Is Monster Jam Rigged?

There’s nothing as thrilling as watching cars racing. When you add trucks to the mix, it gets even more exciting. But when you take it one step further and go to a monster truck event, like Monster Jam, you have entertainment for the whole family

Some monster trucks are icons with huge fan bases. So, what makes monster truck rallies so appealing? And is Monster jam rigged or real?

What draws people to monster truck rallies?

During Monster Jam in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2014, Marc McDonald jumps the monster truck Big Bash League over cars
Monster Jam in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2014 | Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Several things draw people to Monster Jam events. First are the monster trucks that perform. Each vehicle is usually designed after a vicious monster from cartoons, movies, or even books. Bigfoot and Megalodon are two examples. Some have been around for decades, such as Grave Digger, which has seen several versions over the years. 

Then there are the tricks that drivers perform at the events that get the crowds going. Front flips, backflips, and long jumps are a few. According to Monster trucks Wiki, Tom Meents was the first driver to land a backflip during an event in March 2009. And Lee O’Donnell landed the first front flip during the World Finals 18. 

https://twitter.com/MonsterJam/status/1434207615555407879

Merchandising is another way to keep fans’ appetite for monster trucks going. Products put out by toy giants such as Mattel and Walmart are 24-volt rides on trucks fashioned after some of the vehicles competing at these events. Other products seen on the merchandise circuit are wind chimes, according to How Stuff Works

So, is Monster Jam rigged?

Drivers who compete at these events swear that Monster Jam isn’t rigged. Brianna Mahon, Monster Jam’s 2015 Rookie of the Year, says that the events are not scripted and that the competitions are real, How Stuff Works reports.

Though the racing and stunts are real, a few things about the trucks and the events may not quite be what they seem on the surface. 

In many cases, the headlights aren’t real. They’re usually just for show and, as with NASCAR, they’re just decals. Some trucks have functioning headlights, but they don’t serve any purpose other than to accentuate the truck’s outward appeal.

These trucks usually don’t have doors, either. Most require entry and exit from underneath, between the chassis and the body. 

To keep the trucks’ weight as light as possible, they’re generally built out of fiberglass. This doesn’t usually make the trucks last long, but the material lightens the load to make stunts and speed easier for the drivers.

Also, you won’t see the driver in the typical left-hand seat because most actually drive from the middle. 

Who can compete in a Monster Jam event?

Drivers lucky enough to compete in Monster Jam events can win money, but getting there isn’t as easy as you might think. First, drivers usually go through a university course to audition. 

If they pass that part, they continue to the training portion of the class. But not all drivers who complete the training get to drive. Some freelance truck pilots might get there, but they would be responsible for their own equipment, which can cost at least $150,000

Most drivers have connections to join a team or to get sponsorships to help offset the cost of getting a monster truck ready for a Monster Jam competition.

Monster Jam can be a dangerous sport, so event producers require strict safety precautions to prevent injuries and fatalities.

If you’re interested in attending a Monster Jam event, be aware that many of the upcoming dates have been rescheduled due to COVID-19. The Monster Jam website shows the current rescheduled dates for many events.

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