There’s some questions that, while their answers seem obvious, the act of empirically proving them is an almost irresistible draw. Questions like “will eat-drinking a full pound of hot mac and cheese out of a pitcher make me sick?” or “will this angry dog react well to being poked in the rectum?” or even “could you drive on square tires?” Some kooks handy with tools and with access to a big muddy field and some trucks decided to find out the last one.
I mean, maybe they tried the other two, but the square wheels thing is the only one the creator of the video, WhistlinDiesel, actually uploaded to YouTube.
This video has been making the rounds, and a lot of sites are comparing it to a Mythbusters square wheel experiment from a few years back. Well, I suppose the video itself is, since the title is “Truck on Square wheels drives 50mph Proving Mythbusters Wrong.”
The problem is it’s not really proving anything the Mythbusters did wrong. They actually came to effectively the same conclusions, though the Mythbusters’ square wheels were more sophisticated (they actually had square rubber tires, these guys just welded metal boxes) and, more crucially, the Mythbusters did all their tests with all four square wheels—our muddy friends here abandoned the front two after some initial tests.
For comparison, here’s the square wheel experiment from Mythbusters:
...and here’s what WhistlinDiesel did:
I’m not trying to take away from what the Boys Diesel did; even with just square rear wheels, they did go all out, with a gleeful disregard for the nice red GMC Duramax that did get pretty substantially messed up by the end of this.
They also managed much higher speeds than was achieved on Mythbusters, largely thanks to the soft, muddy terrain they were driving on, which compensated for the squareness of the wheels by letting the corners dig in.
In fact, in deep watery mud, the square wheels almost act like four-paddle paddlewheels, propelling the truck forward with lots of messy splashing.
The video is a bit long, and ends, confusingly, mid-sentence, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. Give it a watch.