A Letter From Andy Slifko

eradicator monster truck trailer fireAndy Slifko and the entire Eradicator team have suffered a great loss; they took the time to send us this letter explaining it all:

Dear fans, drivers, event officials, sponsors, promoters, and friends:

It seems that luck is just not on our side this year.  It seems funny to say
that the two transmissions we’ve blown up in the last two weeks are now the
least of our worries.

We were coming home from the Pontiac show on Sunday morning when I felt a
trailer tire blow out.  When we went back to see it, we noticed some flames.
The trailer caught fire.  Two fire extinguishers, a ton of snow, and all the
Pepsis we had couldn’t stop the fire from spreading.

Several minutes later, a gentleman in a pickup truck stopped to help.  We were
able to hook the monster truck to his pickup and pull it out of the trailer.
It suffered minimal body damage.  Unfortunately, it was the only thing we were
able to salvage.

The fire spread, and it claimed the entire trailer and almost everything in
it.  Four tires and wheels, our Harley-Davidson, all of our parts, toolboxes,
tools, living quarters, and clothes.  Luckily the fire was put out before it
reached the tractor.

We would like to sincerely thank the fine men and women of the Brooksville
Police Department, Brooksville Fire Department, and the Pennsylvania State
Police, all of whom went above and beyond their call of duty in extinguishing
the blaze, cleaning up the mess, and keeping us and the other motorists safe.
We cannot thank them enough, and it was with their help that we can say nobody
was injured in the incident.

This will bring about major changes in our business.  Among the first of these
changes, we’d like to announce the sale of our display monster truck and rig.
It is a turn-key unit, and anyone interested can email me through our website
at www.eradicator4x4.com.

We will need some time to regroup and reassess our business.  We may be down,
but we are surely not out.  The immediate outpouring of support we received in
the hours following the incident from our friends and competitors is
heartwarming, and it makes us feel lucky to be a part of this business.

Safety is something that many take for granted.  Any truck driver will tell
you that this is his or her worst nightmare.  We are forever grateful for the
gentleman in the pickup truck and the men and women who work everyday to keep
us safe, secure, and healthy.  It is true that without these men and women in
the world, none of us would be able to perform and entertain as we do week in
and week out.

Sincerely yours,

Andy Slifko and the entire Eradicator team

We wish Andy Slifko and the entire team a full recovery from this unfortunate event; he is in our thoughts.

Pontiac Gallery Now Available

monster truck photosPaul Harry was kind enough to send us a short gallery from last night’s Monster Jam in Pontiac, Michigan, and it is now available in the Photos section. Thanks go out to Paul for the photos.

Toronto Saturday Gallery Now Available; Sunday Results

Mike VatersKyle Seden’s photos from Saturday’s Toronto Monster Jam are now available in the Photos section; we thank him for his time. We have just received results from today’s show in Toronto as well. Carl VanHorn drove Grave Digger XIV to another sweep, taking racing over Larry Jaruzel’s Predator, who broke on the starting line. VanHorn rolled the truck after a slap wheelie into a motocross hill on the way to a 29 and the freestyle win as well. Chad Tingler was right behind him in Safe Auto with a 28. More photos from Toronto and updates should be available soon; as always, thank you for visiting AllMonster.com.

Toronto and Pontiac Updates

Safe Auto Monster TruckReports are coming in fast and furious to AllMonster.com. First is from the Pontiac Monster Jam, where Norm Miller drove Blue Thunder to the racing victory against Randy Brown and Grave Digger. Brown got revenge in freestyle, however, and posted a perfect 30 to win. Rick Raab pulled double duty, driving his usual American Guardian, but also taking the wheel of Thrasher for the weekend. Raab finished second in freestyle with a 27 and a sideways hit on a van stack on the track.

Next is from Toronto, Ontario, for the debut of Safe Auto (Chad Tingler driving, Monster Profile to come soon!) and more. Tingler rolled the truck in racing, but made it back for freestyle with part of the body missing. We will also have pictures of the new Kicker monster truck (formerly Sudden Impact). Carl VanHorn took a sweep of the first night’s action, defeating Mike Vaters’ Black Stallion in racing and tying with Vaters for the freestyle win. He was judged the outright winner in a cheer off.

Devastatormonstertruck.com now open!

monster truck photosSome of you may have noticed Mark Schroeder’s Devastator had decals on the windshield advertising his web site in Atlanta last week. That site is now available at www.devastatormonstertruck.com. The site is still under construction, but will be finished shortly, and has photos, the truck’s schedule, and more already available. AllMonster.com recently took a trip to the home of Devastator; look for a feature on the truck soon, and enjoy the new site!

