Racing a versatile off-road truck over man-made ramps, flying through the air almost 25 feet off the ground, and dominating challenging dirt tracks is an adventurous day job. Robby Gordon, a forerunner in racing and off-road vehicle design and owner of Robby Gordon Motorsports, has created an entire series dedicated to just that type of racing. The Stadium Super Trucks (SST) Series has taken off thanks to Gordon and his team. The high-powered trucks produce 600 horsepower and generate speeds up to 130 miles per hour.
Robby Gordon has had success on the race track at NASCAR, IndyCar, TransAm, Dakar Rally, and now the Stadium Super Trucks series has grown wildly successful. Stadium Super Trucks is also an international success with series in Australia, England, Canada, and throughout the United States. Gordon has been designing and developing in the racing industry for 30 years and knows how to build a state-of-the-art vehicle. In order to build these types of machines, Gordon and his team need many different types of high tech equipment.
“A waterjet is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment for prototyping. You can’t put a price on the turnaround and time saved by having a waterjet in-house,” stated Gordon.
Housed within the RGM facility in Charlotte, N.C. is a TECHNI Waterjet ILS 55 (5’x5’) Waterjet Cutting System capable of cutting up to 6” thick material. Mainly .040-1”aluminum, .063-.5” chromoly, plastics and other materials that are non-metallic are cut on the waterjet.
“Tongue and groove parts, small holes in sheet metal and non-metallic materials were impossible to cut in-house without our waterjet. It saves time and allows you to work in areas that might otherwise be impossible to work on. The ability to make custom tools is essential. Lexan parts and custom tools are some of the most interesting parts I’ve fabricated on the waterjet,” said Gordon.
With a fast-paced schedule, Gordon needs quick turnaround to accommodate deadlines. Having a waterjet in house is instrumental for Gordon and his team of fabricators.
“Our TECHNI Waterjet is invaluable since it allows for fast prototyping at a lower cost than outsourcing,” stated Gordon.
Not only does housing a waterjet save money, but it also saves Robby Gordon Motorsports time. What once took 2-3 weeks to outsource now only takes a day or two to create from drawing the part to a finished cut piece.
“It reduces the development time by days, if not weeks,” added Gordon.
One of the biggest advantages of waterjet cutting is the waterjet’s inherent cold cutting quality. This allows materials to be cut that would otherwise be burned, melted, or cracked by other cutting methods. Some thermal processes, such as lasers or plasmas, cause surface hardening, warping and emission of hazardous gasses. In contrast, materials cut with waterjet undergo no thermal stress, eliminating such undesirable results.
“Accuracy is very important and having accurate edges without a heat affected zone is crucial,” added Gordon.
TECHNI Waterjet’s are capable of delivering positional accuracy of 0.0005” (0.01mm) and high cutting speeds of up to 1000ipm or 25m/min.
The extreme racing series is set to race all over the world with jumps up to 10m high, sure to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. With a growing fan base and an expanding schedule, SST needs the precise tools to keep things running smoothly.
“I don’t ever want to run my shop without a TECHNI Waterjet ever again. I don’t know how I functioned without one,” stated Gordon.