Friday, June 6, 2014

Top Truck Challenge Returns to Hollister Hills

The 22nd annual 2014 Top Truck Challenge event is just around the corner, kicking off June 9 in Hollister Hills, California. This Monday10 teams will descend on Hollister to prove themselves and their rigs worthy of the Top Truck Challenge Champion title. Plans have been in the works for months, culminating in a week of mass destruction for these heavily-modified 4x4’s. AMSOIL is the Official Lubricant of Top Truck Challenge, installed in each rig, ensuring that engine failure is not what takes them out.

The week features obstacle courses and trials that test the mettle of each competitor brave enough to face the gauntlet that is the Top Truck Challenge. Four Wheeler Magazine organizers go to extremes in designing the nastiest course they can dream up, aiming to take out as many trucks as possible. As they navigate through aptly named ordeals such as the Frame Twister, Mud Pit and Tank Trap, competitors strive to defeat the odds against them. Check out the list of contenders and the rigs they are working with here.

The Tow Test kicks it off.
Tow Test: Having these big, impressive rigs tow a load for 150 feet sounds easy, right? Wrong. Competitors find themselves facing an uphill climb towing a heavy load, usually a 36,000-lb cement mixer. This particular challenge has destroyed driveshafts and 2.5-ton axles in the past, while weeding out the weakest among the group on the very first event of the week.

Frame Twister: The Frame Twister always promises to deliver on its name, and it succeeds. Competitors are given 10 minutes to make it through 200 feet of seemingly-impossible obstacles. Giant boulders known as the ‘Squeeze Rock’ section, logs and deep holes made to swallow tires await the teams. The Frame Twister has destroyed many hopes and dreams along with the broken parts it’s collected over the years.

The Mud Pit is a messier kind of fun.
Mud Pit: The Mud Pit is about 135 feet in length and built to test the tires, cooling system and ground clearance. Competitors never know what awaits them underneath the bog, but Four Wheeler Magazine takes great pride making it every bit as unpredictable and difficult as years past.

Obstacle Course: Day 2 of Top Truck Challenge welcomes competitors with the Obstacle Course event that begins at the top of a mountain with only one way down; through various obstacles, tight turns and an off-camber dogleg finish. Cones are strategically placed throughout the course that will result in time-penalties if they are hit or knocked over on the way down.

Editors spend a whole year dreaming up new ways to get you stuck.
Hill Climb: After making their way through the downhill Obstacle Course, competitors move to a 600-foot-long uphill course wrought with loose dirt, twists, turns, and deep holes along the way for good measure. Competitors have 5 minutes to make their way as far as they can up a hill that averages a 60° angle without deviating off course or getting stuck as the clock ticks on.

Coal Chute: The Coal Chute made its debut at Top Truck Challenge 2013, as Four Wheeler Magazine looked for ways to make the week even more grueling. Last year the Coal Chute was approximately 525 feet long with steep walls over 7 feet high, lots of rocks and cement tubes littering the course. Four Wheeler Magazine promises even more destruction for the Coal Chute’s second year in existence.

The Tank Trap is where competitors show what they're made of.
Tank Trap: Wrapping up the week’s brutality is the dreaded Tank Trap, best described as the Holy Grail of Top Truck Challenge. Four Wheeler Magazine describes it as awe-inspiring, legendary and in a class by itself. There’s a reason it’s the last event of the week; those still standing have proven themselves worthy of a chance to make it through, and points are doubled to make it anyone’s game. From start to finish, the Tank Trap climbs almost 195 feet in elevation and forces rigs through a poison-oak lined course filled with deep water holes, dirt holes, a canyon nestled between steep walls and much more. The Tank Trap has taken down many solid rigs that withstood amazing feats prior to meeting it.

The Top Truck Challenge is filmed on location for DVD release in the coming months, but we’ll be posting updates and photos throughout the week. Keep up with the action by following us on Facebook and Twitter, or check back soon for a recap here.

Photos here are from the 2011 competition.

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