The tractors are divided into classes and comply with either ‘Limited’ or ‘Open’ rules. The classes are Open Modified, Super Modified, Limited Modified, Open Mini Modified, Super Mini Modified & Limited Mini Modified, Pro Stock (diesel) and Two Wheel Drive Trucks.
The distinction between classes is determined by the overall maximum weight, engine modifications, fuels and physical size. (All tractors are 2 WD)
Not satisfied with the power and noise generated by big engines like a Chevrolet 454 and 560 cubic inch motors, which may produce in excess of 1000 horse power, tractors pullers have devised methods of coupling two or even three of these engines together.
Others have gone for a more exotic flavour and sourced their power from Chieftain tanks, WW2 Fighter Aircraft and even Jet Aircraft.
Imagine, if you can, four Volkswagen Boxer engines lined up one behind the other, two screaming Mazda Rotary engines coupled together, a Jaguar V12, two Leyland P76 V8’s, Twin-Turbo V8 and even, at one stage, a Vampire Jet Engine.
Tractor Pulling is a family orientated motor sport.
There is a friendly atmosphere between all the members and their families. It is not uncommon for tractor pullers to cannibalise their own tractors (when they break) to allow another puller to compete.
The sport is open to both women and men, the only restriction being that competitors must at least hold a current Learner Driver’s Permit. It sometimes comes down to members of the same family competing for the trophies.
The events are held on a 100 metre dirt track and the pit areas are opened during interval to allow the spectators to have a closer look at the tractors and to chat with the drivers and crews.
Some History in the West
The Grylls Family
First tractor pull in the west was in back in 1986 at the country town of Corrigin, after my wife, kids and me went to the tractor pull in Leeton NSW and bought their old sled. We went in the semi and towed it home to WA in the guise of a holiday but I can testify a wife and 2 kids in an Acco prime mover was no picnic.
The Corrigin tractor pull grew into an annual event on the calendar with lots of support from the locals, in the late 80’s & early 90’s the tractor pulling sport built up a large following and held events all over the state at, Corrigin, Trayning, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie, Beverley and many other towns.
One of biggest events in the west was held out in Upper Swan at the Belvoir Park where the venue was packed to capacity & believed to be causing a traffic jam getting to the venue, another venue highlight was an indoor event held in the Burswood Dome and this was the peak of event.
The sport declined for a while with rural communities shrinking, less members and no big tractors running anymore it was now only a small event predominantly run from the town of Beverley with a few mini modified tractors running in conjunction with Mud Bogs, Burn Out Comp’s & Dirt Drags and many people volunteering their time the sport has managed to keep alive.
We now run 4 to 5 events per year at the Beverley venue as well as several exhibition events around the rural districts, we still have a couple of the Big tractors running in the modified class and the Mini Modified class is growing each year, with the Limited, Super and Open there’s a class for any budget.
(Blitza seen on the right, which still runs down the track today was one of the original pullers from the events held in Corrigin)
Australian Modified Tractor Pull
The first Australian Modified Tractor Pull
was held at Elmore (Victoria) Field Days in 1976. The following year saw
Tractor Pulling begin in the Victorian rural town of Quambatook. It has
developed over the past years into a highly competitive and technical sport,
where the difference between first and last place may be as small as one or two
metres. Often the top tractors are separated by mere centimetres.
The Australian Tractor Pullers Association (ATPA) is a non-profit organisation that governs Modified Tractor Pulling in Australia. Our events (Tractor Pulls) are held in conjunction with a promoter. This promoter is often a local school, sporting, service or community club (for example; Apex, Rotary, Lions, Netball, Cricket, Football) who use the event as a fundraiser.
Tractor Pulls are held in locations throughout Australia, predominantly in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales & in the West affiliated with the ATPA, the Western Australian Tractor Pullers Association Inc.
The ATPA is focused on actively promoting this spectacular sport and working with communities to not only establish a unique annual event, but more importantly to assist communities financially through the influx of spectators, sponsors and promotion.
in the East
A reflection in memory of Mr John Parker and his contribution to Tractor Pulling: 1976 – 2007
In the 70’s he visited America and came back to introduce Tractor Pulling to Australia. The original QTPA sled was designed and built on the farm at Quambatook from a humble beginning as one of John’s 40 foot flat top sheep trailers.
John towed, operated and maintained the sled for many years. He built the Quaker in ’76 taking only 2 or 3 weeks and it has competed continually ever since be it for many modifications.
John served many terms as President of both
Quambatook and ATPA. In the early years he showed the way for the ATPA to
promote pulls, travelling many thousands of kms. to set promoters in the right
direction with promotion, track preparation etc. often acting as track marshal
or just about any job going.
John, that bloke that caused chaos so many times also made sure that the sled turned up and performed on the day of a pull. John sold the original sled to Western Australia and he donated the funds to the QTPA to further promote Tractor Pulling.
In the early 80’s John promoted pulls in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. He personally financed and sourced sponsorship for these pulls which included 3 pulls in Queensland twice over, 2 or 3 pulls in Tasmania twice, and the trip of a lifetime for those 50 odd adults and kids who did the 4 pulls through NSW over the ten days – Tamworth Saturday, Narrabri on Tuesday, Coonabarabran Thursday and Dubbo on the Saturday. All these pulls were organised and run by the pullers. We would pull into a paddock, put up fences, prepare track etc with equipment which John organised in advance.
John had a big part in introducing Tractor Pulling to Western Australia. Whilst he didn’t attend the pulls over in the west he gave the directions and made sure an experienced team were on hand to assist. He provided transport for some of the Eastern States tractors to compete in Western Australia over the first four years.
In ’83 when Puller and Hooker Awards were introduced John donated all the trophies which were a great contribution. Under the banner of Swan Hill T & I. generous sponsorship has been provided to the Quamby Pull from the very 1st. Pull over 30 years ago. John’s generosity has been shown is so many ways throughout Tractor Pulling, from sponsorship to providing advice, materials and financial support. Many of the 22 modified tractors that have been constructed and operated out of Quamby over the 30 years have benefited from John’s generosity in some way. Many of these vehicles would never have been in the sport without John’s assistance. When he or his family were unable to operate the modifieds, John never hesitated to allow his work mates and friends to jump on board and have a go.The guy never rested on his laurels but pushed on carrying others along with him. At all times for the benefit of individuals, organizations and communities far and wide. If John had lived to 105 he would have still been thinking up some scheme to help someone or something somewhere.
Schedule for the day
10:30 Dirt drags warm up
11:00 / 11:30 Dirt Drags Competition
12:00/12:30 Tractor Pull
Alternating rounds until the end of the day.
5:15 = Tractor Pull final run
6:00 = Track Closed
Fee’s & Charges
Juniors race fee is $5 each
Adults race fee is $20 each
Adult WATPA members race fee is $5 each
There is undercover grandstand seating for spectators and plenty of standing area along the race track.
We also have a licenced bar in the grandstand that has cold drinks snacks.
The local Lions club are currently catering for the hot food services and on hot days the Mr Whippy van often comes along also some of the locals have a few craft stalls set up.