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UKTP News Updates

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Pulling Fans with Special Needs

Posted 19th July, 2017 - Updated 20th July, 2017

One happy fan...

Do you have a teenage child (or young adult), or are you a carerer for a teenager (or young adult) with special needs who's a fan of Tractor Pulling? Just in case you think I am being ageist, you have to be 13 or over to ride on a tractor, however Tractor Pullers do not normally have extra seats, which means we are limited to either Farmstock Pullers with cabs or Trucks. For obvious safety reasons, passengers are not permitted during actual Pulling.

In the case of Competition Pullers, for example machines running under BTPA, STPC or SWTPA Rules which require safety clothing including flameproof overalls, etc. and an approved safely helmet, these would be a total no-no when it comes to passengers.

This year I will be commentating at Low Ham (Langport, Somerset), Welland (South Worcestershire, just south of Great Malvern) and the Great Dorset Steam Fair in Dorset. I am only too pleased to meet with, explain how pulling works and look at all the Pullers, providing I'm not actually commentating at the time.

Depending on the venue and the age of the person (13 or older), there is a possibility of having a ride up the Track, providing there is a Truck or Farmstock with a cab (as opposed) to a Tractor Puller available, but not of course during the Pulling sessions. Low Ham (Langport) and the GDSF are both possibilities, however it is also dependent on the insurance of the Puller. In other words, if the Pulling insurance excludes the carriage of passengers, then sorry, it will not be possible!

The event Pulling insurance may well have the same exclusion clause so please don't get your hopes up!

If you want to contact me, please click this e-mail link.

Meanwhile, as a result of background discussions, the Secretary of the BTPA has kindly offered to extend special pit and track access, and you can contact Melanie Housby via e-mail.

Looking for somewhere to stay at Made?

Posted 9th May, 2017

Are you planning on going to the Made Powerweekend and looking for somewhere to stay rather than in a caravan or under canvas?

UKTP would like to recommend you check-out the B&B Logeren bij van Heeren which is located on the outskirts of Wagenberg, a mere 500-metres from the main entrance to the Track. The owner, Ingrid van Heeren provides a wonderful breakfast to set you up for the day and does her best to ensure all her guests have a thoroughly comfortable and enjoyable stay. Mind you, with three Pulling Tracks and many of Europe's best Pullers just down the road, what's not to enjoy?

Logeren B&B exteriorLogeren B&B interiorLogeren B&B garden The Logeren Goats

If you are thinking of staying there you had better hurry because the UKTP contingent have already booked and both the Belgian and Dutch Pullers know all about it... Oh, if you are very lucky you might get to meet the resident goats!

Project: TPC

Posted 14th February, 2017 - Updated 17th February, 2017, Updated 4th April. 2017

Project: TPC Logo

UKTP is pleased to announce the launch of Project: TPC, otherwise known as the 'Pulling Chronicles'. This will initially be launched on the UKTP web site as audio files...

The aim is to interview Pullers who have been in the sport for (probably) more years than they would care to mention and who can give us an insight to the 'flavour' (if that's the right phrase) of Pulling in the past. These will be an amble (or should that be a ramble) through their reminiscences and should be not only informative but highly entertaining. The first Pullers who have agreed to be in the 'hot seat' are: -

The current wish list looks something like this: -

The recordings will made to 'broadcast standard' courtesy of a TASCAM DR-100 MkIII. The field recorder will be with me in all my Pulling travels so other interviews will be added, hopefully along with Richard 'Turbo' Vincent who is one of the few people who were involved in the birth of Independent ('Outlaw') Tractor Pulling in the UK.

I am indebted to both the secret UKTP web site sponsor (yes, you know who you are...) and also to TASCAM (the professional audio division of TEAC) for their sponsorship of Project: TPC, otherwise known as the UKTP Pulling Chronicles.

In addition to the above, I must add Studiospares who have very kindly sponsored a pair of S980 Microphones to work in tandem with the built-in TASCAM microphones...

'Wandering Deere' is up for sale

Posted 16th January, 2017

A very rare opportunity to acquire a unique Pulling Tractor, 'Wandering Deere'...

'Wandering Deere'

Built by Dave Williams and aided and abetted by Steve Bailey between 2009 and 2011 on a custom Plasma Cut side rails.

'Wandering Deere' side view

Click here to read the full UKTP report on the 'Wandering Deere' build...

Price on application. Call Dave Williams on 07803 135 170 and as they say in the trade, no tyre kickers thank you.

FrontRunner TV

Posted 15th December, 2016. Updated 16th December, 2016.

FrontRunner Logo

Information TV have recently launched a dedicated evening sports channel to satisfy the demand of an increasing number of sports rights owning customers. The channel name was inspired by their first customer, showing Greyhound racing from throughout the UK.

The launch of the sports channel was made possible by informationtv’s intimate understanding of the Sky platform that allowed them to deliver a viable channel targeting at a niche television audience. The new Free To View Channel is called FrontRunner Sport.

Now for the even better news; they are showing some of the ETPC Euro Cup rounds with some excellent commentary by Kenneth Dahl, the Danish Vice-President of the ETPC. Episode 1 featured Brande in Denmark.

Green Fighter

Their press release reads: -

Catch the highlights from the Mitas Euro Cup on free-to-air sports channel Front Runner

The best action from this year’s Mitas Euro Cup series event in Denmark is currently being aired on UK sports channel Front Runner.

Watch the highlights on Eurocup Pulling tonight (Friday 16 December) at 9pm on Freeview and Talk Talk/BT (not Sky). It will also be shown tomorrow (Saturday 17 December) at midday and on Sunday at 11am.

The show was filmed at the VALTRA Pulling Arena in Brande, Denmark, during the Mitas Euro Cup two-day event in July. It follows action from 2000 horse-power tractors in Super Stock, Light Modified and Heavy Modified classes.

Ryan Scarratt, of Front Runner, said: “Tractor pulling has been a popular sport with our Front Runner audience. If its popularity continues and grows further, we will be happy to continue running the series in the new year.”

The Mitas Euro Cup featured 120 teams from different countries on the starting list, competing in five classes: Pro Stock, Super Stock, Mini Modified, Light Modified and Heavy Modified. Tractors with up to 10,000 horsepower competed.

Rabbit G'n Mad

You can find FrontRunner on the following channels: -

Sky 468
Freeview 91
Freesat 250
TalkTalk/BT 91

FR Logo

AGM time again
BTPA AGM

Posted 18th December, 2016

14:00 on Sunday 26 February, 2017

Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel
Eccleshall Road
Stafford ST16 1JJ

The Board of Directors request proposals for the AGM are submitted in writing to the secretary (contact details on the Facebook page) by 15 January 2017. This will allow a pre-determined voting list to be compiled and electronically issued to members. The list will also be added to the BTPA website and the BTPA Facebook page for those members who do not have access to email.

The closing date for proposals is Sunday 12 February 2017; if there are additional proposals to the list issued in January this will be re-issued electronically to members. Again the list will be updated on the website and Facebook page.

Please also submit any nominations for election to the Board of Directors of the BTPA. Members may submit their votes by proxy for items on the pre-determined voting list. The voting list must be signed by the member and received by the Secretary no later than 48 hours prior to the AGM.

Please note that only fully paid up adult members of the BTPA (competing, non-competing and honorary) are eligible to vote.

Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel

NWTPC AGM

The North West Tractor Pulling Club AGM and Dinner Dance will be held at 14:00 on Saturday 4th February, 2017 at: -

Farington Lodge,
Stanifield Lane,
Farington,
Preston,
Lancashire PR25 4QR

Farington Lodge, Preston

Peak Vale Pulling Club Ltd. AGM

The Peak Vale Pulling AGM will be held at 15:00 on Saturday 26th November, 2016 at: -

Ox Close Farm,
Carr Lane,
Riber,
Matlock,
Derbyshire DE4 5JT

Come and have a say about how your club is run in 2017. Election of committee will take place and Steve Cox from South West Tractor Pulling Association will be coming to speak to us about Tractor Pulling.

Anyone interested is welcome, but only full and associate members will be eligible to vote on club matters. If you want to arrive before 15:00 there will be time for informal chat, but the meeting will start at 15:00 (3pm) prompt.

We will be going for a meal later at the Matlock Gurkha Restaurant in Tansley (The Cliff, Tansley, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5FY)...Please let Neil know if you want want to join us by calling 07778 362 839.

Matlock Gurkha Restaurant, Tansley

PPA AGM

13:30 on Saturday 21st January, 2017

Quality Hotel
Birmingham Road
Coventry CV5 9BA

The first to announce the details of their AGM are the Power Pulling Association (PPA) who are holding their AGM combined with a Dinner/Dance. Please contact info@powerpulling.co.uk for more information. All proposals must be submitted to the club secretary by Saturday 7th January 2017; dmtrower@aol.com.

Qaulity Holel, Coventry

Scottish Tractor Pullers Club AGM

The STPC AGM will be held at 13:30 on Sunday 11th December, 2016 at: -

Station Hotel,
Arduthie Rd,
Stonehaven AB39 2NE

All are welcome if you have an interest in joining the club or just finding out more about their events...

Station Hotel, Stonehaven

SWTPA AGM

Posted 18th December, 2016

18:00 on Saturday 14th January, 2017

Strawberry Special Inn
Station Road
Draycott
Nr Cheddar
Somerset BS27 3TQ

Followed by a buffet and prize giving for the 2016 season.

Strawberry Special Inn

Trophies: -

Anyone wishing to place a proposal on the agenda must forward it to a committee member at least 7-days before the AGM. No proposals will be accepted from the floor...

Muriel Parker RIP

Muriel Parker driving 'The Fox'

It is with great personal sadness that I have to announce the death of Muriel Parker on the 13th October, 2016 at the Joseph Weldmar Hospice at the age of 72. Her Funeral Service was held on the 24th October in St Mary's Church, Tarrant Gunville. As most of you in the Independent Pulling community will know, Muriel was the wife of Bill Parker, who sadly passed away in 2010, and shared the driving duties on 'The Fox'.

Bill and Muriel along with Richard ('Turbo') Vincent and a few like minded people started Independent Tractor Pulling in the south of England shortly after the birth of organised Pulling in the UK back the late 1970's and early 80's.

I think it's fair to say the Parker surname is synonymous with southern Independent Pulling because Muriel and Bill's son Alan ('Parkes' or 'Parker') has had a hand in building something like 40% of the 'Dorset' Pullers, their nephews Ned and Paul own and run the 'Dorset' Sledge, son Kevin now drives 'The Fox' and I'm sure it won't be long before grandson Theo will become his deputy on the track...

