Minature Monsters: There's a new kind of truck-pull in Casey

March 17, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

Casey County has a new attraction for those who want to pull monster trucks on a miniature scale.

Several people have gotten interested in miniature monster truck pulls that operate on basically the same rules as regular trucks.

"It's definitely a growing thing," said Brian Beeler, one of two businessmen who have started selling the remote-controlled miniature trucks.

Beeler has the dealership to sell the 4-wheel-drive T-Maxx made by Traxxas in Texas, and Mark Beard sells the Cen brand plus takes mail orders for several other brands at Beard Trading Post.

The T-Maxx looks identical to full-size trucks, but is one-tenth the scale of a real truck. It's small enough to carry rather than drive, and it travels up to 40 miles per hour. The trucks are gas powered, run on nitro methane and have an electrical start.

Beeler and his partner, William Lucas, who run the Sign Shop on Middleburg Street, operate the T-Maxx dealership from the shop.


Beeler became interested in the hobby after a friend brought a miniature truck to the shop last summer.

He ran the truck around a bit, then decided he wanted one. He got one for his birthday and that led to the dealership.

"I figured if enough people were interested, the trucks would eventually sell," he said.

Vocational school students built track

Casey County Vocational School students built a circle track and 10 trucks through the School to Work program. Beeler said several other people in the county are making the circular tracks that can be used for drag races and truck pulls, but no one has officially set a schedule for the pulls and racing.

Donald Baldock of South Fork Creek, who has been interested in truck pulls and garden tractor pulls since the 1980s, invented a hitch to hook the sled to the truck.

"I've been in and out of pulling about all my life," said Baldock, who owns D&S Machine Shop on South Fork Creek.

He is currently making hitches for the back of the mini-trucks to attach the sled and also is making stainless steel weight boxes for the front of the trucks. He doesn't have a pattern, he just makes it up as he goes. He and a friend, Jimmy Grider, have been working on manufacturing the sleds, too.

"I took a big truck and figured out how to make them," he said. The hitches cost a lot less than those needed for monster trucks, and he's already sold 14.

Baldock said a full-size truck can cost up to $100,000, depending on the cost of a motor and modifications made. "A paint job can cost between $5,000 and $6,000."

Beeler said it takes about $500 to purchase a miniature monster truck. They come assembled with the exception of a battery.

Beeler not only likes to sell the trucks and compete in pulls, he also is in the trading business.

"I traded to get two trucks, fixed one to keep and sold the other. I traded it in; it has sold four times since," he said.

"So far, we've had two pulls at the Manuel Hooten residence," Beeler said. "The pulls are pretty neat events."

Pulls attract ages 10 to 50

The miniature truck pulls attract ages 10 to 50. Kids usually pull the box stock, trucks already assembled when bought, Beeler said.

There are eight to 10 trucks in each of two classes - one for box stock, and a stock class with trucks with modifications (adding weights). Before the pulls, the trucks have to be checked in and are allowed to have 5-pound weights on the front.

They have two-speed transmissions, and they shift gears on takeoff. Some trucks have different gears and bodies that can be changed easily. They lift off the truck frame.

The pull track is 33 feet long, and a full pull is considered 30 feet. "One truck pulled 115 pounds in the last truck pull," Beeler said.

People get sponsors for their miniature trucks just like at a regular truck pull, but the difference is the cost. Beeler said a good sponsor pays about $30 for a miniature truck while the cost runs about $500 for a regular truck. He expects between 40 and 50 miniature trucks to be in circulation in the county this year.

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