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What is a Monster Truck
A monster trucks are vehicles that are typically styled after pickup trucks bodies, modified or purposely built with extremely large wheels and suspension. Monster Trucks are used for competition and popular sports entertainment and in some cases the monster trucks are featured alongside motocross races, mud bogging, tractor pulls and car-eating robots. A monster truck show sometimes involves the truck crushing smaller vehicles beneath its huge tires. These monster trucks can run up and over most man-made barriers, so they are equipped with remote shut-off switches to help prevent an accident if the driver loses control at any time. At some events, only one truck is on the course at a time, while most feature two drivers racing each other on symmetrical tracks, with the losing driver eliminated in single-elimination tournament fashion. In recent years, many monster truck competitions have ended with a freestyle event. Somewhat akin to dressage with giant trucks, drivers are free to select their own course around the track and its obstacles. Drivers will often try "donuts", wheelstands and jumps during this segment. Additional items for the monster truck drivers to crush are frequently placed on the track specifically for the freestyle event. Other obstacles sometimes placed on the track include school buses and small airplanes.
The history of the first monster trucks
In the late 1970s, modified pickup trucks were becoming popular and the sports of mud bogging and truck pulling were gaining in popularity. Several truck owners had created lifted trucks to compete in such events, and soon competition to hold the title of "biggest truck" developed. The monster trucks which garnered the most national attention were Bob Chandler's Bigfoot, USA-1, Bear Foot, and King Kong. At the time, the largest tires the trucks were running were 48 inches in diameter. In April 1981, Bob Chandler drove over cars in the Bigfoot truck in what is often believed to be the first monster truck to crush cars. Chandler drove Bigfoot over a pair of cars in a field as a test of the truck's ability, and filmed it to use as a promotional tool in his four wheel drive performance shop. An event promoter saw the video of the monster truck crushing cars and asked Chandler to do it in front of a crowd. Initially hesitant because of the "destructive" image that could be associated with Bigfoot, Chandler eventually caved in. After some smaller shows, Chandler performed the feat in the Pontiac Silverdome in 1982. At this show, Chandler also debuted a new version of Bigfoot with 66 inch diameter tires. At a prior event in the early 80's when Bigfoot truck was still running 48 inch terra tires, one of the owners of a motorsport promotion company named Truck-a-rama, is said to have coined the phrase monster truck when referring to BIGFOOT. The term became the generic name for all trucks with over-sized terra tires.