The Never-Ending Adrenaline Rush of Seeing Monster Jam Live
Horsepower, car-smashing, thematic trucks with bright colors and funky names, and a whole lot of noise coming from the field and the psyched fans on the stands — that’s what Monster Jam is all about. This high-octane motorsport features massive trucks that perform awe-inspiring stunts. The trucks are customized and decorated to resemble popular characters, like Grave Digger and El Toro Loco — there’s even a Scooby-Doo-themed monster truck! It’s been thirty-plus years of Monster Jams all over America, Canada, and Mexico — which is a lot of power, a lot of yelling, and a lot of fun.
Monster Jam events feature three main competitions: freestyle, racing, and two-wheel skills. The trucks also compete in a "Skills Challenge" where they perform stunts like donuts, wheelies, and backflips. It’s just the kind of all-around fun people of all ages can enjoy!
Everything You Need to Know About Monster Jam
Monster Jam might seem a little insane from the outside, but rest assured — it’s far more bonkers on the inside. If you’re new to this adrenaline-driven sport, here’s everything you need to know about this slice of Americana.
So, what is Monster Jam?
It is a live motorsport event tour where eight monster trucks compete in racing, two-wheel skills, and freestyle competitions. Each event showcases the power and fun antics of these trucks, with tricks that include car-crushing and spins.
Here are the three main Monster Jam events:
Racing: Monster trucks race head-to-head on a dirt track. The first truck to cross the finish line wins.
Two-wheel skills: Monster trucks attempt to stay on two wheels for as long as possible. They can also perform donuts or cyclones. The truck that stays on two wheels the longest wins.
Freestyle: Monster trucks perform a variety of tricks and stunts, such as jumping over obstacles and doing donuts. The truck that performs the most impressive tricks wins.
What are the Monster Jam Trucks’ specs and sizes?
Monster trucks are some of the largest and most powerful vehicles on the planet. They are typically built on a pickup truck chassis, but they are heavily modified with oversized tires, engines, and suspension systems. These are monumental pieces of machinery that have excited audiences of all ages for decades: just the fact that these beasts exist is impressive in itself!
With some variations, these are the specs for these beastly machines:
Height: 10.5 feet
Width: 12.5 feet
Length: 17 feet
Weight: 12,000 pounds
Engine: 540 cubic inches big block V8
Suspension: Four-link racing suspension with nitrogen-charged shocks
How much power does a Monster Jam truck generate?
Monster Trucks generate up to 1,500 horsepower, reaching speeds of up to 99 miles per hour. Fun fact: The world record for fastest monster truck speed was set in August 2022 by Joe Sylvester at 101.84 mph, in ohio. Vroom, Vroom!
How tall are the Monster Jam truck tires?
Monster Truck tires are 66 inches tall by 43 inches wide. The air pressure in these tires is typically around 10 pounds per square inch (psi); this is much lower than regular car tires, which are typically around 30 psi. The low air pressure in monster truck tires helps to absorb the impact when the truck jumps or lands. It also helps to prevent the tires from bursting when the truck is subjected to high forces.
As for weight, each truck tire tips the scales at 645 pounds each.
What are Monster Jam trucks constructed with?
The chassis is made of a strong metal like steel or aluminum, while the body (outer shell) is made of fiberglass or carbon fiber. The tires are made of a special rubber compound that is resistant to wear and tear.
The suspension is designed to provide a smooth ride for the driver and absorb the impact of jumps and landings, with a big block V8 engine that is supercharged or turbocharged to produce up to 1,500 horsepower.
Extra safety features in monster trucks include roll cages, fire suppression systems, and safety harnesses.
How do Monster Jam trucks get transported from stadium to stadium?
Monster Jam trucks are transported in specially designed trailers, custom-built for the trucks’ specific dimensions. They’re typically around 53 feet long and 10 feet wide, and they can accommodate one or two monster trucks. The trailers are also equipped with ramps so that the trucks can be easily loaded and unloaded.
The transport of Monster Jam trucks is a complex and carefully coordinated operation, requiring a team of experienced professionals to ensure trucks are moved from venue to venue, safely and efficiently.
Grave Digger, a Monster Jam Legend
Whenever monster trucks are mentioned, one name pops up immediately: Grave Digger. A Monster Jam staple that even predates the official event tour, the first Grave Digger goes all the way back to 1982, when Dennis Anderson took the carcass of a 1952 Ford pickup truck and put mud bog tires and a small block Chevy engine. He famously built the first Grave Digger truck out of parts he found in junkyards; the iconic red headlights, for example, were taken from school buses.
A few years later, in 1985, Anderson replaced the Ford body with a 1951 Panel Wagon Chevrolet. The original coloring was orange, and it took some time until Grave Digger took its current and iconic color scheme consisting of lime green, purple, and black.