Pontiac Michigan – Monster Jam – January 15, 2005

Photos By: Paul Harry
Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Pontiac Silverdome
City: Pontiac, Michigan
Date: January 15, 2005

Field of Trucks: Grave Digger (Randy Brown), Escalade (George Balhan), Samson (Dan Patrick), American Guardian (Rick Raab), Devastator (Mark Schroeder), Equalizer (Mike Hawkins), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Alex Blackwell), Lil’ Miss Dangerous (Jocelyn Perrin), Wild Hair (Jason Witte), Easy Rider (Kevin Koszala), Stone Crusher (Steve Sims), Blue Thunder (Tony Farrell), Thrasher (Pat Summa), The Broker (Jim Leahy), Eradicator (Andy Slifko). [Read more…]

Toronto, Ontario – Monster Jam – January 15, 2005

Photos By: Kyle Seden
Event: Monster Jam
Venue: Skydome
City: Toronto
Date: January 15, 2005

Field of Trucks: Grave Digger (Carl VanHorn), Black Stallion (Mike Vaters), Predator (Allen Pezo), Iron Warrior (Trey Myers), Safe Auto Minimizer (Chad Tingler), Kicker (Sean Duhon), Sudden Impact (Brandon Lagarde), Godzilla (Steve Hearley). [Read more…]

Predator Starts Strong – Pezo’s Thoughts

Predator Monster truckAllMonster.com was able to reach Allen Pezo of the Predator monster truck for comments about his racing victory this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It felt great,” said Pezo. “I definitely gained some confidence; it has been awhile since I won at a televised show.”

The closest Pezo got to that goal last year was a racing final round appearance against Bounty Hunter in Jacksonville, Florida. In Atlanta, Pezo was second only to Dennis Anderson’s Grave Digger in qualifying. Pezo informed us that the team’s site, predatorracinginc.com, is being worked on and that the team is headed to Evansville, Indiana, Tampa Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, University Park, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis Minnesota in the coming weeks and months.

“I feel like things are going great now and it’s a good start to the season. I hope to get some more wins by year’s end,” he said.

We thank Allen and the entire Predator/Prowler racing team for their time.

The Biggest and the Best Monster Trucks from the UK

There are few motoring creations more awesome than the Monster Truck. The name itself breeds images of colossal scale and impending destruction. A hench and jagged frame, mind blowing suspension, and, in some cases, a painted set of growling teeth. The UK may be a tiny fraction of the US in size but it’s no let-down when it comes to creating vehicular beasts with wheels that weigh four times that of a baby elephant. Here are some household names in the world of UK Monster Trucks.

Swamp Thing – Driven by Tony Dixon

Swamp Thing is just the latest name for a Monster Truck which is steeped in history. Originally built in America and once known as Dragon Slayer, it is based on a Dan Patrick Chassis and weighs in at a mighty 5 tons. Following being shipped back to the UK and refurbished over a two year period, it emerged as Swamp Thing with a Ford 2004 F350 Super Duty Body paint, don by driver Tony Dixon himself. Swamp Thing is 11ft high, a massive 19ft long and boasts a methanol injected 540 cubic inch tall block, BDs Supercharger by RND Engineering.

Tony Dixon originally trained as a motor vehicle paint sprayer and has come a long way to the Monster Truck master he has become. He is currently working on BIGFOOT17, which is the first BIGFOOT Monster Truck project In the UK. He holds a number of accolades for his performances in various championships.

Video: Swamp Thing jumps clean over cars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGoZfJ_Sw5w

Podzilla – Driven by Drew Thornton

This Dino of a truck shares its name with a hydraulic lift system which moves metal storage containers in the US, giving some indication of its might. Based on a Chevy K1500, Podzilla produces 1350bhp on methanol that propels the 5 ton leviathan to speeds of 65mph within 6 seconds. It is said to be the first UK built Monster Truck.

Drew Thornton mans the wheel of Podzilla and has driven Monster Trucks professionally across Europe for over five years. He retired after coming 3rd in the European Monster Truck Championships in 2006, but has since been plucked from his rest by Santa Pod Raceway to drive Podzilla as an exhibition vehicle at the Nationals this summer. He will sit behind an 8 litre methanol off-shore power boat spec engine and 1000ft pounds of torque.

As tires the size of sheds aren’t in huge demand, most monster trucks need their tires shaved of excess weight as they don’t arrive perfect. Podzilla sits on light weight shaved tires which help reduce the overall weight by a quarter of a ton. The tires are a massive 66 inches in diameter and worth £1800 ($2700) a piece.

