424 Feet of Concrete, Rocks, Logs and Water
ABOUT THE FRAME TWISTER:
The brutal Frame Twister has evolved through the years, and for the 2013 Top Truck Challenge it changed again. In 2012 we cut almost 100 feet of fat from the Frame Twister for Top Truck Champions’ Challenge, and this year we hacked off another 100 feet or so, which left us with 201 feet of condensed chaos. The course began just a few yards prior to the infamous Squeeze Rock section with its nasty dogleg that likes to flip vehicles. Once clearing the Squeeze, competitors made a left turn and came face-to-face with the gut-wrenching, suspension-bending log section. This section included six strategically placed logs that are perpendicular to the direction of travel and each was separated by deep, water-filled trenches.
The log section may only be a few yards in length, but it’s an evil section that has ruined the day of many TTC competitors over the years. Each team had 10 minutes to complete the course. Cones marked the boundaries and a competitor was considered out of bounds if the inside of any one of their vehicles tires traveled past the outside edge of a cone. Hitting a cone resulted in a 30-second penalty and a two-minute penalty (per occurrence) resulted if the competitor violated the winch safety guidelines.
ABOUT THE MUD PIT:
It would be really boring if we constructed our infamous Mud Pit the same each year. Besides, then competitors would know what to expect, and that’s unacceptable. Last year, the course was fast and nearly all of the competitors made it through with no problem. This year, we mixed it up (no pun intended) by combining thousands of gallons of water and our special dirt. With a water quotient higher than last year, our 135-foot pit was a delightful, soupy, tire-swallowing mess. Competitors were allowed to run until they ceased forward momentum or crossed the finish line. Running over a cone netted a 30 second penalty for those who completed the course and a 5-foot penalty for those who did not finish. Traveling out of bounds meant disqualification and a two-minute penalty was assessed for safety violations.
SEE OUR ORIGINAL COVERAGE BELOW
The Frame Twister is a mix of concrete, rocks, logs, and water. The fact is, 424 feet isn’t really that long of a distance. As a matter of fact, at 65 mph a vehicle can cover that distance in less than 4½ seconds. However, when it’s 424 feet of Frame Twister, it’s a completely different ballgame. This course contains a banner collection of items designed to challenge driver and machine every inch of the way. Highlights include the sheet-metal-mashing boulder pile, tire-grabbing log section (logs placed perpendicular to the direction of travel with deep water holes between each log), deceptive 5-foot-tall log pile, and final large culvert pipes.
The Frame Twister proved to be a difficult obstacle for some of our competitors this year. The slippery logs forced many into a bad spot that either made them time out or end up sliding out of bounds off the course. The driving styles our competitors employed ranged from hard charging to the calm and methodical strategy. Josh Middleton and Tony Monalto charged through the Frame Twister while blasting AC/DC's Hell's Bells cranked all the way up to 11. Glen Green had an awesome strategy when he hit the logs in the Frame Twister in his '79 Ford F350. Hold it wide open and hope for the best, which in his case worked out just fine as he ended up with the fastest time through the Frame Twister after bouncing off a few logs and airing out the suspension under the big burly Ford.
Aaron Fava's giant '89 Chevy Crew Cab K30 truck developed an electrical gremlin that kept his marine powere 454 V8 from running right yet somehow he managed to sputter and re-fire his engine enough to muscle the huge Chevy out of the Frame Twister but not before having to pull cable for a little encouragement. Aaron also showed great skill at handling the rear steer setup of his big red Chevy which allowed him to come away from the frame twister without getting hung up between the large boulders in the rock section of the course.
Check out the rest of the action from the Frame Twister at this year's Top Truck Challenge!