A Giant Truck Designed to Shake the Ground Like an Earthquake or an Approaching Dinosaur

Tom Scott traveled to Austin, Texas to learn more about a giant truck specifically designed to shake the ground like an earthquake or an approaching dinosaur.

You know in the first Jurassic Park movie, there was that scene with the glass of water in the car’s cupholder, with ripples on it to show just how heavy the approaching T-Rex’s footsteps were? Well, this thing behind me is technically called the “Large Mobile Shaker”, but the folks here at the University of Texas? They call it the “T-Rex”, because it’s a machine designed to shake the ground itself.

The machine, which is appropriately named “T-Rex”, is triaxial, meaning that it can shake the ground horizontally, vertically, or transversely. They also have four other machines that do different jobs.

We have five shakers….And we call that an “urban shaker” because you can bring it downtown and not get into trouble with shaking. And then we have very, very large ones, Liquidator and T-Rex. Liquidator is a low frequency vertical shaker where we generate surface waves. Like surface waves from earthquakes, but ours are linear, typically, and earthquakes can be non-linear. T Rex is a tri-axial shaker. Tri-axial means that the shaker, only one at a time, it can shake vertically, it can shake horizontally, and it can go transverse.

A Giant Truck Designed to Shake the Ground Like an Earthquake or an Approaching Dinosaur

Here’s more information from the University program itself.