Semi trucks aren’t known for their ability to handle jumps and get a lot of air, but the amount of hang time this one gets is impressive. This truck is actually going for the world record in jumping distance for a semi. Based on how far away the two dirt ramps are, this would be a tall order for any kind of vehicle, let alone a semi that weighs about 10,000 or 15,000 pounds. If he doesn’t make it, the stuntman better be prepared to get a windshield full of dirt and some serious whiplash from crashing into the side of the landing ramp. You can see that there’s a huge crowd gathered to see this event, and they are about to have some serious excitement.
Evel Knievel Days
This crazy jump took place in July of 2015 at the annual Evel Knievel Days in Butte, Montana. The event celebrates the legendary daredevil with exciting stunts and races over the course of 3 days. In addition to motorcycles being prominent at the event, spectators also get to watch people participate in extreme biking, skateboarding, and wakeboarding events. Attempts at world records are a constant occurrence at this event that honors Butte’s most famous resident. I don’t know about you, but I think this sounds like a great way to spend a few days.
The Previous World Record
Gregg Godfrey was the daredevil looking to break the semi-truck jump record at the 2015 Evel Knievel Days. The record distance between the ramps was an amazing 166 feet. That distance would shatter the previous record of 83 feet that was set in 2008 when the Lotus F1 team jumped a semi truck over a moving Formula One car. While there’s no other vehicle in play for this stunt, the fact that the jump is twice as long makes it just as dramatic, if not more so. As you can see, the ramps go up to a height of about 20 feet, so you’re about to see some awesome hang time if all goes according to plan.
Who Is Gregg Godfrey?
Godfrey is now known for this amazing stunt, but he is also known for his work on Nitro Circus, which is a show that features stuntmen traveling around the world riding dirtbikes and performing various stunts. There were several Nitro Circus DVDs and TV episodes made, and Godfrey was the co-producer, director, and writer for all of them. Godfrey began as a stuntman for Disney, but left soon after to pursue his own film career before producing Nitro Circus. Interestingly, this daredevil was also the first man to try jumping a semi truck, and set the initial record at 50 feet, 6 inches in 2008. A year before that, he set the record for longest solo motorbike run in an off-road race, going 1,280 miles in 40 hours and 22 minutes.
Two Other World Records
Along with Gregg Godfrey’s world record, there were two other world records at the 2015 Evel Knievel Days. Greg’s nephew Tanner Godfrey broke a world record for distance jumping a utility terrain vehicle. Despite being a paraplegic, 26-year-old Tanner was able to rehab to the point where he could drive the vehicle, and ended up jumping it a record-breaking distance of 202 feet. Bryan Spangler, another stuntman, also broke the world record for a backwards car jump with a distance of 123 feet, 6 inches.
It goes without saying that you need to have a lot of speed built up to get a semi truck to jump this distance. This is definitely the case, as the truck first appears on the ramp traveling at a tremendous speed. He probably would have had to have a mile or so of runway to build up that kind of speed, and he likely also made some modifications to the truck to make it lighter and more powerful. Pay attention to the time elapsed, you’ll notice that he was in the air for about 4 seconds. To give you an idea, that’s about the average hang time for a good football punt!
So after seeing the distance between the two ramps, where do you think the semi is going to land? Is Godfrey going to come up short, or clear the ramp with ease? You’ll find your answer in just a moment, so give it a look and tell us what you think!