Vermonster and the Bradford Mud Races in Bradford, VT sounded like fun so Kate and I went to check things out. Mud Racing, Deep Mud Competition in "The Trench", Rock Crawling, Rock Racing, Monster Trucks, etc. There is open entry for trucks but I can't see my truck screaming through mud several feet deep, going over 3 foot high rock formations, or winning a drag race.
Kate and I were on the road by 7:15AM heading to Bradford, VT. We arrived around 9:30AM and walked around for a bit looking at some of the show trucks that were set up. Some were very nice. We saw an F650 which was even more impressive in person than on their web site. www.f650pickups.com/ This one was 4 wheel drive. I was told the tires on it cost $1800 a piece.
We sat in the top row of one of the bleachers. It turned out to be a good move as it was pretty crowded and I was high enough to take pictures. I was wondering what type of crowd would be at an event like this. It turned out there were no wild crowds and it was very family friendly. One of the more interesting people I saw was this person sitting not far from me.
There were drag races behind the trench. Fun to watch but hard to see. They raced in mud which made ruts and they had large cement blocks as a barricade to protect others participating in the other events in case of a crash. Some of the races were very fast. There were different entry classes; 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, and 8 cylinder. There were also tire size guidelines. I could have brought different tires for my Silverado and entered the competition.
There was a rock crawling course set up. Some navigated the course real well while others became hopelessly stuck or tipped over. When a crawler became stuck someone would use a hi-lift jack to raise the vehicle so they could try to continue. (I can see danger in that job.) If that didn't work there was a backhoe to help lift them off the pile. There seemed to be lots of breakage in rock crawling.
The deep mud competition in "The Trench" was lots of fun to watch. Some of the trucks were FANTASTIC. They looked great and roared like lions. The trucks cross the starting line into the trench. Staff judges move along the top of the trench timing the run and measuring the distance travelled once the trucks get bogged down. Most trucks didn't make it through the deep mud to the finish line. It sure is fun watching them try. The crowd was really into it.
Once stopped, there were 2 guys that would jump in the mud (sometimes neck deep) to hook a cable to the back of the stuck truck (I can see danger in that job also) so a bulldozer can pull the trucks backward and up the side of the trench. Even after sitting in deep mud and water most trucks just started right up and were driven back to the pit area.
One truck rolled on its side. The staff moved pretty quick to make sure the driver wasn't pinned in his vehicle under the mud.
Throughout this post I have some Before, During, or After pictures. I had a lot of fun taking pics but it is really hard to choose what to post.
Damage: We saw several drive shafts hanging on the ground, heard loud engines ... pop ... then silence (could be any number of things), one engine fire, a rear axle broken, a blown transmission, fenders hanging, trucks on their side, one rock crawler rolling onto its roof, etc. All the people participating know it's part of the sport.
The whole experience was very kid and family friendly. If you like trucks, four wheeling, rock crawling, and MUD, I would recommend showing up next year.
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