Monster Truck The Pirate's Curse

What’s It Like to Drive a Monster Truck?

We asked rookie driver Justin Hicks to tell us how it feels to sit behind the wheel of a 1,500-horsepower, 12,000-pound truck.

32-year-old Justin Hicks has spent most of his life around bikes and trucks. He started racing motocross bikes before he could legally drive a car. And this year, he’s begun competing in Monster Jam’s Triple Threat Series, which speeds through Fiserv Forum January 18-19.

We asked Hicks to hit the brakes for a minute and share some details about his experiences with us.

Monster truck driver Justin Hicks
Justin Hicks

How did you become a driver?

I started racing motocross bikes when I was about 10. After winning two championships, I switched to freestyle biking, and traveled the world that way – my dirt bike was my passport.

Eventually, I was invited to attend Monster Jam University and I did well enough there to earn a spot on the Monster Jam roster.

What was Monster Jam University like?

It was amazing. I got to work with a world champion, Tom Meents. He’d sit down with me and the other students and review videos of our practices, breaking down every aspect of what we were doing.

In the early days of the sport, people only drove at shows. They didn’t practice, and they didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve.

Is the sport dangerous?

Nope, it’s one of the safest sports out there. There are so many different protocols in place, it’d be hard to get hurt even if you wanted to. That being said, it’s not a question of if the truck will flip over but when. You’ve got to be ready for that. Every time I get behind the wheel, I’m ready to go.

What do you do to stay race-ready?

I work out every day that I’m home. I do weight training, strength training and cardio. If you want to compete at the highest level, you need to be at the top of your game.

What should fans expect from the Triple Threat show this weekend?

There are eight drivers. They’re all great, but I’m definitely gunning for the event championship.



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.