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There’s nothing more exciting than vehicles racing and doing unimaginable feats. That’s the premise behind Monster Jam. It’s also the goal of the many monster truck drivers who get behind the wheel of these beasts for rallies across the nation and around the world. It’s a sport that entertains kids of all ages.

However, these trucks’ roaring engines can grow deafeningly loud. So, exactly how loud is Monster Jam?

The history of monster trucks

A monster truck performs at Monster Jam in San Jose, Costa Rica, on December 14, 2018
Monster Jam | EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images

Monster trucks began in 1974 when Bob Chandler put oversized tires on his Ford F-250 and called it Bigfoot. The original Bigfoot is still running, but it has seen several re-creations throughout the years.

In the 1980s, monster truck rallies began to gain attention from the public as more vehicles debuted. They were often seen as additions to other events, such as tractor pulls or mud-bogging events. However, by 1992, Monster Jam, which FELD Motorsports owns, kicked the monster truck action into high gear, making it a primary attraction and an event all its own, Kidding Around reports.

The biggest names in Monster Jam are Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, and Zombie. Each has several trucks that look the same but are driven by different drivers.

But Grave Digger is the most recognizable truck in Monster Jam. Dennis Anderson built the vehicle in 1982. Some drivers you may see at any show include Pablo Huffaker, Randy Brown, and Anderson’s children, Adam Anderson, Ryan Anderson, and Krysten Anderson.

Monster Jam is one of the longest-running monster truck series around, though several smaller promoters host events with lesser-known trucks. There are a few things you want to keep in mind before attending any of these shows, though.

Do you need hearing protection for Monster Jam and other monster truck rallies?

Monster trucks weigh around 12,000 pounds, stand an average of 10 1/2 feet tall, and harness about 1,500 hp. Because of their size and power, you might expect them to be noisier than your average truck. However, many people are surprised by just how loud they really are.

When you’re sitting in the stands and drivers are revving the motor, you can feel the air around you vibrate. The average noise level of monster truck rallies can be around 90 to 100 decibels, but it can climb to around 125 decibels, The Florida Times-Union reports.

It’s recommended that you protect your ears if you expect noise exposure over 85 decibels. So it’s a good idea to have your ears protected throughout a Monster Jam event. You can purchase earplugs or headphones that protect your ears before you arrive at an event, or you can purchase ear protection at Monster Jam. At most arenas and outdoor events, ear protection is available while supplies last.

What is the Monster Jam schedule for 2021?

Some people worry that the pandemic could put a damper on monster truck shows for the rest of this year. Rest assured, Monster Jam will go on, but the pandemic has prompted some changes.

For instance, social distancing protocols may be necessary when mandated by the venue, city, or state. Some indoor arenas may require smaller crowds, facemasks, etc. There may also be safety protocols to protect you and the drivers during pit parties. You might still get close to the drivers, but a shield between you and the driver may be required.

In areas where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, there may be show rescheduling. A show set to take place in March 2021 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was postponed until October. If this happens to a show you plan to see, you will receive a notification of the schedule change.

The good news is that as the 2021 season comes to an end, there are plenty of shows to see. Monster Jam events are scheduled for Georgia, Ohio, Washington, Texas, New York, Arizona, and other states. If you want to know more about upcoming shows or purchase tickets, visit the Monster Jam website for details.