AET Tractor Pull: Pulling the community together

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     If you heard what sounded like loud, massive engines and saw plumes of black smoke on the horizon, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the Truck and Tractor Pull. The Agricultural Engineering Technology (AET) club has hosted the Annual AET Truck and Tractor Pull here at ABAC for close to 40 years. Many of the pullers are participating in a family tradition that their parents and relatives took part in 20 or more years before them. Between 40-50 pullers partake in the event each night, which brings in an attendance record of approximately 3,000 people over the course of the three-day event.

     According to Daylen Morris, AET club president, the attendance on Oct. 3 is one of the best turnouts for a Thursday night. Because of the high attendance from the community and school population, the truck pull serves as a great fundraiser for the club and it will cover the majority of the club’s expenses and excursions throughout the year. Morris stated that the event also has a “positive impact on the community (because it is a) family-friendly environment kids and adults love.” Parents can bring their children and enjoy a good show surrounded by the community that they know and trust.

      Along with being a good show, the truck pull allows for a healthy competition among truck and tractor connoisseurs. As stated by the ABAC website, “Trucks and tractors pull a weighted sled down a dirt track. The weight moves toward the front of the sled as the vehicle pulls it down the track, making it more difficult to pull.” Whoever pulls the heavy sled the farthest in the shortest amount of time within their weight class wins.

      Dustin Pennington won first place in the amateur truck pull with his 2016 Ford F-350 power-stroke named “Gray Ghost.” When asked what it takes to win a truck pull in regard to truck modifications, he said, “the more horsepower, the better.” Dustin also mentioned that his truck “has some pretty powerful engine tuning done to it [to add] HP and torque.” He is an AET member and his pull on Oct. 3 was his first win.

      Dustin is a junior at ABAC who has competed in the truck pull four or five times before and placed in the top three with each run. He is not alone in his love for truck pulling. His older brother Dan Pennington Jr. also competed in the truck pull when he attended ABAC.

     The Truck and Tractor Pull represents a good relationship between the school, community and alumni because it allows them to connect over something they all enjoy and appreciate.

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