Higher Education
Newark 012316 DeAngelis (44)
Higher Education circa 2016


Vaters Motorsports


Mike Thompson

Body Style

Special concept 3/4 scale flat-nosed school bus


557 C.I. Ford Performance built by A&C Racing Engines w/ Edelbrock 429/460 Ford aluminum cylinder heads (big block, blown, fuel injected, runs on methanol)


2-speed FTI Performance Powerglide w/ FTI Performance torque converter


66" Terra/BKT



Higher Education is a monster truck driven by Mike Thompson and owned by Michael Vaters (Vaters Motorsports). The truck debuted on April 9th, 2011 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, QB on the Monster Spectacular show. It was originally Killer Bee owned and driven by Tim Bee. After it was sold to Michael Vaters in 2010, it was run as Weapon 1, and Black Stallion until the Higher Education body and name was ready to debut on 2011. It's alter-ego is Taurus.


  • 2011 - The truck debuts on Monster Spectacular driven by Jimmy Tracey.
  • 2012 - The truck runs its first full season and makes its Monster Jam debut.
  • 2013 - the first Hot Wheels Higher Education toy is released by Monster Jam.
  • 2016 - JR Seasock starts driving the truck. Jimmy finishes his last year driving monster trucks.
  • 2017 - the Higher Education chassis is run as Monster Mutt Rottweiler in the More Monster Jam Tour driven by JR Seasock. After the tour, Preston Pérez started sharing driving duties of Higher Education with Seasock.
  • 2018 - the chassis is once again run as Monster Mutt Rottweiler this time driven by Cory Snyder. After the tour, the chassis ran as Taurus for a few shows with Snyder driving. Pérez would take over Higher Education until August when he left Vaters Motorsports. Mike Thompson would then drive the truck after Pérez' departure.


Higher Education is the only monster school bus in the world in competition, and is known internationally from its wild performances in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Higher Education was inspired by the Cool Bus wheelstander, owned by Vaters' good friend, Ken Nelson.