Music City Trucks Featured Projects

Parts Used In This Episode

The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Brandon)>> Welcome to Music City Trucks. I'm Brandon Burke.

(Marc)>> And I'm Marc Christ, and we've got a big show planned for you today.

(Brandon)>> Big, let's say monster! [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ] ( )>> You must wake up every morning, is this really happening to me?

(Bob)>> Because I'm the one everyone's gunning for and I'm the one that they have to beat. ( )>> We wouldn't have had any of this if it wasn't for our truck. How can a truck do this much for you? Where else but America?

(Marc)>> How many square foot is in this building here?

(Dan)>> Now you're asking technical questions that I don't have answers to.

(Marc)>> Let's talk about the trucks then.

(Dan)>> I'm the shop foreman here at BIGFOOT. Kinda run the shop, see over the shop. Used to do some driving.

(Marc)>> Dan's also the BIGFOOT driver who jumped the airplane, and then set the world record for the longest jump at the time I 2012. He says he's a shop foreman, but his title reads Vice President of Operations.

(Dan)>> What we're running now is BIGFOOT 21, and it's one of the fastest, one of the most advanced race trucks in the industry. Bob Chandler, back when he did it, nobody would run over cars in front of an audience. So, if you go back that far this guy that owned a four wheel drive shop actually took this truck and put it in a corn field.

(Bob)>> The first time I crushed cars with BIGFOOT I said I'm gonna make sure and get over them. We put them length wise so we could go up from the trunk over the cab and put two bales of hay behind them so it would make sure it would get up on top it. I get out there, and I drive up and went right over them. I said, that was too easy. I come back around a little slower this time, went up, and stopped on top. You could hear people laughing, and screaming, and everything else. All I did was drive on the cars!

(Dan)>> So they did their first event in Pontiac Silverdome in front of 80,000 people and they got rushed on the floor. They take it from that to where it is now and how the whole industry has grown, I think has a lot to do with how long BIGFOOT stayed in it, and how many other competitors got involved in it all at the same time, and it's still growing today. We do maintenance on motors every week. Normally bodies do not get changed. It depends what event what truck is going to as far as bodies and what body's on it. So, we can swap bodies around on trucks. And making sure everything's clean and ready for the event, and then the tires, fuel, just normal maintenance to get these trucks to the next show and have enough of everything that they need to do it.

(Brandon)>> Well it turns out we're not just here to look around because they're gonna put us to work, right?

(Mike)>> Why don't you grab a corner and make yourself useful.

(Marc)>> We're gonna put this body on that truck. Where do we pick it up?

(Mike)>> Just on the corners there, and we'll walk it back and just kinda set it on there. Set it down about right there.

(Brandon)>> Go forward, there we go!

(Mike)>> That was the easy part. Now it's time to put all the bolts in. The outside ones are three-eighths. The inside are half inch.

(Marc)>> We're putting this body on this truck because it's leaving and going to Arkansas for an event.

(Brandon)>> We never imagined we would get hands on with BIGFOOT 21, and it's driving out today for an event that happens tomorrow. No pressure! [ Music ]

(Marc)>> This truck we just helped put the body on, let's talk about this particular truck. This is 21, right?

(Dan)>> Correct.

(Marc)>> What's special about this truck?

(Dan)>> A lot of this truck is built off of 18. 18 and 21 kinda have the same chassis. Shock angles were a big deal on this truck. We casted our own rear end housings because the part became unavailable from ZF. So, we actually in order to keep using the planetaries, the third members, same steering setup, all the hard parts that go with it we actually cast the housing so we could continue using the same parts, which is a pretty neat deal.

(Marc)>> And the shocks, you mentioned the shocks. You guys do the shocks here. You valve them, and build them?

(Dan)>> We assemble them and valve them here.

(Marc)>> So this is the newest truck, but you've got something else that you're working on.

(Dan)>> We do. We're actually working on a ride truck. This is 21, we're working on 22. Years ago we had a couple of ride trucks. They were leaf springs. There's a few ride trucks running around out there. We're building something similar.

(Marc)>> That's it over here. Let's take a look at it.

(Dan)>> So this is the bare minimum really. I mean it's just the main frame starting on the roll cage, building four link bars. No motor plates, no tranny mount yet, but this truck will actually have 10 seats in the back, and the privileged guy gets to ride in the front. We'll actually give rides on it at different events.