Grave Digger entered the monster truck scene by chance, after another truck had to pull out of a competition. The crowd went wild on that first try, and it’s continued to be a staple at monster truck events in the following decades. Its name also came almost by chance, when another monster truck driver called the scrappy OG Grave Digger a piece of junk, Anderson retorted with: "I'll take this old junk and dig you a grave."
How many Gravedigger trucks are there?
There have been a total of 41 Grave Digger monster trucks built since 1982, and six of them currently compete in Monster Jam events. Besides building the first Grave Digger from scraps, Dennis Anderson also started a dynasty, and his children (Adam, Ryan, Krysten, and Weston) have gone on to become monster truck drivers in their own right.
Here are the six Grave Digger trucks currently competing on the Monster Jam and racing circuit today:
Grave Digger #35: Driven by Adam Anderson
Grave Digger #36: Driven by Brandon Vinson
Grave Digger #37: Driven by Weston Anderson
Grave Digger #38: Driven by Matt Cody
Grave Digger #39: Driven by Tyler Menninga
Grave Digger #41: Driven by Krysten Anderson
What are some of the most memorable moments in Monster Jam history?
Monster trucks originated in the late 1970s and came into the public eye in the early 1980s as side acts at motocross, tractor-pulling, and mud-bogging events, where they were used in car-crushing demonstrations.
The first proper monster truck show was held in 1982 at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. It was organized by promoter Bob George, who had previously produced motocross events. It featured several trucks, including Bigfoot, which was the most popular truck at the time.
Here are some of the most memorable moments in Monster Jam history:
The first successful double backflip by Tom Meents in Max-D at the 2009 World Finals. Meents stunned the crowd by landing a perfect 360-degree flip after launching off a ramp.
The first successful corkscrew by Cam McQueen in Northern Nightmare at the 2016 World Finals. McQueen executed a sideways barrel roll in mid-air, earning him the Freestyle Championship.
The epic showdown between Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger and Ryan Anderson in Son-uva Digger at the 2017 World Finals. The father-and-son duo battled it out for the Racing Championship, with Ryan edging out Dennis by a fraction of a second.
The second successful double backflip by Neil Elliott in Max-D at the 2018 World Finals. Elliott matched his teammate's feat from nine years earlier, but with a twist: he did it in reverse.
The first successful front flip by Lee O'Donnell in VP Racing Fuels' Mad Scientist at the 2017 World Finals. O'Donnell shocked everyone by flipping his truck forward over a bus stack, landing on his wheels, and driving away.
How popular is Monster Jam?
Monster Jam has a large and loyal fan base, with over 4 million fans on Facebook, over 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and over 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube. Monster Jam events often sell out stadiums and arenas.
Although the USHRA doesn’t release Monster Jam’s attendance figures, some sources suggest that Monster Jam events can attract an average of 10,000 to 15,000 fans per show. Others claim that shows can sell out stadiums and arenas with capacities of 40,000 to 70,000 people.
While Monster Jam primarily happens in North America, there are also international tours every year. Over 35 countries have hosted Monster Jam, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Upcoming international Monster Jam events include stops at:
Melbourne, Australia (Aami Park — Oct.7, 2023)
Sydney, Australia (Accor Stadium — Oct. 14, 2023)
Gold Coast, Australia (CBUS Super Stadium — Oct. 21, 2023)
Arnhem, Netherlands (Gelredrome — May 11 and May 12, 2024)
Dresden, Germany (Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion — Jun. 22 and Jun 23, 2024)
Frankfurt, Germany (Deutsche Bank Park-Entrachr, Jul. 5, 2025)
On Monster Jam events, eight monster trucks face each other in a series of challenges to determine their superiority.
There are three main events in a Monster Jam show: racing, freestyle, and skills. After each performance, fans rate the drivers from 1 to 10 through their smartphones. The points are averaged and the driver with the highest average wins each competition; the driver with the highest score wins the whole event.
What is Monster Jam Racing competition?
Racing is a head-to-head competition between two or more trucks.
What is Monster Jam Skills challenge?
Skills is a timed event where the drivers compete in a variety of challenges, such as wheelies and doughnuts.
What is Monster Jam Donut competition?
In the Monster Jam Donut Competition, drivers spin their trucks in tight circles as fast and as long as possible, creating a donut-shaped pattern on the ground. Drivers are judged on the speed, angle, duration, smoke, and noise of their donuts.
What is Monster Jam Freestyle competition?
Freestyle is a timed event where the drivers perform tricks and stunts.
What is Monster Jam Two Wheel Skill competition?
The Monster Jam Two Wheel Skills Competition is a timed event where monster truck drivers compete to see who can perform the most impressive two-wheel tricks. The competition is judged on a variety of factors, including the difficulty of the tricks, the execution of the tricks, and the overall presentation.
