It doesn't really matter what age you are, we can all agree that monster trucks are awesome. How can you argue with a 20-foot tall tube-frame harbinger of destruction, mowing down row after row derelict cars and trucks? Every "SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!," somewhere in America, a dirt-filled arena is hosting this spectacle of high-horsepower automotive carnage.
For the more mathematically inclined, monster trucks are a also feat of engineering, sending over 10,000 pounds hurtling through the air at 30+ mph. To this end, Car and Driver has put together a little breakdown of the physics behind these beasts. For instance, a monster truck needs 1,500 horsepower, developed from a supercharged, alcohol-fueled V8 to rocket into the air at a 45-degree angle at 40 miles per hour. The likes of Bigfoot and Gravedigger reach a peak altitude of 32.5 feet, moving through the air at 32 miles per hour.
When a monster truck makes its descent, things get interesting. A direct landing can come down with the force of 25,500 pounds. That's enough to turn a Crown Victoria or Oldsmobile 88 into a doormat.
Some other fun facts: two-thirds or roughly 7,000 pounds of a monster truck is unsprung weight. In the main, that means the wheels, axles and rubber. The tires themselves are about 66 inches tall.
C/D explains that with the four-wheel steering systems on these behemoths, these trucks can maintain spins in a nearly inverted turning radius. As their speed rises, the center of gravity pushes to the outer wheels, and the truck can topple over.
Hold on to your corn dogs.