(Marc)>> So that's why it's built like this, with this style chassis and this flat, because you're gonna put a platform on here of some sort.

(Dan)>> We'll actually put a bed on it so it still looks like a pickup truck, and then put five seats down each side of the bed like our old ride trucks used to be. But the neat part about this is, with the new ones is, on the gas shocks like we're running we're gonna put gas and coil overs on this. So, when we give a ride, if the driver chooses to, he can kinda whip that thing it just kinda give the people a feeling of what it's like to be in a monster truck. Make it loose.

(Brandon)>> Now this one's cool. What number is this one?

(Mike)>> This one's number 18. As you can see it's got the BIGFOOT body on that we run for our Hot Wheels show.

(Brandon)>> And these things jump like over 200 feet, both of these trucks.

(Mike)>> The last one, Dan jumped this one it was like 214.

(Brandon)>> This one's ready to go to an event just like the one you're getting ready over there.

(Mike)>> The other one that we just threw the body on is going to the same show. So, it's gonna be getting loaded up tomorrow and leaving. We don't get a whole lot of time to work on them.

(Brandon)>> And you guys have to repair them at the event if something happens right?

(Mike)>> Yep, if we're in between shows and it knocks a wheel off or something we've got to fix it there. These are 66 Firestones that we run when we're at the shows. These are buffed down. So normally they're full cleat.

(Brandon)>> These are off a combine, right?

(Mike)>> Like an egg tire, yes.

(Dan)>> Hey guys, I promised you you could drive BIGFOOT. [ engine humming ]

(Dan)>> Got one for you too Brandon.

(Marc)>> So we got a remote controller instead of keys, and it is a lot of fun, but it isn't BIGFOOT. We'll keep trying. Coming up, will we get to drive the original BIGFOOT Number One?

(Darron)>> She is not a monster truck driver by trade. She is an emergency room nurse.

(Rebecca)>> I'll be the first one to tell you if you'd have asked me when I was 18 if I was gonna drive a monster truck, I would have said no.

(Marc)>> Meet Rebecca Schnell, driver of BIGFOOT number 15.

(Rebecca)>> Am I gonna be able to do this physically at that point in my life, and at that point I had also only moved a truck that was his. His seat was twice me size. [ Darron coughing ]

(Darron)>> Did you just call me fat?

(Brandon)>> That's Darron Schnell, Rebecca's husband, driver of BIGFOOT 19.

(Rebecca)>> Well I'll say I win the most. When we first started racing each other, because they'll line us up head to head, Darron thought that I was not gonna run him like the other guys would run him. He thought wrong. I kicked his butt the first race that we run. However, in respect to that everyone of the other guys that I race, they don't just give me the race. They make me work for every win that I've ever gotten, and I 100 percent appreciate that because that improves my skill set as a driver and to learn to navigate different situations that you're thrown into. They are talking about a giant tour next year internationally, and we did volunteer to do that, and it's just a different reward to be able to go and see countries that you'd never thought you would see. But not only get to see those but you're paid to go see those. You spend your own personal dollars to tour them, but those are countries we probably would have never visited on our own dime had that been an opportunity for us without the monster trucks. We took the trucks over to Doha, Qatar. The cargo planes was massive. There was many, many trucks that jumped in the plane, flew over seas. Then we circled around to January and February. January we were in London and Liverpool. We seated about 60,000 people in the O-2 arena for our tour, and then we had a month off, and then we went back over for about eight weeks total.

(Darron)>> It's always something different. You're always going somewhere different, meeting new people, and that's the real appeal of this is you're always doing something helpful. There's something different, and there's always great people wherever you go. That's kinda what keeps us going up and down the road.

(Rebecca)>> Absolutely! [ Music ]

(Darron)>> What do you guys say we go next door, show you a few things? One of you guys want to drive this?

(Marc)>> I would die!

(Darron)>> Let's go!

(Brandon)>> Can I get in the bed?

(Darron)>> You can go wherever you want.

(Marc)>> This is surreal. Wow, I can't believe I'm sitting in this truck.

(Darron)>> It is beautiful. Fairly easy to start. Hold power on, turn the key on, you'll see fuel pressure come up, hit start button. There it is! [ engine revving ]

(Darron)>> Normal racing ratchet shifter. [ engine revving up and down ]

(Darron)>> Mark and the key, just turn it off, that's it. So, what do you guys think?

