Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monster Truck Week at BTE: An Interview With USA-1's Crew Chief Scott Bryant

It’s officially Monster Truck Week here at BTE, where we’re featuring the largest vehicle we sponsor throughout the year: USA-1 monster truck from Gauger Motorsports. To get some information on this beast of a truck, we talked to USA-1’s crew chief, Scott Bryant, who told us all about the monster truck world; its history, some stats on the massive size of the vehicles and tires, why a transmission takes a beating at each event and why BTE was the right choice as a sponsor. Part 2 of this interview will run Thursday, April 2. 

How did the monster truck industry begin?
 As a phenomenon created when off-roaders started to modify their pickup trucks to make them more capable. The more impressive units had heavy truck running gear and adapted to them with tires that were 46-48 inches tall, making them stand out figuratively and literally. They became known as Monster Trucks. USA-1 was one of the first trucks to be given this distinction.

Some stats on today’s monster trucks:
-Use agricultural tires 66” tall and 43” wide
-Weigh between 10,000 to 12,000 pounds (5 to 6 TONS!)
-Truck bodies are made from lightweight fiberglass with reinforced factory frames and suspicions on custom tubular chassis with 20-30” of suspension travel (no longer modified street trucks)
-Average 1200-1800 HP
-A wheel and a tire can weigh between 500 and 800 pounds alone

Why would the right transmission be important in one of these monster trucks?
Having a 1500 Hp engine in front of the transmission is one thing, but having 2400 pounds of wheels and tires to get spinning adds a new level of strain. Additionally the hard hits and huge jumps send tremendous shock loads through the driveline. Monster truck racing and freestyle requires drivers to rhythm on and off the throttle which can add even more strain. This strain generates incredible heat inside the transmission. This shock, heat, and strain is basically a worst case scenario for a transmission. If a transmission can handle a monster truck, it can basically handle anything.

How would having quality parts help your truck win an event?  Why BTE? 
We did exhaustive research to find the best components available often working with companies to build specific items for us. We looked at several transmission companies but approached only BTE. With a long standing history in the motorsports world, BTE has established itself as one of the premier transmission builders. The testimonials of their customers regarding not only the quality of their components but also their dedication to service showed them to be the kind of company we wanted to work with. The extensive research they perform at their own facility is very impressive. We knew this was a company that wasn’t satisfied with the status quo, but wanted to continually improve their products and services. From the very beginning of our relationship, they have worked with our team to tailor a transmission and convertor combination that best suits our engine and driveline.

In addition to the great support we receive from BTE, we have several other sponsorship partners that supports us: Evansville Bolt and Nut, MSD Ignitions, Cummins Racing Engines, Hedman Headers, Perfection Driveline, Hooker Racing Harnesses, Impact Safety Apparel, KC Lighting, VP Racing Fuels.

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