Former Sunday School teacher, Church Organist, Parish Councillor, President of the Tarrant Gunville WI, one of the organisers of the Tarrant Gunville Flower Show and part of the Church Flower team, the 100 Club, Church Fete and so the list goes on... Small wonder her son Lionel in his Eulogy described her as 'Mrs Tarrant Gunville'! She was truly unique in every sense of the word. I wonder if the good ladies of the WI knew that at the drop of a hat their good President would unleash 100's of horsepower onto the Pulling Track?

Muriel and Theo Parker

This beautiful photograph of Muriel with her grandson Theo was taken by Ally White and has been 'borrowed' from Theo Parker's Facebook page...

On a personal note, Bill not only mentored and helped my son get his Tractor License but was also responsible for getting 'Dad' involved with Pulling in general and commentating in particular and, as long as I've been with the sport Muriel has always been there. I find it hard to imagine Tractor Pulling without her. RIP Muriel and goodbye my dear friend...

Sywell Tractor Pulling has been cancelled

Pistons and Props

Peak Vale Tractor Pulling have regretfully had to cancel the Tractor Pulling at the Sywell Classic 'Pistons & Props' event...

Due to a certain lack of communication between the venue (Sywell) and the event organisers (Live Promotions Events Ltd.) insufficient time was allocated to Tractor Pulling which meant Pullers travelling considerable distances to only be able to run for one 90-minute session per day! Judging from the report I received it would appear that neither of the two parties had any real experience or understanding of the sport and just assumed it would involve driving as fast as possible down the track without taking into account the Sledge and Puller movements or those of the grader, if needed.

The Peak Vale Pulling team have done all they can to try and work out a compromise but in the end have had no option than to cancel their participation in the event... Fingers crossed for 2017.

Andrew Harper RIP

Andrew Harper

As most of you already know, Andy finally lost his battle with cancer. Andrew was previously an active board member of the BTPA and was heavily involved in the building of the 'Total Friction' sledge with Steve Cox. He was also a team member of 'The Huntsman' and 'One Trick Pony' teams with Rob Uphill and company as well as the 'Mean Old Pete' and 'Black Gold' teams.

Andrew was also one of the founding members of the SWTPA as well as being very active on the European Pulling scene and will be greatly missed by all his friends on the other side of the Channel and North Sea...

All our thoughts are with his wife Maria, sons Christopher and Daniel, family and friends at this sad time.

Andrew's funeral will be at 11:45 on Friday 26th August, 2016 at: -

St John the Baptist Church

Main Street

Farrington Gurney

Somerset, BS39 6UB

New PPA Chairman

Becky & Darren Trower

Becky and Darren Trower

Darren Trower has been elected as the new Chairman of the Power Pulling Association with Becky Trower & Sarah Jones (sorry no photo) sharing the duties of Secretary and Treasurer.

Darren, ably supported by Becky has been involved in the sport of Tractor Pulling for more years than they'd care to mention (even longer than me), moving from Independent Pulling with 'Major Mover' on to the SWTPA where Darren added Alun Mason's 'The Viking' to his collection, on to the Power Pulling association supporting their sons Scott and Sam...

Based on my experience as a long-standing friend I can honestly say, the PPA couldn't be in safer hands!

No Tractor Pulling at Padstow but...

Update 22nd June, 2016

Although there will be no Tractor Pulling at Padstow there will be a static display organised by the Cornish Tractor Pullers for this year and other plans are in the pipeline...

Posted 26th May, 2016

CTP at Padstow Rally in 2012

Photo: Ian Wilton Pulling at the Padstow Rally in 2012 taken by Alison Wills

I feel so sorry for the Cornish Tractor Pullers... Carol West posted this message on Facebook last night (25th May): -

"Padstow Rally - some unexpected & disappointing news... With my publicity hat on this evening I gave Padstow Rally a call. My intention was to discuss tractor puller information in this year's programme, however, I was very surprised to discovered instead that a decision had been taken a few months ago not to include tractor pulling at the event this year... & that tractor pulling won't be possible there until at least 2018 when the rally site changes location.

Very sorry folks... considerable confusion and breakdown in communication of this with CTP has occurred somewhere along the way."

'Scruff' Wilton (CTP Chairman) commented: -

"I am personally gutted by this news. When we left last years rally it was with the upbeat news that as far as the rally committee were concerned we would be back this year pulling. I do feel let down by this and offer my deepest apologies to you all."

In the meantime, great news from Launceston! Once again I quote 'Scruff' Wilton: -

"Launceston Rally on the other hand are delighted that we are coming and have created a brand new 180m long track alongside the camping field for us..."

Lauceston Tractor Pulling track

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

Colin Millard is the new SWTPA Chairman

Posted 24th May, 2016

Colin Millard

Colin Millard who, as many of you will know, is a long-time stalwart of Tractor Pulling in the South West has taken over from Steve Cox as Chairman of the South West Tractor Pulling Association.

What you may not realise is the fact that Colin now has his very own Puller, The 'Scarlet Lady', powered by a 27+ litre Meteor engine. Not too sure if his an actual Rolls-Royce or a Rover version of this power plant. This photo was taken at Bristol (Wraxall) on 2nd May, 2016 showing his maiden run.

Colin Millard driving 'Scarlet Lady'

We all wish him well for the future as SWTPA Chairman...

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

Mitas is releasing the Powerpull tyre for Europe

Posted 5th May, 2016

Mitas 'All or Nothing'

The special tractor pulling tyre Mitas Powerpull has been released for sale in Europe. After several months of in-house development and extensive testing, Mitas 30.5L32 148A8 Powerpull is available for Pulling Teams. It is manufactured as a slick tyre without a tread pattern, allowing the competitor to create the winning tread design of their choice.

Manufacturing of Mitas Powerpull 30.5L-32 is based on a process similar to that of Mitas’ high-horsepower tractor tyres. This will guarantee endurance and durability.

Mitas Powerpull

“The big advantage of Mitas Powerpull is the fact that it is sold as a slick tyre, allowing a custom cut according to the competitor’s specification,” said Andrew Mabin, Mitas’ sales and marketing director.

“To ensure being one of the first competitors to put on a new set of Mitas Powerpull tyres, I would encourage pullers to contact their cutter and put their name on the list.”

Click here to see the full text of the Press release...

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

Steve Cox resigns as Chairman of the SWTPA

Posted 4th May, 2016

Steve Cox

Steve Cox has announced his resignation as Chairman of the SWTPA. Steve was a leading light in the South West Tractor Pulling Club, a BTPA affiliate and went on to become one of the founder members of the SWTPA.

A highly skilled engineer, Steve designed and built 'Total Friction' back in the early noughties which was then by far the most advanced and safest Sledge in the UK

'Total Friction'

'Thunderchild' was another of his creations, powered by a 27+ litre Meteor engine. Very powerful but never quite managed to achieve its full potential as fuel system reliability always seemed to be a bit of an issue, along with a predisposition to catch fire!

Many of the Pullers in the south west and further afield owe a lot to Steve in terms of technical know-how and engineered parts for their machines.

Steve Cox driving 'Thunderchild'

The following was posted by Gloria Cox on her Facebook page on Tuesday (yesterday) 3rd May: -

"Steve Cox would like to thank all those members and non-members for making the North Somerset show the success it was yesterday (in some difficult weather conditions). Also thanks to all again for your continued committment and support throughout my time as chairman. The club could not run without your continued dedication and goodwill. Wishing the club every success in the future."

Steve and Gloria Cox

Although this has still to be announced officially, it has been reported that Stuart Moore will be replacing Steve as SWTPA Chairman...

Wrong! Colin Millard is the new Chairman. (Updated posted 24th May, 2016)

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

Rob Uphill has sold the JCB side of his business...

Posted 18th March, 2016

Rob Uphill -

Following an offer from C.Smart Agricultural Services he really couldn't afford to refuse (now where have we heard that before?), Rob Uphill has decided to sell the JCB side of his business, Uphill & Son Ltd.

Smart's, an existing JCB dealership with a depot just down the road at Cheddar has bought the JCB side of business and will be taking on all of Rob's staff, transferring all of the work, stock and staff down to Winchester Farm. Rob is going to relinquish the rest of the franchises, sell off the rest of his stock over the next couple of months from his premises and then take things a bit easier (as if)...

The future of the current workshops has yet to be decided but they will probably be rented out once all the stock and machinery has been moved out.

Here is the text of the letter which has gone out to all his customers: -

"We are pleased to announce our forthcoming merger of resources with C Smart Agricultural Services, Winchester Farm, Draycott Road, Cheddar. It is scheduled to officially take place on Friday 1st April 2016, on that date all employees of Uphill & Son Ltd and the JCB Agriculture franchise will transfer to them.

We have taken this decision as we believe that a larger organisation will provide a more secure future for our dedicated team of staff, provide a more extensive product offering and continued high level of service to our customers. We have chosen C Smart Agricultural Services as we believe they share the same values and commitment to excellent customer service as ourselves.

May I also take this opportunity to thank you all personally, for not only your past business, but also the support and friendship you have extended to myself and my family over the years. This has obviously been a difficult decision to make, but due to the current challenging economic climate and as we have no natural succession to pass the business onto, we feel that this is the right time for us to move on and pursue other interests".

There are two clues as to why Rob has taken this decision now: firstly there is no one to take on the business and take some of the weight off his shoulders and secondly, at 50 he would like to start taking things a little easier. If someone comes along with the right offer which, in Rob's own words "basically I had an offer I couldn't refuse" pretty much made up his mind for him.

As for Rob himself, he's planning on a summer of Tractor Pulling with 'One Trick Pony' before deciding what to do next!

Rob Uphill on 'One Trick Pony'

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

Are you tough enough for Ultimate Hell Week?

Posted 27th January, 2016

BBC Special Forces

Well, the BBC seem to think Tractor Pullers are! The UKTP web site received the following from BBC Documentaries yesterday so what are you waiting for? The text is from their press release and follow this link to have a look at at the programme page on their web site.

Sorry to all the UKTP web site readers over in Europe and elsewhere but applications are only open to UK residents with an up to date passport.

Spcial Forces Contestants Treking

Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week is returning to BBC2 to follow 22 men and women as they attempt to complete a series of challenges and courses based on Special Forces selection from around the world. This is one of the most physically and mentally challenging programmes on television and only a few of the toughest applicants are likely to complete the course.

Special Forces Contestant with a little (?) load of rope

This is the ultimate test of endurance – only the fittest, strongest, bravest and most determined need apply. If you’re looking to test yourself to the upmost extremes and think you have what it takes to survive under the instruction of the Special Forces then email specialforces@bbc.co.uk for an application form or go to the link below to apply: -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/takepart/special_forces16

BBS Special Forces Flyer

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

The AGM season cometh...

