Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tractorpull tonight!

Well, the Farm Machinery Show is in full swing and I have a full house; interesting people who own farms and come into town each year to enjoy the displays and new equipment at the fair grounds and have a good time. My guests all went to one of the local restaurants last night for dinner (will post on local restaurants later) and said the food was great. It's an Italian restaurant called Amici's and , since it changed hands a couple of years ago, they now have a terrific owner and chef, and they are top notch!

So what's on for my guests for tonight? It's one of the biggest reasons for coming to the show! The Tractor Pull! What fun! Officially introduced to the world in 1969 during the fourth National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS), the Championship Tractor Pull is now celebrating 40 years of making champions. The competition had been a vision of its originator, Billy Joe Miles, and was so popular in its first year that 15 drivers signed up to compete in the inaugural pull before it was officially established.

Truck and tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a competition using tractors and large trucks to pull a heavy drag along a 'track'. It's very popular in rural areas. Usually the drag offers progressively greater resistance as it is pulled. It can be a great spectacle, although the vehicle produces a great deal of noise and smoke and tends to kick up dirt. Also, the tractors pulling don't actually travel very far (a typical "full pull" is 300 feet). There are many different classes, from "factory" tractors, to custom built vehicles with multiple engines.

When farming machines were pulled by horse, farmers would boast about the strength of their horses, claiming their's could tow the largest loads. They would challenge each other to contests to prove who had the strongest horse. A barn door was removed and laid flat the ground, the horse was then hitched to it and the farmer urged the horse to drag the barn door along the ground. One by one, people jumped on the door until the horse could no longer drag it; the horse pulling the most people the greatest distance was judged the strongest. This event, was called horse pulling,. Although still carried out today with specially bred horses, in around 1929 power pull contests began utilizing motorized vehicles. By the 1950s and '60s, the tractor pull had become a popular sport. For complete history see:


  1. Very nice job! We had a wonderful time as usual. You haven't missed a beat with your beds and your breakfast!

  2. Thanks, Ed. One of these years I'm gonna have to run over to the fairgrounds and watch one of those exciting tractor pulls!!

  3. Always wanted to know the history of the tractor pull...Who knew?? I'll be able to sleep tonight!

  4. Bring your ear plugs! They get quite loud but very exciting to a full house every night! I watched my first pull when I was in 4-H in the 60's and pulled my first tractor in 1971. I was state champion in 1976-77. I quit around 83 when it just got too expensive for me. I still enjoy watching though!