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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I grew up watching tractor pulls at local fairs in Massachusetts, and have played with building some custom mowers over the years but I want to start competing with my grandfathers old CubCadet 122. I am having a hard time finding information about classing as it seems to change from group to group based on location? What I am afraid of is building something that will limit who I can compete with, since custom power-sports in general is a dying hobby due to the new generation of things not to mention this is already a niche sport as it is being tractors. I know I am going to have to travel a bit to enjoy this so I have to be prepared for that to some extent. I am now located in the Tampa FL area and I would have to go back to MA to get the tractor, I do not own property down here so I can't really do much with it at home as far as riding it. I would think there would be enough events down here to get some use out of it so the fun does not die after I am done building it, I could do some mudding with it too or trail riding if I played with the gearing.

Stock pulling takes away half the fun of the sport in my opinion since I love modifying things, so I need to pick a class to run the tractor in...or at least some boundaries that will allow me to fall into one class or another from location to location. Which brings me to my next question of what to do with the engine or what I should swap it out with. Seems like most people are dumping the old cast Kohler blocks lately for a twin cylinder OHV engine (the sport must be getting increasingly more competitive?) but those are not cheap. There is only so much I can do with a 12hp flat head so is it worth modifying it? If I went with a new twin cylinder OHV it would be a Kohler since its a bit more purist to the tractor, even though the Predator twin engines are popular. The only thing that came to mind with the original flat head was running it on alcohol, not sure how that would match against the new 22-25hp twin engines. If I blow it up on alcohol I can always look into a new twin OHV. The engine may change the class I am able to compete in as well, if it falls into too high of a class I may not have enough local people to compete with. Advice?

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I suspect you will find differences from location to location, but here is a site that tends to have pretty good guidelines: Hot Rod Garden Tractor Pullers Association - Sanctioning Rules and Regulations
I am hoping they use this as a template, long as I can easily change a few small things from event to event to stay within a class.

I was thinking more about this, and I would also need a small trailer to bring the tractor to events...that my car is not capable of pulling. This could add up faster than I am willing to dive right now. I would have to plan my working calendar out just to use the tractor enough to make this worth it. I have a lot to think about.
 

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Well obviously the wallet dictates a lot of our activities and you do need something safe to haul it with. Hopefully if you decide to move forward you'll have the info you need to set up for the correct class you want to pull in. Keep us posted on your progress towards pulling!
 

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And know that it's not just hauling the tractor around, you'll also want a few spare parts, tools for working on it, maybe an air compressor to vary tire pressures.

You are going to use the machine towards it's extremes, beyond what it was designed for, so expect things to break.

It's not fun to make a trip, unload and find it's not working for some reason, and then basically just watch/pack up and go home because you can't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have all the tools I need, transportation and storage are something I need to put more thought into. I live in an apartment, I can add a parking lot garage to my lease to work in but I am toying with the thought of buying a large box trailer instead of renting a garage unit. This way I have a mobile garage AND transportation, I can add an air conditioner to the trailer to make it more accommodating to work in...if I need to work on a tractor at an event after traveling I will have the trailer. Renting a garage is almost $2,000/year so if I can buy a trailer for $5k and have that for many years it would almost pay for itself. I would however need to have a way to tow the trailer, depending on how often the events are I can always borrow a family truck for a weekend.

If I did this, I would also be grabbing my grandfathers Toro riding lawn mower so I can drop that and set it up for speed/circuits. If I bring both with me to events I can maximize my fun with the best of both worlds.

I have a lot of digging to do for local tractor clubs, if I can find enough events or clubs within FL it would make it a lot more worth it to me. It seems to be more popular north of me in NC/SC, TN, TX....not much in GA that I can find. I may find it is a seasonal thing in FL, a lot of people flock here during the winter that may have tractors as it is kind of pushing it during peak summer to have much fun outside without water activities. I did find a club in Brooksville FL which is local to me, and I am trying to figure out what the "Mid Florida Tractor Pullers Association" is all about, they have over 2k followers on Facebook so that may be a great place to branch out from.
 
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