Come August 19th, Singapore will see its first ever monster truck rally, and it’s going to be awesome. If you’re tired of watching F1 cars zip around Marina Bay for two hours straight, Monster Jam is the perfect alternative. Think huge, absurd-looking trucks, soaring across the arena, performing gravity-defying stunts. Ahead of this spectacular event, we speak with Monster Jam pilot Dan Evans, who tells us more about what it’s like to drive these crazy trucks for a living.

Dan Evans, Monster Jam Pilot

Can you tell us about what goes on at a Monster Truck event?

The event has several exciting elements to it.  First, the Pit Party.  Come early, meet the drivers, get their autographs, walk the track, get up close see the Monster Jam trucks.  Next is the live event. There will be a racing portion where two trucks, go all out, flying high at full throttle until we crown a winner.  There will also be freestyle motocross where these guys attempt spectacular airborne tricks on dirt bikes. And then of course we have what I think is the best part of the show, the Monster Jam freestyle.  Each Monster Jam truck gets its chance to impress the judges and fans with the biggest stunts possible like sky wheelies, doughnuts, back flips and many more tricks. The highest score wins.

How did it become so big in the US? 

The first monster trucks emerged as sideshow attractions at tractor pulling events in the US. In the beginning they were merely driven over old cars really slowly – nothing the high-octane, high-flying action we see at shows today. Over the years however, technology and skill improved. The development of monster truck motors and suspensions mirrored the improving abilities of their pilots. With that, these pilots began distinguishing themselves from their tractor pulling origins. The demand for monster truck racing increased rapidly, and Monster Jam was born. Now, over 4 million fans fill stadiums around the world to watch the spectacle.

How did you first start driving these trucks?

I built a truck to play in mud, jump hills and just have fun on our property.  One day I received a call from a promoter and asked if I would like to compete.  We took him up on his offer went to a show and won the whole event. 24 years later I’m still here, what a ride it’s been.

Can you tell us a little more about your driving career?

My driving career all started in a little town in Michigan in the USA. After building our first Monster Jam truck, it felt like we were an overnight success, winning events everywhere. We went to compete in Monster Jam World Finals eight times and have driven Monster Jam trucks all over the world since. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve had the most wins ever in Europe and have driven over 20 different Monster Jam trucks.  I love every minute of what I do, but the big winners are the fans.  They are the ones that drive me to do what I do every day.  I’d like to thank all of them.

Have you suffered any injuries from these stunts?

After 24 years of driving, I can say I have never been seriously injured in the Monster Jam trucks.  The trucks have more safety features than any other motor sport event, including custom seats, roll cages, 5 way harnesses, and the list goes on. Safety is not only for the driver but also for the fans that come to see the show. 

How big is a team?

No matter where you see the show, the Monster Jam staff is world class. For a stadium show like Singapore, the team consists up to 75 people.

What is your favourite memory of driving Monster Jam trucks so far?

That has got to be the Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas and making it all the way to the finals in racing.  Plus, I did a double jump in reverse during freestyle. We didn’t win but it still felt incredible. The best part of the night was the fans. They loved the show.

What is the best part about the job?

People ask me all the time how I like my job. Think about it; I get to play with a 1500 horsepower Monster Jam truck that weighs 5 ton it 3.5 meters wide 3.5 meters tall.  I get to travel all over the world performing for fans of all ages. It’s great but at the end of the day, the best part is seeing the the excitement on the fans’ faces – no matter how good or bad a day I may have had. For that I thank them, and hope to make new friends and fans here in Singapore. 

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