The idea behind tractor pulling began with horses. Around the 1860s, farmers' boasting about the power, and speed of their horses proved it by hitching the horse, to a detached barn door filled with people, and letting the horse pull it as far as it can.
Switch from horses to machines
People kept jumping on the door to add weight to the cargo, and the horse that pulled farthest with the heaviest load won. When tractors entered the picture around the 1930s, farmers switched from horses to machines.
Area of tractor pulling
Specific rules and regulations in tractor pulling depend on the area, where it occurs, but the gist of the sport is still the same.
A sledge, a heavy sled made of metal, and special gear and axle, are hitched at the back of the tractor.
The tractor pulls the sledge as far as it can over a track, usually 300 feet long. Whoever pulls the sledge the farthest, wins. If several tractors pull the sledge to the finish line, more weight is added on the sledge until somebody wins.
Truck pulling categories
Truck pulling categories also vary. The common ones are super-farm tractors, unlimited modified tractors and modified small tractors.
The unlimited modified tractors and modified small tractors have some extremely unusual modifications. Some even have as many as three V8 engines equipped in one tractor.
Dragsters with engines
For a time, competing tractors stopped looking like "real tractors." In the 70s and 80s, they got so fancy that they looked more like dragsters, with an absurdly high number of engines, including both piston and jet engines.
Use of military engines
Nowadays, modified tractors use discarded or surplus military engines and machinery.
For a turbo-charged performance, tractor engines are converted to run on methanol.
There are stadiums built specifically for tractor pulling, but many events occur at country fairs in the summer and early fall.
As with any race, a betting pool operates to add fun to the entertainment. Some base their bets on the model, and others on the driver.
People have various reasons and criteria for picking their winning tractor, but history shows that John Deere tractors tend to be the favourites.
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