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  1. #1
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    May 2013 MTRA Board Meeting Notes


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    MTRA Board Meeting Notes


    May 30, 2013


    Members in attendance: Tim Hall, Greg Adams, David Smith, Marty Garza, Brenda Noelke

    Meeting begins - 4:00 PM

    1.Monster Truck Driving Promotion
    Board discusses the immergence of monster truck driving schools and promotions. A review of some examples indicates no evidence of safety standards or qualifications for offering such “classes”. The public is urged to be cautious in considering participation in such endeavors and insist on proof of accreditation, safety equipment in place, and an applicable liability insurance policy.

    2.Promoter Representative
    The board is advised of Danny Torgeson acceptance of a nomination for Promoter Representative for the MTRA. Promoter members are to take a vote to select their representative to the board.

    3.RII Updates
    The board continues extensive discussion of RII availability and repair issues. There appears to be conflicting information out there so the board has requested formal clarification of specific statements. In addition the board is informed of discussions with a large manufacturer who is considering the development of solid state units which could potentially reduce the cost of the receivers. We hope to be able to provide members with more information in these regards in the near future.

    4.TV Show
    The MTRA was contacted by television producer regarding a competition based show where the contestants would race against each other in monster trucks. The board has concerns regarding not only the safe manner of operation but also the image this might portray to the public. The board is requiring more detailed information in reference to the specifics of the show before deciding upon how to proceed with the request.

    5.Website Updates
    The board discusses needed updates to the MTRA website. Brenda has provided an updated list of certified trucks and this has been posted on the site. Updates to the Tech Inspector and membership sections are to soon follow.

    6.Underage Drivers
    The board continues to receive reports of underage drivers performing publically and questions whether the insurance provider for these events is aware of this situation. The board must once again stress the fact that the MTRA requires that all drivers performing publically must be a minimum of 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license.

    7.Rule Updates

    The board discusses potential rule updates to be proposed at the annual MTRA Meeting in December. This leads to the discussion of a recent spindle failure where a tether cable was unable to adequately restrain the wheel assembly and allowed it to bounce a considerable distance posing a danger to individuals at the far end of the course. The board continues to consider the wheel restrain section of the rule book to be relatively new and potentially in need of revision.

    The board also discusses potential roll cage rule upgrades and the ability to police and verify compliance. It has been suggested that we attempt to assemble a conference of all the professional monster truck chassis builders in order to have them discuss practical application of updates which may be consistent across the various designs. As these are the individuals responsible for their construction, it is only logical to defer to their expertise. The board sincerely hopes that this conference will become a reality.

    The next MTRA Board meeting is scheduled for June 26th

    Meeting Adjourned - 5:00 PM
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  2. #2
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    Glad hear of the good things being discussed and the bad things being investigated. This industry does not need another accident resulting in anyone getting hurt or killed. Keep up the great work guys!!!
    Timothy T. Knerr
    Bath, PA.
    MTRA Spot Tech inspector/International Monster Truck Museum, Lehigh Valley Representative.
    Safety First!!! Racing and Freestyle Second!!!
    www.MTRA.us

  3. #3
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    I have a question with regards to item #6 - why is there an age limit, and why is it so high? I feel that anyone who has the capability to safely maneuver and exhibit a truck to the degree that they can pass the test for their MTRA license should be able to do so regardless of age.

    A parallel industry would be dirt track racing - there are people as young as 9-10 years old racing full sized cars now and they are more experienced/safer drivers than many of the weekend warriors out there, because they have been brought up in a racing seat their whole lives.
    Matt Stoltz

  4. #4
    Matt,

    The rule is not based on a concern over the ability to drive the vehicle. The MTRA goes to great lengths to identify potential dangers and mandate safety equipment to address them. However we cannot mandate the maturity and responsibility of the drivers. Those of you who have been behind the wheel can relate to the tendency to leave your brain in the pits when going out for a run. Things happen much faster in the cockpit than they appear from the stands. When the unexpected happens the driver must have the ability to analyze the situation and make split second decisions. Making the right decision depends greatly on the maturity and responsibility of the person behind that wheel. Those are traits which typically only come with age. Note that Ryan Anderson was not allowed to perform until an older age for that very reason. Clearly his ability to drive surpassed that of seasoned veterans. However the powers that be recognized the importance of maturity and chose to keep him on the sidelines until they believed he was ready.

