What is a Myers Kid Power Pedal Tractor Pull?
A: A Pedal Tractor Pull is an event that has a magical effect on children and families. Years ago it would be a large pedal toy tractor hooked to a block or skid with a pile of weight on it. the idea has always been to pull it the farthest.
This answer is changing since 2010 as we have opened the door to the many possibilities it can present. We are the crest of a new age of pulling honoring its roots yet finding ways to fit the needs of the modern family or sponsor. We can run the normal pull with the exciting competition or give you open pulling to cover hours during and event - and maybe finish with a sanctioned pull as a culminating activity. We understand that good enough is not the standard and that is why we keep searching for more and better ways to bring children into this activity, that is healthy, full of character and great entertainment. Let us design the activity to fit your thoughts. We are proud to have introduced the the word venue into pedal pulling in 2008 and 2009 as we went in search of unusual venues to bring our brand of Pedal Pulling.
Today the pedal tractor is modified. What does that mean? It has been beefed up to take the pounding of today's youngsters. Real bearings, heavy axles, structural reinforcement, and other strengthening. The most exciting newer improvement has been the strong stretching of tractors to handle the taller kids of today.
The next piece is the sled. Yes a sled that acts like the huge sleds used by pulling contests for real tractors and trucks. This is a weight transfer sled which means the weight in the box moves up the sled from back to front increasing the down force making it feel heavier.
The modified pedal tractor is hooked to a weight transfer sled provides the core to the excitement. The child pedals the tractor and sled as far as they can, with the longest pull winning the event. Watch the video below to get a taste of the fun.
Is this a small rural event, not made for Urban areas?
Yes the rural kids don't deserve all the fun and character building experience of Pedal Pulling. We have said how healthy this is. We do thrive on venues that present different problems or as we say new experiences. Kidsfest was our first step into a venue where we would not operate one pull - but a series of pulling over many hours. We have refined the event into many hours of open experience building pulling with regular competition sprinkled in. No one was interested in Kidsfest, because there was no money in it. They also said they did not want the urban kids, too much trouble. We embraced the challenge and made Kidsfest our biggest charity event of the year. What better choice than to make money for a charity like Children and Families of Iowa. Now that is a venue! Venue is now used loosely by many but the truth is, our use is, to describe the exceptional location that not every one does well or tries. WE DO. Pedal Pulling is reaching across cultural and economic boundaries to bring a little fun to children every where. There are other pullers stretching the envelope also in different ways. It is our job to describe our efforts to the best of our ability.
A Pedal Tractor Pull can be in several modes. Lets start with the basic event. As the picture shows a person sits on a modified tractor and pedals straight down a track (usually hard surface, cement or asphalt). Pulling a sled that is equipped with a weight transfer system. As the person pedals forward the box holding the weight climbs up and forward on the sled until it either stops the puller or the sled reaches it maximum distance. The person pulling it the longest distance in end wins the division of the pull.
Never use weight of the children to set up classes!!!!! Use only ages. I still see the practice used and it is offensive and unfair. If you do it because you don't have proper equipment then only do what you can handle and make sure it is advertised as a 4-7 pedal pull. Better yet get the right stuff or hire someone to run one for you.
We mentioned several modes. The most common use of the pedal tractor pull is for children 4-12 years old. We some times do teenagers, powder puff (adult women), and adult men. Since the adults and teens put an incredible strain on the equipment we usually add some to the normal childrens fee. We do fairs, community days, openings, social gatherings, service organization gatherings, and business gathering. We have even had request for large birthday parties and mall events.
Does the equipment really make a difference?
Yes, It is no accident that kids on quality equipment every week tend to climb to the top of the State and National placings. To many quality kids don't get to the top, because there are no Sanctioned Professional pulls in their area. It really helps for the kids to be used to quality equipment. We have always believed this, but now with our daughter's National Championship it has been proved this year. She pedaled in professional pulls all year at an average of one per week and no other practice.
We have set the standard for improvement of the pulling unit. With the help of John Vossler and Willard Hoskins we have the best basic unit in pulling. 6 modified tractors, 2 sleds, all the paper work, big PA system, workers to man the tables and chart the pulls, awards if asked to bring, and a teacher/coach to talk to you or your child during the pull. Do others have parts of this? Have they caught up on the stretching? and are they improving in many ways? The answer is YES and we are happy that we pushed everyone up a little making the professionals look more like professionals. One night at a county fair we had the pedal pull running to a huge crowd and the feature was ready to start. they could not start because the people would not leave the pull. A $10,000 feature sat waiting for a $350 pull. Who is the real feature?
For the average guy hoping to find a tractor for your youngster to pedal for fun or practice, it is harder to find than you think. If the youngster is 6 or under you might be able to just buy a new out of the box one. The new ones seem to get smaller every year. And if your child is a little taller they will probably be to big at 6 years old. Stretching and modifying must be done to make them pull ready and big enough for kids over 6.
Are you saying a small town kid can climb to a National or International title through Pedal Pulling?
Yes and it happens every year. We are even bigger believers than before. Quality pulls and kids that are willing to stay fit. Our whole nation knows kids need to stay more active. Pedal Pulling is the goal (or carrot). The kids need to ride their bikes and do other activities if they want to pull. It does work in many cases.
What does it mean to be a Sanctioned Pull?
