FORT RECOVERY — Approximately 6,000 people will descend on Fort Recovery this weekend for the National Tractor Pull Association Grand National Tournament.
The event will feature truck and tractor pullers who will fight to obtain the top scores, working for weeks to perfect an 11-second pull.
Promoter Nick Dues said a tractor pull involves a pantagraph system of weights, where as it’s pulled the weight shifts toward the front of the vehicle.
Fort Recovery has hosted the pull since 1971, when a group of local farmers decided to host the event. The farmers saw the community pull together after locals fought to win the state championship, and they wanted that momentum in the community to keep going.
Competitors tend to be farmers or people who enjoy building and experimenting with the tractors. While a few will be locals, most will be from around the country.
Dave Archer is a tractor pull competitor, something he’s done for 47 years and he pulls in the unlimited category, where the only rule is that the vehicle be under 8,000 pounds total, including driver. He is known as one of the first people in this competition to get more than five engines on a tractor while keeping the weight under 8,000 pounds.
Doing that requires exotic metals, aluminum and drilling holes in the metal to cut weight. In the weeks before a pull, drivers close to the limit might even try cutting their own weight to make the limit.
Archer said that makes it more interesting than drag racing as the pullers build machines with five to six engines held together in exotic, light metals.
“It’s a creative thing,” Archer said.
In the unlimited category a person can do anything they find effective,.
“If you’re under 8,000 pounds with 150 lawn mower engines, that’s fine,” Archer said.
The pull will run six classes on two tracks, and began on Friday. It resumes at 7 p.m. today at Fort Recovery Ambassador Park.
There will be open pits where fans can meet favorite pullers, get pictures and autographs, along with buying puller merchandise and food from vendors on site.
It’s the grand national for unlimited modified, mini-modified and super stock open tractors, as well as the regional for limited pro stock and light pro stock tractors, and four wheel drive trucks.