Tech Tips - Tractor Hitch and Weight
-as seen in The Pulse Newsletter, September 2017-
Tractor Hitch and Weight
Before each pull starts, all tractors must enter their respective classes and ensure they are set up properly for each class. Among specified requirements for each tractor, proper hitch height and the weight of your tractor must meet exact criteria.
Your pull promoter should furnish a good scale to weigh your tractor and a level location to properly check your hitch height. Depending on the classes you enter, every tractor must weigh in and weigh AT or BELOW the class weight requirement. This total weight includes the driver (sitting on the tractor) and the designated tires as well as any extra weights the tractor will have at the time of pulling. Therefore, if you weigh your tractor, then decide to change driver, tires or extra weights...the tractor should be weighed again with the new driver and/or tires and weights.
The same goes for the hitch. If you measure the hitch height, then change, either the driver, weights or the tires...the hitch should be re-measured, since all of these adjustments can change the hitch height dramatically.
Here are some common-sense tips to remember concerning hitch height and weight of your tractor:
If there will be more than one driver pulling the same tractor, you must weigh the tractor with each individual driver to customize weight and hitch height for each puller.
Once you have weighed your tractor, do not add weights or change drivers. This is illegal.
After you have weighed your tractor, you may move your weights around - just don’t add more weights.
If you have weighed your tractor, then change tires, obviously, your weight will have changed, along with your hitch height. Therefore, you must re-weight and re-adjust your hitch height again.
It is up to all drivers to be honest.
There should be a proper tool provided and a designated location to check your hitch. All tractors should check their hitch height at the same location. In most cases, the location is on the scales. The hitch measuring tool should slide over your hitch freely.
For best pulling performance, adjust your hitch as high as possible without going over the designated height according to your club’s rules. If the hitch measuring tools are not available, question the promoter, since it is very important to set the hitch correctly, as it effects the fairness of the competition.
If you have questions, ask your fellow-pullers, the sled-operator or any track official for help.
-end of tech tip-