monster truck tire

A monster truck is a gigantic pickup fitted with humongous tires. Basically, it is an off-road automobile with a large displacement engine and 4-wheel steering, and extremely strong suspension.

It can weigh up to 12000 pounds, but the minimum is 10000 pounds. Its retail price averages $250,000 per unit, so it is safe to say that it’s an expensive affair.

One monster truck tire weighs 800 pounds. At 66 inches tall, these tires are taller than your average tire, which definitely accounts for their unusual weight.

With this kind of weight, you would be excused for underestimating its speed. Shockingly, monster trucks are quite fast, with the highest speed of 99 miles per hour as registered in the Guinness Book of records.

Generating between 1500 – 2000 horsepower, these trucks boast a height of 12 feet and a width of 12 feet.

The History of Monster Trucks

The origins of monster trucks can be traced to the 1970s in the U.S.A.

The pioneer of the first monster truck was Bob Chandler from Missouri, who kept adding new features to it until it became so massive that it could no longer be ignored by the media.

Mr. Chandler, a mechanic, owned a small garage shop where he gradually improved his truck to create the massive Bigfoot.

He then took a video of himself crushing smaller vehicles in a field using the monster trucks.

This may have been the beginning of the monster truck revolution because, for over 40 years now, Bigfoot has partnered with many other brands to produce inspired powerful machines, enabling the amazing shows we get to enjoy today.

The Development of Monster Truck Tires

Monster Truck

The improvement of these tires has been gradual since 1979. Weighing between 360 and 410 Kgs, the first tires were quite heavy.

As such, there was a need for the production of lighter tires. In the early 2000s, the SiR team developed a much lighter truck tire weighing 204 kg.

Initially, teams would modify used tires from agricultural equipment to suit the specs of their monster trucks.

Thus, the development of lighter tires was a welcome move.

It’s important to note that tires meant for competitive monster trucks have to be custom-made.

The Leading Manufacturers of Monster Truck Tires

  • Balkrishna Industries Ltd (BKT), which is headquartered in India

  • Firestone, whose headquarters are in Nashville, USA

  • Good Year with headquarters in Ohio, USA

It has been argued that the BKT tires are of better quality and that they are lighter, flex well, and handle terrain better than others, giving the truck better traction on the tracks.

In 2014, BKT Ltd went into a 6-year partnership with Monster Jam (a motorsport event tour) as the official sponsor. As the contract came to an end in 2020, BKT extended it for another six years, citing the immense brand awareness they had experienced since the collaboration.

Monster Truck Tires

These tires are almost the same as those used in the farming sector but modified to suit other needs. Monster truck tires are quite high.

They are said to be taller than a 10-year-old child.  Weighing between 800 – 900 pounds, they are 66 inches high and 43 inches wide.

To run optimally, the tires require a pressure of between 8-10 psi.

Depending on the manufacturer, it retails at between $1500 - $3000 per unit. This would translate to $6000 - $12000 per set.

Another interesting fact is that one unit of a monster tire takes about 50 man-hours to make. The higher the quality of the raw materials used, the higher the cost of the tire. 

The Best Monster Truck Tires

Big Foot Truck

Monster truck tires are mostly made of high-quality rubber that is able to resist the brutal and severe conditions of off-road driving.

Flotation tires are taunted to be the best for monster trucks. This is because of their greater width and weight compared to other tires. They have a better grip when driving off-road.

Some popular monster trucks include:

  • Max-D

  • Bigfoot

  • Virginia Giant

  • Maddog

  • Grave Digger

  • Bad Company

  • King Krunch

  • Velociraptor

The Rise and Rise of Monster Jam Events

Since the Monster Jam events started in 1992 in North America, they have gained international recognition.

Some of the countries where Monster Jam events have been franchised include Spain, Beijing, Sweden, and China, among many others.

The most popular sports in these events are two-wheel skills, motor racing, and freestyle.

Monster Jam in Africa

monster jam

In 2019, Monster Jam made its debut in Africa, specifically South Africa. Marketed as a family fun day, promoters promised lovers of adventure the time of their life.

Monster Jam celebrities gave their fans the opportunity to mingle, take pictures and sign autographs.

Fans in South Africa were treated to jaw-dropping performances and exhilarating shows that left them on the edge but still asking for more.

To buy or Build a Monster Truck

Clearly, these trucks are quite costly should you consider acquiring one. You will have to decide whether to buy a used one or to build one.

While buying may be a cheaper option, you may struggle to find a ready one as they are mostly custom-made.

