We Tried To Drive A Monster Jam Truck | Neat Stuff in Cool Cars

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06:16   |   Feb 26, 2018


We Tried To Drive A Monster Jam Truck | Neat Stuff in Cool Cars
We Tried To Drive A Monster Jam Truck | Neat Stuff in Cool Cars thumb We Tried To Drive A Monster Jam Truck | Neat Stuff in Cool Cars thumb We Tried To Drive A Monster Jam Truck | Neat Stuff in Cool Cars thumb


  • Hey everybody.
  • I'm Alanis King with Jalopnik, out here at Angel's Stadium in Anaheim.
  • And I'm about to drive this thing.
  • The good part is nobody's here to watch me.
  • Excitement, adrenaline, and heart-stopping stunts.
  • That's what modern Monster Jam trucks are all about.
  • Calling Monster Jam a “show” might almost be belittling it entirely.
  • It’s way more of a spectacle.
  • Pyrotechnics, insane stunts, and screaming fans are what these shows center around.
  • But how do you even become a Monster Jam driver?
  • How does one train for the big jumps and backflips?
  • We caught up with Alex Blackwell, driver of Megalodon, who was nice enough to let me in his truck,
  • and who also gave us a bit of backstory
  • on how he quit his job of 14 years to follow his dream of becoming a Monster Jam driver.
  • –I had no interest in monster trucks whatsoever,
  • except they were cool to look at.
  • I got done driving, which only took about 3 and a half minutes.
  • And I was addicted.
  • I wanted to go every weekend.
  • I quit my job of 14 years,
  • only 3 months after I drove.
  • That was in 2005, and I never looked back.
  • We test now because we have Monster Jam University, but that's only in the last maybe 4 or 5 years.
  • We didn't always have that.
  • So the only way you learned is by driving, and they wouldn't just take you out in a field
  • and let you wreck a truck because if you wreck it in front of nobody, who's gonna see it?
  • So they'd rather be in front of 50,000 people and say “Hey, go try it here and see if it works.
  • If not, don't do it again."
  • The only thing I was told is don't wreck it.
  • I wrecked it the second time in it.
  • I didn't want to, but it happens, and that's how you know your limits.
  • You get right on the edge and you either throttle out, save it, or you wreck and regroup.
  • Maybe if you go on YouTube, watch a video and see what you did wrong and try not to do it again.
  • –Somehow I convinced Alex to let me drive his truck.
  • So they suited me up and got me ready for the loudest drive of my life.
  • Well, I'll jump it if y'all let me.
  • They won't let us let you.
  • Dang it.
  • Before I started the drive, Alex had to give me a quick brief on what we were going to do.
  • –You put your helmet on now,
  • then we get in there, we can put your belts on and show you how to start it.
  • We'll test the RII [Remote Ignition Interrupter], and after that we're green light to go.
  • I was thinking it was gonna be like a stock car and I would climb on this fin and go through
  • the window, but—
  • If you can get up to the window, rock on.
  • I don't think that fin will hold me.
  • So we are gonna go under and up.
  • Yep!
  • Right underneath the fin, and up into the truck.
  • So you can head up in there and crawl in.
  • OK!
  • Put your left foot on that bar.
  • Right here.
  • And put your right foot up here.
  • Oh my—
  • I didn't think I could be anymore in here, but I am.
  • Does it hurt yet?
  • Oh yeah it hurts.
  • Is it supposed to?
  • Not even tight yet.
  • Oh.
  • OK.
  • I should have gone to the bathroom.
  • Don't go in the seat.
  • Nope, that would be ideal.
  • Driving this thing gets complicated even before the stunts.
  • It took Alex almost 15 minutes to explain how to turn it on and get it going.
  • I'm gonna tell you, “You're good to go."
  • OK.
  • You'll press that button to start it.
  • Once he gives you thumbs up and gets out of your vision,
  • count to 5, then go.
  • Hit the what?
  • Is there a way to lightly tap
  • the gas or is this thing just gonna go?
  • It's immediate.
  • That's what a supercharger does.
  • With our gearing.
  • Our transfer case.
  • Our 3:1 planetaries.
  • It's immediate.
  • You just gotta feel it out.
  • You're gonna think, "Ah I went half-throttle" and barely moved it because
  • the throttle response
  • is so fast.
  • And that's why I got hooked.
  • Any questions?
  • Are you confident in letting me drive your truck?
  • Yeah!
  • I'm letting you do it, right?
  • I guess I'll just wait here.
  • That was horrifying!
  • Why?
  • No, that was fun. That was fun.
  • I was like, "I think I'm gonna stop right here,” and then they cut it off.
  • So what do you think,
  • driving a Monster Jam truck?
  • –That was terrifying.
  • –Was that was crazy or what?
  • That was crazy, yeah.
  • So now you understand why I quit my job of 14 years to do it?
  • I'm sure you got it going a little bit faster than I did.
  • Imagine when your 30 feet in the air, you're upside down doing a backflip.
  • Look at her sweating!
  • This is awesome.
  • I'm sweating, Yeah!
  • I couldn't—it was hard to see where the mounds were.
  • You're trying to turn and you're like, “Oh there's a mound of dirt there!"
  • A lot of our stuff is just judgment.
  • Seeing it for the first time and going,
  • "Ah, I think it's here,” and, “OK, I missed it that time,”
  • but sometimes we get it.
  • Look at her shaking.
  • She's shaking, this is funny.
  • That's excitement.
  • I was like, "I think I'm supposed to hit the brakes right now.
  • So I'm gonna go for it.
  • Thank you so much.
  • I really appreciate it. —Anytime.
  • I'm glad I didn't destroy your truck. –Me too.
  • You know what?
  • Here's a tooth just for you

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Ever have the dream of becoming a Monster Jam truck driver? We got the chance to hop in the seat of Megalodon and it was amazing.

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