Garden Tractor Pulling - what is it?
Truck and Tractor pulling is a motorsport competition, popular in the United States, Europe (especially in the Netherlands and Germany), Australia and Brazil, which requires modified tractors or trucks to pull a heavy sled along a 35 foot wide, 100 metre (330 foot) long track, with the winner being the tractor or truck that pulls the sled the greatest distance.
This sport is known as the world's most powerful motorsport, due to the multi-engined and modified tractors and trucks that pullers build.
All tractors or trucks in their respective classes pull a set weight in the sled.
When a tractor or truck gets to the end of the track, this is known as a "full pull".
When more than one tractor or truck completes a "full pull", more weight is added to the sled, and those competitors compete in a pull-off.
The winner is the one who can pull the sled the longest length of the track.
The 'sled' is actually a weight transfer sled. This means that as it is pulled down the track, the weight is transferred (linked with gears to the sled’s wheels) from over the rear axles and towards the front of the sled. In front of the rear wheels, there is a "pan". This is essentially a metal plate; and as the weight moves over this pan, the resistance builds, making it harder for the tractors or trucks to pull. The further the competitor pulls the sled, the more difficult it gets.
The most powerful full size tractors in the world can produce over 10,000 horsepower. Here in Alabama, we use the same principles but, obviously, on a smaller scale. See below.
GARDEN TRACTOR PULLS
Our local garden tractor pulls, held in Alabama (see our Schedules page), operate on the same principles as described above. Our pulling tracks are between 150 and 250 feet in length, depending on the location of the pull. The sleds weigh approximately 6,000 or more pounds. The speed at which the weighted box moves up the sled...and the gearing applied, both control the difficulty of the pull. The sled is set and controlled by the sled master.
We pull about 12 classes, based on motor modifications, horse power limits, tire styles, and weight limits, among other guidelines. We even have a class for kids only! And don't worry, we have a class where 'anything goes' too! To make the competition fair, all pullers must follow a set of rules to qualify their tractors for specific classes. See Rules.
Pullers pay an entry fee to enter their tractor in the pull. 100% of that money is given back to the pullers, as the winner's purse. We usually pay 5 places in each class, depending on how many tractors hook to the sled. Trophies and/or ribbons are also awarded.
But the most important part of this is that the entire family can either watch or participate! We've had pullers from 5 to 85 years of age. If you don't pull, you'll still have fun watching and cheering on your favorite puller. And by the way - the tractors are beautiful to look at, too! It's always fun to see the different tractors and take pictures.
Now that you know a little about what pulling is, we hope you will check out our Schedule and come to one of our events. We'd love seeing you! Come join in this growing family sport!