In this brief article, we will discuss the Monster Truck Suspension, its typical construction.
What is a Monster Truck?
As the name suggests, a Monster truck is a monstrosity due to its sheer size and the fact that it can climb up almost anything on earth! From an Automotive standpoint, a monster truck is a custom-built recreational Pickup truck with large wheels and Off-road custom Tyres and wheel size ranging from 48 inch to 120 inch. The truck’s typical overall height would be almost 12 feet.
The monster truck is mostly used for entertainment shows wherein the truck crushes a row of cars and also goes airborne in the process in front of a large audience. Among the other events that a Monster truck participates in are Off-Road obstacle course jumps, Mod-Bogging, MotoCross and AutoCross. Monster Trucks do have their own class in Racing, but involves a purely off-Road course, as you can imagine.
What type of Suspension do Monster Trucks have?
A Monster truck is a custom-built spaceframe chassis made from 2 inch hollow cross-section tubes. The chassis is covered by a fiberglass pickup Skin (body shape). The vehicle’s weight would be in excess of 10,000 pounds. The Powertrain would usually be a V8 engine with a power rating in excess of 1000 bhp. It would be a 4-wheel-drive configuration with a Transfer case at the center and front and rear heavy-duty steerable axles (Mostly ZF).
- Monster trucks have Solid Axle suspensions on both the front as well as the rear.
- In the initial days of the Monster truck, the suspension consisted of a combination of leaf springs and coil springs. The Leaf Springs needed to accommodate a large suspension travel and therefore the axle would be forced to move in an arc in the side view. In order to counter this, the suspension included a hydraulic cylinder track bar connected between the axle and the chassis in such a way that it would force the axle to move in a straight line pattern rather than an arc in the side view.
- In recent times, the most typical Monster Truck suspension setup is a 4-link setup, with 2 upper control arms and 2 lower control arms that are triangulated in order to restrict lateral movement. In several cases, where sideways axle movement was found to be excess, a 5th link or Panhard Rod was added.
- Because the truck would tackle large obstacles like cars and mud hills, the suspension would long-travel Off-Road oriented and be able to take almost 30 inches of suspension travel.
- The main suspension element would be 2 Heavy-Duty Strut Dampers at each corner. There would be a total of 8 Struts.
- Instead of Coil Springs, the struts work with a Compressible Nitrogen gas charge that absorbs loads and performs the job of a Suspension Spring
- Anti-Roll Bars are typically used at the front and rear axles for resisting Roll
- Safety Straps between the chassis and axle would act as Rebound stops. This is essential since the truck needs to be airborne very often during events. The axles, being very heavy, would drop and hang, only to be restricted by the rebound stops of the struts. The rebound stops of the struts would not be able to handle such enormous weight, hence the rebound safety straps.
In this brief article, we have discussed the Monster Truck Suspension, its typical construction.
In case of any questions or queries, please feel free to ask.