The cost of a used one ranges from $20000 – $70000. The downside of this is that you will hardly find someone willing to sell, and if you do,  it may not meet your specifications.

If you choose to build one, you will need a budget of between $100,000 and $300,000, never mind that the maintenance costs are extremely high.

The fact that each truck is unique hikes the cost of maintenance to a large extent.

What is a Monster Truck used for?

Initially, they were used during fairs and exhibitions to showcase how the big tires would roll over smaller vehicles, crushing and flattering them.

However, as the appetite for this kind of entertainment continued to soar, more entertainment activities were added to the menu.

These competitive activities include, but are not limited to, ATV racing, mud-bogging, and Motocross, among others.

The Most Expensive Monster Truck

It is not easy to tell which is the most expensive monster truck since they are not manufactured wholesale.

Each comes with its own customized specs. Nonetheless, in 2015, a monster truck by the name Sin City Hustler was reportedly sold at a whopping $1,000,000.

The Rarest Monster Truck

Madusa Farewell Tour Truck, manufactured in 2016, takes the prize of the rarest truck ever made.

Coming in only 3-color variations, they were in the market for a limited time and only sold at West 49 stores.

The Difference Between Monster Trucks and Other Trucks

Monster Truck Exhibition

There are several stark differences between the monster trucks and other trucks.

If you have seen video clips of these trucks crushing small cars as if they were mere toys, then you understand how different they are.

Below are a few of the qualities and characteristics that set monster trucks apart:

The size and weight of the tires

Monster truck tires are humongous. They totally dwarf the normal truck tires. A normal truck tire can weigh anything between 35 – 120 pounds, while monster trucks weigh between 800 – 900 pounds. No comparison here.

Engine Power

Generally, all trucks have powerful engines, but the monster truck engines are on an insanely high level in terms of power. In terms of fuel consumption, the monster truck is an avaricious guzzler.

Legal Status

Monster trucks are only allowed on race tracks, not on the road. They, therefore, have to be ferried to the competition venue by carriers.

Interesting Facts about Monster Trucks

There are many interesting things that have been said about monster trucks. However, no matter what you have heard, nothing can prepare you for the sight of their gigantic tires. Below are a few interesting facts about these monsters:

  • Despite their humongous weight, they have enough buoyancy to float.

  • Their height can be more than the average height of a human being.

  • They have to be custom-made, making each unit unique.

  • A monster truck can jump up to 40 feet off the ground.

  • Monster Truck racing is an extremely expensive sport.

The Grave Digger Monster Truck

This is one of the most popular trucks revered for its team of daredevil drivers who make the sport even more fun and exciting.

It was originally designed for mud bogging.

Its owner, Dennis Anderson, was quoted as threatening his competitors with how he would dig up their graves using his old truck.

And this is how the name Grave Digger came up.

Interestingly, its first attempt to compete was unplanned; some trucks failed to show up.

The Grave Digger grabbed the opportunity and became an instant hit. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the most popular monster trucks.

Introduction of Monster Truck Tires at Wrestlemania

Monster trucks have been used in the wrestling world to generate mad fun and excitement.

The imagery of monster trucks crushing smaller cars has been associated with the best wrestlers, who bring on their A-game to "crush" their competitors.

How Safe is the Driver of a Monster Truck?

Considering that this high adrenalin sport has the potential of harm and danger to the driver, the truck’s designers put lots of emphasis on safety features.

Drivers don custom-fitted driving suits that are fire-resistant, including special gloves that offer a firm grip to ensure they have control of the steering wheel as well as provide protection to their hands.

A special helmet completes the full gear, which is required to ensure the safety of a monster truck driver.

A specially built cage is assigned for the driver’s seat, usually in the middle.

What is the Future of Monster Trucks?

Gone are the days when monster trucks’ entertainment was just about crushing smaller cars.

The future is already here and engineers have upped their game. Today's Monster trucks are designed to fly.

They can jump 40 feet off the ground and land safely.

Conclusion

The history of monster trucks is both interesting and intriguing. It starts with a mechanic who kept adding and improving his truck until it became too massive to be ignored.

The gradual but sure value-addition of the monster truck has seen it become an enviable elite sport that not only brings about crazy entertainment but also creates employment and generates income for so many people on so many fronts.

The development of the monster truck tire has come a long way from the time when it could only be made from used agricultural equipment to today, when technological advancements have made it easier to make lighter and better quality tires. At 200Kgs, the tires have shed 250 kg. This remarkable progress has played a huge role in making the monster truck the sport the success it is today.

One can only look forward to more spectacular discoveries and inventions in the near future regarding this monstrosity of a tire.