Monday, October 20, 2008

Shake, Battle and Roll

The December Four Wheeler magazine is now on the news stands with its annual in depth coverage of the Top Truck Challenge, the true meaning of shock and awe. With ample quantities of photos, Ken Brubaker’s coverage is vividly detailed. It makes you wish you were there.

There were nine trucks and seven events, with near thirty pages of story, including descriptions of each competition, the nitty gritty on each competitor in each event and an assortment of live action finish line quotes. “Oh man, what a rush,” said Brandon Lammers after the Frame Twister. For the same event, Clayton Kraatz said, “I’ve been waiting 16 years to do that. That was awesome. That was worth the whole entire trip.”

The first day's events included The Tow Test, The Frame Twister, and The Mud Pit, a ride that John Griffin noted you can’t get at Disneyland.

Day two featured The Obstacle Course, The Hill Climb and The Mini Rubicon. If you know the Four Wheeler staff, they ain’t kiddin’ around with these obstacle courses and tests. The goal in The Hill Climb, for example, is not to see how fast you can make it, but whether you can make it at all... though yes, there are extra points for fast. But it’s one tough hill and only three trucks made it all the way before either breaking or flipping over.

The Mini Rubicon was also a bit more frightful this year. You’d think a four wheeling enthusiast would not have too much trouble with a 125 foot strip of rocks, but these psycho course builders stay up nights thinking of ways to make it impossible, and for most they succeeded. Only two, Kraatz’s Warthog and Naeger’s Buggy, completed this third event of day two.

The Tank Trap consumes all of day three out there in Hollister, California’s hill country. This is an obstacle course that brings competitors to their knees.

As a sponsor of the event again this year, AMSOIL enjoys seeing equipment put to the ultimate tests. This is how AMSOIL formulates its own premium synthetic lubricants. The company is serious about extreme performance. It’s fun to watch four wheeling to the max like this. And fun to read about six months later. When you read the mag staff’s “favorite moments” you can tell they’re having the times of their lives out there.

The coverage ends with an application to be considered for next year’s event. If you like the idea of putting it all out there, of seeing what you and your equipment are made of, maybe you should take the next step. Readers will vote, and maybe we’ll see you next year... at the 2009 TTC.

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