By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie
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Videographer / director: Brad and Jen Campbell
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Joshua Douglas
Regularly attracting crowds of 50,000 people, the touring Monster Jam show features the biggest and best monster trucks on earth racing around dirt tracks and showing off their free-styling stunts.
In July this year, journalist and broadcaster Andy Jones visited the Rotterdam show to watch the racing action unfold and catch up with some of the bravest drivers including Dennis Anderson, commonly referred to as the godfather of monster trucks.
Dennis is the driver and creator of the Grave Digger truck – a vehicle originally built out of an old 1957 Chevy Panel Wagon and parts that he scrounged from a junkyard.
He said: “We’ve got a 1500 horsepower motor.
“These things can jump 25-30 feet in the air, hit the ground and keep on running.
“It started out with a pile of junk and honestly I just took a bunch of old army truck pieces and parts and started welding things together.”
The Grave Digger is a renowned four-times World Championship Monster Jam winner with a 540Cl merlin engine.
Dennis and the other professional drivers often race the hefty vehicles at 80-100mph and travel the world performing in locations including Europe, Australia, Mexico and Costa Rica.
These high speeds can of course lead to the trucks being damaged, some of which cost around £280,000 to make, as well as the drivers picking up serious injuries.
Dennis said: “I’ve broke my shoulder, I’ve broke my collar bone, I’ve broke my ribs several times, I’ve broke my knee, I’ve broke my leg, I’ve broke my foot, I’ve broke my arm, I’ve broke my hand and I’ve broke my nose.
“All you need to do is just remember you can’t see right in front of you – always look ahead.
“And when in doubt – throttle out!"
The Team Hot Wheels Firestorm vehicle also featured at the event – a 10,000lbs, 17foot long, 11foot high bulging monster truck.
And racing driver Cynthia Gauthier certainly caught the eye with the Monster Mutt Dalmatian – a colossal truck resembling a dog.
Cynthia explained: “Well I’m in the air, I got my ears flopping around and I got the tail that wags and my tongue that moves so the kids get to see it.
“They’re fast, they’re heavy, and they’re really fun. You never know what’s going to happen – it’s really exciting.”
You can find more information on the Monster Jam tour here: https://www.facebook.com/MonsterJam/