2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Remote Control Tractor Pulls Catching On Fast
Howard Jones helps oversee a popular remote-controlled tractor pull in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
“During Covid, when everything was shut down, we still had an event, one of the few in the country,” he recalls. Pullers came from as far away as St. Louis, Chicago, and Peoria, Illinois because they had nowhere else to go
“The 2 from St. Louis drove 250 miles, while the others from Illinois drove 8 hrs. to get here,” he recalls. “They all said they drove that far ‘just so they could play with their toys’.”
Jones says the remote pullers all build their own tractors, using servos that are found on model airplanes to work the throttle and steering.
Like the full-sized tractors, the remote ones need to meet certain specifications. They have to fit into different types and weight classes like the big boys do.
The little tractors typically weigh between 45 and 65 lbs. He says the detail the remote pullers put into their creations is “amazing”.
“The engines that most of them use are off machines like weed whackers,” Jones says. “They also use mini-snowblower tires for the wheels. They’re all home-built. No one buys remote tractors to use in these competitions.”
The puller from Chicago brought down a home-built John Deere remote puller that had 6 small engines synchronized on a single shaft.
The remote control tractors had better be powerful. The sleds they pull typically weigh as much as 300 lbs.
The Hopkinsville Show doesn’t charge admission to view the event. Instead, they ask attendees to donate to different causes every year. On average, Jones says they raise around $2,000 every year for charity.
“The generosity of those folks at our shows always amazes me,” he recalls. “Not only that, we never have a problem with trash and junk on the grounds when the show finishes up. They always pick up after themselves.”
Jones credits Mickey Buntin of Portland, Tenn., a longtime acquaintance, and his father with getting remote control tractor pulls off the ground, especially in the southern U.S.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup. Howard Jones, 6250 Greenville Road, Hopkinsville, Kty. 42240 (ph 270 348-5883; email@example.com; www.facebook.com/HopkinsvilleAntiqueTractorandSmallEngineShow)
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