Tractor pull hosted at Hettinger County Fairgrounds

When Kevin Miller was a young boy, a favorite past time of his was attending tractor pulls with his father.

Mike Schoch groves his tractor out of the arena at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds during the tractor pull.
Mike Schoch groves his tractor out of the arena at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds during the tractor pull.

Posted August 8, 2014

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor |

When Kevin Miller was a young boy, a favorite past time of his was attending tractor pulls with his father. His father has since passed away and Miller was thinking about the experiences he had with his dad, and wanted to share that with the community of Hettinger County.

“I actually did this in remembrance of my dad, every time when I was a little kid him and I would always go to tractor pulls,” Miller said.

Miller is a member of the Hettinger County Fair Board and he presented the idea to the committee. They liked the idea, and gave Miller the go ahead to lead the project.

Having no experience organizing a tractor pull he reached out to Mike Schoch for assistance. Together they put together the first tractor pull in the Mott area in years.

“The last time we had a tractor pull in Mott, N.D. was about 1981 or 82,” Miller said.

Along with helping organize the event, Schoch and his son JT assisted with weigh-in and scoring during the pull.

Overall the event had 21 tractors and five pickups. Pullers came from as far as Leonard, N.D. and as close as Regent, N.D. The tractors ranged in age from 1948 to 1968, the pickup trucks ranged from a 1971 model to a brand new 2014.

Scoring a tractor pull requires some mathematics. The weight of the tractor is divided by the distance the tractor was able to pull the sled before it loses traction or passes a certain distance.

What is the sled?

The sled is a modified truck that has an attached device on the bottom of it. As the tractor pulls the truck, the sled on the bottom is lowered farther and farther. The faster the truck is pulled, the faster the sled is lowered. Strategy would dictate you drive slower, in order to have the sled lower and a slower rate.

The pull sled and scale (for weighing the tractors and pickups) was brought to Mott from Alice, N.D. by the Old Time Tractor Pullers Association.

There are six classes in a tractor pull, each being divided by the weight of the tractor.

Class one is 0-3,000lb, class two is 3,100-4,500lb, class three is 4,501-6,000lb, class four is 6,100-7,500lb, class five is 7,501-9,499 and class six is 9,500lb and over. The event didn’t have any entries in class one as there were no tractors that weighed in at 3,000lb or less. You could pull with the same tractor, you just needed to add weight to it in order to move up a class.

Winning class two was Chad Heller (.042), and second was Darren Wetzel (.024). Class three was Chad Heller (.034), Melvin Adolfs (.0288), and third was Mike Hess (.027). Winning class four was Chad Heller (.0248), a very close second was Melvin Adolfs (.0247), and third was Mike Hess (.022). For class five, Chad Heller was again in first place (.023) followed by Jens Hanson (.022) and taking third was Shane Lynch (.020). Rounding out the competition was class six, the closest finishes of all five competing classes. Shane Lynch (.0168) took the top spot, second was Tim Dworshak (.01639) and finishing third was Chad Heller (.01636).

In the pickup portion of the competition Dustin May took first (.026) and Devin Laufer placed second (.023).

Entry fees were $20 per pull. So if you entered two weight classes, you paid $40 in fees. The amount of prize money distributed to the winners was $1250 that included sponsorship dollars from business supporting the event.

Sponsors who supported the event include: West Plains, Inc., Dickinson Truck Equipment, Cardinal Insurance, Pheasant Cafe’, Short Cut, Scorpions Bar, Mott Equity, Frank L. Miller Pedal Tractor, Commercial Bank of Mott and Knights of Columbus of Mott.

Assisting with the competition was Heidi Liebig assisting at the starting line and Dylan Amber assisting at the finish line.

Announcing the event was Leif Bakken, who works for KBJM in Lemmon, S.D. and is aspiring to become a broadcaster.

The Fair Board already has planned on having another event next year, and Miller thought they would open up the competition to modified tractors as well.

“Everybody come next year, bring a tractor or two,” Miller said.

Capping off the evening was the band ‘Slamabama.’ Slamabama is from Alabama and the fair board was able to connect them them via an agent out of Minnesota.

Fair Board President Nadra Auch said though the crowd was a little light, the music performance they gave was great.

See our Facebook page for more photos of the Tractor Pull!

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