How to Become a Monster Truck Driver
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Drivers rarely take the same path to get into the monster truck circuit. Some have strong backgrounds in motorsports, from off-roading to mud racing, while others have extensive experience as racing engine or other part mechanics. "Bounty Hunter" driver Jimmy Creten admits that he worked for anyone who would hire him until his truck gained popularity. The one thing most drivers share is the desire to perform at the biggest monster truck shows, from Monster Jam to Monster X Tour. Pro driver Roselee Ramer said she got her start crushing her first car at age 13 and performed at her first event when she was 14 – years before she qualified for a driver's license.
Communicate, Volunteer and Work
The largest monster truck shows recruit drivers by invitation only, so you'll need to find a way to get a foot in the door. For example, Brad Keller became a Monster X Tour driver after meeting official Bill Payne at a show and volunteering to help him clean up. Go to every event you can and arrive early – most feature pit parties before the show, where fans can meet the drivers and their crew. According to Monster X Tour, most of its drivers broke into the industry by obtaining a job as a crew member on another driver's team.
Create and Learn Your Monster
Most monster truck drivers begin their careers on the day they finish building their own custom trucks. The A.V. Club online interviewed Monster Jam competitor Jim Koehler, who explained that you become a monster truck driver by building or purchasing a truck, entering competitions and winning events. Most events are judged using scoring systems. Drivers earn points for stunts, crash saves and tricks, such as wheelies or donuts. However, they also lose points for certain actions, such as reversing, stopping or rolling over.
Get Involved in the Industry
As you begin building your own monster truck, get involved with any related organization in your region. Monster Jam, for example, gives you the opportunity to meet the professional drivers and their crews at Monster Jam events, by purchasing a Pit Party ticket. Additionally, attend local events, from fairs to displays. You have to get your truck's name out there and generate interest in its performance.
Forecast the Future
Monster Jam alone attracts crowds of more than 4 million fans each year. Although drivers don’t receive weekly paychecks, Monster Jam reports that almost all of the trucks at their shows are sponsored by corporations or products, including Mattel and the University Technical Institute. Jeff Cook, the founder and president of the International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame, noted on the Advanced Auto Parts blog that he thinks monster truck racing will evolve from a bragging rights race into a race for money.
Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.
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