TRACTOR PULLS: It's Not What You Think - Smarter Every Day 276

TRACTOR PULLS: It's Not What You Think  - Smarter Every Day 276

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This is an absolutely preposterous tractor... and it's pulling something.... all these people are in these stands to watch what's called a Tractor Pull because it's AWESOME. The winner is whoever pulls this sled the farthest before getting bogged down in the dirt. Let's learn about this incredibly complex physics problem from people you wouldn't expect.

Let's go get Smarter Every Day. (Smarter Every Day Guitar Sting) Hey, it's me, Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. This is my buddy Chris. I'm going to jus to stop him, see what's going on. So what are you doing? I'm just movin' the barricades from one tractor pull to another.

D - Is this where the tractor pull is going to be? Chris - No. this is where it used to be... This is the old Tanner Tractor Pull. Destin - OK, where's it going to be? Chris- Moulton, Alabama. Destin - So we're moving it from Tanner to Moulton? Chris - Essentially, yes. Destin - You're literally building a Tractor Pull from the ground up using all the stuff they used to do, right? Chris - Correct. All right. Chris is off the forklift now.

What's a tractor. Pull? Different classes of tractors. So they're built to different specifications. Pull a sled that's going to be set to the specifications for that class.

Destin - And the sled, like it's just friction on the dirt, right. So like the furthest distance wins. Yes. I mean, it's their hobby.

They do this instead of bass fishing. Destin - Really? Or deer hunting or owning a deer camp. D- Really? Chris - That's what they do. They get out here and build $100,000 tractor and let it go down the track. And then once you plow up the dirt, you've got a whole crew that just yeah..... There's a crew on site that will put it back together between.

Each pull. So to learn about the sled part of a tractor pull, I drove three and a half hours to Gibson, Tennessee. Are you Brian? (Brian in the building) - Yeah. Hey, I'm Destin. Destin - Nice to meet you, man. Destin - You know where Jim is? Brian - Uh... He's around here somewhere.

Destin - Is he? ...All right? Destin - He got the tractor sled? Brian - huh? Destin - Does he have the tractor sled? Brian - No..... Destin - He doesn't. Who does that? Brian - I do.... Destin - You do that? <Silence> Destin - He said, I can come up and talk to somebody, but how it works is that you? Are you, the guy that I should talk to about that? ....................... .................................. Brian - Yeeeeaaup What you want to know? Destin - I want to know how it works. I came from Alabama. Y'all are going to do a tractor pull down in Moulton on Saturday, and I want to come see how it works.

He said I can come video about... See if I can figure it out. Brian - (suspiciously) Figure it out? Yeah! What do you want to figure it out for? <Bottle drops from vending machine> (Destin, Humbly) Because it looks complicated! (Brian, playfully disagreeing) - No! Yeah. Destin - It ain't complicated, is it? Is it out here now? Brian - Naw , it's across there.

Destin - Oh Okay. Brian - We'll meet you over there. Destin - You know how when you meet a really smart person and they don't want you to think that they're smart, that's what just happened. And I know that because I'm from the South.

Alright, so I'm going to go over here and see what's up. He said it's across the street. Destin - Are you Jim? Huh? Are you Jim? Jim - Yeah. Destin - I'm Destin. I'm the guy that called you from Alabama. How are you doing? Jim - Well don't be telling people around here you're from Alabama.

Destin - Why is that? What will they do to me? Jim - Well they may not let you out of town. (Destin laughing) - I like you already, Jim. Jim, what's our carry piece today? Is that a .380? (Destin giggling) ...maybe a 9? Jim - 380 Destin - 380, single stack? Jim - Have you met Brian yet? Destin - I just met Brian. Yeah. Destin - So is this it? Jim - Yeah.

Destin - That's awesome. <Garage door slides open> Are you going to pull it out? (Brian at door) - We can do whatever you want to do. Destin - Brian, we met briefly. I'm Destin. I'm still Brian. Destin - You still Brian? I'm still Brian.

