Some people do crazy things, and some people do stupid things. Australian stuntman Ash Nichols combined the two, doing a crazy stupid thing by attempting to perform a big jump in a semi-truck after failing before, and it was nothing short of epic. He set a world record by taking the big rig 101.9 feet through the air, without the whole vehicle exploding at the end of the flight.
While that might not sound impressive to people who don’t know much about jumping vehicles, know that motocross riders usually jump about 100 feet on a much lighter vehicle, when they hit a triple jump. Nichols hit a single super cross-style tabletop jump to go even further in a huge, heavy, and not exactly very aerodynamic Ford LTL big rig, making the feat that much more impressive.
As Nichol’s Ford LTL semi-truck drives toward the jump at the beginning of the video, it looks as if he has hasn’t picked up nearly enough speed to jump over even a little Fiat 500, let alone go further than 100 feet. The whole thing is probably an illusion, like when you see a freight train approaching and it looks as if it’s not even going ten miles an hour, when it reality the locomotive is screaming ahead at a breakneck speed.
Just as impressive is how much clearance the truck had during the jump. A semi-truck isn’t exactly lightweight, so jumping it that high in the air is almost unbelievable. Even more amazing is the fact that Nichols was able to wrestle the thing and keep it going straight once the rubber hit the dirt again. If the attempt had been on pavement, there’s little doubt that he would have created a cracked portion of the street and sparks would have flown like it was the Fourth of July. You have to wonder if Nichols was the kid who was trying to create functional wings, jumping off the roof to see if they worked right.
In case you’re worried that Nichols was hurt from the harsh impact on the other side of his record jump, he was actually more than fine. In fact, the first thing he did after he jumped out of the truck was to ask if he could make the jump again. Fortunately for everyone, the whole thing was caught on video so we can all watch the amazing stunt over and over again. It’s not everyday we get to see semi-trucks launch hit ramps at over 100mph!