JAMESTOWN, Pa. – In 1987, high school teacher Richard “Rick” Feicht decided that after six years of announcing tractor pulls for the Pennsylvania Tractor Pullers Association, he would strike out on his own and create an independent pulling company.
“The tractor pulls I was working were really disorganized and that’s when I decided to make the company,” said Feicht.
His creation became known as Full Pull Productions, the only independent pulling corporation in the United States.
20 years and counting. Being the only independent tractor pulling corporation in the country has helped Full Pull Productions grow extensively over the past 20 years, allowing it to branch out and develop smaller series and classes.
These include the Big Rig Pulling Series, the Full Pull “Smokers Series,” as well as regional classes like ‘Run What Ya Brung’ Trucks and Limited Pro Stock/Super Farm Tractors and Pro Street Diesel 4X4 Trucks.
“We were the first to use semi-trucks in tractor pulls back in the 1990s,” Feicht said.
In 2006, the company also developed its own sanctioning body, U.S.A.- EAST, to sanction only Full Pull events.
All in the family. Feicht has not been alone in his endeavors. His wife, Patty, son, R.J., and daughter-in-law, Jen, all work for the company, making Full Pull Productions a family affair. To Feicht, this is a plus.
“The real advantage is that I get to spend the whole summer with my family.”
R.J. has also followed in his father’s education footsteps, working as the technology director for the Allegheny-Clarion School District.
In the beginning. Full Pull Productions has condensed its coverage area over the years, but it wasn’t always the case.
“When we first started, we did everyone. We went as far as places like Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan.”
After Feicht’s retirement from Jamestown High School in 1996, the company really began to grow. But, at the same time, he started to limit the area in which Full Pull Productions traveled, committing to only medium and larger fairs.
Today, the company organizes shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and even Canada.
“2006 was our first trip to Canada and it’s a huge draw there because it’s the only one,” Feicht said.
Smoothing the track. Like all things, tractor pulls have undergone changes and the Feicht family has seen many over the past two decades.
Two of these changes are the shows’ length and the increased professionalism of the pullers.
“During the ’80s and ’90s, shows never started or ended on time,” Feicht said. “Our thing is to start on time and get people out of the grandstands at a reasonable time.”
Behind their success. Feicht feels the reason Full Pull Productions succeeds is the company’s personal touch.
“I try to deal personally with each and every one of these fairs. Either my son or I are at every event.”
Being hands-on isn’t the only key to the company’s success.
“We produce exactly what the fair wants, making it still 100 percent controlled by the fair.”
The company also tries to accommodate the driver pulling for points by trying to keep the number of point events to no more than 12, all while keeping events in a smaller geographic area.
“Our rule is that they have to be able to get home that night.”
The drivers who compete for points can expect to win the highest purses around, a fact that helps draws the best tractors and drivers, according to Feicht.
“No one else pays $1,000 to win.”
At the end of the year, the pulling company pays a points fund supported by Central Petroleum Company. In 2005 and 2006, Full Pull paid out nearly $40,000 in end-of-season point fund money and contingency money to pullers in various classes.
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