Destin - Alright. Destin - They're being patient with me... <Rumbling engine> <Air brakes> Destin - This is the sled? Brian - Yes Destin - People hook up to that side. Brian - Yes Destin - And they try to pull you. Brian - Yes. Destin -And you're in that cab right there. Brian - Yeah.

Destin - And your job is to stop them? Brian - Yes. Okay, you get ready. Roll down the track... Whatever class you're going to run is how many weights you run in there... And then this box right here runs up to the front. Destin - This box with the weights in it? Brian - Yes.

Destin - Runs that way. Brian - It runs all the way up here. Brian - When the box hits this right here, it gonna flip them there over.

Destin - Hold on. That's a limit switch. The weights are up there? Brian - Yeah. Destin - And they run this way? Brian - Yeah. The whole box comes up forward. Destin - And then when he gets right here, it hits this limit switch. Destin - What does that do? Brian - That drops the back of the pan down on the ground. Destin - Oh, OK.

Brian - All right. When a box hits these arms right here. Destin - The teeth go in? Brian - This right here pushes in, and then it hits these cylinders... ...back here. ...And then them there put pressure down and they pick the back of the sled up off the ground. Destin - Really? OK, so then you're putting more weight....

Brian - Yeah so you got... Wedges underneath here. Destin - OK, let me see. Brian - It pushes the wedges into the ground. Destin - Oh, OK. It's like a plow. Brian - Yeah.

Destin - And it's funneling. Brian - Yeah. Destin - It's actually catchin' the dirt. Brian - Yeah. Destin - What controls how fast this, the weights move forward. Brian - Alright, I'll show you. Here's your transmission. Destin - OK.

Brian - All right. That rear end right there? Destin - Oh okay so I've actually got a turning shaft coming up into this. Brian - Yeah. This is your clutch.

Destin - Oh, that's what you're controlling. Brian - Yeah. Destin - OK. Brian - And it goes through the box, back there to the back rear end. Destin - Uhha Brian - And that back rearend runs these chains.

Destin - Gotcha. Brian - And that tells you how fast you... However fast you want the box to go up and back. Destin - So that means this drive shaft right here is coupled with.

With the wheels turning. Brian - Right. Destin - So it's a direct correlation with how far the sled moves and the wheels turn to how far the box goes. Brian - Yeah. Destin - So if you want to make it harder for somebody, do you go to a higher gear down here? Brian - Yeah. Destin - Yeah... So you go to five and you'll make it run forward faster. Brian - Yes. Destin - OK.

Brian - And then when you get something like something that weighs a whole lot more than we do... ...we put the weights in the box on the back of the box on the pan right there. Destin - Right there. OK. Brian - One on each side. <Confidently> You usually get 'em in. <Destin laughs>

So you always win. <Matter-of-factly> Yeah. <Destin laughs> On the run night down in Moulton. Will you be up in the cab? Yep. All night. Destin - You're gonna be the guy. That's awesome. Can I, uh.. Can I come up and visit you in Moulton and see what you're doing? Yeah.

OK, I'm in Molton, Alabama, where they're getting the track ready. They moved it over from Tanner. Let's see what's going on here. This is the hottest piece of technology right here in the tractor pulling world right here...

Destin -That right there?. It's called the Rakin-a-tor. Basically it's a heavy duty garden rake. Destin - Yeah. There's one for the skid steer and it helps break the larger clods down so we can pack it back. it speeds up the time between pulls.

But it also gets things finer than what that field cultivator is going to do. I'm Destin. Mitch. Mitch? Yeah

This is a cultivator, right? Yeah. Destin - Well, that's a good one, man. Look at that! The wood grew around it! Mitch - Yeah, it's one of those that the work comes extra.

<Both Laugh> I like that a lot. The tree tried to suck on that thing. OK, so I'm learning that preparing the dirt is a big part of a tractor pull, so they ripped it up.

He's packing it, and he's leveling it. So it's cutting the high spots. So it's shaving it down. It's just got a bunch of weight in it. It's got wiggle wobble wheels on it.

