Hayden gears up for monster truck mayhem
ALMOST every boy loves monster trucks.
But how many get to drive one before getting behind the wheel of a regular car?
Meet Hayden McLeary, one of the lucky few who is making an adrenalin-filled career out of crushing cars and doing sweet tricks in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Having joined the monster truck industry 11 years ago, the 19-year-old said nothing beats the thrill of strapping into a 1500-horsepower, five tonne monster truck and flying through the air at ridiculous speeds.
"I love crushing stuff," said McLeary, who holds a provisional driving licence.
"But I mainly do it for the fans who want to see something get smashed and lots of entertainment.
"There's nothing better than seeing the kids and adults' faces with a smile on them."
McLeary, who hails from Carters Ridge, south of Gympie, got introduced to monster trucks through his father Darrel, who runs the fireworks display for Monster Truck Promotions Australia.
He spent four years working on monster trucks before getting his first drive when he was 14 and now travels around the country performing in breathtaking shows as part of the MTPA tour.
McLeary, an apprentice diesel fitter, will be wowing supporters when he takes the reins of the newly rebuilt Crusty Demons and kids favourite Spot during this Saturday's ear-splitting spectacle at Maryborough Speedway.
"I am looking forward to this one because I barely do shows close to home," he said.
"It's like a home show for me ... I'm really excited."
Built for short-powered bursts of speed, the best monster trucks can reach top speeds of 130kmh but in stadium events, the trucks can perform tricks up to 90kmh.
McLeary and fellow driver Dave George will be pulling off an array of tricks and jumps as part of a packed program, which includes a show and shine and burnout masters competition.