How does Monster Jam scoring work?
In Monster Jam, the fans are the judges. They use their mobile devices to log into JudgesZone.com and rate each driver from 1 to 10. The scores are averaged and displayed before the next competitor hits the track, and the driver with the highest average score wins the competition.
The points from each competition are added up to determine the overall champion of each event. Later, the points from each event are counted towards the season standings, which determine the qualifiers for the Monster Jam World Finals.
Who are the most popular Monster Jam drivers?
Tom Meents: One of the most decorated and legendary drivers in Monster Jam history, Meents has won a record 11 world championships in both racing and freestyle, driving trucks such as Goldberg, Maximum Destruction, and Max-D. He is also known for his daring stunts, such as the first-ever double backflip and front flip in a monster truck.
Adam Anderson: The son of the original Grave Digger driver Dennis Anderson, Anderson has followed his father's footsteps to become one of the best drivers in Monster Jam. He has won four world championships in both racing and freestyle, driving trucks such as Taz, Grave Digger The Legend, and Grave Digger. He is also the youngest driver to ever win a world championship, winning in 2008 at the age of 23.
Debrah Miceli, AKA, Madusa: Miceli is the first female driver in Monster Jam, and continues to be one of the most successful. She has won two world championships in racing and freestyle, driving Madusa. She was formerly a professional wrestler in the WWE, AWA, and WCW. Her professional name, Madusa, is a shortened version of "Made in the USA."
Ryan Anderson: Another son of Dennis Anderson (and therefore brother of Adam Anderson), Ryan has also proven himself to be a top driver in Monster Jam. He’s won two world championships in freestyle, driving trucks such as Monster Mutt, Son-uva Digger, and Bakugan Dragonoid.
Todd LeDuc: LeDuc is a former professional motocross racer who switched to monster trucks in 2005. He has since become one of the most consistent and competitive drivers in Monster Jam, winning two world championships in racing and freestyle, driving
Which trucks will be featured in Monster Jam?
Here’s the truck lineup for the 2024 Stadium Championship Series West:
Grave Digger, driven by Adam Anderson
Son-uva Digger, driven by Ryan Anderson
Dragondid, driven by Camden Murphy
ThunderROARus, driven by Colt Stephens
Soldier Fortune, driven by Kayla Blood
Megalodon, driven by Cory Rummell
Monster Mutt, driven by Chris Koehler
Avenger, driven by Jim Koehler
Vendetta, driven by Mike Christensen
Velociraptor, driven by David Olfert
El Toro Loco, driven by Joe Foley
The Arena Championship Series Central will feature:
Grave Digger, driven by Weston Anderson
El Toro Loco, driven by Elvis Lainez
Scooby-Doo, driven by Linsey Read
Monster Mutt Dalmatian, driven by Jamie Sullivan
Megalodon, driven by Mikayla Tulachka
Get Er Done, driven by Brandan Tulachka
What is the Monster Jam World Finals?
The Monster Jam World Finals is the annual championship event for Monster Jam. It is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and features the best drivers and trucks in the world.
What should I wear to a Monster Jam show?
You should wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You may also want to bring ear protection, as the noise level can be quite loud.
What are the weather policies for Monster Jam shows?
Monster Jam shows will typically go on rain or shine. However, if there is severe weather, the show may be postponed or canceled.
Are children allowed at Monster Jam?
Children are an essential part of the Monster Jam vibe! Just keep in mind that children under the age of two are admitted free, provided that they sit on a parent or guardian's lap. Children ages two and up will require a ticket for all events, including Early Access, Pit Party, VIP Experiences, and post-event experiences.
Where can I get Monster Jam tickets?
You can purchase your tickets for Monster Jam right here at Event Tickets Center!
Should kids wear ear protection to Monster Jam?
Monster Jam is a loud event. From the music, the announcer, and the trucks, the noise level in the arena can be quite loud. It's perfectly natural for everyone in attendance to consider having some form of ear protection, not just for parents, but especially for children.
Even the drivers recommend having some form of ear protection ready during the show. In the lead-up to a Monster Jam event in Iowa in April, Tristan England, the driver of Earth Shaker, was being interviewed for a television news program and mentioned their importance: "One hundred percent, especially for the kiddos. I know my son, he always has to have ear protection. After doing this for so long, you're definitely going to need it," he said.
We recently published a guide to finding the best ear protection for your child on our blog.
Does Monster Jam sell ear protection?
A variety of ear protection including ear plugs and headphones are available for sale at Monster Jam events.
What other ear protection do you recommend purchasing for Monster Jam?
There are a number of brands that are highly rated for kids and even toddlers. Some of the brands worth checking out are Dr.meter's noise-cancelling headphones and PROHEAR 032 Kids Ear Protection.