It's pretty firm. OK, they're about to settin' concrete. And the purpose of the concrete is if the tractors go crazy, they got to hit a barricade so they don't go into the stands.

Destin - What kind is it? Will - Chili Cheese. Destin - Chili cheese? Destin - Do I have too much? Will -- Naw, it's okay. Take as many as you want. (Crunching Sounds) Destin - Thank you. That's good, man...

...Have you ever been to a tractor pull? Will - Yeah. Thousands of times. Destin - You excited about this one? Will - Mhmm. Destin - Yeah. Oh. Hey, your daddy's about to fix that one... ...Thousands of times? You ain't that old. What is the box of weights moving to the end. ...of the sled. Why does that make it harder? (Will with southern accent, speaking confidently) Cause it makes 'em start to mar down... ...and it's getting harder, from And then they start gettin' slow going down the track.

Destin - So there's more tire pressure... So, like, the weight goes on the tires... and you have more pressure. When you say "mar down", what does that word mean? It means when they sit there and their wheels are spinnin' in like a real fast speed....

Destin - Oh! Destin - So you're saying, like, the dirt. If you have more pressure and you're turning. Will - Mm hmm. Destin - Then the shear- Will - Will start to sit down. And if it goes down too much, it'll sit on the axle.

Destin - So you're... the more weight is on top, the more you're shearin' the mud. And so the less weight on top, the- the more it can pull. Will - Yes. Destin - What's your name? Will - "Will." Destin - Can I have another Frito. Will - Yessir. That was actually a really good explanation Will.

Will - Mmhmm Destin - So the more weight, the more- I'm not even joking right now. Will just explained to me why the weight box matters, Right? Will - Mmhmm. Because the more weight's on top, the more the shear stress on the mud. This is like mud, right? Will - Mm hmm. You've been to a lot of Tractor pulls? Will - Yes. Destin - And this is how it works? Will - Yes (Confidently) What do I need to know before tomorrow night? So, you need earplugs.....and then...

Destin - This gonna work? Will - Yes. OK, what else I need? And then you. Need a hamburger and a drink and sit down on the bleachers. Destin - Appreciate you, buddy. Will - You're welcome. Well, you know, got to shake my hand. That's what we do. That's how we end. No, no, no. Right hand. Right hand. Will - It's got chili cheese...

Destin - The chili cheese, Frito hand. There we go. Look me in the eye. Thank you Will. Appreciate you. Will - You're welcome. OK. It's Tractor Pull Day. There's Brian. - How are you doing? - Pretty good.

Destin - Is he pulling the weights out? Brian - Yeah. OK. Jim wants me to see him drop the weight and unhook it without getting out of the cab. <Clanking chain, it sounds very solid> You wanna drive one? Put your money where your mouth is. Destin - Alright. (Laughs)

Destin - Alright, bring it back. I'll do it. Jim - "Mr. Engineer." Destin - Aha... Mr. Engineer, yeah.

Jim said he likes people to mess with him, so I'm trying to do that. (MUSIC) <Backup Beeper on Skid Steer> <Upbeat Music Montage> <Feels like a lot of people coming together too do something big> How you doing sir? Nice to meet you. Richard Taylor. Destin -- Is this yours? -Yessir. And back here on the back, basically, you've got a draw bar assembly. This is your safety hitch down here. You have to two hooking devices.

This is the kill that actually plugs up to the sled. Destin - OK. So at any time we're going down the track, if there's anything that happens to me on the tractor, the sled operator can shut me down. This is hooked to the back of the pulling vehicle also, it's a kill switch. no matter whether it's diesel alcohol, gas or whatever, this thing has to kill it. Destin - What does that go to on the other side? Does it pull a fuel valve.

That puts the air into air is what makes the diesel engine run? Yes. Sir, when you pull this cable, it's just my URL for my engine stop. As the weight comes down the sled, it's going to apply more weight to the tongue right here on your drop bar. It's going to put more pressure on that, more resistance to pull. OK, so does that is it you start slipping? Is that the first thing that happens? The more weight that gets on the back end of the tractor the more of these bike, the more of these by the more the tractor tries to come up.