    In addition to the above the MTRA insurance policy specifically requires that all drivers be over the age of 18.

  5. #5
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    While I don't agree with the maturity and responsibility bit (many young people exhibit a greater level of responsibility than some folks in their 30's) I can certainly understand the insurance carrier's policies and that is definitely a valid requirement that would need to be enforced in accordance with the insurance carrier.
    Matt Stoltz

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    The board continues to receive reports of underage drivers performing publically and questions whether the insurance provider for these events is aware of this situation. The board must once again stress the fact that the MTRA requires that all drivers performing publically must be a minimum of 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license.
    The problem is, if it's who I'm thinking of, the MTRA is not really in a situation to do anything if the given promoter isn't affiliated. They can make recommendations and call insurers, sure, but if a promoter that has no intentions of ever joining the MTRA is fine with the potential hazards/insurance liabilities of a 8 or 12 or 16 year old driving, the promoter is going to let them drive.

    The MTRA was contacted by television producer regarding a competition based show where the contestants would race against each other in monster trucks. The board has concerns regarding not only the safe manner of operation but also the image this might portray to the public. The board is requiring more detailed information in reference to the specifics of the show before deciding upon how to proceed with the request.
    Monster Jam did this for an episode of some NBC reality show with no problems; in fact, Dennis Anderson chewed out one of the contestants for not paying attention to a track official. Operating the truck safely was actually one of the challenges if I remember correctly. If the MTRA decides to pass on this without much thought, they'll be missing out on a huge opportunity to get their name out there and showcase just how safety-conscious monster truck events actually are. The unfortunate reality is, the public usually only hears about the actual monster truck shows in the news if something goes horribly wrong, leading to a negative view of the industry standard for safety.

    If you bring in a group of contestants, you can weed out all the glory-seekers who don't know a kill switch from a Krispy Kreme with rigorous safety testing before they're even allowed to start the engine. Pick out 8-10 people that actually know what they're doing and take it from there. Who knows, maybe this is our long awaited "real racing series?" (on second thought, naahhh)

    Anyway, the TV series is a potentially awesome idea as long as the producers are willing to prove they trust the MTRA's judgment in safety situations and don't overrule them in the name of "great television." That, and it'd be nice to have another monster truck show out there that doesn't make fans, drivers, and industry people all look like a bunch of ignorant hillbillies, so make sure their intentions are pure there, too.
    No matter how stupid Mayhem gets, it's ALWAYS a source of entertainment, even if the entertainment is unintentional.

  7. #7
    matt brang up a good point. since how many minors are racing in the camping world truck series?
    monster truck fan for over 20 years. man i'm old.
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  8. #8
    Keep in mind the significantly different environments in which monster trucks perform i.e. stadiums, sports arenas, fair grounds, rodeo arenas, dealership lots, etc.. Not all of these afford the same level of safety found on say a NASCAR track. Furthermore, monster trucks have a unique ability to traverse almost any barrier placed before them.

    When the inevitable race to be "the youngest monster truck driver on earth" begins, where would you draw the line? What criteria would you use to establish that line? I believe that when considering all the potentialities, the 18 year mark begins to seem reasonable.

  9. #9
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    Marty is right youth is a disadvantage when trying to handle an out of control monster truck. Being the youngest monster truck driver on the planet does not lend itself to professionalism, it's more like redneckism to me.
    Timothy T. Knerr
    Bath, PA.
    MTRA Spot Tech inspector/International Monster Truck Museum, Lehigh Valley Representative.
    Safety First!!! Racing and Freestyle Second!!!
    www.MTRA.us

  10. #10
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    not trying to sound neutral, i would agree with all these points, however age does not dictate maturity. i feel if the individual can pass the nessecary safety equipment test and driving test that any other applicant has to qualify for then the MTRA has no right to be prejudicial to anyone, as long as that person has a valid drivers lisence from there state. ive seen many 30 - 40 year old drivers that arent mature enough to handle a MT. the only reason i voice this opinion is because my daughter has been racing atv motocross since she was 9 years old and at a pro level (depending on class) since she was 13, able to run 3 different quads in 4 different classes at each event almost weekly. always ranking in illinois, missouri and iowa, and having a few national titles. she is 19 now but i wouldnt of hesitated a split second to put her in a truck at 16. i think maybe at that age each case should be individualized, if the operator is capable, who are you to say no. all of the accidents i am aware of involving driver or public injuries or fatalities did not involve a young operator

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