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Pedal Power Pullers
During a pulling contest for toy tractors equipped with miniature airplane engines, an observer called out, "Why don't you adults get out of there and let the kids have some fun!"
This challenge led Roger Haselhoff and several others in Aurelia, Iowa, to organize the National Association of Pedal Power Pulleys (NAPPP, or NA3P). They use modified pedalpowered toy tractors to pull a miniature sled.
To preserve the sport for children, NAPPP provides all the tractors and the sled for each pull and charges no entry fees.
The sled used for pedal pulling is patterned after those used in regular tractor pulls and cost about $450 to $500 to build. Pedal powered tractor pulls are sponsored by local organizations or businesses for community celebrations, etc. The Aurelia group now has 12 or 15 pulls scheduled for 1980, and plans to organize an invitational contest in Aurelia in late summer for the first three winners in each class from all contests, held during the summer. They also plan to have 14 tractors and three sleds in Sioux City, Iowa, during the national Jerry Lewis Telethon next fall and will encourage other groups to do the same thing in other locations.
The sponsoring organization is required to provide an announcer (hopefully someone familiar with many of the children or at least with their parents), some people to help set up and run the contest, and a garden tractor to pull the sled back to the starting point.
Haselhoff says an Illinois group used similar tractors in 1979 but pulled a drag to which weights were added as it passed certain points. He doesn't think this is quite fair because dropping a weight on the drag may stall the pulley where he might have continued moving if the weight had been added more gently.
It costs about $150 to $175 for each modified tractor, says Haselhoff. Tires are screwed to the rims to prevent slippage on the rims. Heavier axles, pedal crankshaft and pedal arms are added. Standard bicycle pedals a+e installed and No. 40 roller chain is used to drive the rear wheels which are fixed on the axle to keep the tractor moving as straight ahead as possible.
Haselhoff says NAPPP charges sponsors of pedal-power pulls $250, plus 40 cents per mile round trip for each tractor pull they operate. "We've had inquiries from people interested in operating such pulls for profit. But we're not interested. We like the way we have it set up for the kids now and want to keep it that way," he points out. "Any kid can try his luck now, whether he can pay an entry fee or not. And, when we furnish the tractors, it's not a question of who can afford to do the most elaborate job of modification."
For more information contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Haselhoff, NAPPP, Aurelia, Iowa 51055 (nh 712 434-55841.

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #4