Tractor Pull

The Monroe Volunteer Fire Department hosted their annual antique tractor pull event this past weekend. This type of competition is not about speed and very few contestants actually make it to the end of the track. There is even a speed limit for most of the divisions that is around 10 mph. These monsters are all about pulling power. The tractor starts on the North end of the straight line track, that is only about 100 yards in length, pulling a special weight sled. As the sled slowly creeps down the track its weight is moved up an inclined plane from the back of the sled where the wheels are located, up towards the front part of the sled where the skid plate is located. This in effects causes the sled to get more difficult to pull. Slowly the tractor advances down the track and slowly the sled gets heavier and heavier. Its not about speed its about distance. To the untrained eye it may seem as exciting as watching paint dry. But to the pullers its a game of balance and technique. How much weight should I put on the front bumper? How can I modify my hitch to increase my distance. Hey, look at Bob’s tractor… did he let some air out of his tires? Is that legal? Look at Dale he is going down the right side of the track, maybe there is more grip on that side. What gear should I pull in? Can I change gears halfway down the track? If my front end lifts off the ground, should I let off the gas or gently ride the brake? These are all of the things that contestants watch as their opponents perform their run.