The Tractor Pulling history
 
Hi! Here we try to explain what is Tractor Pulling, this spectacular sport that is semi-unknow in Italy but that is on expansion and give us great satisfactions!!!
Good read!!!!
 
This sport born in the USA at the end of 19th century. It begun with the name "Horse Pulling" at the village fair on the Midwest and the protagonists was the farmers who bet on which weight their horses could pull.
The game consisted in to pull at every equine team a wagon with a incremental weight.
The team remained alone to pull the wagon was elected winner and the owner of the horses could then collect the cash.
 
Slowly the horses are replaced with the tractors so the Horse Pulling was trasformed in Tractor Pulling.
Now the protagonist aren't the horses but the farm tractors, the ones employed on the field for agricultural works.
 
The first races were made at the end of '30s in Missouri and in Ohio, but only about twenty years later this sport became popular in all the USA.
The "National Tractor Pulling Association" was born at the end of '60s and with it the first rules for the puller.
 
At the beginning was in force the principle “Pull on Sunday, plow on Monday”: the competitions were played on weekend and the farm tractors were the same used weekly on fields, without any mechanical or aesthetic change.
 
The first innovation about mechanical elaboration was made in the '80s when the Association allowed to install more than one engine, beginning a power competition who actually characterize the Tractor Pulling.
 
Only in the '70s Europe started to discover the Tractor Pulling world, exactly in Germany where there were the first experiments:
 
 

 
 

Finally also in Europe born the first association, the ”European Tractor Pulling Committee” – ETPC.
Now the ETPC is composed by 15 associations included the Italian one. Its gives the directives to admit at the race the puller, to guarantee the safety of all the people and for the partecipations rule.
 
We must await the early '90s to see some Tractor Pulling competitions in Italy, as a consequence of birth of the association Tractor Pulling Italia (TPI), who want to make popular this sport and who regulate the competitions!
 
In this decade, or little more, the pulling world has suffered many positive changes: now the puller have more horsepower to manage and has really not much originally parts... the elaborations are the essential thing of this sport!
 
Also the wagon to pull, most know as sled has suffered many changes and updates: now it can weigh also 25.000 Kg.
 
But if you think that the weight to pull is the only trouble for puller you're mistaken!!
The sled in fact isn't a regular wagon appropriately charged to the desired weight but a kind of “progressively charged wagon”;
in other words, the charged weight isn' t fixed but mobile: it slides to front of the sled as the puller proceeds.
 
At the beginning, the weight is situated over the sled wheels on the retro of chassis: the tractive effort is minimal.
During the puller advancement, the weight move to the front of the sled to increment the tractive effort.
Besides, the progressive slides of weight cause the lowering of the blades located under the front side of the sled... in this way it's too difficult for the puller going away on its task!
 
The sliding speed of the weight is the same for all the divisions but is the weight charged who is differentiated for every division.
 
Obviously, for safety reasons the sled is guided by a pilot who can activate all the safety procedures in case of emergency.
 
To make you an idea of what is the sled, this is a photo of the Red Shadow, the German sled ETPC Gold approved:
 
 
 
 

And this is the Italian sled, nicknamed "La Cattiva":
 
 
 

 
Returning at the pullers taking part at this powerful sport, the Italian Championship consist in 5 division everyone characterized by different weight, engine displacement, lenght, width, used fuel and height of the pulling bar.
 
Then, if you want to build your puller and entering the championship, or just realize what runs along the track, we list some technical characteristcs to be met to qualify for the various division and therefore participate at races.
 
The Italian Championship division are:
     1) Italian Pulling
 
Minimum requirements required by TPI rule are:
        a. Total weight (driver, oil, fuel and all is necessary included) not higher than 2.6 ton;
        b. max lenght not higher than 3.5 m and max width not higher than 2.5 m;
        c. 8.300 cc max engine displacement with 2 or 4 valves;
        d. engine powered by diesel or gasoline;
        e. pulling bar height between 550 mm and 660 mm.
 
