Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam returns to Freedom Hall on January 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for kids (ages two to twelve) are just $5 while other seats begin at $22. The event will feature Maximum Destruction, Wolverine, Samson, Raminator, Rammunition, Full Boar, Mechanical Mischief and Heavy Hitter, although featured trucks may change without notice.
Most people would never peg me for a monster truck fan, but I can't help it. It's a good thing I have a son, so I have an excuse to go. There's something inside you that can't help but scream "WHOOAAAA!" when a truck of monstrous proportions leaves the ground, hanging up to 35 feet in mid-air before landing on top of the steel cars, buses and ambulances from local junkyards. That must be why more than 4 million people attend Monster Jam events to see over 3,000 cars crushed each year.
What's so amazing about monster trucks? How about this? They're 12 feet tall, 12 feet wide, 20 feet long, at least 10,000 pounds, and they can still reach speeds up to 100 mph or fly distances of 140 feet over the ground. Today’s monster trucks use lightweight bodies and tires so more strength and weight can be put into the frame without sacrificing speed, maneuverability, or safety. The Body is made of fiberglass and is custom designed to create a theme for the truck, fitting over a steel chassis. Molds for the fiberglass bodies can be made from handcarved styrofoam and wood. The fiberglass then undergoes a custom paint job, which can take up to 40 hours and cost upwards of $5,000. If that number doesn't impress you, perhaps the annual cost of each truck will: $600,000 to build, staff, compete, transport and maintain annually on the Monster Jam tour.
That is the cost for trucks that are owned and maintained by Monster Jam. They also sometimes employ independent entertainers like DerickAnson, the owner and man in the driver's seat of Heavy Hitter, which he built and customized himself over a four month period.
Derick Anson is an independent owner/operator.