All About: National Tractor Pulling
The National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) didn’t need to look any further than RFD-TV to find an audience for its weekly program, which airs on Tuesday. “Rural America’s Most Important Network” is an ideal fit for the farm machinery power-pulling competition loved by rural folks all across the country.
“National Tractor Pullers Association Championship Pulling Series is a fast-paced, high-energy program that entertains and informs viewers,” said Gregg Randall, series director, and NTPA’s office general manager. “We look forward to the great challenge at hand to bring a new look to the sport of pulling, and build the interest and fan base from this great opportunity.”
When it comes to truck and tractor pulling, the NTPA is a world leader as well as the sport’s oldest and most respected entity when it comes to premier competition. They host more than 280 sessions of pulling action throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Any tractor pull is an ultimate contest between the proverbial immovable object and the irresistible force. However, the NTPA leads the way in brute force with jaw-dropping displays of supreme horsepower. The object of pulling is to pull the weight, which becomes progressively heavier via a machine called a sled, down the track as far as a competitor and their machine can take it. The competitor who pulls the furthest distance without going out of bounds is declared the victor. There are 12 varying classifications of NTPA Championship Pulling.
The tractor divisions replicate the farm-style tractor with various alterations and performance upgrades. These classes include the Super Farms, Pro Stocks, Super Stock Diesel, Super Stock Open, and Light Super Stock tractor classes. These machines vary from 1,000 to 5,000 horsepower depending on the class -- a far cry from where they started on the farm.
The sport of pulling can trace its roots back to the early part of the 20th century when people got together to have draft horse pulls. As agriculture expanded -- and once the use of gasoline and diesel engines became the norm -- the challenge was often laid down between neighboring farmers.
They wanted to know: Who has the strongest tractor in the township? In the county? In the state? What about across all of America? The concept remains the same today. However, technology has surpassed all expectations.
The commitment of each competitor is constantly divided between their business, family, finances, and time to work on their machines. It is truly inspiring to evaluate the level of dedication and passion these men and women have for their chosen sport. It is a collaborative effort of friends and family to make things happen.
What began back in NPTA’s infancy has grown into a major sport, with more than a thousand members who compete on four different levels of pulling -- State, Regional, Grand, and Super National -- throughout the U.S. and Canada. Pulling has crossed the Atlantic and is now a major sport in more than ten countries throughout Europe and Australia, too.
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