The pullers who run in this division are in total 18. Here are some pictures of it:
 
Baby Tornado:  

 
 
 
Squalo:  
 
 
 
Silver Ford:  
 
 
 


     2) Prostock: derived by the original farm tractors.
 
Minimum requirements required by TPI rule are:
        a. Total weight (driver, oil, fuel and all is necessary included) not higher than 3.5 ton;
        b. max lenght not higher than 4 m and max width not higher than 2.5 m;
        c. 8.364 cc max engine displacement for 2 valves engines, 7.300 cc for 4 valves
           engines. any engine displacement reduction isn't allowed;
        d. Only one turbine is allowed. The gearbox, the engine lock and the differential can't
           change. The only one thing can be changed by the team is the bonnet;
        e. pulling bar height between 450 mm and 500 mm..
 
The pullers who run in this division are 11. Here are some pictures
 
Bufalo 3000:  

 
 
 
Blue Leader Junior:  
 
 
 
Cervo Veloce:  
 
 
 
     3) Libero 35: in this division play prototypes with unlimited engine dispalcement
 
Minimum requirements required by TPI rule are:
        a. Total weight (driver, oil, fuel and all is necessary included) not higher than 3.5 ton;
        b. max lenght not higher than 4.26 m and max width not higher than 2.5 m;
        c. engine powered by diesel, gasoline, alchool or methanol;
        d. pulling bar height between 450 mm and 500 mm.
 
The pullers who run in this division are 11. Here are some pictures:
 
Blu Tornado RR:  
 
 
 
X Files:  
 
 
 
Dragon Fire:  
 
 
 
     4) Libero 45: this division is very similar to Libero 35, so, also here the puller are prototypes with unlimited engine displacement
 
Minimum requirements required by TPI rule are:
        a. Total weight (driver, oil, fuel and all is necessary included) not higher than 4.5 ton;
        b. max lenght not higher than 4.26 m and max width not higher than 2.5 m;
        c. engine powered by diesel, gasoline, alchool or methanol. Only for this division NOS
            is permitted;
        d. pulling bar height between 450 mm and 500 mm.
 

 
Starlight Express III:  
 
 
 
Agritruck:  
 
 
 
Joker:  
 
 
 
     5) Truck
 
Minimum requirements required by TPI rule are:
        a. Total weight (driver, oil, fuel and all is necessary included) not higher than 8.5 ton;
        c. 19.000 cc max engine displacement;
        c. The wheelbase can't be higher than 3800 mm;
        d. pulling bar height 800 mm with a 40% of wheelbase maxim protrusion;
 
Here is some pictures:
 
E-Mostar:  
 
 
 
Brio:  
 
 
 
King of the land 2:  
 
 
 
As you can see, the machines are really monsters of power!
 
Races are composed by 2 steps: qualifications and final race.
The pullers can run 2 times to obtain the qualification, they're qualified when they overtake the 100m line (Full Pull).
 
The qualified pullers can run the final race, also called Pull Off, where the sled will loaded with more weight then the qualification race.
 
The winner is the puller who pull the sled for more meters along the track.
 
If the Pull Off finish in a draw the sled will loaded again with more weight, then the first place will contend in a race called Super Pull Off  
At the end of the race, as in every competitions, the scores will be assigned at every puller, so at the end of Championship it will determined the division Championship winner
 
But don't thinking to bore you at the border of track, the unexpected turn of events can't lacks:
 
 
 
 
Good fly, do you think?
And what you think about this break chassis?
 
 
 
 
This and more much entertainment is the Tractor Pulling!!
 
The other beautiful side of this sport are we, the teams. We put passion, commitment and effort for the construction of our puller and doesn't discourage ourselves when the results aren't what we expect, but continue to make changes to our tractors to always improve it!
 
If you are interested by this sport, stay tuned!
See you soon at the races!!