The History Behind The Truck Pull
As early as 1929, farmers began hitching their field tractors to weighted sleds and roared down a track to see who could pull it the farthest. Event organizers at Bowling Green, Missouri and Vaughansville, Ohio found out the noise and smoke drew spectators. At first, the competitors pulled sleds that were loaded with a given weight. But as farmers began to modify their tractors, that didn’t provide enough of a challenge and it was hard to distinguish the most powerful tractors. So the organizers began to search for ways to progressively add weight as the tractor moved down the track. Spectators were recruited to jump on the sled as the tractor moved down the track. But, while that may have been a thrill for the spectators, it was a potential health hazard as well as the tractors routinely rearing up under the strain of the pull.
After the tractor pull was a successful spectators event for many years, there was also an event started called the truck pull. This is not the strongman Truck Pull, as spectators would watch how much weight the trucks could pull similar to that of the tractor pull. These trucks and tractors became famous for how much weight they could ultimately drag. This is where the strongman Vehicle Pull came into play. Introduced in 1977, the first jaw-dropping event came around as vehicles such as trams, boxcars, buses and planes were pulled across a 100ft course, by these strongmen in the quickest time possible. Since then many vehicles have been used within this event to show off the sheer power of strongmen as they pull these incredible vehicles with their incredible strength. The Truck Pull became a famous event, using lorries, fire engines, cranes and more, that are pulled along by these strongmen.
About The Tuck Pull
The Truck Pull is a signature World’s Strongest Man event. If you ask the average man on the street what a strongman is they’ll likely reply along the lines of “They pull trucks and stuff, right?”. Damn right they do, heavy ones too! The truck pull is as simple as it sounds. The strongman is attached to a harness that is connected to a truck. Then, with or without the guidance of a rope for the strongman to pull on, the strongman must complete a set distance as quickly as possible.
Whilst most TV commentators (in the UK at least) are almost painfully clueless when it comes to the strongman’s technique they will usually manage to nail and repeatedly mention, the importance of staying low. A strongman whose body is almost parallel to the ground will be able to exert greater force through their legs, helping the truck get started and hopefully keep it going for the whole distance!
The start of the Truck Pull is the hardest as persuading a stupidly heavy truck to start moving from a standstill is no easy task. Once the truck is moving it is essential that the strongman keeps his momentum. It is a rare sight to see someone restart pulling a truck once it has stopped for a second time.
The biggest, heaviest strongmen are usually the people who excel in this event. The heavier the strongman, the easier is it for them to lean against the weight of the truck and get it moving. Mariusz Pudzianowski was an exception to this rule but then, he is an exception to most!
Training for The Truck Pull: Training for The Truck Pull sounds fairly simple, grab a truck, tie some rope to it and pull. Because of this bizarre event, there are various ways in which to approach this. First off, do not tie something round your parent’s car and try to pull it down a busy road, you will more than likely end up in trouble. But if you can find an area which is privately owned and get permission from the land owner, you may be able to try out this awesome exercise of pulling a vehicle with your strength and determination.
For beginners, it is advised that before trying to pull any heavy vehicles along, you must strengthen your body to be able to cope with the strain that it will be under. The best way to do this, is with compound exercises (mainly squats), as you will need powerful hips and good overall body strength to be able to exert your body to this amount of strain without an injury occurring. Once your overall strength is good and you can achieve some heavy lifts within these compound exercises and are used to the strain. You can start the exciting training for this event by pulling a vehicle. It is recommended that you do not jump straight into pulling an aeroplane! As it will probably bring your spirits down when you cannot move it an inch. First off try pulling some smaller vehicles like a “Nissan Micra”, once you have mastered the technique and form these amazing strongmen use, then you can see what bigger vehicles you can get your hands on!
The known Guinness World Record belonged to an Australian strongman called Derek Boyer. Derek took his world title by pulling a Kenworth K104 truck weighing 51,840kgs over a 100-ft distance in Brisbane, Australia, on the 6th of March 2005.
Since then the Priest Kevin Fast from Canada stole the Guinness Book of Records title, with the heaviest vehicle pulled over a 100ft distance weighing an incredible 99,060 kg. This was achieved in Cobourg, Canada on the 5th of July 2017. Kevin has been named super-human, as he holds many world records including, not only pulling but pushing trucks over 100ft distance weighing over 11,000kgs. This man is genuinely incredible. Here is the footage of Kevin pulling these 3 fire trucks weighing over a 100 tons!
Within the WSM and other events, there have been some amazing pulls like in the WSM 2008 finals, where a Hercules plane was used. But as you may imagine, different courses (some flat, some uneven) and differently weighted trucks and vehicles, make it difficult to know who is truly the best. Terry Hollands from England is often cited as one of the favourites coming into the truck pull and it is no surprise why, here is a clip of Terry pulling an aeroplane at The World Strongest Man Classics in 2009.