Spend A Few Minutes To Get To Know Us And To Learn More About Garden Tractor Pulling And Sneaky Pete’s Pullers!
Garden Tractor Pulling is a relatively old sport. Sneaky Pete’s pullers include people from all walks of life, from children to adults. They sometimes travel great distances with their families and friends to participant in these competitions. They enjoy the sport for the pleasure of competing and to show off their “toys”.
Sneaky Pete’s Garden Tractor Pullers is personally managed by Cy and Carol Schmitz who originally started the organization in 1986. They are responsible for all scheduling, managing and organizing the club’s pulling events.
Drivers with their garden tractors, weighing anywhere from 800 pounds to 1900 pounds, compete against other tractors, matching their own weight and horsepower, to pull a mechanically operated weighted transfer device known as the eliminator or sled.
The club owns two pulling sleds; one for the lighter class tractors and one for the higher horsepower tractors. The weights on the eliminator move forward as the garden tractor pulls it down a 200 to 250 foot dirt or asphalt track. After the tractor can pull the weighted eliminator no further, a laser instrument is used to measure the footage. The top three tractors with the longest distance pulled in each class are the winners of that class and are awarded trophies and/or cash prizes.
Several different classes of tractors compete. Classes we offer range from Off Lawn, Stock Altered, Sport Stock, Pro Super Stock, Open Unlimited and Mini Rods. (See individual classes for more class information.)
Safety is an important factor in the competition. Each tractor is inspected by a “Tech Inspector”. Inspections are usually done at the beginning of the pulling season, but tractors can also be inspected anytime if there becomes a question of safety or legality. All drivers are required to wear safety helmets and non-flammable clothing and certain classes also require fire suits. All moving tractor parts must be properly shielded and engine kill switches are required. The eliminator and tractors in certain classes carry fire extinguishers. (See safety rules for more information.)
Besides the sleds, Cy/aka Sneaky Pete also provides the scale and pull-back skid loader and does some track preparation work to be sure everything is in order for the pull. Many volunteers help to keep everything going smoothly as they travel with Sneaky Pete though the season.
Volunteers help Cy unload the sleds, skid-loader, the scale, the sound equipment and other equipment to put on the pull. Orange colored safety cones are placed on the outside of the track so pullers can easily spot the out of bounds areas and a marker is set at the start of the track showing where the skid is returned after each tractor pulls. Once the scale is set up, pullers usually gather quickly so they can weigh in, set their hitch height and “dial” their tractors in to prepare for the day’s event.
Meanwhile, the ladies in charge of all that important paperwork are busy setting up tables, chairs, sign-up sheets and unpacking copies of the club’s rules, schedules, entry forms and other necessary paperwork. Other volunteers help set up the sound system and it is tested as the paperwork is being organized. Carol Schmitz and Kay Tix are always organized and ready to answer any pullers questions about signing up their tractors or registering for points. There is an enormous amount of information that the registration people have to process and organize in a very short amount of time.
After everyone has signed up for their respective classes, the pulling order is posted trackside and the entry and result sheets are prepared with as much information as possible. A driver’s meeting is held in the pit area, shortly before the pull starts with Cy addressing the driver’s questions or concerns for that day’s event or announcements and changes on future pulls. Our announcer plays the taped National Anthem and everyone is off to their assigned post.
Volunteers read the laser to record each puller’s distance and radio the information to Kay who records the footage on the puller’s entry sheets. Each puller’s distance is announced to the audience as Carol updates the result sheets and payback envelopes as each class is completed.
Other volunteers take turns flagging, hooking and unhooking the tractors on the track and help line up and back up the tractors to the sled. They take turns running the sleds and running the skid loader while Cy supervises all the activity. It takes a lot of good people to put on a safe and entertaining tractor pull. The members of Sneaky Pete’s Garden Tractor Pulling club love to pull tractors, that is the bottom line, and they do a great job of working together to make the pull event enjoyable for all.
Local and first time pullers, who remove the mower deck that day just to try pulling, are encouraged and supported by the “seasoned pullers”. Pullers borrow tools, weights, nuts, bolts, duct tape or a helping hand to anyone who needs last minute assistance or has a technical breakdown.
When the last tractor pulls as far as it can down that sometimes long track, everyone takes a breath and the whole process is reversed to pack and load everything up. The pullers collect their pay-back winnings, check the placing order and discuss what they did wrong or what they should have done, and what they may have overlooked or who they may have under-estimated. The tractors and equipment are loaded and everyone is off for home with new ideas to get that tractor to pull just a few more feet or in some cases, inches at the next event.
So come join us this coming tractor pull season, mingle with the pullers before and after the pull and watch us do our best to entertain you and maybe, just maybe, you will catch the “tractor pulling bug”! Whether you want to participate in garden tractor pulling as a puller or a spectator, we welcome you. Email, Facebook, or Call 651-437-8291 for more information.