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Published: 05 January 2017

What is Truck Trial?

It is a type of motorsport that involves driving trucks in terrifyingly difficult terrain. What is considered difficult here is beyond a layman’s imagination; cavernous mud holes, harsh and unforgiving rocks, and gradients of more than 45 degrees are just some of the obstacles encountered by trucks in these tournaments.

This makes it a sort of Olympics for trucks as it is the attestation to the durability of a truck’s chassis and tyres, the manoeuvrability and ultimately the driving and navigation skills of the truck drivers. The sport was born in the1980s in Europe. In a Truck Trial, the trucks must be all-wheel drive as it is almost impossible to master the terrains without the strength and agility that an all-wheel can provide.

The drivers have to be able to manoeuvre the trucks through gates, which are set by the organizers, with great skill and dexterity. These gates are, by no means, easy to reach however. In this sense, man and machine are both put to the test of their limitations. However, by man, we do not only mean the driver alone.

The man is complemented by his team. His partner, the navigator throughout the drive, will be his traffic control tower which will help him ascertain the best directions to follow through and impart valuable information on the truck’s situation that will get the truck out of literal mudholes or climb an overbearing slope. Other than that, the backup team is always at the helm of fixing damages which need to be immediately repaired on site for the whole operation to continue.

In a Truck Trial, each course’s section will be accorded to its own time limit. Usually, apt drivers are able to stay under this time limit without any troubles. The evaluation for the trucks takes place for different classes respectively. As mentioned, the gates set by the organizers are poles which are planted firmly into the terrains. The ordeal of having to pass a gate in a specific set of time is what definitively decides the skills of each drivers and their partners. The drivers will know the direction to drive their trucks by seeing the poles which are white in colour.

In certain sections, participants will be able to choose their own order of the gates so they will be able to drive through without making even a slightest gaffe in their manoeuvres. In the end, the main aspect that will be taken into account is whether the truck will be able to triumph each obstacle and pass through the entry gates, and conclude the section by passing through the exit gates within the time limits.

However, it doesn’t sound as easy as we make it out to be. Penalties exist for driving direction changes, for touching the gate poles or breaking them, omission of any goal or exceeding the time limit. The team in their class with the fewest penalty points at the end of the competition will be the winner of the race, collecting championship points.

Win or lose, at the end of the trial, all will be muddy. But mud is the least of the drivers’ concern as there lay ahead of them challenges of slanted slopes and uncanny rocky terrains. It can never be emphasized enough how challenging truck trials are for drivers and vehicles alike, sailing on top of what can be fittingly described as uncertain grounds. Truck Trials are conclusively the ultimate adumbration to the strength of the driver and truck combination.