Monster trucks soar at Prince Albert Exhibition Grounds

Jodi Schellenberg
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Prince Albert filled the grandstand at the Prince Albert Exhibition Ground to check out the Monster X Tour show held on Friday and Saturday.

During the show, four drivers showed off their skills in the giant vehicles, popping wheelies, going over jumps and racing each other.

Although driving monster trucks is an odd sport to get into, Robert Brett, driver of the California Kid, loves his job.

“I’ve always loved automotive stuff, I’ve always been kind of a gear head,” Brett said. “I found this team to work with and I’ve been driving with them for a year now and I enjoy it.”

The Monster X Tour has been around since 2007, taking in all sorts of monster truck drivers, including Bill and Lorna Payne, who were dubbed the godparents of the Monster X Tour by the announcer during the event.

“My husband acquired two monster trucks and it just evolved from there,” Lorna Payne said. “It was quite a while ago -- it was 11 years ago and it was just one of those things.

“We have gone from two trucks to 11 trucks and being able to travel the world with the Monster X Tour everywhere -- whether it is Canada, South America, and we just did a tour in Poland as well,” she added. “It is something that evolved and you never expected it would go this far from where we started.”

The drivers are passionate about the monster trucks -- they do they own building, repairs and fabrications on the machines.

Brett said there are many fun aspects to the job.

“You get to crush cars, drive monster trucks, tour the world and have fun,” he said.

Payne said their truck has two seats, so although her husband is the driver she gets to ride along.

“As a passenger, it is like your wildest amusement ride and you never know exactly what is going to happen,” Payne said. “From where I sit, it is almost like being in a cockpit, so my field of vision is rather limited.

“You get to learn the truck but then sometimes the truck decides that it is going to do something completely different so you will either roll or save it,” she added. “The adrenalin rush is just fantastic.”

Although it is fun, it is also a lot of work, Brett admitted. He only gets home about once a month since he is touring on the road most of the time.

“It has its challenges but it also has its rewards (such as) getting to meet the fans to say hello and seeing how happy they are when we do what we do,” Brett said.

There were three events to watch during the show this weekend -- a wheelie contest, racing and freestyle.

“Usually the crowd favourite is the freestyle because it is kind of like no-holds barred. You just go, drive and have fun,” Payne said.

She said monster truck shows are “good family fun” for everyone to enjoy.

“You go, you watch trucks destroy things, you have the local quad racers that will come out as well, so you get to see some of your friends or family competing in an event, it is just great.”

Although there were four trucks competing in the Monster X Tour -- Rock Star, California Kid, Mega Merc and Western Renegade -- there was also the monster fire truck, Hot Stuff, for rides.

“It is a lot of fun to ride in a big monster truck that is a fire truck as well,” Payne said. “It is great for the kids.”

Organizations: Prince Albert

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