And you've got to have a balancing point. If you come up too tall, you're going to get on the bottom of these skid bars. Wheelie bar kind. Of deal. Yes, sir. That's going to cause you to lose distance if you stay stuck down.

If your nose doesn't come up at all, you're too heavy on the front. So it's a balancing act. So we'll go out there tonight and we'll look at that track and we'll feel the dirt and we'll get an idea of what kind of weight we want. And then probably based on what I've already seen tonight, these four weights will go to the front and there'll be no weights on the back. OK, so why is your draw bar not higher then? We have a limit. We can only run 20 inches. OK, that's a rule.

That's a rule, yeah. OK, that makes sense. And so if your axle was below that spot right there. Aw, it'd be crazy Yeah, you would keep hook. You'd stay hooked up with it. This is what this what regulates and keeps the class fair. Everybody has to run a 20 inch drawbar.

Oh, there's so much physics here. But how how do you steer? Because I notice this. Is well, most of the time, once I leave the line, the front end is going to come up and you drive it with the brakes. OK?

That's how you steer from, left to right. Just like skid steering in just like a normal tractor. These two brake pedals right here to control it left and right. All right. So I've got my right brake, my left brake. Yes Sir I've got a computer that's telling me everything the engines doing and it's monitoring all my pressures and temperatures.

So when I get to the back to the trailer, and I'll plug my laptop up to it and I'll see how my engine was tuned and how it did. Destin - Really? OK, so this ain't redneck stuff. This is like nutty professor stuff. Well Kinda

Is it really? Kinda! That's awesome. But that's kind of one in the same itn't it? It Is <Both Laugh> Hey, nice to meet you, buddy. Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you. So I'm noticing on most of them, they all have this one lever right here. That's the throttle.

And does it have to be on the side for everybody? It does. And it has to be spring loaded. And I'll show you what I mean. By that. So it's a dead man's switch. It's a safety feature. If something happens and you have, you know, have something goes wrong, when you turn it loose, it automatically goes back to an idle.

Your tread is shaved down a little tighter than most. Yeah. Why is that? Well, this just gets a good bite on the track. - OK

You don't want too big a cleat on it because if you do, it gets too much and you can't get your motor up on RPMs that you want. Because of rotational inertia. Right. Absolutely.

So you're balancing everything? You gotta balance it all. So one thing I'm noticing is that the radiator seems to be on the bottom. Is that... am I seeing that right? No, this tractor does not have a radiator. None at all? - No, this is a dry block.

How do you keep it from overheating? You just run with that 15, 20 seconds down the track and cut it back off. Really? Yeah. We crank it.... We done crank it once, warm it up, then shut it back off. and it will not get cranked again until right before we pull. Really? Are you the driver No. My daughter. Drives.

Does she? Where's she at? Anna Belle, baby... Yeah, as a matter of fact she won last weekend. Really? In this tractor won and my son drove the silver one. He got second and. Then you drive it and you are on it as well. I'm not normally no I some but no, I can't do a whole lot.

I don't have a lot of strength in me. I got to ask, how old are you? I'm 22 now, but I started when I was 16. So you start driving this when you get your license, right? Yeah. Pretty much. So the throttle is up here on the right. Yeah. So when you're when you're pushing it forward, do you just slam it forward and hold it or are you throttling it to kind of manage your traction? You're trying to manage your RPMs for the most part.

You are pushing it so far until you get it to a certain point in RPMs that you want to. And then you'll start letting out on the clutch. And the key is to try to hold it at a certain amount. But once you get going, you kind of you go full throttle. Once you get about what, 50.... well, I normally go full throttle as soon as I let out quite honestly.

Yeah. These roll cages are welding works of art. Look at that. Once you start going down the track, there ain't a whole lot you can do.

