Tractor Pulls and the National Tractor Pullers Association
Tractor pulling is said to have started around the 1860’s during the time when farm machinery was pulled by horses. Back then farmers would brag to each other about whose horse was stronger overall. As the boasting started, pulling was created. The farmers would challenge each other and it would be settled by hooking up a barn door to the back of their horses. After hooking up the barn door, one by one people would jump on while the horse pulled; whichever horse pulled the most people the farthest distance was declared the winner. From the idea of horse pulls came tractor pulls, in 1929 motorized vehicles were first used in competition. When it first started out there was no set of rules or regulations so the sport was recognized but not as popular as it is now because it was difficult for entry with varying rules from state to state.
With the problem of varying rules and regulations present, a group of representatives from eight states established the National Tractor Pullers Association, in 1969. Those eight states included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was mainly in the Midwest then and still in large part takes place there today. The NTPA created uniform rules and gave the sport it’s structure it has today. The rules set by the NTPA are a guideline for most domestic and foreign pulling associations today. The NTPA today is ran by a staff of fifteen in Columbus, Ohio; this group works along with hundreds of workers and volunteers to keep the sport eventful.
The Sport today is on a track 35 feet wide and over 300 feet long. The tractors are built to pull the sled attached to them as down the track as far as they can. The Sled, uses a complex set of gears to move the weights. Upon the start of the pull the weights are over the rear axles, as the tractor travels the track the weights are pushed ahead of the axles which pushes the sled into...
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