Measuring the Impact of Monster Jam

Two UF Civil Engineering professors teamed up with Feld Entertainment to research the impact of oversized motor vehicles on venue floors in an event called Monster Jam.

Monster Jam is the largest motorsport event that tours globally throughout arenas and stadiums.

Funded by a grant from Feld, Jennifer Bridge, Ph.D., and Christopher Ferraro, Ph.D., visited Marlins Park, a baseball stadium in Miami, and TIAA Bank Field, a football stadium in Jacksonville, to log and analyze the events taking place.

“We’re hoping to measure the loads that various equipment and monster trucks impart on the venue in which an event is being held,” Dr. Bridge said.

Bridge, who is principal investigator, is measuring to see if the events are detrimental to venue flooring by evaluating load pressures produced by the vehicles. Vehicles include monster trucks, dump trucks, skid-steer loaders, front-loader washers, excavators, forklifts and flatbed tractors.

“As civil engineers, we need to understand the loads on the soil and various equipment so that we can design them appropriately, so they’re safe,” she added.

After they finish conducting the study, they plan to provide specific pressure-loading data regarding all phases of Monster Jam, including floor protection installation, track construction, pit party, event performances and clean up.

Bridge and Ferraro hope that this research can show an innovative use to civil engineering.

“Any time we can gain understanding, it’s a good thing,” Bridge said. “Not only are we measuring monster trucks, but construction equipment. If we can understand the loads imparted by all these pieces of equipment, we can use it as a standard.”