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Tractor of the Week #56

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  • Tractor of the Week #56

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    Our 'tractor' for this week is the Bauer Pulling Sled from SpecCast.

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    Originally posted by
    In the early days, either a dead weight of fixed mass was dragged, or the step-on method was used, which people stood at fixed positions and stepped aboard as the sled passed. Today's sleds use a complex system of gears to move weights up to 65,000 pounds. Upon starting, all the weights are over the sled's rear axles to give an effective weight of the sled plus zero. As the tractor travels the course, the weights are pushed ahead of the sled's axles, pushing the front of the sled into the ground, synthetically creating a gain in weight until the tractor is no longer able to overcome the force of friction.

    The sled can be adjusted in many ways to create a desired pull. Weight can be added or removed from the box. Adding weight on the pan can give more starting weight to the pan of the sled. The box gearing can be changed to move faster or slower, and the starting position of the box can be moved among a two feet area, affecting the distance of travel. The final adjustment is the placement of the trip, which applies the push down system to expend the full weight of the sled on to the pulling vehicle.
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    • Box- Contains the weight used to stop the vehicle and moves up the length of the sled rails progressively during the pull, driven off the front set of sled wheels.
    • Weight Block- Most sleds use a “full block” that weighs 2,000 pounds and a “half block” weighs 1,000 pounds.
    • Pan- Applies the force of the weight to the ground creating needed friction. The sled starts with only the front of the pan touching the ground. Bars attached to the bottom of the pan help make added friction at the end of the pull to stop pulling vehicle.
    • Trip- Sits between the frame rails of the sled. As the box moves up the rails the trip is hit and starts the push-down system. The trip is adjustable.
    • Push-Down System- Uses hydraulic cylinders to lift the back half of the sled in the air, allowing 100 percent of the sled’s weight on the pan.
    • Kill Switch and Hook- The kill switch is always hooked first, allowing the sled operator to stop the engine of the attached vehicle in the event of an emergency or if the vehicle breaks free of the sled. The hook is used to connect the sled to the pulling vehicle and extends the weight of the sled to the vehicle’s hitch.
    • Sled Operator- The driver of the sled. Has the responsibility of maintaining a controlled pull at all times. May pull kill switch if they feel something is out of control.

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    While we are in the cellar of winter we can dream of warm weather, county fairs and tractor pulls! SpecCast released a quadruple set of resin base pulling sleds around 2014/2015. They were released in four colors in the initial release. I bought this in the summer of 2015 while on vacation in Pennsylvania at Outback Toys. Their showroom is a rather large pole barn with a selection of farm toys that's difficult to beat.

    This 1/64 scale model features rubber tires, real chain hitch as well as few other worthy details. The actual pulling sled is based out of Greenville, Ohio. The cabs are typically new or used John Deere or Case IH. The axles and wheels are sourced from semi trailers and the rest of the sleds are typically fully custom built. They are typically pulled by actual semi truck and are road legal. They do have their own drive trains so after the end of a tractor pull they can move back to the starting line on their own power.

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  • #2
    That's really neat! I had no idea models of these were ever made. I'm guessing it doesn't have much function/moving parts to it?


    • #3
      Never got into tractor pulling but neat to see models being made for collectors who enjoy that sport and want to recreate it in their collection.


      • #4
        Originally posted by jedimario View Post
        That's really neat! I had no idea models of these were ever made. I'm guessing it doesn't have much function/moving parts to it?
        The tandem axle wheels turn as does the front pan wheels. Other than that it's a stationary piece. I have seen some custom 1/64 sleds at toy shows where the box is actually functional. They tend to be quite pricey.