The race for speed has always been the moving force behind the technological development of all vehicles. Whether a plane or a car, all the science that goes into making it move faster than any competitor always ends up being integrated in to mass produced vehicles to make them faster or lower their fuel consumption. Carbon fibers, once invented to make racing cars go faster, are now a part of many mass produced cars. The advanced aerodynamics first used to create record braking planes has been later used in military and civil aircraft with great success. You may think the massive and not so agile trucks would be out of such a race but you are completely wrong in this case.
The fastest truck in the world, at least at this moment, (these records are broken few times per year!) is the Bandag Bullet. This eight tons monster reached speed of more than 300kmh and managed to drive at this speed for more than 18 seconds. Such speeds are out of reach for most sports cars, so you might want to change your opinion on trucks being cumbersome and slow. Of course, the ‘bullet’ was a heavily modified truck, under the hood it has a 24l/1100hp V8 engine, fitted with a nitrous injection system, but still such an incredible speed is impressive.
Of course with so many different types of trucks around, strange records have been set, that may surprise you even more. One such record is for the fastest fire truck. It does not qualify for the truck speed records book, as it was not fitted with “standard” truck engine but with two Rolls Royce Viper jet engines, with combined trust of more than 12000hp. Such raw power did allow the Fire truck “Hawaiian Eagle” to really reach maximum speed a plane would also be proud of ~ 655kph. These Fire trucks for sure need to be fast but “Hawaiian Eagle” is certainly not suitable for being driven in our narrow cities, the rocket coming out the back is more likely to cause fires than this truck is to put them out.
Of course such achievements seem pointless, except as a stunt, but believe it or not there are already ‘ideas’ of integrating jet engines in mass produced trucks for the civil market. These will not be of the kind used in the “Hawaiian Eagle”, as its engines fuel consumption per horse power is simply enormous. Plans are for gas-turbine engines might be used, that will give them much higher top speed and load capacity. Such engines have been used in military trucks, maybe thanks to the record breaking trucks, may now rule the long roads of trucking nations like Australia and the USA.