Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer
July 26, 2012
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
PIKE COUNTY — One of the fastest growing events at the Pike County Fair each year is the Tug-A-Truck competition, hosted by Cooper’s Trucks and Accessories in New Boston. The event returns to the fairgrounds again this year, on Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
“This is actually our fourth year at the Pike County Fairgrounds. We’ve done it as a hobby, I guess, for a few years before that. But the Pike County Fair Board confronted us about doing an organized event,” said Jeff Cooper, owner of Cooper’s Trucks and Accessories.
The event is similar to a traditional tug of war, but instead of people there are two trucks on a 90-by-15 foot concrete slab, revving their engines and trying to pull their opponent over the line.
“We put an industrial strap between the two trucks, and the first one to pull the other across the line wins, basically. Just like kids in a playground (playing tug of war), except you’ve got two pick-ups doing it,” Cooper said.
He’s seen some competitions in the mud, but said after a while the trucks just spin their wheels and nobody wins.
“Your first thought is just, something is going to explode. But it doesn’t. I mean, we do see breakage and that’s part of it, but’s it’s not like it just explodes the trucks on contact. We’ve seen axles break and U-joints break. Anything can happen, but normally it’s not that big of a deal. We’re very particular how we hitch-mount and what we hook onto. That’s in our rules, of course,” Cooper said.
Trucks are divided into four classes: 5,500 pounds, 6,500 pounds, 9,500 pounds, and more than 9,500 pounds, respectively.
“We’ve had everything from stock trucks right out the driveway compete, all the way to trucks that are built just for that,” Cooper said.
All trucks must have Department of Transportation street-legal tires and a 30-inch hitch. Cash awards are based on attendance and participation, and are given to the top three places in each category.
“Of course, on top of the awards there’s just the bragging rights. The guy that wins in the unlimited class, especially. He’s king of the hill for the another year,” Cooper said.
The event has taken a few years to gain an audience, but Cooper said it grows bigger and bigger each year.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.