The only thing you can do once you start down the track is clutch and throttle. About the only two things you'll be able to control on the steering wheel. Obviously, it's really about pre going down the track. It's you can adjust tire pressure here to the close to the hinge point, to the center that actually the better you'll be and then you've got movable weight. So there's a very fine balance there as to where you've got to be, which is why everybody wants to try to get as much adjustable weight as you can with a big block. John Deere like we've got, we're limited to that because it's so hard to get weight out of them where you've got like a small block like these guys, they start out with so much more movable weight than we do.

So they don't really have to worry about that problem as much as we do. But it's just a constant battle with a big block. Anybody that's got one would tell you that. So why do you have a big block, big blocks? It's just kind of a personal preference thing. Everybody's kind of asking Why have you got an international rule echo or a John Deere? You know, it's just kind of a personal preference. I always like the 6030.

It's what my father in law had, and that's kind of what I fell in love with. I think that's the best looking tractor out here. So ideally you would be eight inches off the ground you want. Ideally in a theoretical world, you'd like your front tire to be about eight inches off the ground and never move. OK. That's where he wants to be.

Well, it depends. I mean, on land, you fix it, rich man. Well, I'm betting what do you what do you think is going to happen? They don't come up waist high, for example. I mean, I tell you, the shop, I said you got a mess of people said you don't like them if they don't mess with you. He was talking to mine. I told you he was our clown.

Yeah, that's me. You're the clown. No, these aren't. Oh, I got you. Oh, that was I remember. I'm with you now.

These are cool. I love it. So financial mistake. That's a good name, huh? Are you driving it tonight? And how do you feel about it? Why bury my dad, first off? So tell me about the adrenaline. Once you throw it down.

The adrenaline right before you throw it down is about like when you have a buck in your sights and you're about to pull the trigger. So you got that little ending shake. Go in, your body's just ready. And then as you come out of it, you take that deep breath and we're down, pull the clutch back, and you're good to go. So you all got it. Yeah. What's going on here?

What are you doing with that stick. To see if it's hard or soft or what? You're trying to figure out what it is, if it's hard, if it's gummy, if. Yeah, how does it feel for us? We pulled through. It seemed like it's. A little soft. Right now.

Let me see. So that's a little soft. That's soft. Hey, your pants are down.

There's Peter. I know him. And you're the poor guy tonight. I'm the hooker. Guy. There may be an official term for it. Have you ever done it? No.

This is. They're going to let me practice three times, and then it's to the races. Yeah. You look nervous. Oh, you have no idea. It's awesome.

So all the prep work was done on the track. The stands were completely packed, and it was standing room only. We all said a prayer for safety. Sang the national anthem, and it was time to start pulling. All right, this is the gentleman we spoke to earlier said Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the 6030 John Deere. Hall, the volunteer Deere.

It's hard to compute what just happened up oh. Wow. And after this, the dance begins to repair the track and get the sled back into place and hooked up for another tractor. It was awesome. OK, this guy looks like he's been doing this for a long time. He looks like he knows exactly what's up.

So let's look at that run again from another angle and slow it down. You can see here that the weight box is moving up the sled until it hits the first limit switch, which drops the pan so the grounders or the blades underneath are now dragging in the dirt. Then the weight box keeps moving until it reaches the end of the sled, which engages the hydraulics and pushes the pan down, putting all the sleds weight onto it and lifting the wheels off the ground.

When the sled is set up correctly, it repeats the same action for every tractor as a function of distance. On this one, you can really see the moment that the pan is pushed into the ground and the sled wheels come up off the ground. OK, so let's think about what's happening with the tire cleats as they interact with the dirt itself. Now, the thing that determines traction is you're trying to shear a little section of the dirt off the track. And so that right there is your shear force.

And that shear force is what determines if you have traction or not. If you shear that dirt off it's just going to rotate around with the tire and you're going to dig in down to the axle. So if you think about the height of the hitch on the back of the tractor in relation to the height of the axle off the ground, there's a talk that's going to be applied and you're balancing that with the weight of the tractor. So if you get it just right, you'll be popping a wheelie, woo hoo, but you don't want to flip the tractor over. So according to the drivers, there's an ideal Wilhite above the ground that tells them they're perfectly balancing the torque, the engine speed, the wades, the friction, everything.