Video: Podzilla in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTeV_LpQr78

Crusher – Driven by Lewis Cook

With a name resembling that of a bad-guy Transformer, Crusher is a perfect appetite-wetter for Monster Truck fans who love their destruction. Built in 2005, Crusher is a relatively young machine. The fiberglass version of a 1997 Ford F150 has received a few recent refurbishments and is a huge 10ft high, 12ft wide and a BDS supercharger with top hat methanol injection. The axels are of JCB origin but are heavily modified, as is the custom built ‘drop box’, motorsport engine and two-per-wheel fully adjustable air-over-oil shock absorbers. Crusher’s tires may have similar credentials as its rival Podzilla – at 66 inches in diameter – but they’re worth a combined £8000 ($12100).

The 4 wheel drive machine first competed at the UK Monster Truck Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway in 2008 and has since been a real favourite, due to grace the arena once again at this year’s finals in August. At the Nationals in 2011, current driver Lewis Cook fell victim to a miscalculated crush during a 90 second freestyle event in front of 10,000 fans and was stranded vertically for over 6 minutes before being rescued by a crane.

Video: Crusher’s vertical upset: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSYs5NKdeqc 

Slingshot Monster Truck – Driven by Karl Swallow 

Karl Swallow was the legendary owner and driver of the mighty Slingshot – a beast that was the first European truck to jump a bus. He tragically suffered a heart attack last year and passed away in his prime. It didn’t deter him, however, as his passion for driving his massive truck took him through any pain he felt following a failed kidney transplant.

Karl was involved in the Monster Truck Racing Association Europe from the beginning and later served as a Director. In November 2011 he performed in Slingshot in front of more than 30,000 fans in the Bahrain Motor Show, a feat which he called a ‘great honor’ and one he wished to repeat.

He will be remembered for being the first European driver to run in the USA and for taking his aspirated truck to third place in the 2004 series. He had an incredible driving style which earned him a legion of fans, with wide open assaults on freestyle obstacles.

Video: Tribute to Karl’s legendary antics:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWeNNzOdcMg

Now time for something a little different…

Armour Gedden – Driven by Steve Murty

If there was ever a Truck to fear it was this. Steve Murty is the driver of this monster on treads and sells the machine as a ‘Car Crushing Tank,’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Painted up like a super villain brandishing a skull and crossbones, this is one you won’t want to miss.

Video: Armour Gedden arrives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef4dfWMlZJc or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmgM74XFmB0

About the Author

Abby Driver is a Multi-Journalism graduate from Bournemouth University. Currently working in London, Abby writes for a number of different publications and websites including car finance specialists Creditplus.co.uk. For more cool, fun and interesting articles about the world of motoring please visit the Creditplus blog.

Rochester and Houston Weekend Results

In Rochester, New York’s Thunder Nationals to kick off the new season, Carl VanHorn made his driving debut in Grave Digger XIV and won the Wheelie, Donut, and Freestyle competitions, while Mike Vaters’ Black Stallion won Racing. Reports are that VanHorn scored a 29 in Freestyle and perfect 30’s in Wheelie and Donut, and Vaters and VanHorn both had near vertical sky wheelies in the Wheelie portion.

Night two in Rochester, New York saw more of the same, identical to the first night-Carl VanHorn in Grave Digger XIV won the Wheelie, Donut, and Freestyle competitions, while Mike Vaters’ Black Stallion won racing in the finals against Grave Digger. The Broker (Jim Leahy) and Iron Warrior (Trey Myers) each broke during the Donut contest, with Iron Warrior returning in time for Racing. Ed Eckert’s Full Boar was also in attendance, and spun a solid donut in addition to defeating Vaters’ Black Stallion the previous night.

Reports coming in from the Houston, Texas Monster Jam last night indicate that Tony Farrell’s Blue Thunder took the racing victory, while Lupe Soza and El Toro Loco got the freestyle victory after rolling in racing, shedding the body during his freestyle run. Pablo Huffaker rolled early in his freestyle run and was officially scored a 26, then allowed to restart and continue for the fans, who gave him an “unofficial 30” upon completion of his second run (it was not his official score).
Other reports include Phil Foster (Maximum Destruction) and Chris Bergeron (Brutus) with solid runs and saves in freestyle, and Bounty Hunter knocking a turning pole over, putting himself out of racing. More to come soon from both Houston and Rochester!

In Rochester, New York, the final day of action saw Grave Digger (Carl VanHorn) win the wheelie contest, but break multiple parts in the rear of the truck, putting him out until racing, where Black Stallion took the victory and weekend sweep of that portion of competition.