Agri-motor sport

Tractor pulls are a major agritainment motor sport. It even has its own magazine, Full Pull. If you have ever seen tractor pull contests, you probably assumed its a predominately man's sport. Well, there's another division to tractor pulls that attracts both children and women-garden tractor pulls.

In a tractor pull, the tractor is hooked up to the sled. The sled contains a box with weights that moves forward, closer to the pan, as it is pulled, constantly increasing the friction of the pan on the dirt track and the drag of the sled. The idea of the contest is to pull the sled as far as possible before the drag increases to the point where it stops the tractor. The drag of the sled is the least at the very beginning of the pull, so the tractor puller wants to both gain distance and momentum; as the drag increases, the tractor will lose momentum and eventually stop. The quicker the tractor leaves the starting line, the farther it will pull. What makes tractor pulling a challenging sport is there must be a balance for the given conditions - too much power and the tractor will sit in one place and the tires will spin very fast with little effect. Too little power and the tires may just begin to dig a hole in the track or even kill the engine. A correct power balance allows the tractor to kinda float on the hard packed dirt without "damaging" that surface that the tires are using for traction.

Below are some photos taken at Belvedere Plantation's Fall Festival on October 16th in Fredericksburg, Virginia of a typical garden tractor pull.

Tractors with their drivers must meet certain weight requirements. Here, the contestants are being weighed in.

Children and women are regular contestants in garden tractor pulls.