SIDNEY – The 2019 Back to Back Truck Pull at the Shelby County Fair took place Saturday afternoon with approximately 25 competitors bringing trucks to compete against each other.
The event kicked off with a weigh-in for each competitor, ensuring that their trucks fit within the weight class they entered.
Trucks pulled up one by one to the scale, weighed in by John Banet, owner of Banet Enterprises, and his two grandsons. Banet Enterprises is a family business based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, specializing in truck and tractor pulls.
Trucks and their drivers competed in four classes, each based on weight. The smallest class was 5,500 pounds or less, the next class at 6,500 or less, the third class at 7,500 and the fourth and heaviest class at 8,500 pounds.
Trucks were evaluated on three main rules: meeting the weight limit, having a hitch under 30 inches in length and having street legal tires (no racing slicks). Contestants were allowed to have two extra wheels on the rear axle, bringing their total to six, but weren’t allowed more than two axles.
Safety is a major concern at events like this, where heavy trucks strain against each other, at risk of damage to the vehicles and the drivers. Fire trucks and personnel were on site for the entire event, ready to jump in and provide support if needed.
Prior to the start of the event, all of the drivers were called together for a drivers’ meeting during which the rules were restated.
Lots of strategy goes into an event like the back to back truck pull, and drivers employed strategies both in modifying their vehicles and in driving against their opponents.
Some drivers removed the beds from the back of their trucks, others added heavy counterweights on the front, and a few added two extra wheels on the rear axle.
Strategies in pulling against another truck varied with the driver, some preferring to pull right out of the gate and others saving their power for after the initial pull. Traction was always the deciding factor of the pull, with some trucks unable to grab ahold of the ground and put up any kind of fight.
The winners of the 5,500 weight class were Justin Slaver in first place, Chris Miller in second and Jacob Lochard in third. The winners of the 6,500 weight class were Jacob Lochard in first, Tommy Campbell in second and Guy Huy in third. Chris Miller won first place for the 7,500 weight class with Billy Studebaker in second and Adam French taking third. For the final class of 8,500, Adam French won first place with Greg Cole taking second and Wes Pugh in third.
The writer is a summer intern with the Sidney Daily News.