Wheelies, Noise, and a Flying Tire: Monster Trucks

Wheelies, Noise, and a Flying Tire: Monster Trucks

 
Growing up, there were a ton of neat things that my husband and I did that we want to share with our kids. Some of them are as simple as building a snowman and having a snowball fight or going down a cement slide. Others are things that we always wanted to do, like going on a hot air balloon ride.  There have been so many times that we saw something while we were out and thought "the kids would love that" or "I wish that we thought of that!". Finally, this year we made a list of things that we wanted to experience with our kids. We aptly named the list The Kids Experience List.

Planning for the Event:
The boys love monster trucks. Personally, I do not see the appeal. However, when the opportunity presented itself to go to a monster truck show, we grabbed it. None of us had been to a truck show before. The only thing we had heard was that the trucks were loud. So, we headed off to the hardware store to buy hearing protection. We bought ear plugsand ear muffs for us and the boys.

Pre-Show:
We walked in and after they took our tickets, we were funneled past the concessions and merchandise booths. Luckily, we had already discussed buying with the kids so we skated on by. Once inside the arena, you could go down to the pit and see the trucks up close and pay to ride in the back of a monster truck. The line was huge, so we just went to our seats. We sat down and put on the ear muffs. It took awhile for the show to actually get going, although I did get to see a parade of low hanging pants and butt cracks. I was glad that we had some snacks packed to keep the boys busy until the real show started.
Our Monster Truck event.
Show:
The beginning event was wheelies, which began with the trucks driving over cars and trying to catch some air. The first truck to go was hailed as a brand new truck. It drove over the cars and ended up flipped on its back! It took about 8 minutes to get the truck flipped back over, moved out of the way to get repaired, debris from broken pieces cleaned up, and the dirt ramp repaired. So of course the next truck tried to out-do the first truck. It lost control, broke off a wheel and landed on its side! That one also took about 10 minutes to clear out. Once the truck was flipped back over it drove off to the side with only three wheels, which I didn't even know trucks could do. After that, things went pretty smoothly. 

During intermission (yes, it had an intermission) we walked around to stretch our legs. The air circulation was better than I had expected, but there was still a faint exhaust smell so we also went to get some fresh air.

After intermission a truck attempted a back-flip.  It drove up to the flat side of the large dirt ramp, lined up, reversed and then sped forward. It started to flip, but didn't have enough height. It landed on the front bumper and flipped onto its side. Next, the Megasaurus came out. This thing was crazy. It came out looking like an armored car, but the top opened and this dinosaur looking machine came out of the top. It had movable arms and a head, and it breathed fire! The crew lined up an old junker car in front of the Megasaurus. The arms reached out, grabbed and lifted the car and the jaws proceeded to tear pieces of the car off until it broke in half.

After the Megasaurus finished its show and the debris was cleaned up, the other trucks showed off their moves in the final free style event. One truck did donuts, which somehow broke the truck and it had to be pushed out of the way. Luckily it broke down right near the edge of the ring so it didn't take too long to be pushed out of the way.

The Monster Truck show was definitely a one time event for me, but the boys loved it. If you have kids who like monster trucks, I think it is an experience they will enjoy. I learned a few things about preparing for a Monster Truck show. Here are my learnings:
  • Monster Trucks are loud. I know, no brainer, but they are super loud. Make sure you get the right hearing protection for the kids AND for you. I was amazed by the amount of parents that had hearing protection for their kids, but not for themselves. You need your ears too!
    • I know loud events (like concerts) can cause my ears to ring and even hurt. Eventually loud noises can cause hearing loss. I knew we needed hearing protection for the monster trucks, but I was curious as to how loud they really were in comparison to other noises so I did some research. Here's what I found:
      • Sound is measured in decibels (dB). Decibels are measured in a logarithmic scale. I was not familiar with a logarithmic scale, so I tried to find an easy explanation. Based on my findings, here is how I understand the decibel scale to work. The scale increases by a power of 10; the sound is multiplied by 10 for each 10dB increase. 
    • If a sound increases by 10 dB, it is 10 times louder. 
    • Examples: If a sound increases from 10dB to 20dB, it is 10x louder. A sound that increases from 10dB to 30dB, is 100 times louder (10x 10x). If a sound increases from 10dB to 40dB, it is a 1,000 times louder (10x 10x 10x).
  • Sounds above 85dB can cause hearing loss after prolonged exposure. Your ears begin to hurt around 120dB. Even short exposure to sounds at 140db can cause permanent hearing damage.
My decibel chart findings. Click to enlarge.
  • Pack snacks. Our venue didn't have a rule against packing snacks. No one likes to spend $5 for a bottle of water and it will be a lot cheaper to pack some candy from home.
  • If you don't want to buy cheap stuff there, talk to your kids before going. If you know they are going to want a glow stick, flag or toy car, it is much cheaper to buy the cheap pirate or checkered flag at a party or dollar store than at the event. My kids are young enough not to care where the souvenir was purchased from.
  • Take a break at intermission, or make your own break time, to get fresh air. Even if the venue has a ventilation system, if it is not working properly carbon monoxide poisoning can occur.
  • Have a meeting point. Going into the venue, we scoped out a meeting point outside in case we had to exit the building and were separated. We picked a spot that was far enough away from the building that if an emergency happened (like a fire) we were far enough away.
  • Hold your kids hands. Bernardo is getting to the age where most of the time he just walks next to me, but in such crowded conditions I made him hold my hand. It was especially useful when we left the show. It was dark, people were tired, and everyone was leaving at once. There were several times when people tried to cut in between us and we would have been separated if not for holding hands. Higgins tripped and I was able to pull him up before he got stepped on by the people behind us.

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