Posted 30th November, 2015, updated 4th December, 2015 & 12th January, 2016

PPA AGM

13:30 on Saturday 27th February, 2016

Quality Hotel
Birmingham Road
Coventry CV5 9BA

The first to announce the details of their AGM are the Power Pulling Association (PPA) who are holding their AGM combined with a Dinner/Dance. Please contact info@powerpulling.co.uk for more information.

Qaulity Holel, Coventry

NWTPC AGM

Saturday 6th February, 2016

The Villa
Wrea Green
Preston
Lancashire  PR4 2PE

Followed by a Dinner Dance.

Please contact secretary@nwtpc.co.uk for more information

The Villa, Nr Preston

SWTPA AGM

Saturday 23rd January, 2016 18:00 start

Strawberry Special Inn
Station Road
Draycott
Nr Cheddar
Somerset BS27 3TQ

Followed by a guest speaker, buffet and prize giving for the 2015 season.

Strawberry Special Inn

Trophies: -

Anyone wishing to place a proposal on the agenda must forward it to a committee member at least 7-days before the AGM. No proposals will be accepted from the floor...

Given the short notice of the AGM anyone wishing to make a proposal only has until this week-end to contact a member of the committee... Shame their AGM clashes with Zwolle!

STPC AGM

13:30 on Sunday 6th December, 2015

The Station Hotel
Arduthie Road
Stonehaven
Aberdeenshire AB39 2NE

The Station Hotel

Posted by Mark Gass-Brown

REIS Tractor Pulling Insurance

Posted 22nd September, 2015

The majority of Tractor Pulling Insurance is organised through the various Associations and Clubs however for an individual Puller the options are far more limited.

'Where can I get Pulling Insurance' is the question I get asked most often and up until now I have not been able to give a satisfactory answer!

REIS Office

REIS is a name you may not have heard of unless you are into serious motorsports or Track Days. Their insurance policies are underwritten by Chaucer Insurance who have been underwriting insurance for 45 years and specialist motor sport and motoring insurance for 15 years. They have a wealth of understanding and a sympathetic approach to the many modifications found in motor sports many disciplines.

Formula E

REIS consist of a team of ten insurance professionals that fully understand the needs of competitors, teams and enthusiasts at all levels from hobby through to full time professionals. The team have a broad background in motorsport, both participating and organisation, from karting through to racing, rallying, classic and historic cars and important collections.

As far as I can tell they do not have a Tractor Pulling participant in the team as yet but who knows what the future will bring.

REIS Rally Car

If you choose a policy with them, it will be managed individually, no call centre staff, instead their account executives will be on the end of the telephone if you need to speak to them.

If you want to know more why not visit the REIS web site or call this number, 0115 965 1020, for a personal quote. If you are an Association or Club then ring the Commercial Team on 0115 965 1050.

If you are looking for a second opinion regarding REIS and how good they are just contact someone from the Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club and ask them!

Motor Racing

WCW For Sale

Posted 31st July, 2015 - Updated 3rd August, 2015

Sorry, WCW has now been sold...

Westcountry Wanderer

The Cummins L10 powered Westcountry Wanderer is up for sale. This Puller, built in East Anglia by Dave Williams, it is now resident in Cornwall...

Westcountry Wanderer

Since I haven't commentated on this Puller for a number of years I have no idea what changes have been made to the original build specification but...

Westcountry Wanderer

... if you are interested you can either have a look on the UKTP Facebook page for the post by Claire Reynolds (by far the best option) or e-mail me and I will put you in contact with the seller.

... off to Hebburn?

Posted 26th May, 2015

Hebburn Sledge

The Scottish Independent Sledge would appear to be heading to a new home in Hebburn, Tyne & Wear. Spotted on route under the stewardship of Matt McDermid...

Could this be destined to become a replacement for one of the two Barnards Castle Sledges or does Matt have something else in mind for it? Watch this space...

If you are interested in the rest of the UK Sledges have a look at the Sledges page...

Invitation to a Pull in Wales

Posted 11th May, 2015

George Davies posted this mess age on Facebook yesterday (Sunday 10th May, 2015): -

"If we can get a few Pulling Tractors that are outside our group (SWTPA) to come I am trying to have a separate slot for them to have a Pull; after all it is my event on my field..."

Plas-y-Cadno Farm Tractor Pull

Any Pullers who would like to have a go should either contact George directly or send me an e-mail and I will forward it on. As you can see from the map, the venue is quite handy for the Llandovery and Pembrokeshire contingent as well as the Shropshire, Cheshire, West Midlands and Gloucestershire Pullers.

">

The new ETPC President is Andy Miller

Posted 5th May, 2015

Finally, its official! Many congratulations to our very own Andy Miller who has succeeded Jan Buitenhuis as President of the ETPC. Jan served in this position for some 27 years but resigned the post towards the end of 2014.

Andy Miller

As most of you know, Andy is not only a member for the Valtra Pulling Team but is also Business Manager at AGCO, who own Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra. Oh, and not forgetting the Vice Chairmanship of the BTPA.

Although Andy's elevation (?) to the Presidency has been an open secret for some time, there has been no 'official' announcement on the 'News' page of the ETPC web site. Sometime in the last few days their site has been updated to show Andy as President...

On the 30th April the following was posted on the Valtra Pulling Team web site: -

"Englishman Andy Miller from the UK based Valtra Bear Essentials Team has been appointed President of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), the governing body for the organisation, regulation and promotion of tractor pulling throughout Europe.

Andy has been active in the pulling scene for over 15 years both as a competitor and team manager but also as part of the British Tractor Pullers Association. Former President Dutchman Jan Buitenhuis decided to resign after several years of service."

Andy Miller at Füchtorf in 2012

UKTP wishes Andy all the very best in his new role.

New ETPC Turbo Shielding Rules for 2015

Posted 23rd April, 2015

The ETPC have just issued a new set of rules relating to the shielding of Turbochargers and will effect all BTPA Turbo Pullers... The new Rules come into force on the 1st May, 2015 so you don't have very long to do what's necessary!

Click on the document image to open the full 4-page PDF which you can download for yourself. Links to the Technical Drawings are included at the foot of this article.

ETPC Turbocharger Shielding Rules for 2015

Related Links 2015 Drawing 1 Turbo Protection 2mm 2015
  2015 Drawing 2 Turbo Protection 2mm 2015
  2015 Drawing 3 Turbo Protection 2mm 2015
  2015 Drawing 4 Turbo Protection 2mm 2015
  2015 Drawing 5 Turbo Protection 2mm 2015
  2015 Drawing 6 Turbo Protection 3-6mm 2015

 

Steve Mason RIP

Posted 17th March, 2015

7th March, 1964 - 14th March, 2015

Steve Mason with Christina Louise...

Steve Mason, better known to us as the owner of 'Skipper' passed away on Saturday evening at Ty Bryngwyn Hospice in Llanelli with all his loved ones around him. As many of you will know, Steve had been battling pancreatic cancer for well over a year.

Steve and his daughter

Steve ran the Fordson Major called 'Skipper' in the Under 401 Pro Stock class with the BTPA, a class that Steve help get started back in the 90’s. To quote the comment posted on the SWTPA Facebook page, as far as Fordson Majors go 'Skipper' was about as good as they come and won many championships.

Steve Mason & Skipper

This photo was taken at a SWTPC Pull at Heddington & Stockley.

Steve's funeral will be held on Saturday 28th March at 12pm in St. Peter's Church in Lampeter Velfrey, Narberth, Dyfed, SA67 8UH. His daughter Christina Louise has posted: -

"It would be lovely to see friends and family from far and wide so that we can give him the send off he deserves."

Steve Mason driving 'Skipper'

Steve driving 'Skipper' at a BTPA Pull back in 2003...

Steam Fair FM is back...

Posted 17th March, 2015 - Updated 18th March, 2015

Steam Fair FM

As you were...

The following has now been posted on the Steam Fair FM web site: -

Event Radio Associates and Gt Dorset Steam Fair Ltd are pleased to confirm that following further discussions, agreement has now been reached to enable Steam Fair FM to broadcast once again in 2015. Both parties would like to thank the many followers of GDSF’s Facebook account for so clearly expressing their views, and making it clear how much importance they attach to having Steam Fair FM on air and online each year from the show.

So, for the 13th year (lucky for us!) we can promise you all the news and views from the show, up to the minute traffic and weather reports, fabulous prize competitions, all your dedications and messages…..and the finest selection of Vintage Hits from the 50s to the 80s – all the best songs that you so rarely hear on the radio now!

The original announcement that the Radio Station would not be at the GDSF this year (2015) prompted the largest number of post on the Show's Facebook page for a single topic (250). Here's a flavour of some of the posts: -

Fully understand the reasons, but what a shame...one of the highlights for us when travelling to GDSF is when we get close enough to pick up Steam Fair FM. Many Thanks to Patrick and Team. Hope they are back with us in the future.

So sad as adds to the excitement on drive down when you pick it up you know you are nearly there! Understand reasons and just hope it is reintroduced ASAP as it is so much part of the whole experience.

Get rid of the Monster Trucks, And the stunt team, They're good, But they're not "VINTAGE", Please keep Steam faire FM, And keep Everything Vintage, As it should be............

Gone with regret!! Will miss squirrel and his tractors! Whilst I understand the reasons given, last year it proved invaluable to people trying to get on to the site with updates on site conditions and in my case when I started queuing at Cashmoor last year it was reassuring to know that I would be allowed on site regardless of what time we got in (23:00 on the Tuesday!). If we have a repeat of last year (lets hope not) I think the stewards will get a hell of a lot of stick due to the lack of information available as the local stations can't localised travel bulletins as regularly as steam fm was able to.

No no no. Let's all have a whip round to get it back on.

That is a cop out ! Such a lovely touch for us , when we drive to show we love it when we can tune in ! We would happily pay extra to keep it going and surely the show makes a healthy profit ? Please rethink

Please Martin if you asked all your traders an exhibitors for FIVE POUNDS donation on booking I'm sure this will be acceptable by nearly all because we all benefit from it please try and consider this.

Great shame, was the only way of communicating with exhibitors and visitors out on the campsites. Dump the monster trucks and stunt bikes don't see how they fit into "THE national heritage show" at all.

We have to thank the National Traction Engine Trust for stepping into the breach and jointly (with the GDSF) making up the shortfall. It's well worth reading the News item on the NTET site. We all owe the NTET a huge THANK YOU for rescuing Steam Fair FM...

The Steam Fair FM web site will be updated in due course... Welcome back team!

