Monster Jam Finals Features JCB Earthmoving Equipment & the JCB Monster Truck DIGatron

Driven by champion Tristan England, the DIGatron’s first year as a participant ended with tons of fans and a second-place race finish.

The Dirt Squad works on the track
The Dirt Squad works on the track
JCB North America

The crowd, the trucks, the music, the noise … what could be more fun? Learning how the track and the event came together, especially for dirt enthusiasts everywhere! Being invited to a media event at a fun experience like this was a thrill, and getting to go behind the scenes and talk to some of the experts organizing the show and JCB’s involvement in the Monster Jam family was a unique opportunity.DIGatron Driver Tristan England signs autographs in the JCB booth during the pit party.DIGatron Driver Tristan England signs autographs in the JCB booth during the pit party.Lori Ditoro

Why Monster Jam?

The evening of the Monster Jam Finals, Alice Bamford, daughter of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford shared the origins of the Monster Jam partnership. The idea stemmed from Bamford's son's love of Monster Jam.

“Monster Jam is such a fun event,” said President & CEO of JCB North America Richard Fox-Marrs during an interview at the event. “It's something that involves the whole family. [We] will have prospective customers, their spouse, their children come to the event … just a great thing for the family. It's not a high-pressure day for our people to come in or our customers to come. It's just calm: Have a great time, bring the family and see a little bit about JCB.”

Alice Bamford also loves that Monster Jam is family friendly.

"Every generation can come," she said. Monster Jam also strikes a chord with JCB's customers, dealers and service techs. Also, according to Bamford, “JCB is fully integrated into Monster Jam."

In addition to providing equipment for the Dirt Squad, JCB's engineering team designed DIGatron, a JCB Monster Jam truck, inspired by a backhoe loader. It is driven by the reigning Monster Jam World Finals racing champion Tristan England

Why Model DIGatron on a Backhoe Loader?

Up close with DIGatron.Up close with DIGatron.Lori DitoroFox-Marrs pointed out that the backhoe is JCB’s signature product.

“It's the product that the company was founded on. It's the product that the company is renowned for around the world. Today the backhoe and the loader are two products that the company is renowned for around the world. But the backhoe was the original product and very much piece of construction equipment. And that's what made [us] go with backhoe,” Fox-Marrs said.

The backhoe also makes an appearance during the competitions, but more on that later.

How Is the Track Built?

In addition to DIGatron, JCB is also the official heavy equipment partner of Monster Jam, Jayme Dalsing, senior director of global operations for Monster Jam, said. Dalsing has been with Monster Jame for 10 years.

JCB equipment preps the track for the event.JCB equipment preps the track for the event.Lori DitoroWheel loaders, compact track loaders and other equipment move 5,000 cubic yards of dirt (stored onsite in the parking lot from the last event at SoFi Stadium two years ago) to build two tracks on which the trucks will race and perform stunts. According to Dalsing, the 2024 World Finals track was similar to a motorcross track.

The dirt squad uses the earthmoving equipment to build the track with driver safety in mind. When building the ramps, the squad must include enough room for turns and enough space away from the walls.

After the first three events comes the freestyle competition. For this competition, multiple earthmoving machines come up and reconfigure the track. This involves tearing apart the track that the trucks have been using and adding new areas where they can jump and stunt. It was interesting to watch how quickly the field changed.

Dalsing said that JCB is a committed partner, and the Dirt Squad personnel is extremely happy with the JCB equipment. In addition to earthmoving equipment, JCB loaders are used to recover trucks that have become incapacitated. This includes a specially designed loader named Scoopz. Scoopz is a The Dirt Squad uses JCB earthmoving equipment to reshape the track for the freestyle event.The Dirt Squad uses JCB earthmoving equipment to reshape the track for the freestyle event.Lori Ditorocrowd favorite, especially with the children.

What Are the Dancing Diggers?

Since backhoes were the inspiration for DIGatron, the JCB team decided to add its Dancing Diggers to the Monster Jam partnership. The Dancing Diggers are specially equipped backhoes that perform a routine to music. Even elevating onto the arm and boom during their performances. From attending the World Finals, the fans love this part of the show.

The JCB Dancing Diggers performed during the Monster Jam Finals.The JCB Dancing Diggers performed during the Monster Jam Finals.Lori DitoroAshby Graham, JCB vice president of marketing, is one of the drivers of the Dancing Diggers, which first appeared in 2011 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. It has also performed at factory events. They began planning to go bigger, so they incorporated telehandlers with a special implement added to steer and go in circles with the equipment is raised.

To prepare for the World Finals, the team practiced one week in Savannah. When they arrived in Los Angeles, the Monster Jam team added the fire in the buckets and the other pyrotechnics.

Graham has been with JCB for 14 years and has held many roles within the company, from skid steer product manager to heavy line sales manager. She has been instrumental in integrating the Monster Jam partnership, which is a great partnership according to Graham.

With five different events on a weekend, they get to show the crowd who JCB is. Graham said, "The crowd feedback makes it fun for us. To perform the routine, team members must trust each other and [specific traits].”

 These traits include:

  • A teamwork mentality
  • Personality
  • Be a natural in the equipment

What’s Next?

DIGatron prepares to start during the race event.DIGatron prepares to start during the race event.Lori DitoroJCB is committed to the Monster Jam Partnership for five years, according to Fox-Marrs.

“[It’s] a five-year partnership, which is great … It will take time to establish and develop and hone and refine and, you know, to make investments on things like diecast toys and the merchandise feasible. It has to be done over a longer period of time as well. It'll be a sustained approach for you know, what's hopefully the first five.”

In quarter one of 2025 the merchandise will be in stores.

“There will be diecast models, Lego models, remote control models. There will be shirts, ball caps, and all that kind of stuff. So, I think that's another piece that's going to come with it that will help get the JCB brand out there, which is ultimately … the mission.”        

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