Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission from The Carroll County Messenger.
By Leigh Ann Rutledge | The Carroll County Messenger
CARROLLTON, Ohio — The 6,500/7,000 lbs. Unlimited Open Farm tractor pulling class is gaining traction in its third year and looks to go the distance with more pulls added to the schedule.
The class started in May 2017 with a no-holds-bar debut at Fireman’s Park in Mechanicstown and included a small number of pulls for competitors.
Ten pulls are confirmed for 2019, from western Ohio to eastern Pennsylvania, with the possibility of adding more in the future.
Last year there were on average, five or six tractors competing at the pulls.
This year, new drivers have joined the class and two current competitors are building additional tractors to compete. At times, there could be close to 10 pullers competing for first place.
After running the gauntlet of classes for more than a decade, Rich Rector turned his focus on building a new tractor and, after talking with other pullers, building a new class.
Working together, the Unlimited Open Farm Class was created.
“We all wanted a class that is fun and doesn’t cost a fortune to compete in,” Rector explained. “Plus, any brand can participate.”
Pullers in the class finished up the 2018 season and immediately began planning for 2019.
The first banquet was held in the Carroll County Senior Friendship Center with awards presented to the top four points winners.
Phil Metz of Pennsylvania was the points champ. He pulls a Deutz 100-06 named “Undocumented.”
Rector was second in the standings with his Ford 6000 dubbed “Unthinkable”; Kim Baughman of Minerva, third, with a Case 930 called “Case of Addiction”; and Mark Huck of Waterford, a Deutz 80-06 called “Second Hand Smoke.”
Getting started for 2019, the group approved changes for the points system regarding show up and hook points.
Tractors will also have sponsor decals and a tractor ID number.
“Sponsors help us put our banquet together at the end of the year and provide awards. Besides it lets people know if they need something where they can get it if one of our sponsors would happen to have it,” Rector said.
“The ID numbers are for the points registration and points chart that is updated after each points hooks.”
Safety is a major feature in the class. Competitors must have a cage or roll bar, harness or seat belt, wheelie bars, safety blanket and a helmet, along with other safety features.
A full list of safety requirements can be found on the Unlimited Open Farm Facebook page.
“Those are the rules. This is a fun class,” Rector said.
“You can bring a lot of horsepower or a little, but you just have to hope you brought enough. It is a diversified class that will grow. We have two more tractors being built to compete this year.”
Metz is building another Deutz called “Easy” and Joe Almy, with the help of Rector, will compete with a Ford named “Second Chance.”
Almy has been out of the pulling circuit for several years but is returning this season.
“From the first time I got to pull sitting in the seat of Ole Blue, Rich Rector’s family farm tractor, I knew I was hooked,” said Almy.
“Now I have a ‘Second Chance’ to sit back in the seat of my own pulling tractor again with the help of Rich Rector and his family. My second family.”
Pulling schedule for 2019 includes:
- May 11 — Wooster
- May 25 — Mechanicstown
- June 1 — Mile Branch Grange
- June 29 — Mechanicstown
- July 26 — Mile Branch Grange
- Aug. 9 — Mechanicstown
- Aug. 10 — Dawson, PA
- Sept. 14 — Kilgore
- Sept. 28 — Wooster (1 p.m.), Mechanicstown (7 p.m.)
For more information, contact Rector at 330-418-0003 or visit the Unlimited Open Farm page on Facebook.
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