Mitas is releasing their Powerpull 30.5L-32

Posted 26th February, 2015

Mitas are launching their Tractor Pulling tyre, Powerpull 30.5L-32, for competition and worldwide sales at SIMA (Paris International Agri Business Show).

Mitas Powerpull

It is manufactured as a slick tyre without a tread pattern, allowing the competitor to create the winning tread design. The bias-ply construction and manufacturing of Mitas Powerpull 30.5L-32 is based on a process similar to that of the Mitas’ high-horsepower tractor tyres. This will guarantee endurance and durability.

Mitas spent several months of in-house research and development designing Powerpull tyre. First prototypes were cured at Mitas' new factory in Otrokovice, Czech Republic and released for laboratory testing in April 2014. Based on discussions with pullers Mitas Powerpull is designed as a slick tyre so that customers and racing teams can cut their own unique treads.

Pitas Powerpull 2

Mitas actively supports tractor-pulling events. In Europe Mitas is the official partner of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), supporting all Eurocup pulls. Mitas has recently prolonged sponsorship agreement with ETPC for Eurocup 2015 season.  In U.S. Mitas sponsored in 2014 National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) pulling events and also pulls from the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League.

Bram Kools with 'All or Nothing'

The tractor-pulling team Mitas ‘All or Nothing’ won the ETPC Eurocup title in the Superstock category. Mitas’ sponsored team, with driver Bram Kools, confirmed its domination of the category at the last event in Parma, Italy, on 21 September, 2014.

For those of you who are not familiar with the company, MITAS a.s is one of Europe’s leading producers of agricultural tyres. Mitas manufactures and sells tyres under three brand names: the company’s own Mitas and Cultor, and Continental under licence.

In addition, MITAS a.s. produces and distributes a wide range of Mitas-branded industrial and motorcycle tyres. MITAS a.s. is a member of ČGS HOLDING a.s. and operates three production plants in the Czech Republic, one in Serbia and one in the USA, and maintains a global sales and distribution network.

Related Link Mitas Tyres UK
Steam Fair FM - The sound of silence 2015

Posted 24th February, 2015

I'm sure nearly everyone who visits or camps at the Great Dorset Steam Fair enjoys the sound of the Vintage Hits and information provided by Steam Fair FM (I know I do) but not this year...

Steam Fair FM

The following was posted by Patrick Heeley on the Steam Fair FM web site at the end of last week: -

Event Radio Associates and Gt Dorset Steam Fair Ltd wish to confirm that Steam Fair FM has now ceased broadcasting. This follows a review of the cost of providing the on-site radio station, which has been financed mainly by external advertising and sponsorship. Changes in the heritage market, and in particular the publishing industry have meant that Steam Fair FM’s main station sponsor for seven years has had to withdraw support. The show would need to increase its contribution, at a time when takings have been adversely affected by the bad weather problems of 2014, and have concluded that this is regrettably not feasible. The parties have therefore agreed amicably to suspend operations with immediate effect, Both have agreed to keep the door open to review in future.

Steam Fair FM has been the show’s radio station for 12 years, providing a round-the-clock service of show news and views, traffic and weather, competitions, and our famous “Vintage Hits” from the 50’s to the 80’s. In closing at this time, I would like to thank my co-founder Chris Evans, who was jointly responsible for creating the format of Steam Fair FM in 2003, and the team of volunteers who gave their time without payment to produce and present the programmes. I would further like to thank the many businesses, large and small, who used the facilities of Steam Fair FM to promote their products and services to the vast Steam Fair audience, and in turn provided the bedrock of our finances.. I make particular mention of Peter Johns and the team at Waterways World, former owners of Vintage Spirit Magazine, who worked enthusiastically with us over seven years as main sponsor, and helped to introduce initiatives such as the Great Dorset Photography Competition..They continue to host this website.

Thanks also of course to Martin Oliver and Julian Hubbuck and all the staff at GDSF who’ve given us their support and co-operation in making these broadcasts happen over the years.. And to the “characters” of the Steam Fair, like Dr Busker, who gave us a lot of fun. Most of all, I’d like to thank all the many thousands of wonderful Steam Fair fans for your loyal and enthusiastic support of the station. None of the team can recall seeing a local radio service achieve so much active support and enthusiasm from its listeners. We will miss you!

Trust me Patrick, not half as much as the GDSF fans end exhibitors will miss you, Jonathan, Laura, Eamonn, Roger, Tony and the rest of the team...

Related Link GDSF News
Two Dutch Tractors are coming to the UK

Posted 5th February, 2015

For those of you who haven't heard, two Dutch Pullers have been sold and are now in the UK.

Brutus

Stephen Charles who lives in Tideswell in the Peak District of Derbyshire is now the proud owner of 'Brutus', The Puller, an IH 5488 was built in 2001-02 by Marcel Arendsen from Brummen in the east of the Netherlands and with it, he became champion in 2005-06.

Brutus

Brutus' vital statistics are: -

Because it was built under ETPC rules, the Puller will be running in the BTPA Supersport 4.5-t Class along with 'Oh Bonnie' and presumably, with the change in the BTPA Rules in 2013, with the Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club as well.

Brutus & Stephen Charles

International Educator

Now owned by Myerscough College, as part of their Mechanisation Degree Course, is the chassis of the old 'Agrifac Interaction' from Team Kools, along with the bonnet, gearbox and rear-axle. The college has bought the components as a project for its students.

The old Agrifac Interaction chassis

The students are now looking for a DT468 engine block for their 4.5t Supersport. The Team already have a Holset Turbocharger and a Sigma pump.

Like 'Brutus' the Puller will be entered into the BTPA 4.5t Supersports Class and will be only the second to be built in the UK, 'Oh Bonnie' being the first. The is a project for degree students only and they will be managing and running the project.

ETPC Rules update for 2015

Posted 27th January, 2015

Peter de Witt of the ETPC Tech & Safety Board has issues a number of rule changes for 2015 following the meeting at Bouconville in 2014. Click on the image to open the full-sized PDF which you can download...

ETPC Rule Changes for 2015

Still no news regarding the replacement for Jan Buitenhuis as President of the ETPC... Watch this space! Jan was the Committee President for over 27-years, steering the ETPC through some (very) troubled waters which is quite a remarkable achievement.

It's AGM time again

Posted 6th January, 2015 - Updated 15th January, 2015

STPC AGM

13:00 on Sunday 11th January, 2015

Leys Hotel
Blackburn
Aberdeen  AB21 0SS

Leys Hotel

BTPA AGM

14:00 on Sunday 18th January, 2015

Holiday Inn
Clayton Road
Newcastle Under Lyme
Staffordshire  ST5 4DL
M6, Junction 15

Holiday Inn, Stoke

NWTPC AGM

13:30 on Saturday 31st January, 2015

The Villa
Wrea Green
Preston
Lancashire  PR4 2PE

Followed by a Dinner Dance, 19:00 for 19:30 (Black Tie)
Please contact Sarah on 07809 373 001 for tickets

The NWTPC are having an open casual chat time between the AGM and dinner dance so if anyone wants to discuss anything in a more relaxed environment then come on down...

The Villa, Nr Preston

SWTPA AGM

Saturday 14th February, 2015 18.30 for 19.00 start

Strawberry Special Inn
Station Road
Draycott
Nr Cheddar
Somerset BS27 3TQ

Followed by a buffet and prize giving for the 2014 season.

Strawberry Special Inn

Trophies: -

PPA AGM

13:00 on Saturday 21st February, 2015

Lakeside Golf Lodge Centre
Fen Road
Pidley
Huntingdon
Cambridge  PE28 3DF

Followed by a Dinner & Dance at 19:30
Please contact Cathy on 07576 580 036 to book or confirm

The Lakeside

'One Trick Pony' - ETPC Prostock Champions

Posted 7th August, 2014

'One Trick Pony' at Brande

At last we have something the cheer about, after our exit from the World Cup and Wimbledon... Rob Uphill with 'One Trick Pony' has won the ETPC Prostock class Eurocup at Brande in Denmark!

The Puller is based near Chewton Mendip which, oddly enough, is up on the Mendip Hill in Somerset, at Rob's place of buisiness, Uphill and Son Limited. Behind every successful Puller there is a team of dedicated people...

Rob Uphill (and horse) Andrew House - Crew Chief
Rob Uphill
Andrew House
Jim Wheeler - Number one mechanic Mark ('Long') Hillman - Number two mechanic
Jim Wheeler
Mark ('Long') Hillman
Andrew Harper - Logistics
Richard Chappell - Catering
Andrew Harper
Richard Chappell

Congratulations to Rob and the 'One Trick Pony' team!

Here are Rob's results at the ETPC Eurocup events which featured the Prostock class.

Event
Position
Points
Pezzolo - Italy
5

18

Made - The Netherlands
1
30
Brande - Denmark
1
30
Points Total
78

The following was posted on the 'One Trick Pony' Facebook page on the 31st July...

... a great weekend which saw the team travel to Denmark to the Brande Pulling Arena for the final Prostock Eurocup round of 2014. It was a great event, superb facilities and there was an awesome atmosphere in this beautiful part of Europe.

The Prostock class was scheduled for Sunday, everyone had their fingers crossed that the weather would hold out, and that the forecasted rain would stay away. With 4 points between the top 4 Tractors in the Eurocup, and the OTP leading the points standing it promised to be a close competition.

So the day came, the OTP was test puller and laid down a nice Full Pull to set the bar for the competition to follow. Ted Nicholson followed on Rough Justice, and pulled 94.39M, the sledge was set lighter and Rasmus hooked John Deere 2 to the sledge, the made a distance of 96.26, the Sledge was again set lighter and Runaway Deere was next on the track. They made a nice Full Pull and the Sledge was set.

Neighbours Nightmare, John Deere, Caesar and Next Sensation joined us for the Final. This left 3 of the top 4 Eurocup tractors still in contention. The OTP was checked over, topped up with fresh fluids and declared fit for the Final.

After a short break, we hooked to the sledge, the Green flag dropped and Rob put in another great run, 96.77M. And now the whole team got to watch the rest of the Pull Off with the other 2 Eurocup contender’s still to hook. The results were as follows: -

Rob and the OTP had won the Brande Eurocup Prostock class and the 2014 Eurocup! The team would like to dedicate this victory to the memory of Tony (Bruegger).

'One Trick Pony' with Rob Uphill

Here is a link to a UKTP page detailing the building of the Puller, 'One Trick Pony'.

Related Links One Trick Pony web site
  Uphill and Son Limited
  One Trick Pony Facebook page
Tony Bruegger RIP

Posted 30th July, 2014 - updated 31st July, 2014 & 5th August, 2014

It is with great sadness that the Tractor Pullers, both here in the UK and in Europe bid farewell to Tony...

