“Is anyone here a redneck?” questioned the announcer at the United Truck Pulls on Saturday, June 15. This would seem to be a redundant question to outsiders, but those inside the sport know that there is more to truck pulls than that.
Each truck is modified differently. Because of this, each driver has to know their machine and determine a careful balance of things like air intake, fuel and shifting gears at just the right time. The success of each modified truck and tractor depends on a mixture of horsepower, traction and chassis set-up.
It is said that this sport derived from horse pull competitions in the late 1800s. Farmers would brag about the strength of their horses and engage in challenges. They would hitch their horses to a barn door and have people jump on the barn door one at a time at different intervals. The winning horse would carry the most people the furthest distance.
In modern day challenges, each vehicle is hooked up to a transfer sled at the beginning of the pull. The driver prepares his engine, puts the truck into gear at just the right moment and heads down the track. The further the truck pulls the sled, the more the sled transfers the weight forward. By the end, even the most powerful trucks will eventually be stopped in their tracks.
These trucks can really take a beating. Drive-shafts and axels were twisted and parts would fly off onto the track as these trucks would attempt to pull this massive weight.
There are several categories at each event. The categories included in the Morgan pull were: Super Farm Tractor, won by Chris Tabor; Super Mod 2WD won by Skylar Neibaur; Pro Mod Diesel won by Russ Prescott; 3.2 Super Street Diesel won by Lacy Grimes; 3.0 Street Diesel won by Tom Hansen; Modified 4x4 won by Jo Green; Super Stock 4WD won by Tory VanAlfen; Modified 2WD won by Wade Baker; 2.6 Street Diesel won by Weylin Richards; Work Stock Diesel won by Trevor Collings; Stock Gas won by Scott Wilson and Super Mod Mini Rods won by Larry Winn.
These commonly testosterone driven events did not come unchallenged by the estrogen in the arena. There were plenty of female drivers and fans on hand to combat the male-dominated sport. The event was new to me, and even I found myself wrapped up in the excitement.
The Morgan Lion’s Club sponsors this event each year and they appreciate all the local support. This year’s drivers performed for a pretty full house with event goers from next door to several states away. It was a great evening and we hope to see it stick around for years to come.