The record for the longest jump made by a semi-truck has now held firm for more than one year! In July of 2015, it was set in the United States, in the small town of Butte, Montana. That day a record crushing 166 feet (50.59 m) was flown by none other than Nitro Circuses Gregg Godfrey!
You may remember in 2008 he set the record at 62 feet (18 m) after winning the Baja 1000; a race not meant for the faint of heart. That record was then broken by Lotus’ Formula One team in 2014 when they sent their team truck and trailer vaulting over the top of their Lotus E22 F1 car Watch Here. Possibly a scarier maneuver considering both was driving incredibly quick.
The Event In Montana
The event in Butte, Montana was a part of an Evel Knievel Days festival. Knievel was born in 1938 in Butte and for the last fifteen years, that event is held in the city to pay tribute to their most prestigious star. If you are not familiar with Evel Knievel, you need to look him up and watch some of his amazing stunts. During his life, he performed more than 75 ramp-to-ramp jumps and still holds the world record for surviving the most broken bones (433) in a lifetime. The man is an absolute legend and still holds records today for jumps and for the media attention he drew for his jumps.
As a tribute to Knievel, Godfrey’s Freightliner FLD120 was painted to resemble the costume that he would wear for his spectacles. Adorned with a red, white, and blue ‘V’ shape on the sides of the cab the truck certainly looks the part. Godfrey says that there were a few modifications to the truck but that all they needed it to do was reach 70 miles per hour (112 km/h) and stay there. From the factory, the Freightliner FLD120 has around 435 horsepower and weighs around 12,000 lbs (5443 kg) – not a high-performance machine.
As you’ll see in the video, the jump is on a public street in town, surrounded by people, and is done off of about a tall dirt ramp. The original goal was to travel 140 feet, but records are meant to be broken. Godfrey says that the truck had no problem getting to 70 mph and staying there, exactly like he needed. Also part of the original plan was for him to jump over Knievel’s “Red Hauler” tractor trailer that was used to move around the man’s motorbikes and equipment. Unfortunately, the big-rig and trailer wouldn’t fit underneath of the ramp, so the plan was scrapped.
Another three records were broken that day, in other performances, but the most impressive are Godfrey’s run. It will be awhile before that record gets shattered. It also wouldn’t surprise us if he attempts it again, but in a different location considering how close he comes to bowling down that building at the end. Regardless, we can’t wait for the next!