Meet the real monster mechanic
WHILE most of us love to tinker in the shed when we get the opportunity, none can match the scale of monster mechanic and motocross performer extraordinaire Sam Xuereb.
"I guess I am a cross between a mechanic and a mad scientist," Sam laughs when explaining exactly what it is he does.
A jack of seemingly all trades involving engines, Sam has been running his business, Monster Trucks Australia, for more than 20 years, trekking the country from show to show in pursuit of the next big jump.
Performing at this year's Ekka along side his son Michael, 22, jumps, flips and balancing a clown on the car door seemed to be all in a day's work for the pair.
"From when I was born I was just fascinated with cars and motorbikes, as soon as I could grab a hold of a tool I started making bigger go- karts and buggies, and they just got bigger and bigger until they got to this size.
"And they are still getting bigger."
It, however, took a few years before Sam decided to make the leap into professional monster truck showmanship.
"I was racing motocross and thought well I'll become an entertainer, really that's what I was about, I love doing tricks," he said.
"It was the tricks," he said.
"I've always really been into precision.
"When I was 15 as soon as I could buy a paddock bomb all I really wanted to do was get up on two wheels so I have been practising that act since I was a a little kid.
"Now I do the two side- wheel balance, with a clown on the door as well."
Today Sam has moved on from the paddock bomb to a number of giant creations, the show stoppers including the Devil's Taxi and Tropical Thunder.
He has built them mostly from scratch.
"You try and utilise as much as you can; the shock absorbers are the hardest bit," he said.
"That is the heart of the monster truck because you need to jump the thing and land it, it's just a bigger scale of a racing car.
"We really build and show anything you have fun in, army tanks, a couple of buggies with tank tracks on them, monster bikes."
Still constantly developing new ideas and tricks, Sam is looking forward to planning with both of his sons.
His youngest is just 14 and has already begun drawing up designs for the next project.