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Tractor pulling is a motorsport competition, popular in America, Europe (especially in the Netherlands) and a growing number of other places, which requires modified tractors to pull a heavy sledge (sled) along a 10 meter wide, 100 meter long track, with the winner being the tractor that pulls the sledge farthest. The sport is known as the worlds most powerful motorsport, due to the multi engined modified tractor pullers.

All tractors, in their respective classes, pull a set weight in the sledge. When a tractor gets to the end of the 100 meter track this is known as a “full pull”. When more than one tractor completes the course, more weight is added to the sledge, and those competitors that went past the 100 meter mark will have a pull-off, the winner is the one who can pull the sledge the farthest.

The sledge is known as a weight transfer sledge. This means that as it is pulled down the track, the weight is transferred (linked with gears to the sledge’s wheels) from over the rear axles and towards the front of the sledge. In front of the rear wheels, there is a ‘pan’. This is essentially a metal plate and as the weight moves over this plate the resistance builds. The further the tractor pulls the sledge, the harder it gets.

The most powerful tractors, such as those in the 4.5 modified class in Europe, can produce over 10,000 bhp.

Although there are many tractor pulling organizations, not all run to the recommended safety rules, which can sometimes put the competitor or spectator at risk. The safest of events to watch being those sanctioned by the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC) or the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA). In the Netherlands the organization affiliated with the ETPC is the Nederlandse Truck en Tractor pulling Organisatie (NTTO).