Tony Bruegger

Richard Chappell posted the sad news on Facebook early this afternoon (Wednesday 30th July).

The son of Peter Bruegger and Elizabeth Bruegger (nee Rees-Mogg), Tony was born on 20th January, 1949. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School leaving in 1967.

He was Manager Weaver Plant Ltd. between January 1976 and January 1984 and is listed as being the owner of Cholwell Farms Ltd. from November 1986.

Tony, from Temple Cloud in Somerset, started pulling back in 1988 with a V12 Meteor Modified called 'Old Ironsides' and then moved on to his first truck puller in the 90's called the 'Noddy Truck'.

Tony Bruegger driving Old Ironsides

After taking a few years out of Pulling Tony’s new machine was shipped over from Nebraska, in the shape of a 1979 cabover Peterbilt called ‘Mean Ole Pete’. The truck is powered by an 8v92T Detroit with an Allison transmission.

Mean Ole Pete

Mr. Bruegger Pulled with the BTPA (as a member of the SWTPC) in the UK and also at ETPC events in Europe and was a very familiar face in Luxemburg and the Netherlands making many life-long friendships in the process.

It's only fair to say Tony had a very healthy disregard for authority reminding me that "Rules are for the adherence of fools and the guidance of wise men!"

Clearly he was a very wise man!

The Tony Bruegger Fan Club

During the last few years of his life he suffered with ill health but despite his dogged determination and the best efforts of his Doctors Tony finally lost his long battle on Tuesday evening (29th July).

RIP Tony Bruegger (1949 - 2014), you'll be sorely missed by all your many friends left down here...

For those of you who wish pay your last respects, there is a private family cremation followed by a Memorial Service at St. James Church, Cameley, Temple Cloud, Bristol, Somerset, BS39 5AH at 3 pm on Monday 11th August.

Poet John Betjeman described St James’ as 'Rip Van Winkle’s Church’ – asleep for centuries and virtually untouched'.

Family flowers only please, donations, if desired, to Above and Beyond Golden Gift Appeal, raising funds for the ICU at Bristol Royal Infirmary to Bryan G. Bishop, Funeral Service, Hallatrow Road, Paulton, Bristol BS39 7LJ.

Why not visit the Western Daily Press page and light a candle in his memory.

50 years of New Holland

Posted 15th August, 2014 - Taken from a CNH Press Release, 15th May 2014

New Holland Agriculture Celebrates 50 Years of Manufacturing Excellence at Basildon Tractor Plant...

New Holland Customer Centre in Basildon

New Holland Agriculture held a press conference on 15th May 2014 at its Basildon plant in celebration of the facility’s 50 years of continuous tractor operations. Basildon is the only remaining tractor plant in the UK and has been firmly rooted at the heart of British tractor manufacturing and agriculture since its assembly line started production on 15th May 1964. Carlo Lambro, President New Holland Agriculture, spoke about the brand’s legacy of innovation and its current successes in the market, while Colin Larkin, Basildon Plant Manager, presented the history of commitment and continuous improvement that has made the plant such a success for British manufacturing. They were followed by guest speaker Mr. Christopher Hale of the UK Trade & Investment Department who spoke about the importance of manufacturing and agriculture to the British economy.

New Holland Press Conference at Basildon

Mr. Lambro highlighted New Holland’s long history of innovation and its strong relationship with farmers around the world, which has led the brand to its strong position in the markets. He stressed the importance of the backing of CNH Industrial – a major industrial enterprise that is building its future success on innovation, with more than US$ 1,200 million a year invested in Research & Development, 6,300 employees dedicated to innovation and 7,700 patents registered.

New Holland T7.270

These investments are possible thanks to the Group’s consistently strong performance, confirmed by the First Quarter 2014 revenues of US$ 7.5 billion announced on 8th May. Mr. Lambro continued with an overview of New Holland’s worldwide performance, which in 2013 was generally positive.

Inside the New Holland Basildon Plant

Mr. Larkin explained the key role that the Basildon plant’s participation in the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) programme has played in the facility’s success. Based on the best Japanese production techniques, WCM is a production system designed to attack all forms of waste and losses. It is a step-by-step process for continuous improvement that never stops: not a project, but a way of working. It is based on people, on their competence, on knowledge creation, and on the constant, widespread contribution of everyone. It is successful because it is about keeping it simple and creating a transparent system.

WCM practices enable the plant to manage extreme complexity successfully: the facility manufactures 14 tractor ranges, 133 models, 12,000 configurations using 9,680 part numbers. In a year, no two tractors that roll off the line are exactly the same.

50 years of New Holland at Basildon

New Holland’s plant has been an integral part of the Basildon community and in its 50 years of operation has regularly contributed to local charities and participated in local events and educational initiatives. At the end of the press conference, Mr. Andrew Watson, Business Director UK & RoI, expressed New Holland’s desire to mark the 50-year milestone with a donation to the community that has been the brand’s home for so many years.
Mr. Steve Horsted of Pioneer School was invited on stage to receive a commemorative plaque as a symbol of the donation made to the Head Teacher of the school for the creation of a garden for the children, aged 3-19, with severe and complex learning difficulties who attend. This will be an activity area where they will be able to discover nature and enjoy it in a safe environment, called “Exploratorium – Giving children the experience of Nature”.

http://www.pioneerspecialschool.org/page/about-us

Related Links New Holland UK web site
  New Holland on Youtube
  New Holland photo's on Flickr
  New Holland on Facebook
  New Holland on Twitter

An important development for UK Tractor Pulling

Posted 17th December, 2013

An Olive branch from the BTPA

A letter from the BTPA has been circulating among a number of Tractor Pulling Clubs and Associations and deserves to have the widest possible circulation as is marks what is possibly one of the most important milestones in UK Tractor Pulling for many years. This is the result of a proposal put to the BTPA Board in October by Andy Miller (Vice Chairman) and Joe Stevens (Chairman).

Below is the text of the letter from Andy Miller reproduced in full.

Dear Puller,

At the recent BTPA Board meeting a proposal was tabled to assist the further development of ‘grass roots’ tractor pulling in the UK involving the “National” classes. This includes classes which are not traditionally
recognised within the European Tractor Pulling Committee’s (ETPC) current seven class structure used for ETPC sanctioned competitions (4 x Modified classes, PS, SS and TWD).

Following this meeting and various other discussions having taken place with interested parties the following proposal has been agreed to offer to the “National” classes the ability to be able to compete at a wider number of different types of tractor pulling events in 2014.

This proposal applies to all teams/tractors competing in the following BTPA classes:

As the above classes are not recognised by the ETPC, they are not covered by the ETPC rulebook. Hence the BTPA is willing to modify the situation for the rules below:

This rule also applies in reverse should any team/tractors that are currently competing at non BTPA sanctioned events wish to register to compete at sanctioned BTPA events they can do so as long as they:

We trust that you find this proposal from the BTPA as a pro-active move in the further promotion of 'grass roots' tractor Pulling in the UK and that it will potentially allow pullers in "National" classes to develop their machines and the competition level throughout the UK at a wider variety of events.

Should you need any further clarification of this proposal for the 2014 season please do not hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of the BTPA Board

Andy Miller

BTPA V.Chairman/ETPC contact

Click here to download the original letter as a PDF.

Peak Vale Pulling becomes a Limited Company

Posted 24th January, 2014

Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club logo

This is something a Tractor Pulling Club's should seriously consider. I quote from a Facebook posting made today by Sarah Green: -

"The club has now been registered as a limited company following some very sound legal advice. This is in order to protect the personal assets of each and every member of PVTPC. We are also looking into new insurance for our pullers for this season and it will be in place for our first pull in March..."

Click here for the 2014 updates to their Rules...

Association and Club AGM's

Posted 13th January, 2014

The AGM

Here are the dates and venue's for the Annual General Meeting taking place this year (2014) that I am aware of: -

18th January, 2014 - SWTPA

18:00 - 19:30

This will be followed by the Presentation of trophies for all classes and also Best Event, Best Turned Out Tractor, Chris George Trophy, Puller of the Year and Rookie of the Year. After this there will be a Buffet and a chance for all to catch up.

The venue is The Strawberry Special Inn, Station Road, Draycott, Nr Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3TQ....

Click this link for details of the venue...

19th January, 2014 - BTPA

14:00 onwards

Holiday Inn Birmingham, M6 J7, Chapel Lane, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 7BG.

All proposals are to be submitted in writing no later than 14 days prior to the meeting: -
E-mail: btpasecretary@hotmail.co.uk
Postal: BTPA Secretary, 40 Springfields, Wigton, CA7 9JS

Click this link for details of the venue...

1st February, 2014 - PPA

14:00 (?) onwards

Quality Hotel Coventry, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry, West Midlands, CV5 9BA

Click this link for details of the venue...

Another Italian Puller catastrophe.

Posted 10th September, 2013

Anothe Italian Puller fails...

Click here to view the video clip...

The failure of another flywheel/clutch assembly has once again brought the problem of cast flywheels into sharp relief. This incident happened in Italy on Sunday 8th September. An article setting out the issues of cast v steel and metal fatigue is currently under preparation however in the meantime here is some excellent advice for all Pullers from Barrie Sowerby who is the Safety Officer for the SWPTA: -

Please let this be a stark message to all Tractor pullers; it CAN happen to you if basic common sense is not used. With litigation as it is today all recognised safety measures as practised by the leading clubs in the UK must be observed and the best way to prove your intentions is in writing - keep records!!

Clutches and flywheels can explode as seen is this footage and is preventable. If cast iron is the only material you can afford then run your tractor in the correct class with the correct engine speed. Perform mandatory clutch and flywheel inspections annually. Just remember your daughter, son, wife and any other member of the family could be track side - would you stand them in front of a loaded gun?? I think not !!!

The ETPC put the rev limit for cast flywheels at 2,700 and the Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club have opted for 3,000 rpm.

Update, 4th November, 2013. The Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club have voted at their AGM to implement a revised limit for cast flywheels down from 3,000 to 2,700 rpm, thus bringing them into line with the ETPC.

Click this link to find out why cast flywheels are so dangerous...

Two Puller accidents on the same day!

Posted 6th September, 2013

Sunday 1st September was not a good day for Independent Tractor Pulling in Europe... Two breakages on the same day, both of which were entirely preventable and should never have happened. The second incident in Italy injured eight spectators, three of them children.

Belgian Fendt

Belgian Fendt

Sascha Mecking tells me this was the result of a heavy landing. The Puller just broke in half. Just look where the steering wheel finished up... This occurred at Itegem in Belgium on 1st September, 2013.

