Many claim they have a big truck, but few are bigger than Bill and Vicky McShane’s.
Even calling them monster trucks could be an understatement.
The married couple and Wesley Chapel residents have not one, but two supersized trucks that have generated national attention and intrigue.
Their original truck is a 1998 blue Dodge Ram 2500 V10 that’s been lifted 4 feet and sits on 64-inch V-tread tires. It has Lamborghini-style doors, a tilt bed, and painted flames on the side panel.
The truck’s height measures 12-feet-6 inches, top to bottom.
The interior is showy, too. It’s equipped with fiberglass, multiple televisions and cameras, and amps, spotlight and a skull fog machine.
“It’s got everything,” Bill said.
“We threw everything in, and the kitchen sink. There’s a lot on there that doesn’t need to be there,” Vicky added.
The hard-to-miss truck even has its own name — Out of Control — emblazoned on its exterior.
The moniker stuck after an auto mechanic reacted to the couple’s extravagant plans for their truck.
“One of the guys that was helping us build the truck told us, ‘You’re just out of control,’ and I’m like, ‘That is the name of our truck,’” Bill recalled.
Out of Control has been lifted as many as 10 times, little by little, with each auto body visit, Bill said.
It’s so big now that it’s no longer street legal to drive.
Instead, it’s transported to various events and showcases via a lowboy gooseneck trailer.
The novelty has been featured multiple times at Monster Jam and the SEMA (Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association) automobile trade show in Las Vegas, among other events. It’s also been showcased all over Florida.
The McShane’s other head-turner is street legal — a slightly smaller 2016 maroon Ford F350 lifted 3 feet with 54-inch tires. It also has monster truck shocks, 2 ½-ton military axles, an SCS gearbox and transfer case, and a mechanical ladder for climbing in and out.
Standing at 11-feet-6 inches, the truck is the tallest street legal truck in the state, Bill claims.
“It can actually go up another two more feet, but this is the safest ride height to go down the interstate,” he said.
Bill takes this more modern truck for a spin about once a week, throughout the community.
“You can see him on State Road 56, I-4 (Interstate 4) and I-75 (Interstate 75). He does a route,” Vicky quipped.
Vicky has no interest in driving the monster truck, but she still serves an important role.
She is the truck’s designated “crew chief,” helping Bill maneuver in and out of parking spots, including their two-story home garage, which snugly holds both trucks.
“She’s my pit crew. (She) keeps me off the walls,” Bill said.
Wherever they go, their attention-getting vehicle always draws a crowd.
Bill joked it often takes him an hour to get gas, because of the sheer number of bystanders who want to talk to him and take pictures.
When driving it, Bill maintains he’s always on the defensive, staying in the right lane and going the speed limit.
But, that hasn’t stopped him from getting pulled over by law enforcement upward of 150 times, he says.
Bills said some officers pull him over, asserting it’s an eye hazard, or to read him the riot act. Others, he said, are more lax, pulling him over for the sheer curiosity, or to take a selfie with the truck.
“You get the one officer who’s like, ‘If you saw what I saw what these trucks could do…’. On the other hand, I’ll have cops pull me over and they’ll be like, ‘Dude, this is the baddest truck I’ve seen in my life!’” Bill explained.
The McShane’s monster truck hobby sparked more than 20 years ago by happenstance.
They had just purchased their then-lightly used Dodge Ram, suited with a much smaller lift at the time.
It was the first truck the couple had purchased together.
As they were leaving the car dealership, Bill saw a bigger truck pass by him on the road. That moment fueled a fire that hasn’t stopped since.
“Something snapped in my head. I’m like, ‘Oh, no!’” said Bill, noting he “was never really into big trucks” beforehand.
Over the years, the McShane’s monster truck hobby turned into a fun side business. It’s led to various restaurant and auto shops sponsorships, events and promotions — deployed as larger-than-life attractions to lure visitors to store grand openings and so on.
They’ve also been presented at kid’s birthday parties, as well as charity events and fundraisers, such as the Children’s Miracle Network and clothing drives for foster kids.
While people of all ages enjoy the monster trucks up close, seeing youths’ jubilant expressions makes it all worthwhile, the McShanes say.
“These are for the kids,” Bill said, motioning to his trucks. “The kids freak out.”
The Wesley Chapel residents may not be done with their monster truck collection. They’ve considered the possibility of adding a third to the mix.
“We’ve got a Dodge, we’ve got a Ford. Realistically, a Chevy would be nice,” Bill said, with a knowing grin.
Published January 22, 2020