VII Racing Championship. 07 Grave Digger celebrates its 25th Anniversary. 08 Denis Anderson receives the Chris Grecias Award from the make-a-wish foundation. 09 The truck Denis Anderson still drives today, Grave Digger XX is built. 10 Grave Digger & Denis Anderson win the MJWF XI Racing Championship. 11 Grave Digger & Denis Anderson win nine consecutive stadium racing events. 12 Grave Digger celebrates its 30th Anniversary. My Favorite Monster Truck Grave Digger is my favorite monster truck because this truck seems reckless and the driver goes all out. Since its debut in 1982 this truck has won many awards including the Monster Jam World Final. For thirty years Grave Digger continues to be a favorite not just for me but for many monster truck fans. The timeline below exhibits this monster truck's history. Basic Facts The definition of custom when talking about Monster Trucks is that all vehicle parts are specially made and not part of the original truck from the factory. This is an amazing characteristic since there are more moving parts on the Monster Truck than any other racing vehicle.

Engine: A standard pickup truck engine is 2/3 the size of a Monster Truck engine. The horse power is about five time more than a standard pickup truck; up to 1,700 horse power. Monster Truck engines must cool down just like drag racing engines and races must be interspersed between other kinds of racing. Today's Monster Trucks have engines mounted behind the driver in a mid-engine configuration. This gives better balance than if the engine is in the front.

Tires/Suspension: Monster Truck tires are usually 66 inches tall and each tire can cost $3500. Thick rubber tread is shaved off of agriculture tires to reduce the weight up to 200 pounds and the final weight is about 500 pounds. Tires need to flex as they are part of the suspension of the vehicle.

Shock absorbers act like giant springs so the truck can bounce back and not land too hard. Some shock absorbers can h andle 200 foot jumps.

Steering: Early Monster Trucks had problems with axels breaking often. When rear 4 wheel axel turning was developed it allowed trucks to turn faster, more effectively and kept them from breaking. The "Planetary Gear" is the technology which makes this contraption work.

Body/Chassey: The Monster Truck body is made of fiber glass so the truck can go faster and jump higher. Some cab floors are made of a clear plexiglass so drivers can see where they are landing. Fiber glass shells just look like trucks; lights and grills are painted on. The chassey is made of strong steel tubes welded together.

Fuel: Monster trucks use methanol which gives more power and costs about $7.00 per gallon.

Unique Style: Frank Schetini is a Motocross driver who designed a unique style of Monster Truck,"Monster Jerky", with stand up controls, shift, and hand controls, exactly like a dirt bike. Safety Specific safety guidelines in place to protect drivers include: helmets, neck restraints, fireproof suits, gloves, seat belts, and roll cages (which help cabs from being crushed). Monster Truck racing is hard on the driver and may result in injuries that impact the neck and back from hard landings. Now Monster Truck injuries are rare because Bob Chandler has changed the industry with new technology (head and neck yoke system to protect drivers in big jumps).

In addition trucks are inspected before each event and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are at every event. Also truck teams belong to the Monster Truck Racing Association (MTRA).

Also a very important technology is the emergency engine cutoff switches which work in three places in each Monster Truck. The Monster Truck engine can be turned off by:
1. Driver
2. Truck official
3. Back of the truck for who ever gets to the crashed truck first. Conclusion Introduction Racing/Freestyle/Drivers In the beginning the Monster Trucks just crushed cars but fans wanted more. In 1986 the first race was held in Houston, Texas. After that, promoters began having shows that included stunts. Monster Trucks would race through muddy obstacle courses. As a result, the popularity of Monster Trucks began to grow in the 1980s. Dirt in a crucial ingredient for Monster Truck events. Specialists make sure the proper dirt is available with not too much sand and not too many rocks...clay works best...mud is correct for racing dirt and is sprayed with water before a race.

Racing: Trucks race at top speeds of 60 mph. Races are in the form of two trucks going over the same obstacles and the same track. Races are organized by the United States Hot Rod Association.

Free Styling: Drivers go on tracks solo and push their trucks to the limit. Favorite moves are wheelies, donuts and car crushers. Drivers are allowed 90 seconds plus a 30 second bonus period to exhibit their skills. In all, a driver can be given 35 points. The cars the Monster Trucks crush are borrowed and returned to the dump after the show. Free style winners are decided by the loudest audience applause or by official judges. This is an event where Monster Trucks also utilize ramps to get air or "fly"!

Drivers: Drivers are paid a flat fee to show up to the race or exhibition. Sales of things like t- shirts can go from $200 - $1000 in a weekend for extra money for a driver. Skills of drivers have evolved since the first Monster Truck. This project is about the History of Monster Trucks and the evolution of this exciting motor sport. I have personally been passionate about enjoying Monster Truck racing with my family since I was a child. This may have been the same passion Bob Chandler felt when he began building the first Monster Truck in the 1970s. Monster Trucks have evolved from tug pulls of the 1800s and tractor pulls in the 1930s. It seems the public enjoys the competition of what the truck looks like, where the truck is from and what the truck can do. I have included information about my favorite Monster Truck Grave Digger and a time line which shows how Grave Digger evolved.
The Monster Truck has evolved from a four wheel drive pick up to a custom motor vehicle. As Monster Truck racing has grown in popularity, trucks have become more customized with lighter suspension, bigger tires, louder with bigger engines and thankfully safer with new technology for drivers. Associations have been set up to protect driver safety and specialists are in place to create special tracks and obstacle courses. Monster Trucks have have crossed over into the world of toys and games as well as clothing and other merchandise. Children as well as adults are passionate about enjoying Monster Trucks. Monster Jam events are held throughout the year to showcase Monster Trucks and they qualify for the Monster Jam World Finals Championship each year in Las Vegas. Fun Facts 1. Today about 300 Monster Trucks compete in competitions around the United States.
2. Bob Chandler discovered that Monster Trucks float! Why? Increased volume of air in the tires causes the buoyancy to be so high that the truck does not sink.
3. The U.S. Military has its own Monster Truck. It is called the Heavy Expanding Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT). The purpose of this vehicle is to rescue broken down vehicles. It has eight wheel drive stability.
4. The elements of an HEMTT and the Hummer fuse together make the Monster Truck of today.
5. The average number of crushed cars per year is about 3,000.
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