2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Combine Demolition Derby Requires A Fine Touch
“We placed flags on sticks at various places on the combines,” explains Marty Derks, derby chairman and president of the local Junior Farmers chapter. “Opponents have to knock the flags off each other’s combine to win. This makes it more of a driving skill contest than a wrecking contest.”
To win, a contestant has to either strip all the flags from his opponent or simply outlast him. In this year’s contest, the one that kept running was the winner. His opponent had a drive belt break.
Combines are stripped of grain augers, glass and any part that might fall off. Feederhouses are welded solid at 16 in. above the ground, and a minimum of 12-ft. headers are required to protect the driver from side swipes hitting the cab. The cab is reinforced to protect the driver from possible rollovers.
Other precautions included fuel tanks secured inside the grain tanks and batteries securely mounted on top of the combines. Separators are inoperable, and doors fastened shut.
Speed is limited, and backing into rear ends that could break a rear axle is not allowed. Otherwise, anything is permitted.
Derks admits it wasn’t easy getting the event up and running its first year. He advises assembling a big winner’s pot or a lot of sponsors to defray costs.
“It’s expensive to enter a contest like this,” noted Derks. “Any combine with an engine that starts is worth $2,500. The owner needs a reason to risk it.”
While 2012 was the first combine demolition derby at the fair, Derks says it won’t be the last.
“We have 6 contestants lined up for next year, already,” he says. “It was very well attended, and that got contestants motivated for next year.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marty Derks, 3063 Forward Rd. S., Chesterville, Ont., Canada K0C 1H0 (ph 613 448-2522; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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