Most truck drivers don’t like snow; for starters, it makes piloting a big rig extremely hazardous on almost any type of road, highway or otherwise.
Then there are drivers like Ricky Johnson (at right), whom one can almost visualize mentally salivating at the thought of punching through snow- and ice-clogged roadways.
Of course, Johnson is a professional off-road racer and drivers like him always relish a challenge – no matter how slippery a course might be. [For more photos just click here.]
“Snow is like water; it has a mind of its own and it's continually changing,” he remarked this past weekend after tackling a one-of-a-kind course set up at the Mount Snow ski resort in southern Vermont; a track designed to show off the capabilities of his Pro-4 racing truck, dubbed the “Red Bull Frozen Rush.”
"When I first walked through the course and saw how steep it was, I knew it was going to be a challenge,” Johnson said. “But with every run I took today, I learned more. You really need to work with the mountain to keep control.”
Special tires designed by Bf Goodrich helped Johnson’s 900-horsepower (no, your eyes do not deceiveth you ... nine HUNDRED horsepower) off road truck punch up and down steep terrain covered by soft snow and ice.
Those are BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KR tires, to be exact, featuring half-inch spikes for additional traction against the steep inclines seen in the video above.
Johnson also noted he had to “fight against an engine that hates the cold,” as well as deal with less responsive shocks and a transmission that needed an hour of "getting ready" time before he could successfully navigate the figure-eight turns, snow-berm jumps, thirty-degree climbs, and other assorted niceties of the mountain slope.
Indeed, it took three practice runs and two final bolts up the mountain to successfully complete this specially designed track.
And while Johnson’s truck-driving exploits may be a very far cry from the routines required in the freight hauling world, they are still a lot of fun to watch.