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Grave Digger Driver Randy Brown Talks Trucks

It’s undeniable. Grave Digger is the king of the monster trucks with the fans of Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam and is also easily one of the most recognizable vehicles on the planet. The man behind Grave Digger is the well-known Dennis Anderson, but he isn’t the only one behind the wheel of Grave Digger. This iconic machine is in such high demand that there are currently eight Grave Diggers in competition. One is piloted by Randy Brown. Randy has been driving for the Grave Digger team since 2003 and has proven that he is both able and willing to drive in a manner, well, befitting of the Grave Digger name.

I recently caught up with Randy at an Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam event held in the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. Like most motor sports professionals, he readily identifies with RC and was more than willing to take the wheel. And, it didn’t hurt that he was checking out a Traxxas Monster Jam Replica Grave Digger. But, before we had some RC fun, we talked trucks.

CHASSIS
Stiffer is better is a chassis design school of thought that is commonly followed in RC. The idea is that rigid chassis both allows and makes the suspension do its job. The reality is that chassis flex works and most chassis designs used in RC do, indeed, flex a whole lot more than most people realize. It seems the monster truck designers are on the same page. Randy explained that they use mild steel for the tube frames just for the reason that it flexes. The minor amount of flex goes a long way towards preserving the equipment.

AXLES
In some ways it seems RC may be a little behind the times when it comes to our concept of monster truck axles. Long gone are the huge military surplus axles. Randy pointed out that the axle assemblies are now custom made strictly for monster trucks. In the video below, you’ll also see Randy has extremely interesting and surprising thoughts on monster truck axles and suspensions.

SHOCKS
There are all sorts of suspension designs used on monster trucks, but there is a standard among the race trucks. Some show trucks still use massive leaf springs while most competitive trucks use 4-link designs with nitrogen shocks that do not require springs.

 

To learn even more about monster truck technology and to see how Randy does piloting an RC version of his famous truck check out the video below.

 

Some photos supplied by Feld Motor Sports

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