A Quality sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pull will have 3 or more modified tractors and a solid sled, awards for top finishers, follow the same rules as higher competition, will pull by age with 9 classes 4-12 years old, plenty of weight, and the paperwork to allow top pullers to qualify for State competition. A pull should never be run by weight or grouping age groups. there is a tremendous difference in the maturity of a 4 year old and a 6 year old, should they really pedal against each other? Why three tractors? We believe there is not a really good way to set a tractor for all the age groups equally and fairly. So we believe the best solution is three minimum to have the size range needed for kids. Many pullers have 6 tractors, as we do.
Who runs these pulls?
The persons running a Pedal Tractor Pull are commonly called a Puller and sanctioned pullers are usually listed with the State Association. A puller who is not as high a quality can get sanctioned and listed, check out information, website or former pulls. It is sad that many times any group regardless of quality can get sanctioned, yet it is not possible for every puller to show their equipment to the state to be sure it measures up. Sanctioning by age groups (one year at a time 4-12) is the only honest way to qualify kids.
Many times non-sanctioned or under-equipped pulls are put on with good intentions. Children can be easily discouraged as they get to levels the equipment is not capable of handling. For instance a youngster on loaned equipment may not even place at an event and then go on to the National Championship. This is a true story and embarrassing for the sponsor, especially when they could have it professionally done for probably less than they actually spend with more advertising. Pulls like these non-professional pulls are often referred to as "for Fun" pulls in our area. Yet the one referenced was supposed to be sanctioned. The State then is embarrassed, also. There are rules and quality guidelines we have mentioned. God Bless any one putting on a pull for young kids with the understanding of their limitations clearly spelled out for the families.
How does the fee work?
We charge a base fee and mileage on the one way miles to your site. That will include our service with tractors, sled, PA system, awards for top three in each class, paperwork for qualifying 2 boys and 2 girls in each class for state, and as many of my family as possible to help run it. This fee is paid by a sponsor of the event and the children are not charged to participate.
All over the Midwest we find Coops, Farm Bureaus, HyVee's, Farm Store's, One Stop's, Implement Dealers, Truck and Tractor Pullers, Dr Pepper is a corporate sponsor in Minnesota, and every type of business and organization sponsoring these pulls. In the Midwest there are over a dozen pullers that will run over 70 pulls this year each and they will charge 800-1000 dollars per event with mileage (mileage is getting to be a fair sum). Iowa will have more than 200 sanctioned pulls this year. We will charge you less in almost any case. We pay taxes as a business, yet what we charge would put most in a non-profit classification.
Sponsors are the business or organization who pays the fee for an event. Usually they will have their name put on the trophies given out and have their name included in the website listings of upcoming pulls. Often times several groups will join together to sponsor a pull spreading the cost out. In some cases we are seeing sponsors of the business buy decal space on the trailer or tractors for a year. This can help cover some of the cost like participation ribbons and vehicle maintenance. Some grocery type businesses or distributors will make a practice of providing pop for the participants to have their name involved.
The bottom line for a business or organization can go two ways. One they do it for the children pure and simple. Two is the potential to raise money. For instance, there is a State Fair that pays a large amount of money to get the State Pull held there. It is a smart move what they pay is not a fifth of the money drawn in at the gate. They let the kids in free and charge $8 per on all others coming with them. Last year they guessed they had 5-6000 come through the gate because of the Pull. Do the math. Smaller towns do it in conjunction with a feed. Maybe they charge 6-8 dollars a plate and raise money for the Fire Department. This is something that can work with planning.
Why do this?
We decided to do this business after attending a professional sanctioned pull in the morning and a-for "fun" pull in the afternoon. Also it was obvious that despite the good will of many, the quality professional pulls were missing in southwest Iowa, northwest Missouri, and parts of the eastern edge of Nebraska. Children and families want quality if they are traveling to attend events. That is why the number of professional pulls in Iowa has exploded in the last few years.
"For Fun pulls" are pulls that have few consistent rules and poor equipment. They are "for fun" because they are not featuring the quality needed for sanctioning. We use the term "for Fun" simply because that is a area term for pulls. All pulls are fun and even more fun for children of today when they have structure and lead to State and National Competition. The loaned equipment or one tractor events are not really as fun for kids that want to succeed and progress to State and National competition. Many of these pulls are fun for age 4-6, but are often frustrating to older children when they do not fit on the single tractor or get sore from trying. There are a few quality pulls in the nation that are not sanctioned, but most are. People involved in the pulls mean well and have good intentions, yet should not block bringing in a sanctioned puller if that is best for the kids in the area. Most folks tell us ours are the most fun they or their kids have ever had at a pull and they like the rules and selection of equipment. We really appreciate the folks that make pedal pulling available to kids all over our nation.
After our decision we traveled to pulls in the 6 state region and helped run pulls in Nebraska and Iowa. Because of our work in learning we were invited to help run the National pull in Mitchell SD. We watched our children struggle with different levels of quality as they pedaled in local "fun pulls", local professional pulls, state competition in 3 or more states, and even to see one of them pedal in the national. We have tried to learn what kids like and want in a pull. We did more than talk experience we lived it for most of the 2007 season.
Clearfield Lions Club
Shuttle Service at the State Fair
Brownville NE Historical Society
Visit Brownville and travel back
in History and enjoy the shops, theater,
museums, and river attractions.
Brownville and Clearfield
Two great 4th of July Celebrations
Try to see if you can pedal in both