BigFoot goes electric
The first monster truck and the recognized King of Monster Trucking is the BigFoot. The legendary truck was created by Bob Chandler and is the most-recognized name in monster truck arenas. When it was introduced, it became the first car-smashing celebrity pickup and over the years, while the truck has changed with the times, its car flattening prowess has not.
Now, despite electric cars seemingly being the exclusive property of the types of compact cars BigFoot normally obliterates in a show, the monster truck is turning over a new leaf.
Inspired in part by the Nissan Leaf electric car, which BigFoot's creator Chandler has seen in his home town of St. Louis, the BigFoot team decided to go green. After five weeks of work, working 7 days a week, the team converted the monster truck legend into another first: the first all-electric celebrity monster truck.
Yesterday, the team made a test run of the newly-converted beast and were pleased. "It's really, really quiet," said Chandler in an interview with local news station KPLR. "It kinds of sounds like a mad RC car."
The new BigFoot is running on 360 volts at 1400 amps powered by 36 batteries and a huge electric motor of unspecified size and power. While the team has not given a range for the new system, it's more than enough to power it through a full night's performance and can be easily topped off between highlights at the arena.
Modifications to the truck include changes to its drive lines, differential, and the addition of battery storage bays for weight distribution. Everything also has to be well-protected and shock proof, since the truck is expected to not only run over the top of cars, crushing them (with the resulting shrapnel often going upwards into the truck), but to leap and land from ramps and jump points. The team is confident after this initial test that the new BigFoot is ready for a full showing, sans the usual noise.
Not only will the audience be able to hear the crushing of cars and smashing of metal thanks to the absence of engine noise, but the driver and team will be able to hear the crowd's reaction as well. Although noise and power displays will always be a part of monster trucks, the changes BigFoot is introducing may bring in an entirely new aspect to the sport.