Mclouth — This can't possibly be what John Deere had in mind.
The "tractor" that Bill Murr will haul out for an annual truck and tractor pull in McLouth has about as much to do with agriculture as a jet fighter has to do with transportation.
Murr created, promotes and participates in the Mid-States Fall Finals Truck and Tractor Pull, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Antique Steam Engine Park.
His machine is a 7,200-pound modified tractor with two 572-cubic-inch engines, each of which produces 2,000 horsepower. When Murr hits the throttle, the tractor can pull a 50,000-pound sled the length of a football field.
Spectators can expect a blur of mud, fire and noise as Murr and other drivers demolish McLouth's small-town calm. This year marks the event's 10th consecutive year.
"The reason I chose McLouth is because I live four miles east of town, and they had the Threshing Bee facility which was adequate for a pull," Murr said. "Plus, pulling has always been fairly popular in this area."
The first pull, in 1988, drew about 40 vehicles. Since then, Murr said, the field has doubled. Eighty to 90 trucks and tractors, ranging from four-wheel-drive pickups to modified tractors like Murr's, are expected to run.
Participants will pull on two tracks in competitions sponsored by the Missouri State Tractor Pulling Assn. and the Northwest Missouri Tractor Pulling Assn.