Itallian Puller Blow-up

On the very same day this happened in Italy. The highlighted areas show the dust kicked up by the shrapnel hurled out by the failed clutch/flywheel which cut the Puller in two. No frame to support the back axle/gearbox/engine, etc., no shielding around the clutch... Click this link to view the video. Reports say 8 spectators, 3 of them children, were injured and the Puller has been seized and impounded by the Police investigating the incident. Note I don't say accident because it was entirely preventable!

A rare opportunity...

... to own a large bit of UK Tractor Pulling history! Bedfordia Farms 'Deere Stalker' is up for sale.

Deere Stalker

Way back in 1981-2 Chris Lay set about building a Super Stock Puller based on a John Deere 3120 which had been supplied new to Bedfordia Farms with a 5.9-litre (359 cu. in.) JD 6359 power plant... It's quite a tribute to JD engineering in that the back end is still the original 6-speed 3120!

The original JD 3120 was one of only 4,500 manufactured between 1968-72. The Injector Pump is a Bosch with 11mm elements which has been quite extensively modified with a twin compound Turbocharger producing somewhere about 75 psi of boost. Water injection comes courtesy of a belt-driven pressure washer pump. The clutch is an 11" 3-plate slipper and both the clutch cover plate and BTPA steel flywheel have changeable wear plates.

'Deere Stalker' in her heyday

BTPA Super Stock 160, 'Deere Stalker', last pulled competitively in 1993 before being laid up (in a shipping container).

Deere Stalker in a shipping container

A couple of years ago certain Dave Williams from Suffolk (he of 'Westcountry Wanderer' and 'Wandering Deere' fame) purchased 'Deere Stalker' and set about restoring her to her original glory...

As part of the rebuild Dave has now fitted custom stainless steel valves and upgraded high speed rated springs, in addition at a complete head re-work with new injectors. The original head had been machined to accept 17mm Bosch injectors. The originals would have been 9.5mm! No wonder it went as well as it did... New piston liners have been fitted along with a new crankshaft, crankshaft and bottom-end bearings.

Now the restoration is complete and the engine is running as sweetly as a nut the time has come for a fresh challenge (about 19-tonnes of it) so Dave has put 'Deere Stalker' up for sale. In his own words, tyre kickers needn't apply. If you are interested in owning a big chunk of Tractor Pulling history then e-mail Dave for more information.

Low Ham - Entries Invited from Pullers

Reposted 14th June, 2013

The Dorset Sledge

For many years Low Ham near Langport in Somerset has been synonymous with competition Pulling, latterly with the SWTPA and before that with the PPA but not anymore.

Following two disastrous years (the show had cancel the Sunday last year), the show organisers sadly no longer have the budget to host a SWTPA Pull and therefore have had to look at an alternative.

This years Show (19th - 21st July, 2013) the Tractor Pulling at the Somerset Steam and Country Show will be provided by the 'Dorset' Sledge which normally does Shillingstone and the GDSF. Unfortunately very few of the Welland Pullers will be able to attend due to the fact that their show is the following weekend, however I am sure there will be no shortage of Tractors for the Show visitors to enjoy.

If you are interested in Pulling at Low Ham you need to contact the Section Organiser, Tim Brake. Please e-mail Tim Brake with details of your Puller.

Tim 'Reggie' Brake

Jim Greenhalgh RIP

Posted 4th June, 2013

Jim Greenhalgh, Eccleston 2012

Sadly, Jim Greenhalgh has finally lost his battle with Cancer. James was diagnosed with an aggressive astrocytoma brain tumour some five years ago and gave up work to pursue his dream of building a tractor to compete in tractor-pulling contests.

Never one to take the easy option, he set about building the first Common Rail Diesel Tractor Puller in UK and one of only a small number in Europe. Jim took 'Bad Medicine', his Pro-Stock machine out for the first time ever on 26th August, 2012 at Great Eccleston. The power plant is a 6.7-litre Cummins in a New Holland with enlarged injectors on the common rail system, aircraft turbo charger and Simtek BodyLogic stand alone ECU.

James, who comes from Preston and is married to Joanne decided to give up work while he was fit and well. “I know I will get really ill, so I
thought I would rather spend this time with my friends and family, enjoying myself and doing what I want,” he said. He and Jo have a daughter called Holly. His approach to his illness is: “It’s got me. I can’t let it also rob me of the precious time I have left with my family and friends.”

Jim has been an inspiration to all of us and our thought go out to Jo and Holly.

Jim Greenhalgh

Shakey Super Pull 2013 Start List

Posted 31st May, 2013

There is an entry field of 52 Tractors spread over 10 classes of Pullers. As Jeremy Cookson so succinctly puts it, "This is going to be a hot one folks. Dare you miss out!"

Shakey Start List - Saturday 1

Shakey Start List - Saturday 2

Shakey Start List - Sunday 1

Shakey Start List - Sunday 2

Low Ham goes Independent

Posted 21st May, 2013

T55 Pulling at Low Ham in 2012

For many years Low Ham near Langport in Somerset has been synonymous with competition Pulling, latterly with the SWTPA and before that with the PPA but not anymore.

Following two disastrous years (the show had cancel the Sunday last year), the show organisers sadly no longer have the budget to host a SWTPA Pull and therefore have had to look at an alternative.

This years Show (19th - 21st July, 2013) the Tractor Pulling at the Somerset Steam and Country Show will be provided by the 'Dorset' Sledge which normally does Shillingstone and the GDSF. Unfortunately very few of the Welland Pullers will be able to attend due to the fact that their show is the following weekend, however I am sure there will be no shortage of Tractors for the Show visitors to enjoy.

If you are interested in Pulling at Low Ham you need to contact the Section Organiser, Tim Brake (contact details to follow)...

Tractor Pulling Insurance

Posted 20th May, 2013

Insurance Policy

The thorny subject of Tractor Pulling Insurance has, one again, raised its ugly head. The following message was posted on Facebook by Richard Sowerby: -

"I've been getting a lot of messages, calls, emails about we're people can get insurance for tractor pulling. I hope this answers all of your questions !

It is my opinion that the only way for any individual to get insurance for the motor sport of tractor pulling is through an association with sufficient safety rules. The insurance would be obtained by the association from a insurance company that specialises in motor sport cover. There are individuals that claim they can get cover, but to date no one will say were it is being obtained from, if an individual will not publicly say were insurance is being obtained from it can only be dishonest and should be treated as such.

Bottom line is, 

If your insurance for pulling costs less than cover for a phone.
Allows you to drive on the public highway.
Is not obtained from a insurance company that specialises in motor sport cover.
Does not state tractor pulling in the documentation.
Will only cover farm tractors and not all pulling vehicles of any type.
Refers to demonstration only.
You can't tell the full truth.
You don't need rules.
You can't ask questions.

Then that insurance is not legitimate
."

OK, fair enough, however there may be a solution, kind curtesy of Swinton Insurance in Gillingham (Dorset). Michael Watts, their Commercial Account Executive is approaching OAMPS (UK), the underwriter who already provides specialised Tractor Pulling Insurance to a number of the Independent Clubs to see if they would be prepared to offer cover to individuals.

Michael will let me know the outcome as soon as he hears back... Watch this space!

Please note, this is specialised Tractor Pulling insurance and would only apply while you are Pulling. You will still need to have 'ordinary' Tractor insurance to cover you on the showground, the road or anywhere else to choose to take you Puller.

If you happen to have missed the NFU article click this link. NFU do not and will not insure Tractor Pullers!

ITPC are looking for a Web Monkey

Posted 16th May, 2013

The Irish Tractor Pulling Committee are in need of a Web Designer (aka 'Web Monkey') to take over the running of the ITPC web site.

ITPC Web SiteThis site has not been updated since last year and the only way the Committee can post event details is via their Facebook page. These posting appear in the right-hand window.

This is a far from ideal state of affairs. They need the assistance of someone well versed in the intricacies of the Internet, HTML, ASP, PHP, etc.

If you feel you can help them you can either go to the site 'Contact Page' page via this link or send them an e-mail using this link.

It would be nice to see this site back up and running and just in case you are the man or woman for the job, you might like to add a link to this site (http://www.uktp.co.uk) on their Links page... Fingers crossed!

PPA at the Springspeed Nationals

Press release posted Thursday 11th April, 2013

Springspeed Nationals 2013

PPA Championship Tractor Pulling and UK Championship National Drag Racing taking place next Bank Holiday May 4th/6th at Long Marston Airfield's Shakespeare County Raceway. Click here to see the flyer...

Adding extra horsepower to the APIRA Springspeed Nationals will be the season opening round of the Power Pullers Association Championship Tractor Pulling series over on the pulling strip. With a practice day lined up for Saturday 4th May, PPA championship pulls will take place on Sunday and Monday in the 350kg Junior Garden Tractors, 600kg Compact Diesels, and the powerful V8 engined 950/1050kg B & A Class Mini Modified's. So make a date for the Springspeed Nationals - championship drag racing and championship tractor pulling all rolled into one great Bank Holiday Weekend.

Everything from super fast Super Pro dragsters, altereds and doorslammers through to the Sportsman categories will be hitting the strip in the only way they know how - FAST! So excitement will be guaranteed.

In the bike ranks, teams who make up the ACU/UK Drag Bike Series will be busy with there 1000 horsepower monsters and 190 mph plus Super Street Bikes. The Super Twin classes and Junior Drag Bike series will also be in action.

Expected classes to be included in the Springspeed Nationals programme will be: Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, Junior Dragster, VWDRC, Wild Bunch and Outlaw Anglia. Bike classes include Funny Bike, Pro Stock, Comp Bike, Super Street Bike, Outlaw 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Super Twin classes and Junior Drag Bike all packed into two days of qualifying (Sat/Sun) and eliminations on Bank Holiday Monday. Qualifying and racing commences at 10.00 am each day.

Sunday evening's entertainment at Kenny’s Bar will be provided by Malvern based band The Undercovers. Formed last September the band, featuring Joe Warriner on vocals, Sam Benson on Guitar, Tom Benson on Bass and our own Eddy 'Ed Case’ Baldwin on Drums, has been playing to some rave reviews lately in their quest in bringing an energectic edge to the songs we know and love! If you’re coming to the Nationals on May 4th/6th then please show your appreciation to a local band playing at the raceway for the very first time. See you all Sunday night. In the meantime you can catch The Undercovers on there Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/theundercoversmalvern.

For event details check out the events page at www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk or PPA page on Facebook.

Cumbria Tractor Pulling Club

Posted Wednesday 10th April, 2013

The Cumbria Tractor Pulling Club (CTPC) was formed in 2012, as an affiliated club of the British Tractor Pullers Association (BTPA).

