To show how easy it is for drivers to steer Volvo’s new monster truck (Volvo FMX, a 15-ton construction vehicle), Vice president Lars Terling had his crew rig a hamster wheel in the truck cab and let a tiny rodent named Charlie navigate the vehicle up a narrow quarry road with cliffs on both sides simply by having him run to the right or left.
For a week or two before the shoot, Charlie the hamster was trained to chase either right or left in pursuit of a dangling carrot inside a makeshift hamster wheel. The hamster wheel was then attached to the tiller of the truck in the cabin. A precision driver, Seon Rogers, has his feet on the pedals and holds the carrot in one direction or another as Charlie steers the giant truck up the road.
Volvo says their video proves that the truck is so easy to drive, the simple movements of Charlie are enough to steer it up the quarry road successfully.
Mr. Terling says they were highly skeptical at first, but saw the stunt as a fun way to show how easy it is to steer with their dynamic steering. The video was shot on a steep and narrow quarry road at Los Tres Cunados, in north-west Spain.
There were a few tense moments, at one point the truck hits a big rock boulder sending it crashing down into the water below, but in the end Charlie the hamster steers the truck successfully across the finish line.