Truck Related The MTRA and leaf springs

Kouvre

Well-Known Member
Are elliptical leaf springs still an allowable suspension type for a truck to be MTRA race certified? I know it may sound like a dumb question to some, but in light of recent events a ban on their usage for race vehicles is a step that needs to be taken, if it hasn't been taken already. I would also include coil springs (non-coilovers) and airbags in that group as well. I don't think I need to elaborate on what kind of safety hazards would be presented by a race truck utilizing this outdated technology.
 

R.R.I

Well-Known Member
So You would like leaf springs in any fourm an air bags an coil spring trucks to be banned??? An make everything nitrogen socks only?? Correct.?
 

Kouvre

Well-Known Member
Coilovers are also acceptable. I know you love your leaf springs, Brandon, but there's no way around it. The suspensions of the 80s are a safety hazard to both driver and spectator. I have no problem with them being used on ride trucks or your standard pop and drop trucks, such as Southern Sunshine, but the competition environment of today means leaf springs are a death trap. It can take a lot more than Advil to deal with the violent landings they can cause.
 

R.R.I

Well-Known Member
Ill agree to some of that yes. To a point. I dont feel they need to be banned they built this sport. Am i saying showup to vegas an try to hang with meents? No you would kill yourself or paralyze yourself. Now do i feel theres a place in small arenas yes. Marvin Anderson still runs his long spring leafer with /nitrogen asst shock an throws down a better freestyle than some full nitro trucks. Leafs i feel are very safe under correct an frequent maintaince an inspections. There was an issue wirh a leafer recently but to blame the springs is foolish bad arena protection no kill radios an a rookie driver under the influence of alcohol is a bad mix.. unless theres another incident im guessing thats were this thougjt came from.
 

Cactusjack1999

Well-Known Member
I don't think banning an entire type of truck is advisable. The accident as it were, was due to the poor judgement of the driver and the lax to non existant safety protocols. Whatever type of truck had nothing to do with it.
 

modeltruckshop

Well-Known Member
What on earth does suspension type have to do with the total lack of safety by the promoter, driver ,truck owner in another country? A truck with nitro shocks but no RII, no crowd protection, and driver with un unstrapped or no helmet and a brew or two before the event would still be the same recipe for disaster.
 

Overkill

Well-Known Member
Are elliptical leaf springs still an allowable suspension type for a truck to be MTRA race certified? I know it may sound like a dumb question to some, but in light of recent events a ban on their usage for race vehicles is a step that needs to be taken, if it hasn't been taken already. I would also include coil springs (non-coilovers) and airbags in that group as well. I don't think I need to elaborate on what kind of safety hazards would be presented by a race truck utilizing this outdated technology.
I understand the basis of your premise. Granted, there is historical precedence for incident resulting from drivers pushing past the practical limitations of there equipment in futile attempt to compete with superior technology. However, banning certain suspension types based on subjective performance standards suggests that all displacement/coil-over/air sprung types are good and all leaf/coil/airbag sprung types are bad. I believe this flawed hypothesis which is based on various assumptions. For example, No Problem Racer featured quarter-elliptic leaf springs and in my opinion was one of the best functioning monster truck racing suspensions I have ever seen. Another example would be Excalibur Racer which featured long travel leaf springs (18") and was dominant on the Thunder National circuit. And neither of these set-ups could in any way be considered unsafe. Conversely, without naming any trucks specifically I can assure you that I have experience with modern displacement type systems which have little if anything in terms of a performance or comfort edge over those examples.

The control in terms of the performance capabilities/limitations in my opinion should come first and foremost from the RII operators and next from the market (i.e. the promoters, whose expectations and the amount of leash provided to the individual driver is the ultimate limiter). In other words, if a driver's equipment isn't competitive it's marketability is limited. And if he attempts to push that equipment past it's reasonable limitations, he will be plagued with equipment failure and viewed as a potential liability both of which also limit his marketability.
 

Kouvre

Well-Known Member
I like that MTRA members are able to answer these questions directly on here. Thank you, Marty, and I will keep this in mind.
 

MTRATTK

Well-Known Member
Leave to Marty to put everything in perspective. Marty has a great wealth of knowledge and experience that trump many of us on this board, including me.:rolleyes:

Remember: It's not the nut on the wheel, but the nut behind the wheel. That's the real problem in any vehicle.
 
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Don

Well-Known Member
I don't see any connection between what happened recently and Leaf springs. They have operated fine for the past 30 years and some trucks are still competive in the right arenas with them still.
 

Jus Show N Off

Well-Known Member
My thought is that the reason you feel leaf sprung suspensions to be "less practical" is likely because many of the leaf spring bouncers often used re-purposed parts being used far beyond their original intentions. The leaf springs of the day were often reused from military trucks which also sacrificed their 5 ton axles, or utilized super arched leaf springs to gain lift and those always lack in the travel department.

Given some of the pretty gnarly things that guys are doing with leaf sprung vehicles these days, I'd really love to see someone apply modern technology in chassis design,, a couple built F106s with lightweight parts, a single nitro shock on each corner and a custom designed set of springs from someone like Alcan, and of course some lightweight 66s and wheels.

It's still not going to be a freestyle truck, but I could see a super competitive racer on leaf springs if it was all about low overall weight and low unsprung weight..
 

TNT

Well-Known Member
Oh I could so get my .02 cents worth into this topic. Save to say Sheer Insanity is the only (to my knowledge) leaf sprung truck that is Monster Jam safety certified and lays down a bad *ss freestyle that can spank the best gas shock truck out there in the right arena with the right obstacles. As for safety... there are MANY gas shock trucks that scare the p**p out of me either for their set up, safety standards, or the idiot behind the wheel. So it is not about leafs it is about a combination of things, plus experience and knowing your limits! So we wish Sheer Insanity had gas shocks, yes. Only because it is pounding the heck out of Ged after 12 years of hard driving. Things that I would miss... some of the best and effortless slap wheelies and 1 tired cyclones. I also defy any shock truck to beat him off the line. So there is my condensed .02 cents from someone who runs a competitive leaf sprung truck!View attachment 6466
 
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