The CTPC runs Tractor Pulling events sanctioned by the BTPA, at their purpose built track at Kirkbride, near Carlisle. The main role of the CTPC is to promote the sport of Tractor Pulling in the Northern England and Southern Scotland; and to encourage new comers to the sport. The club is a non-profit making organisation, run solely by volunteers. The Cumbria Tractor Pulling Club Officers 2013: -

Just in case you haven't looked at the 2013 Diary the Cumbria Power Weekend Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th July 2013.

The new NWTPC Chairman

Thomas BeattieThere is a new man at the helm of the NWTPC. John Eccles has decided to step down and Tom Beattie has been elected chairman of the NWTPC. At the age of 27 this probably makes Tom the youngest chairman of any of the major European Tractor Pulling Clubs.

As most of you are no doubt aware, since the death of his father Steve, he has been the resident NWTPC & BTPA Commentator and has also featured in a number of Tractor Pulling video's and TV features on the sport. He is also a very active member of BWA Racing Team ('Desperate Dan'). Tractor Pulling has run in his blood from a very, VERY early age...

Tom married Kerry in October 2007 and they have a daughter, Daisy Freya who was born in January 2012.

When he's not Commentating or working on other Tractor Pulling duties Tom works for ArranPaul (A/V specialists) at Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire as their Operations Manager. Exactly what this entails has been the subject of some speculation...

Stolen - 'She's a Perfect Ten'

Garry Swanton's Puller 'She's a Perfect Ten' (7810 Ford) has been stolen from near Shaftesbury in Dorset during the early hours of Thursday 10th January (between 02:00 and 02:30). If you see the tractor or know of anyone offering it for sale please call 07816 878533 or 07791 098592.

Ford 7810, 'She's a Perfect Ten'

The wording on the side doors reads 'Parker Power Tuned' and it says 'She's a Perfect Ten' across the top of the windscreen. Although the tractor is a Ford the engine is a 7½-litre New Holland TX66 with a big Holset Turbo off a Cummins L10 and has New Holland side stripes on the bonnet.

The wings, steps and grill are painted black instead of white and it's now fitted with brand new white Wheel Rims (not shown in the photo).

The tractor was spotted in the early hours going through Manston heading towards Sturminster Newton following a White Van with what looked like a Quad Bike following behind.

If you have any information please phone either of the mobile numbers above...

Gary John Slater 1961 - 2012

Posted Wednesday 26th September, 2012

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Gary Slater passed away on Sunday 23rd September after a long illness. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Our thought go out to Tracey, Stacie and all the Slater family.

For those who didn't know him, Gary ran a Puller called 'It's a V8 Mate' at Welland...

Gary's was determined his Puller would run at Welland even though he wouldn't be able to drive it himself so at his request it fell to his daughter Stacie to do the honours, guided and advised by boyfriend Anthony. He (Gary) came out of hospital on Friday 21st determined to go down to the track on the Saturday to see 'It's a V8 Mate' run but unfortunately he was far too weak to travel.

Stacie pulled throughout the day and on Saturday night really went for it... It was announced that she was driving on behalf of her father and as celebration of his life. As the Puller reached the end of the track the entire audience stood and applauded... A very fitting tribute!

Gary's funeral will be held at 14:30 (2:30pm) on Wednesday 3rd October, 2012 at Worcester Crematorium, Tintern Avenue, Astwood Road, Worcester WR3 8EB.

Gary Slater RIP.

Stacie Salter driving 'It's a V8 Mate'

Stacie Slater driving 'It's a V8 Mate' at Welland as a tribute to her father.

RIP Jean Riches

Posted Thursday 6th September, 2012

The UKTP web site would like to offer its condolences to Pete Riches and his family on the very sad passing of his wife Jean. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with you at this very sad time.

As most of you will no doubt remember, Jean and Pete used to look after the merchandising for both SWTPA and BTPA and when Pete was on the track doing the measuring it was Jean who manned the stall.

The funeral will be held at The West Wiltshire Crematorium, Devizes Road, Semington, Trowbridge, BA14 6HL. at 11:30 on the Wednesday the 12th of September, 2012.

NFU no longer to insure Tractor Pullers

Posted Friday 3rd August, 2012

If your Puller is insured with NFU Mutual then you need to read this article very carefully.

NFU Mutual Logo

Following a recent exchange of letters between a Tractor Puller and the NFU they received the following dated 30th July, 2012, which is an extract from the original letter. The introduction and closing paragraphs have been removed because they have nothing to do with the matter in hand and would also identify the recipient. The crux of the letter reads: -

"… I am sorry that you are unhappy that cover for exhibition tractor pulling is not covered under your insurance policy, and for the length of time it has taken to provide you with this information.

You have also brought to our attention that other NFU Mutual Agents have advised your colleagues that this is covered under our tractor policies.

I have discussed your case at length with Laura Blick, the Head Office Motor Underwriter.

We at the NFU Mutual are by nature, cautious insurers. We do our utmost to protect our existing policyholders by carefully choosing what risks we, as an insurance company, are prepared to accept.

Unfortunately, tractor pulling falls outside our criteria of acceptable risks, so we are unable to offer you any further cover for this activity. There has never been cover for this activity, and I sincerely apologise that you were not advised of this as soon as you raised your query.

It has been brought to our attention that some of our other agencies have been mistaken in their belief that there was cover for this activity. These agents are currently being made aware of our stance on this matter, and any letter of confirmation of cover that they may have provided their policyholders with will be withdrawn.

I hope the above explanation addresses your concerns, and though I appreciate that this is not the outcome you had hoped for, your comments have enabled us to review this to ensure that all of our Agents are aware of the cover terms of our tractor insurances…"

If you want a hard copy of the above, you can download it as a PDF file by clicking this link.

UKTP is currently actively looking for an alternative source of Tractor Pulling insurance as a matter of some urgency and hopefully I will have some news for you in the next week or two...

Mr.Shifter II has been sold

Mr. Shifter II at Welland

Kevin Jackson's 'Mr.Shifter II' now has a new owner. Paul Jackson has bought the Puller off Kevin and it has now gone to its new home. Hopefully it will still be running with the Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club. For those who don't know the Puller here are the basic details: -

As you can clearly see 'Mr.Shifter II' has been immaculately prepared with no corner-cutting anywhere in the build.

Bye bye Mr Shifter II

Loaded up and ready to go to its new home...

Another Flywheel failure...

Posted Tuesday 24th April, 2012

My thanks to Phil Cavanna for drawing my attention to the You Tube video of this incident which was posted on the Dutch Tractor Pulling Forum. The first link shows the aftermath of the Flywheel failure and the second shows the actual incident.

Farmall Flywheel Failure

The third link is to a slow motion vid and please look out for the airborne component arrowed in red. The description of the clip reads: -

"This Farmal was pulling at the Tulare antique farm show. The driver finished his pull and tried shutting down but it ran away from him. The flywheel cut through the frame splitting the tractor in two."

What is even more incredible is that I still hear Pullers in the UK telling me they don't need to fit steel flywheels, shielding and or a Shatter Blanket. Oh really? Maybe they have never heard of metal fatigue.

STPC's 'The Eliminator' gains ETPC approval

Posted Friday 20th April, 2012

Great news from north of the border! The STPC's new Sledge 'The Eliminator' has just passed an inspection by the ETPC and can now be used in competition. Peter de Regt (head of Sledge Inspection for ETPC) flew in this morning to inspect the sledge. After a morning of testing 'The Eliminator' achieved Bronze status, becoming the only Sledge in the UK to be fully licensed by the ETPC.

Many congratulations to all those involved and hopefully this means the proposed NWTPC event at Kirkbride will be able to go ahead as this was dependent on 'The Eliminator' being sanctioned by the ETPC. There is also an unconfirmed rumour that 'The Eliminator' might be making a trip down to the Shakey track later in the year...

'The Eliminator'

Left to right, Peter de Regt (ETPC), Alex Rearie (STPC President), Joe Stevens (BTPA Chairman) and David Gall.

Peak Vale becomes a Tractor Pulling Club

Posted Wednesday 18th April, 2012

As many of you will no doubt already know, Peak Vale Pulling has decided to become a Club which to the best of my knowledge is one of the first of the Independent Pulling groups to take this step. My links with Peak Vale go right back to the start when Neil Green and Matt Joplin started building the Sledge in Neil's barn which is now called 'The Stinger' and positively bristles with safety devices and features.

Safety has always been at the top of the priority list for PVP and therefore it comes as no surprise that they have become the leading light in promoting safety within the Independent sector.

Bearing this in mind it was inevitable that hand in hand with the formation of the Club Peak Vale have issued a new set of Safety Rules raising the bar quite significantly. You can access the new Rules either via their web site (Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club) or by click this link to view the Rules on this site.

Ever since the disaster and Great Eccleston which claimed the life of Jan van Alphen the Health and Safety Executive have subjected the Sport of Tractor Pulling to very close scrutiny and should another accident occur there is no doubt they would come down on us like the proverbial 'ton of bricks'. With this in mind it is so good to see an organisation within Independent Pulling doing so much improved safety, not only to the Tractors but also the Drivers, Sledge Crew and Track staff. Keep up the good work...

Here's hoping all the Independent Sledges up and down the country take a leaf out of Peak Vale's book!

Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club logo

So who does govern our sport?

UKTP Editorial posted 11th April, 2012

This may seem like an odd question but it is the result of a phone conversation I had with a Puller last night. As far as I was aware Mark Pacey was Chairman of the BTPA. Wrong! According to my friend, Joe Stevens has now taken on the mantle of Chairman (or should that be chairperson). This prompted a trawl of the United Kingdom Tractor Pulling web sites to see which ones actually listed the Club and Association Committee Members and this was the rather startling result.

Web site details ETPC Malpas TPC MTPC NWTPC PPA (Mini Pullers) STPC STTPA SWTPA PVTPC

Bearing in mind the web site is for many the only source of information about the organisation in question it should be a 'shop window' advertising its wares and showing it off in the best possible light. I am sorry to say that the PPA (Mini Pullers) is probably a classic example of how not to do it. Now I accept that web site design is quite a specialised art and getting information out any Pullers is somewhat akin to pulling teeth but an ugly and/or out of date site is neither use nor ornament!

How is it that the only UK site which lists its Committee belongs to the independent Peak Vale Tractor Pulling Club? If for any reason anyone needed to contact a Committee member of one of these other organisations they would to have to make quite a phone calls or sent a clutch of e-mails to find the answer. Yes, I know members of these organisations probably have this information via the Minutes of the AGM or newsletter but as far as the rest of us are concerned, no chance.

So who should govern our sport?