(Marc)>> It's the original BIGFOOT. It's incredible!

(Darron)>> Here's the best part. I left the keys in it. What do you guys think about taking her around the parking lot?

(Marc)>> You don't have to tell me twice. You don't say no to something like this!

(Brandon)>> No, no is not in the vocabulary at that point.

(Marc)>> I've just got to take this in for a second. [ engine starting and revving ]

[ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Oops, I turned it the wrong way! I already messed up. They're gonna come and yank me out. This is the greatest day of my life. [ engine rumbling ]

(Brandon)>> You'll never be able to replace this memory right here.

(Marc)>> Oh my god! I'm crab walking BIGFOOT 1. Oh man! This is a core memory right here! I don't know what I'm doing! [ engine rumbling ]

(Brandon)>> Push that forward.

(Marc)>> There we go! [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Isn't it silly! [ engine rumbling ]

(Marc)>> I'm gonna go duplicate this key.

(Darron)>> And now we're going from one extreme to the other. We've got BIGFOOT 1 on 48's. What do you think we can do to top this?

(Brandon)>> Coming up, it's big, blue, its tires are 10 feet high, it's BIGFOOT number 5!

(Marc)>> Oh hey!

(Rebecca)>> Hey guys, how's it going? I'm Rebecca! You ready to take a ride in number five?

(Marc)>> Yeah!

(Rebecca)>> Well there's two ways to get up. You could use the ladder or you could climb up old school way.

(Brandon)>> I'll do it the old school way.

(Rebecca)>> Alright, let's go! [ Music ] Guys what's taking you so long.

(Marc)>> This is kinda difficult. These tires are how tall, 10 feet? Thanks for opening the door.

(Rebecca)>> You're welcome.

(Marc)>> I guess I'm sitting in the middle.

Ignition switch I bet.

(Dan)>> That's what I'm thinking. [ Music ] [ engine cranking ]

(Darron)>> Pump it. [ engine fires ]

(Marc)>> That's how you start an old truck right there! So, what's special about this truck? Can we talk a little about it?

(Rebecca)>> Well it is a very old truck as you see, and the rear steer on this one works just like the ones on number 1. [ engine rumbling ]

(Brandon)>> This is awesome! [ Music ] Yee ha!

(Marc)>> You've been driving how long?

(Rebecca)>> About two years give or take.

(Marc)>> Did you ever imagine that you'd be a BIGFOOT driver?

(Rebecca)>> Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'm gonna be a BIGFOOT driver. Well, I'm quite frankly tired of driving. One of you guys want to take over?

(Marc)>> I would love to drive.

(Rebecca)>> Alright, let's do it. You can slide on over. I'm gonna make a little lap here. [ Music ] See if she wants to crank. Give her a little pump action, hold the brakes though! Alright!

(Marc)>> Just put it in drive and go?

(Rebecca)>> Put it in drive, it'll click in. Now your rear steer is on that little switch.

(Marc)>> Now I can see these tires.

(Rebecca)>> You can see them really well.

(Marc)>> This is amazing! Other than when I got married, and other than when my kids were born.

(Rebecca)>> That was a nice recovery. Let's wave at the drone.

(Marc)>> Can I look around and go the other way?

(Rebecca)>> Essentially if you want to turn to the left you steer to the right. We've just got to stay on top of this stuff. It's really soft down here.

(Marc)>> This is crazy! That truck's cooler, this truck's more fun to drive. [ engine rumbling ]

(Rebecca)>> Alright, mission accomplished. We didn't roll the truck and we've got to start with just one bam.

(Brandon)>> We're here at Vinyl Images in Saint Louis, and BIGFOOT's got a brand new body getting wrapped.

(Marc)>> Yeah, they're actually getting this thing ready for an upcoming Hot Wheels show that's coming up in about a week and a half. You must be Joe.

(Joe)>> I am, nice to meet you.

(Brandon)>> Nice to meet you.

(Joe)>> This is it, Gungster. It'll be the new body coming out for the next week's show.

(Brandon)>> And it looks like you already got some of the doors done.

(Joe)>> We did. We actually did this to show you guys what it's gonna look like, and while you guys are here we're actually gonna do the hood and possibly the bed side.

(Marc)>> Let's do it.

