Somehow I stumbled upon this video which appears to be from the Russian version of Gravelrama and more importantly the Czech version of the Big Eliminator hill at Gravelarama. Featuring an amazingly awesome and 100% BangShift approved array of trucks, tractors, and homebuilt buggies, this event looks like a place we’d be right at home checking out with a cold beer in our hand. The premise seems to be pretty simple. Scale the hill from a standing start or get as far up as you actually can before gravity wins and you have to roll back down. We’re not sure if there were any classes or anything and actually we’re pretty sure that there weren’t because of the fact that between the big eight wheel drives and the smaller trucks, they were all clawing to the same general place on the hill. There’s more than one way to skin this Russian cat!
Of all the designs we were surprised to see in this video, a farm tractor was certainly on the top of that list. The gearing and really short wheelbase seems to make that thing a really bad idea and the operator of the tractor was likely thinking the same thing as he went hurtling down the hill backwards. He did not tip over or anything but it looks like a creepy ride. Yes, the tractor had a roll cage and a cab on it. In fact, every vehicle that attempts this hill is caged, which is good. Truck trials events are popular in eastern Europe and Russia so we’re guessing that the rules state everyone needs a cage inside of outside of their rigs. There is something functionally cool looking about an exoskeleton, right?
As you would expect, diesel engines are the primary mill of choice in vehicles both big and small and this is kind of a study in gearing and how well you can apply that gearing to the ground. Video never does a good job at showing you the actual steepness of the hill during events like this but when you look at the people in the viewing area and then realize that no one actually makes it over the top, it’ll become clear that this is no bunny slope.
Now, all we need to do is get hold of our own eight wheel drive truck and we could be a player in this deal for the 2015 season!