Make us your home page
Instagram

Truck, tractor pull is Saturday at Hernando County Fairgrounds

Chris Beiter will put his modified farm tractor, Reapers Agent, to the test in the Brooksville Truck and Tractor Pull.

Courtesy of Richard Klimas

Chris Beiter will put his modified farm tractor, Reapers Agent, to the test in the Brooksville Truck and Tractor Pull.

BROOKSVILLE

With a deafening blast, the engine roars to full power. Smoke belches from the exhaust pipes and rear tires spit out dirt as they try to gain traction.

To the men and women involved the sport of tractor pulling, the high-horsepower spectacle never fails to bring a thrill. But anyone watching for the first time might find it hard to believe that the noise and action comes from farm machinery.

"It definitely opens your eyes and ears," said Richard Klimas, founder of the Brooksville Pulling Association, which will host a statewide, multi-class pull Saturday at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.

Klimas, a builder of competitive garden tractors who has been involved with tractor pulling for nearly 10 years, said the sport has come into its own over the past decade. Florida in particular has emerged as a hotbed of competitive pulling.

"A lot of it has to do with the amount of agriculture we have in the state," Klimas said. "The people involved are mostly guys who work on tractors and trucks all day long during the week. So at night, they're busy building high-performance versions so that they can compete with them on weekends."

Klimas said that while many people have driven a tractor at some point in life, there is something noticeably different about negotiating a 150-foot dirt track pulling a sled that becomes heavier the farther it is pulled.

"It feels different," Klimas said. "The tires are grabbing and a digging in and you can feel the front end pulling up. When I first tried it I was hooked. You wouldn't believe a tractor could do that to you, but it does."

Florida's foray into competitive tractor pulls dates back the early 1970s when Frank Paulhamus and his brother Gene formed the Florida Tractor Pullers Association and began organizing local tractor meets near their farm in Eustis. Within a few years the annual Sunshine State Tractor Pull became one the Southeast's premier two-day pulling events, drawing thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors. The event is now held annually in Zellwood, in Orange County.

Klimas said that his hope is to establish Brooksville as tractor and truck pulling mecca. Saturday's event has lured some of the state's more notable pullers who will compete in classes like modified 4x4 diesel trucks, modified 4x4 and gas trucks, stock and super modified tractors. Among the competitors will be Chris Beiter, owner of "Reapers Agent," who has racked up a number of impressive wins throughout Florida, and Michael Falconer, whose "Myakka Hooker" Dodge 4x4 truck is a dominant player in the modified diesel class.

This weekend's pull will also feature a pre-event "tractor rodeo," where operators of various classes of farm equipment will compete against one another by navigating an obstacle course. The rodeo will start at noon and is free to the public.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

>>If you go

Let the pulling begin

The Brooksville Pulling Association truck and tractor pull will be held Saturday at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad Street, Brooksville. The event kicks off at noon with a tractor rodeo, followed by the pull at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. For information, call (352) 585-9775.

Truck, tractor pull is Saturday at Hernando County Fairgrounds 06/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 4:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  2. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.