Mike Ryan is 30+ year veteran stunt driver, stunt coordinator, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb semi truck racing champion and owner of Santa Clarita based; Picture Vehicles Unlimited. Mike and his team were recently chosen by EMC, www.emc.com to source a VERY large mining truck and a suitable location and then work with it to see if it was possible to "drift" it and drive it through a slalom course that contained very valuable objects. Mike has become somewhat of a You Tube go to with his semi truck drifting videos "Size Matters 1" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDGfzYiDEpI&list=PLD250810B48E3B8E3&feature=share and "Size Matters 2", http://youtu.be/HARjiJEA8eo , that collectively have earned over three million views.
"We called Caterpillar and Komatsu as well as several large mining operations in California, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming and the response was a definite NO! from all of them", said Mike in a recent interview.
So going back to resources he developed when working as a big rig stunt driver on the 1997 Steven Segal film "Fire Down Below", Mike contacted a longtime friend and previous owner of Pine Branch Coal Sales in the Appalachian Mountain Coal mining region of Eastern Kentucky. With his friends connections, they found a late model Cat 789 and a location very close to the mine operations themselves.
"This doesn't sound like that big of a deal until you consider what it took to get permission from a several Billion dollar mining company to take one of their three million dollar plus trucks out of service to slide it around on a concrete pad for a video. The trucks six tires alone cost $60,000.00 each and were worth well more than the overall budget of the project. Hurting them was a serious concern for everyone involved, especially the insurance company", continued Mike.
In the end, everything worked well and they were able to get the truck to do some small slides, drifts, 90's and 180's. EMC's people were thrilled to get a job completed that they had tried to do themselves over the last 6-8 months with no success. "We came in on budget, the video was the hit of EMC's 2014 Summit held in late April in Las Vegas and as of May 15th, after being on YouTube for about two weeks, the video has earned 115,000 views.
For more info on Mike check out mikeryanmotorsports.com, picturevehicles.com and Iamsports.com