It's very complicated. So when you see these crazy tractors going down the track, you might think it's about seeing how much muscle you can put in your tractor. But what it's really about is properly balancing the muscle that you have and getting that to translate into traction. Power at the wheels. OK, let's go back and look at the sled now.

Now the sled, if we put the weights on here, it's got all the weight pushing against these grounders here on the bottom. And they also are going to shear the dirt down here. Now, if we look at the top view here, the contact patch of dirt that the wheels are touching on the ground looks like this right here. Right.

But if we go back to the sled those grounders are contacting way more dirt. They may even be going deeper. So if you compare the dirt shear area for certain tire geometries, the sled is always going to win. Now, the next question is how do they measure the distance to see who wins? And the answer to that is this person way over here who uses math and lasers to figure out that number. Let's go meet that person surveying equipment.

But that's how we take our measurements, pinpoint exactly where they start, exactly where they stop and triangulate everything. And get the exact measurement from start to finish. Point. Are you doing a reflection on their wear right over the hook? Point Oh, the reflector. Yes, right over the top. That's what I'm shooting distance 268518.

So my wife is really pretty in cowboy hats. I'm going to show you how pretty she is you're any All right. Here goes Annabel. That's her dad. Jennifer. Good to see.

How she do it right now. Oh, she's got the lead. Yeah. I don't think I made. You happy with it. Oh, yeah. Look at this one on.

Her right face. All right, so you're frustrated and beyond. Frustrated. OK, so that didn't go well, right? Not the way we planned it. I am not. Happy at all.

I notice you went off to the left. What happened? So sometimes you paint on the track conditions and the pool, the motor, the how much torque you got it, of course, from one side to the other. So we started. Pulling to the left, and I started tapping our right brake.

We have two brakes, so you tap right and pull you back to the right, step left, closer to the left. So I tapped. All right, great, great jams. And it didn't pull back the way I wanted it to.

And I was right on top of the boundary line. So if you go out of bounds, you get no points. If I come out of it, at least we still get the points. So we're came out of it and we went to go crank and it won't crank.

So did you get points, though? We get points. Spurs and we get points. I didn't get. Disqualified. It doesn't have compression, though.

It doesn't always turn over too easy. I don't know. It's just one of them things. It's mechanical and it'll break. And some it. It's made more power in the shooting it's ever made. And when you make more power, you tend to break more things.

It's worth it. For. We'll fix it. We'll be back out. That's awesome. If you're watching this video, chances are you like freedom. And I love freedom and privacy. So that's why I use Express VPN.

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To, click the link to the video description, find out how you can get three months for free. All right, Chris, your first Tractor Pull, what do you think? I think it was a success. Destin - You like it? Crowd turned out...the tracks working, right.... Yes, I like it. Destin- raising money for the community. Chris - Exactly

What do you what do you think about Chris's Tractor Pull? Jim -Chris, who? <Everybody laughs> All right, Thats the first Tractor Pull in Moulton, Alabama, we learned a lot...Whoa! Falling we learned a lot. And I hope you enjoyed it.

You saw that, didn't you? <person laughing at Destin> Yeah. You saw that I almost fell. Y'all have a good night! I enjoyed it. I hope you did, too. I'm Destin you're getting Smarter Every Day.

Have a good one. Go enjoy a tractor pull somewhere. Oh, one last thing. When I was interviewing people with their tractors. Those people are super geniuses.

I did not want to throw. Away that footage because I learned so much. Smarter Every Day, 2.

I'll put that over on that channel. It's amazing. Go check that out. Thank you for considering subscribing The Smarter Every Day. If you enjoyed this, there's also an email list.

I'll notify you when I put out a new video. I'm just glad you watched and I'm grateful that you're here. I'm Destin. You're getting Smarter every. Day. Have a good one. Bye.

2022-08-29 18:04

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