A good question... According to the ETPC, the BTPA is, or rather should be the governing body for Tractor Pulling in the UK but as we all know this is very far from the truth thanks to the highly fractured nature of the Sport in our country. Not only have the South West broken away from the BTPA to run their own series of events but now a significant number of Scots have split from the STPC to form the STTPA and now work hand in hand with the SWTPA. This leaves a vastly reduced number of Pullers in the other BTPA affiliates (MTPC, NWTPC and STPC) and only adds to the complications.

By its own admission the ETPC recognises the fact that (in terms of 'organised' Pulling) the SWTPA is numerically the largest group in the UK, excluding the Independent Pullers.

So what is the solution? Probably as a result of my viewpoint which is from the top of a fence the simple solution would be to copy the European model with a two-tier organisation. The BTPA would organise and administer all UK Pullers who either Pull or wish to Pull in European competitions, leaving the SWTPA to organise and administer competition on a National level. The Independents would, of course, continue as they are. Simples!

Having spoken to many Pullers up and down the country from both sides of the 'fence' most of them can see the wisdom of solution and would support it. Unfortunately many of those in 'power' (on both sides) would probably fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo even though this may well result in potentially even greater fragmentation.

Oh, just one last thought. I believe it is high time the ban for hitching to an 'unsanctioned' Sledge was finally done away with once and for all! Let us see if we can all 'pull together' for a change.

Now I will sit back and await a storm of protest and have this suggestion derided from all quarters...

Wait for the bang...

Click this link to see the follow-up postings on this subject...

Ted Nicholson - ETPC Vice President

Posted Wednesday 7th March, 2012

That well known resident of Peaslake in Surrey has been appointed Vice President (alongside Kenneth Dahl from Denmark) of the ETPC. We wish him well...

Ted Nicholson

Congratulations to Jan Buitenhuis

Posted Wednesday 7th March, 2012

Many congratulations to Jan Buitenhuis who recently celebrated 25 years as President of the ETPC. As many of you will realise the past few years have thrown up a number of serious challenges for the Club in general and Jan and the Technical Committee in particular so on behalf of all the Pullers and Pulling Fans throughout Europe we say 'Thank you and many congratulations at achieving such a momentous milestone'...

Jan Buitenhuis

Tell UKTP about your Pulling Events

Posted Tuesday 6th March, 2012

A new facility has been added to this web site which allows Tractor Pulling event organisers and fans to submit Pulling Events in the United Kingdom and Eire for inclusion in the current Diary.

All you have to do is put all the information on the web form and click the 'Submit' button and the information will be e-mailed to me. There are, of course, a couple of caveats. The web form includes a CAPCHA filter to block potential spammers and the submission will be checked before being posted onto the site so genuine submissions only please...

'Good Vibrations' heads north...

Posted Tuesday 6th March, 2012

Kate Seabridge tells me that she and her husband have brought the Puller 'Good Vibrations' from Daniel Quinton and it's now headed to Shropshire...

'Good Vibrations'

This was Daniel Quinton driving 'Good Vibrations' at the GDSF in Dorset, 2008.

RIP Dave Cox

Posted Tuesday 6th December, 2011

IN MEMORIAM

With great sadness I find myself having to write that the original 'driving force', great friend & co-owner of 'Hoof Hearted' lost his long fought battle with cancer on the morning of 5th December 2011.

Having known him for over 20 years, his passion and quiet competitive spirit has left us all. His initial interest in sled pulling was with his much loved team of Alaskan Malamutes and dog power led to horsepower. I thank the Malpas crew for putting on the final event of the season where Dave was able to drive the tractor for the final time so close to the end of his life.

Thoughts go to Julie (his wife) and his family who have remained so strong and positive throughout his battle. He will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched. RIP

Richard Hutton - 6th December, 2011

Dave Cox

Dave's funeral will be at Swindon Crematorium on Monday 19th December at 1pm.

A new Association of Fordson and Ford owners

Posted Friday 19th August, 2011

On the 9th April this year a new Tractor owners association was born specifically to cater for Ford, Fordson, New Holland and all the derivatives like County and Muir-Hill, under the name of Blue Force.

Blue Force Logo

The Ford Motor Company of America has officially sanctioned the use of the wheat sheaf as the basis of the logo. Blue Force is not linked to any commercial or other enterprise and is being run for the members by the members, and as funds allow, with membership approval, Blue Force will support various charities as well as offering a number of benefits for members.

Blue Force will encompass Fordson, Ford, New Holland tractors and machines, and any of the skid units that were converted by such famous companies as County, Doe, Muir-Hill, Roadless, etc. Tractors covering agricultural, amenity and industrial will form part of Blue Force as will commercial lorries such as the Ford Thames Trader which also carried the Fordson name as well as the famous wheat sheaf logo.

Every type of Ford / New Holland-related tractor will be accepted, from fully-restored through working, to all-original. Whether it is a UK or Irish-built unit, or one that was built in America or any other part of the world, all are and will be welcome. Each related tractor and every person is as important as the next, and Blue Force will not discriminate or operate in a partisan fashion. At the time of writing it is not clear if Pulling Tractors are eligible because strictly speaking the engine / back-end combination is not original although in Pulling circles it has become a de-facto standard.

Another of the aims of the group is to provide a full service, from tractor registrations to technical assistance and advice. Tractor and cosmetic repair plus restoration advice are also very much on the agenda, with guidance and general help pertaining to the preservation of anything blue.

A leading team of recognised technical experts has been assembled and will be on hand to give the advice that is needed to run Blue Force and look after the ‘Friends of Fordson – Ford – New Holland & Derivatives’.

Click here to visit the Blue Force web site.

A.W.Blake Ltd found guilty of H&S failing

Posted Tuesday 7th June, 2011

Poppey AW Blake Ltd, of Ivegill near Carlisle, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting lives at risk. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 in prosecution costs.

On Sunday 26th August, 2007 Jan van Alphen was competing in the Euro Challenge Cup in Great Eccleston when his tractor was crushed. A 12 tonne box of weights, attached to the Sledge he was pulling, hit the back of his tractor.

Mr. van Alphen, who had been involved in the tractor pulling motor sport since its introduction in the Netherlands in 1979, had won dozens of national and European championship titles. He was married with three children.

Preston Crown Court heard the 58-year-old had been pulling the Sledge at approximately 60 miles an hour when the control mechanism failed. The weight box on the back on the trailer crashed through safety buffers and into Mr. van Alphen's tractor as he tried to slow down.

It took fire and ambulance services an hour to free him from the wreckage before he could be airlifted to hospital, where he died from severe crush injuries

Mighty ChallengerOn August 25, the day before Mr. van Alphen was killed, the sledge carrying a weight began “free-wheeling” and crashed into the back of the vehicle on two occasions.

An employee of A W Blake saw these collisions but did not bring them to the attention of company director Andrew Blake or act upon them, the court heard.

Judge Stuart Baker said these collisions could have led to a weakening of the end stop on the vehicle and said: “The fact of free-wheeling and collisions giving rise to the risk was something that had occurred on the day before the accident.”

The HSE investigation found engineers had attempted to repair a fault in the trailer's control mechanism on three separate occasions during the previous day. The mechanism should have caused the weight box to move up the trailer rails slowly until it reached the buffers.

Despite the recurrent fault, the trailer was still put back into use on Sunday at the Great Eccleston Showground.

Andrew BlakeDominic Kay, defending, told the court had Mr. Blake been aware of the impacts he would have taken the Mighty Challenger out of the competition.

The investigation also concluded the trailer would not have met the rules of the European Tractor Pulling Committee or the British Tractor Pulling Association. Tests showed that the emergency brakes, although fitted, could not stop the weight box quickly enough.

Liz Evans, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:

Jan van Alphen"Mr. van Alphen was an experienced tractor-pulling competitor but he lost his life because AW Blake Ltd didn't do enough to look after his safety. It was given three warnings the previous day that the control mechanism wasn't working properly, but did not take the trailer out of use at the event.

"The company also failed to follow the guidelines set down by the governing body for tractor-pulling. The motor sport is a potentially high-risk activity and so it's vital the rules are followed to the letter.

"It's tragic the excellent health and safety record of tractor pulling events has been tarnished by the failings of one company. I hope lessons will be learnt from this so that both the public and drivers can continue to enjoy tractor pulling events safely in the future."

Click here to see the HSE article...

Click here to see the report of the Court proceedings in the Lancashire Evening Post...

NTTO & ETPC

Quoted from the ETPC web site...

May 2nd 2011 - Mr. Gerrit Alting passed away at the age of 69. Tractor Pulling was a passion and a challenge for Gerrit.

Gerrit Alting
Mr. Gerrit Alting brought the Tractor Pulling sport to Europe during the World Championships ploughing at the former Flevohof (NL) in 1977.
After being the Chairman of the NTTO, he became 'Member of Honour' of the NTTO in 2002.

He organised the indoor 'European Super Pull' in Ahoy stadium in Rotterdam for 33 years.

The Tractor Pulling World lost a great man. The European Tractor Pulling Committee is very grateful for everything Gerrit has done for our beautiful sport Truck and Tractor Pulling.

Thank You Gerrit.

STPC

Quoted from the STPC web site...

"The STPC can confirm that they will not be pulling at BA Stores vintage working weekend this year. The entire STPC are extremely disappointed to not have met the deadline to get the sledge finished in time, but would like to acknowledge all members, past and present, along with a number of volunteers who have put in an enormous effort to build the sledge. We still hope to try and host a farm tractor class as well as putting on a static display. Keep a look out for events later this year as well as updates from BTPA points pulls!"

You may remember the Scots decided to take a year out of Pulling with the intention of entirely re-building 'Eliminator' to ensure it conformed with all the ETPC requirements made in the wake of the Great Eccleston disaster... Despite all the hard work, the team felt that it was more prudent to ensure the new Sledge was fully tried and tested before being used in competition. Have a look at their site for more pictures of the Sledge... Does anyone know if they're going to call it 'Eliminator' again or select a new name reflecting the complete re-design and re-build?

STPC - 'Eliminator'

Question answered. There is a report about the Static Display on the STPC web site (http://www.stpc.org.uk/) and it does give the Sledge name as 'Eliminator'.

SWTPA

The new SWTPA web site has now been launched in its new permanent location...

STTPA & STPA

A large section of the Scottish Pulling contingent seems to have broken away from the STPA and formed the STTPA (Scottish Truck and Tractor Pulling Association) which is affiliated to the SWTPA and the IOPD. I wonder if this means we'll be seeing Scottish Pullers at Bristol in May? It would seem that the legacy of the bad old days of the BTPA still lingers on...

The STTPA will be running their inaugural Pull at Keith Country Show Park on the 18th & 19th of June. We all wish them well.