Working the Winter Monster Truck Grand Nationals
The Winter Monster Truck Nationals were putting on a show in the Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho and the local 4x4 clubs were asked if we could help with the grunt work. They offered some cash and some free tickets and a few other goodies so we went for it.
The first day went pretty good. We arrived to find that the dirt was already being loaded in and the track was being setup. There was a load of junk cars in the parking lot including a Motor home and a School bus. We grabbed some of the wire off of the Motor Home and drooled over the brand new airbags that were under it. Eric got a nice transmission cooler of off one of the cars and I was trying to figure out how to remove a transmission from a van. Another van had a nice fuel injection setup and pulley system that some of the guys wanted. Next time, we're bringing tools.
All of the cars then got painted. we went through and made sure that all of the glass was out and anything major poking out was also removed. Then they received a nice coat of yellow latex house paint. While this was being done, the rest of us were down in the Dome hanging up black plastic around the place to make things look a little better and to keep some of the dust down. We also hauled a bunch of boxes from one office to another, stuff from trailers down to the floor, and just did a bunch of grunt work throughout the day. Big Boxes were also painted to act as cones for the track. I found that my flatbed trailer ground the back every time I drove down into the dome in my truck. It was loud and entertaining to me and also the people that were sitting on it. They also hauled the painted cars into the dome when they were ready. This also included coasting a loaded school bus down the ramp with no brakes. Fun! We didn't get any loot that day but we did get to take some close looks at some of the Monster Trucks that were already parked inside. Those things are pretty loud when they fire up.
The next day was show day and the rest of the track had to be finished up. this included drawing out the lines and setting up all the flags and stuff. All this went very well and I left as my 5 year old wanted to watch the show. Some of the guys volunteered to work the show. they got a hat and a T-shirt and got to stand down on the floor during the show. Talk about an up close viewpoint! If one of the cones got knocked over, they would run out and fix it and so on. From what I could see, it looked like pretty good duty. But I could not see that much. My seats were so high up in the back that by the time we got to them, the show was over and it was dark. OK, not that bad but we were at the top. I took some pics of the action and the show was pretty good. They was a good selection of Monster Trucks there including two of the BigFoot trucks. It started with an elimination side by side race, a truck show where the noise level from the crowd determined who won what place, a tough truck competition, and then Monster Truck Freestyle. As always, the Tough Truck is a great thing to watch. The local haul in some piece of junk and they give it hell. One guy in a Dodge managed to slam into the school bus and I think he moved it and three cars and two motorcycles about 5 feet. He backed up and with steam blowing everywhere, he finished the race. He also ran the second round with good results.
The best show of all though was the Monster Truck Freestyle. This is where points are awarded for the most daring jumps and tricks they can do in their trucks. This is where the cars get crushed. This track had the school bus, the motor home, a boat, a bunch of cars, some old motorcycles (no good parts, we checked), and a living room set. It all got pretty much smashed up. the motor home didn't last long at all. One pass and it was pretty much done. I wondered how the air bags did under all that. All in all it was a great show and the dome was packed. I think it seats like 12,000 people and there were people everywhere. After the show I took my kid on one of two Monster Truck rides that they were having. I think I had almost as much fun as him. I wanted to take it down to the drained reservoir and really see what it had. I'm sure it had it, those things pack some power!
All good things come to an end and it was cleanup time. I went and got my truck and trailer and pulled down into the dome dodging heavy equipment, dump trucks hauling dirt, four wheelers, and Monster Trucks getting loaded up for the next show. We tore everything down that we needed to and moved everything else around pretty fast. We messed around and came up with some more shirts and few other souvenirs. I almost got a Monster Truck tire but there were too many people around. We ate some Pizza that the Promoters got delivered in and had a good time. The best time was the four wheeler. For the event, two Bombardier 650 Rotex four wheelers were donated. The announcer for the event drove one around during the show and the other one was used to haul people and stuff around. Well about 2 am, we were parked on the Dome floor and we were pretty much done. Bored guys. Big open floor with piles of dirt. One brand new four wheeler with the keys. Not too many people around. It was test drive time. All I will way is this, the people cleaning the trash up in the stands got a heck of a show and that Rotex engine is a freaking rocket. Made my Trail Boss seem like an Edsel.
After we were done at the Dome we all loaded up and met at the Denny's. Ed the Promoter ate with us and it was a pretty good time. I think they were pretty happy with us and they would like to see us again next time they hit town. I made it home about 4 am and the other guys had to drive another hour on top of that.
Overall, it was a heck of a good time. It was an awesome show and it was great fun with friends and I would do it again in a heartbeat.