MON­STER JAM SES­SION

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Brodozer -

Im­me­di­ately af­ter Dave (Heavy D) Sparks fin­ished his first full test ses­sion at a Mon­ster Jam sta­dium track with the Du­ra­max diesel-pow­ered Brodozer mon­ster truck, we sat down with Diesel Dave, Sparks, al­ter­nate driver, driv­ing coach, and crew mem­ber Colt Stephens, and Mon­ster Jam Vice Pres­i­dent of Op­er­a­tions Bill East­erly to talk about the diesel pro­gram. We spoke with the team about the Brodozer truck specif­i­cally as well as the fu­ture of diesel en­gines in Mon­ster Jam com­pe­ti­tions. Here’s some of what we learned.

UDBG: What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween driv­ing a “reg­u­lar” mon­ster truck and the Brodozer diesel truck? SPARKS: I spent time at the Mon­ster Jam Univer­sity learn­ing and driv­ing the methanol trucks, and re­ally they are just two to­tally dif­fer­ent an­i­mals. There is no com­par­i­son. One is straight rocket ship and the other is kind of like ice skat­ing. The diesel is the rocket ship, and when it gets in the power­band it pulls and just keeps on go­ing. We are pulling 5,600 rpm and it is mak­ing tons of power. STEPHENS: It re­quires some driv­ing style changes and is a more tech­ni­cal drive. EAST­ERLY: There’s some lag off the line, but the diesel does not blow off the tires off the line like the methanol trucks. SPARKS: As long as you can learn to stay in the throt­tle with­out over-throt­tling, it will just pull hard and it is very fast. We have a trans­brake in this truck to help us spool on the start­ing line, where most of the other trucks do not. It’s odd, but we ac­tu­ally have less torque off the line than the blown trucks.

EAST­ERLY: We’re just scratch­ing the sur­face on the diesel per­for­mance en­gine. We have 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence with the methanol en­gines and this is the first time on the track with the diesel. We are very im­pressed and proud of how it is per­form­ing. UDBG: Do you think Mon­ster Jam fans will re­act fa­vor­ably to the diesel en­gine, es­pe­cially be­ing that it is qui­eter than the blown methanol en­gines? SPARKS: I was wor­ried that the tur­bos were go­ing to muf­fle the en­gine too much—you can barely hear it when you start it—but once it spools it sounds like a jet en­gine and we think the fans will love it! EAST­ERLY: We think it will be of great in­ter­est to the fans since there are a lot of peo­ple in the stands who drive diesel trucks. Once they re­al­ize it’s com­pet­i­tive we will de­velop a solid fan base with the truck. SPARKS: Our goal is zero smoke with the diesel, so we have a lit­tle way to go. It is so clean for the power that we are mak­ing with it. EAST­ERLY: We had to build the power with­out the smoke since peo­ple have had a bad taste with diesel smoke in the past from old diesel en­gines of the ’80s to mod­ern emis­sions scan­dals. But we had to leave a lit­tle smoke there for easy recog­ni­tion that it is a diesel. The diesel burns less fuel, so by vol­ume alone it is much more ef­fi­cient than the methanol trucks, mak­ing it green by vol­ume since we are burn­ing less fuel. The methanol is also much more ex­pen­sive so there will be a cost sav­ings as well. SPARKS: I feel safer be­ing in a diesel know­ing that there is much less fire risk in the truck ver­sus a methanol en­gine. Fans can ac­tu­ally see the driver’s driv­ing style and when he is on and off the throt­tle with a lit­tle smoke ver­sus just the sound of the blower mo­tors.

UDBG: Have there been any thoughts about adding more diesel en­gine trucks to the fleet of com­pe­ti­tion trucks on the Mon­ster Jam tours? EAST­ERLY: For sure, we are on the cusp of a whole new world with the diesel. Our Euro­pean mar­ket has been ask­ing for diesel-pow­ered trucks for some time now. I fore­see that hy­po­thet­i­cally in the fu­ture that we could run an en­tire tour out­side the coun­try with diesel en­gines pow­er­ing all the trucks.

We have more work to do. The truck is ac­tu­ally get­ting a com­plete new chas­sis built start­ing next week, and we have some work to go on mak­ing it cleaner still. We want to be able to take it in­doors and run the are­nas, not only out­door sta­di­ums. SPARKS: We set the fastest race time in prac­tice to­day, but we are only at around 70% of what that en­gine is ca­pa­ble of do­ing right now, so we have a lot more room to grow power-wise.

UDBG: Are there any plans to have the truck on dis­play at any of the ma­jor diesel events na­tion­wide? EAST­ERLY: We don’t have any plans at this minute, but there eas­ily could be that ar­range­ment. There are def­i­nitely a few places it could end up on dis­play.

We sat down with Diesel Dave, Heavy D, Colt Stephens, and Mon­ster Jam Vice Pres­i­dent of Op­er­a­tions Bill East­erly (left to right) to dis­cuss the Du­ra­max diesel-pow­ered Brodozer and the fu­ture of diesel Mon­ster Jam trucks.

It seemed like Sparks wanted to give us a great shot of the Du­ra­max diesel en­gine while he was prac­tic­ing for the Two-wheel Skills Chal­lenge, and made this amaz­ing save af­ter get­ting the truck com­pletely ver­ti­cal with the rear tire sit­ting flat on the ground.

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