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Landrover Monster Truck

Broadcast date : 24th September 2006

Nobody asked Hendrik if he had a fear of heights when they asked him to come out and play, this afternoon. No wonder heís looking a little apprehensive.

Yes, a Monster it certainly is, and not just any Monster Truck. Itís based, err, rather loosely, on a Land Rover Defender 110, and it was built by Pretoria Landy fanatic Jaq Steyn.

What really does it for us with Goliath is that, unlike other monster trucks, itís painted in your typical Land Rover British Green. No flame jobs or chrome obscuring the Landi message. Just some serious suspension mods and some SERIOUS wheels!

Each Trelleborg wheel and tyre combination weighs nearly 500 kilograms! This poor old car lying in the veld reminds us of an old bone that a big bad dog decides to play with every now and again.

And each component lovingly powder-coated and electro- plated where appropriate.

The four-wheel-steering is operated using hydraulics from a tractor, but fed through a Land Rover Discovery hydraulic valve to give Jaq the necessary control.

The massive air-shocks come from the trucking industry, more often seen on soft-drink trucks to provide a smooth ride for heavy, breakable cargo. And yes, it has long-travel six dampers, or shock absorbers, on each side of the vehicle.

What amazed us about Goliath was how well-sorted it was, and how effortlessly it handled, thanks at least in part to that four-wheel-steering. As for the sound, well, nothing beats a 454 Chevy V8!

Jaq Steynís Independent 4x4 operation started out as a Land Rover scrap yard a couple of years ago, but soon diversified into re-building complete Land Rovers and importing spares and servicing Land Rovers that are out of their warranty period.
This Hilux, owned by Jakes van Staden, is known as Big Blue and runs a Chev 350 V8 on a Land Rover 110 Station Wagon chassis.

Itís four-wheel-steering uses a ram from a fork-lift truck, powered by an electro-hydraulic pump from a Walkalong Fork Lift.

Like Goliath, it also uses a Discovery valve-bank to allocate the hydraulic pressure to activate the front or rear wheels to be steered.

Another vehicle that the Steyns are involved in is this rather famous off-road racing Land Rover.

Once owned by Cliffie Barker, it now belongs to Harold Coen, who has fitted it with a 2,5-litre BMW motor and has been campaigning it very successfully in Class D of the off-road series.

It seems like nothing is run of the mill around Independent 4x4ís workshop. These Pretoria okes seem to go their own way. Incidentally, Hendrik is also a Pretoria oke.

Soooo, whadooyoodoo for fun when you are the biggest Landy in the Land? Itís quite obvious. You pick on cars that are smaller than you.

In case environmentalists may be getting a bit upset, Jaq says that heís only helping in the car recycling process thatís such a global issue right now.

And those big wheels are known as flotation items, so they cause minimal soil erosion.
One may conclude that it would be very easy to flip such a tall vehicle. But with each axle weighing 450 kgs and the total wheel and tyre weight coming in at around 2000 kg, the centre of gravity is actually down where it should be, close to the ground.

The Defender 110 body is like a little pimple on top of all that critical mass.

Havenít you dreamt of doing something similar in the morning traffic?

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