Carbon farmer Neil Bertsch has pulled his way into Stampede lore, winning the Class 5 Category at the Vintage Tractor Pull at the Calgary Stampede.
This was the second time that Bertsch has competed at the Calgary Stampede. Last year he placed third, although his completely restored 1956 John Deere 80 won the People’s Choice award at the Show and Shine.
Class 5 of the tractor pull is the heavy weights, and the competition is simple – see who can pull the sled the furthest as the weight slides forward increasing the load. He explains that for vintage tractor pulling the rigs are to remain stock.
However, there are a few tips and tricks on race day that get you to the head of the pack.
“There are thing you can do to pull better such as tire pressure and the gear you select,” he said. “John Deeres are very torquey tractors, so you want a high enough gear so you can power it out.”
“You want to power out before you spin out, and ultimately you want to do both at the same time.”
Bertsch is a casual tractor puller. He competed at the Drumheller event on Canada Day and will head to the Pioneer Acres later on this summer to compete.
“This is one of the biggest in southern Alberta,” he said, adding that while the Pioneer Acres event is an open competition, the Stampede was by invitation.