(Joe)>> What we do is we get with the client, and in this case was BIGFOOT, and we talk to them and the client that they're being used with and get a design concept. Kinda go back and forth. I think we have four or five different mockups of what this actually was at one point. So, when the client sees it they know exactly what it's gonna look like before we even get it done. [ torch hissing ]

(Joe)>> And if they love it on paper they're gonna be impressed in person. We've done several of these. So, we have a game plan. We've done Dunn's Toilets. We haven't done a casket, but they do wrap caskets. We blink our eyes, it's done!

(Brandon)>> That looks awesome!

(Joe)>> This is how fast it can be and that's how clean it's gonna look.

(Marc)>> It looks really nice! I can't wait to see it all finished up, but for now I would say that's a wrap for us.

(Joe)>> We'll go with it. Thank you very much for coming by.

(Marc)>> Thanks Joe, great place!

(Joe)>> Thank you!

(Brandon)>> Coming up, we'll get the BIGFOOT story from the people who know it best!

(Marc)>> Well the torch is being passed on to the next generation. Bob's daughter and CEO Ann Trent and her husband, Vice President Bob Trent now run the operation. Their story is big as well. (Bob T.)>> I actually didn't even know about the truck for quite a long time. She never told anybody about it.

(Ann)>> Back before it was really anything. He still picked me and my sister up from school. It was a truck that had big tires on it. It was still street legal at that point. We would go down to Lesterville, which is in southern Missouri, and it's a real rocky recreational area, and we would go four wheeling. It was just part of the family. It was just always there. (Bob T.)>> We were kinda thrown into the wolves when we started working and running it basically, and we'd done enough meetings with some of the bigger companies and realized some of the verbiage they use, which would be brand and things like that, and we decided we really need to treat this as a brand and sell it as such.

(Ann)>> Neither of us have any marketing background, or know the buzz words, or even what they say you're supposed to do to market. Neither of us has any thing formal. We just more or less taught ourselves as we went along. (Bob T.)>> I think it worked out well for us because we believe in the product and the brand, and we're pretty confident in it, and we still like doing it. We stayed pretty much family focused.

(Ann)>> Our fans are every age, but what we want to do is toward the kids. (Bob T.)>> Right now we're catering to a younger crowd, which start out at three, four years old. So, we're taking and going back around full circle again. So, when we were doing shows before, and let's say when you were younger or even your father were buying product when he would go to a show, we would do like a dollar per person in sales for novelties. And with the grandparents and parents taking the grand kids to the shows we're doing like $9 dollars and $9.50 per person in sales, which is unheard of, but I think it's going back through the brand that the whole family can relate to because they've all been involved with it.

(Ann)>> I also think some of it is because we take risk. Sometimes you know what, what about this? Let's just try it and see what happens, and that's what my dad did with the truck. That's why the truck ended up being what it was is because he goes, well I want to see what happens if we put bigger axles on it. Okay well now I want to put bigger tires on it. Okay, well now we keep breaking the axles. Now we've got to put bigger ones on. There's always been an element of what's gonna happen with the truck next. Look at that thing! That's just one example, and we keep doing that. We see ourselves continuing for sure with the whole Hot Wheels Monsters Live program because it's such a good program because it's such a good program. (Bob T.)>> We're focusing on the same age group basically. We're looking at the same thing they are looking for. And then for us to be able to help them out and vice versa is fantastic really.

(Ann)>> My dad is just a big kid, and I think that's sort of our core thing of what we're doing. This is for the kids. That's why we all do this.

(Rebecca)>> We made it through and we didn't get to do any car crushing with it, but maybe that'll be on the list next, and you got to teach them how to drive number 1. The trucks that we had were iconic trucks for them to be able to see.

(Darron)>> It's the trucks that they grew up on.

(Dan)>> People still love it. It's like the 10-foot tire truck. It's the excitement of it. To see it going where it's going and the number of shows that we already have on the books here and abroad for next year is huge.

(Marc)>> Well I have to say that is one of the most incredible experiences, not only of my career but in my entire life. What do you think Brando?

(Brandon)>> I'm not gonna lie, it's up there! So, there's one last BIGFOOT we wanted to come see, and it's the one at BIGFOOT Park here in Pacific.

(Marc)>> Yeah there's BIGFEET all over this town but we figured we'd come here, say one last goodbye to BIGFOOT and Pacific, Missouri, before we hop on the interstate and head back to Tennessee.

(Brandon)>> South bound!

(Marc)>> We'll see y'all later.
Show Full Transcript