Revenge of the Supertrucks

Imagine your normal pickup truck on steroids, then mutated and finally multiplied by a million horsepower. Depending on your interpretation, odds are that your mental image looks something like one of the behemoths below.  If you thought Transformers were the only supertrucks out there, think again. These monster machines are hard-at-work hauling ore and earth, tearing across the track and romping through the mud; eat your heart out, Optimus Prime.

THE LONGEST

The Centipede

Measuring in at 182 feet long, the Centipede is the longest truck in the world. Used for transporting ore, this road-train is capable of hauling 200 tons in its six trailers and even though its top speed is only 40mph, the truck’s momentum will keep it coasting up to 4 kilometers on a level surface without hitting the gas. While great for the mining industry, this would be a nightmare to get stuck behind on the highway.

Centipede

THE FASTEST

Shockwave

The fastest truck in the world, Shockwave is equipped with three jet engines that add up to 36,000 horsepower and are capable of propelling the truck down the track at an unbelievable 376 mph! That’s fast enough to drive form NY to LA in about seven hours. If you see these flaming stacks in your rearview, it’s probably a good idea to make way.

The Shockwave

THE MONSTER

Bigfoot

The original monster truck, Bigfoot continues to be one of the most popular trucks in the sport and is one of the most recognizable vehicles in the world. Bigfoot 1 was constructed and driven by Bob Chandler in 1975 and set the precedent for monster trucks as we know them today, including the first documented car crush. The latest addition to the fleet, Bigfoot 19, was constructed in 2000 and is currently a display truck for Chandler’s pro-shop in Missouri. The average truck in the Bigfoot fleet takes between three months and one year to construct and costs around $150,000.

Bigfoot

THE GIANTS

The Terex Titan

Powered by a locomotive engine generating 3300 horsepower, the Titan was the largest truck ever built when it was revealed in Las Vegas in 1974, and held that title for more than two decades. In addition to the 16 cylinders under the hood, Titan possesses a generator that is powerful enough to heat 250 houses simultaneously.  Designed for open-pit coal mining, the machine suffered from downtime problems and was eventually retired in 1991. Titan is currently displayed on Highway 3 in Sparwood, B.C. where it is promoted as a tourist attraction and a mascot for the preserved Sparwood coal mine.

Terex

The Caterpillar 797

The 797 grabbed the title of “Biggest Truck in the World” from the Titan in 1998 and held that distinction until 2001, but this beast still commands awe and respect. Standing 23 feet tall and 47.5 feet long, this big Cat is driven by a 24-cylinder V24 quad-turbo diesel engine with an output of 3400 horses. Rumbling along at speeds of up to 40 mph, the 797 uses an average of 65 gallons of fuel per hour and gets about .3 miles per gallon. Because of the massive costs involved in running the machine, it is actually more economical to keep the 797 working at all times than to turn it off. This is the only way to ensure that the output justifies the costs, so the only time this feline naps is during maintenance.

Cat 797

Liebherr T 282B

This giant, German earth-hauling machine grabbed the title of “Biggest Truck in the World’ upon its release in 2004. Hand-built in Newport News, VA, each vehicle rolls off the line weighing 203 metric tons, stands 7.4 meters tall and 14.5 long and costs $3.5 million. Its diesel-electric hybrid engine cranks out 3650 horsepower and allows it to reach 40 mph while hauling 365 metric tons. In addition to its impressive capabilities, the 282B is the first “luxury” mining vehicle to date, offering optional CD-player and air conditioning systems.  Why haul if you can’t haul in style?

Liebherr

Because every super hero has a cave, lair or fortress of solitude, it seems fitting that these mega machines should have the ultimate home base as well. While the whereabouts of the actual location are top secret, it is probably comparable to the Iowa 80 Truck Stop. Nestled among the cornfields, the largest truck stop in the world opened its doors in 1964 with only two diesel pumps and a small restaurant. Since that point, Iowa 80 has grown to cover 200 acres and services 5,000 customers per day. With all of the great accommodations, truckers must be reminded daily that, “It’s not Heaven, it’s Iowa.”

Iowa 80

 

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