It Takes a Lot of Work to Get a Semi-Truck to Do Wheelies, But This Guy Did

That poor International.

wheelstanding semi lead
KT3406E on Youtube

When I think of relaxing weekend activities, the first thing that comes to mind isn't cutting and combining vehicles in my backyard; however, I'm not a weekend expert. I also don't have a backyard full of derelict machinery (yet), some of which functions just well enough for me to be reckless with. Thankfully though, I don't need that personal junkyard to enjoy KT3406E's work on Youtube. Before I even have the opportunity to partake in wild shenanigans of my own, he's put together a guide on how to wheelie a semi-truck. To think I spent my whole weekend looking at Pontiac Sunfires on Craigslist.

The semi-truck wheelie saga begins, of course, with an old big rig. Now, I'm not super familiar with heavy-duty diesel engines, so when our guide tells us the 855 Cummins in question "ain't got enough power to pull the pecker out of your pants," I just have to take his word for it. That being said, it still has plenty of oomph to put the '84 International it propels onto two (four?) wheel, albeit with a little modification.

There's some NSFW language here, in case you needed that reassurance.

Said modification has little to do with the engine. KT3406E informs us that the 855 Cummins' exhaust is straight piped, but besides that the drivetrain is stock. The real changes happen out back, where a bit of the frame from another truck is welded in place and the truck's rear axle is chained up to provide some more ground clearance. The rear-most wheels have also been removed for the same reason.

I also must mention that the majority of the welding was done while our hero was wearing sunglasses—a popular alternative to safety squints—and much of the additional weight on the back comes from a rotted out log. While I may not be an expert on diesel engines, I do like trees. That is a Sycamore tree, for the one person who may have been a little curious.

Anyway, all of this extra weight in the back is key to the wheelie action, which happens with ease. It seems like the 855 is running a little choppy, but it's still going good enough to carry on the wheelstand for 100 feet or so. All that traction from the dually axle doubtlessly aids the effort.

So if you're unsure of how to spend this coming weekend, fear not. Just buy a semi-truck and attach some logs to the back. It's a nice one-day project—almost like a fun little craft, really—and the resulting antics will surely impress your friends. I'm not certain where you'll be able to source a big log like that, but that's just a small speedbump in the grand scheme of this project. As I have mentioned before in my Giro-Boat post, all of the most fun things in life are dangerous. Might as well give it a shot.

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