In just a few short weeks, the black smoke of tractor pulls will once again fill the air above county fairs across the state. In some counties, some early pulls have already been held.

The pulls happen every year, and it’s mostly the same tractors year in and year out, but I have to admit, I look forward to them each year. The tractor pulls, as well as the antique tractor displays.

I’m not sure that I could watch the entire season, but a couple a month, especially when they first start, are a welcome sight.

There’s something about the black smoke, revved up engines and bouncing front ends that intrigues me, and I’m most definitely not alone.

At the county fairs that we cover, taking pictures of the sale animals is always the priority, but when I can, I try to sneak over to the pull for a few action shots. And there’s always plenty of action, whether its an old Oliver 88 grinding out its last few inches, or a super stock “spraying for mosquitoes.”

Good entertainment

The sport has a strong following among men and women, and children of all ages. For a few bucks for a grandstand ticket, you can watch dozens of tractors and trucks that cost tens of thousands of dollars to build and prepare. And if an engine blows up or an axle breaks, it won’t be at your expense.

I don’t quite know the names of all the pullers and everything about what’s under their hoods — as some seem to know — but I enjoy watching familiar names, especially those from my own county.

And we have some good ones here in Wayne County, as well as the neighboring counties. One of those — the Class Act semi — I’ve recorded a YouTube video of the past couple years. It’s fun to watch the local guys pull at their own fairs, especially when they do well.

Follow the schedule

Do you have a favorite tractor pull you’ll be attending this year, or perhaps a tractor that you’re pulling? The Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association has a good list of upcoming OSTPA pulls at www.ostpa.com. Looking ahead, at least one will be held this week. Tuscarawas County will hold a summer pull June 8 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

Many of the pulls, including antique and non-state sanctioned, are announced on our website, as well.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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